I’m linking up with the triathlon girls again for Tri-Talk Tuesdays – You Signed up for What, Cupcake Triathlete and TriGirl Chronicles. There are so many running blogs out there that I’m always really excited when I find a new triathlon blog!
So this week’s theme is balance – how do we fit in our training around our lives? I may not have kids (so really I have no excuse) but I have a full time and pretty demanding job, plus I LOVE sleep, and I like spending time in the pub with my friends. I find people in my job can be absolutely shocked when I tell them I do around 8 – 12 hours of training a week, as they often feel that they don’t have time to even get to the gym once a week.
I read a great blog post when I was first starting out which said that “I don’t have time” is an excuse, not a reason for not training. The real reason you’re saying is “I don’t want to spend my time training over [sleeping in / eating lunch with friends / watching TV and relaxing in the evenings / insert other hobby here]”. And that is not a bad thing – there’s no such thing as the work/life or training/life balance – there is just life and you have to do what you want with it. (Obviously, that doesn’t always hold true. There was one day at work when I worked from 9am until 5am in the morning, after a 3am finish the previous night. I didn’t really have time for a workout that day!)
So how do I get that balance? At the moment it’s lots of short workouts in the week – I know I will need to start getting up earlier to get some longer ones in. I do prioritise trying to finish work in order to get home and have dinner with James so I don’t tend to do any evening workouts other than cycling home (too hungry by the time I finish work at 7pm!) I get up at 7am which allows me to cycle to work, and then fit in a swim / gym work out / run before work. I use my lunch breaks and almost always do a 40 min session at lunch time – whether that is weights or intervals. Lots of lunches eaten at my desk! And then I get up early one day at the weekend to get my workout in early, and allow myself a sleep in (usually after several glasses of wine in the pub!) the other morning.
I also have a super-colour-coordinated training chart. I don’t have to do the sessions on the particular day, I tick them off as I do them. I can miss a session if I want and I can add sessions in if I want. It’s flexible but having it on the chart reminds me of all I have to do.
But that’s not trying to make me seem as if I have the perfect balance – I miss workouts all the time due to being too lazy to get out of bed in the morning or seeing a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while in the canteen at lunch.
The key to balance, for me, is just to do what I want to do. Triathlon is a hobby, i.e. it should be fun, I chose my job because I wanted to be a lawyer, I might not like putting my mess away but I love having a tidy flat! I genuinely do not want to go out and get really drunk every Saturday night as I much prefer a long sweaty cycle ride to dancing in a club, drenched in everyone else’s sweat! The afternoons at work go much quicker when I’ve been fully out of breath over lunch time. I feel much better for getting up early for a workout rather than sleep-walking to my desk an hour later. When I stop loving it, I will stop doing it. Balance is about doing the things you love.
p.s. Juneathon day 10: (only one day missed so far!) sweaty and sunny 40 min cycle into work, 30 mins and 1000m in the pool including 4 x 100m sprints (now down to about 1.57 per 100m), 45 min upper body work-out in the gym …… and then I will have a 35 min cycle home this evening! See what I mean about short workouts?!