Guest Post 'Syd @sydgo - Training Tips for time-crunched triathlete's
I met Syd at the #2XUcamp in Toronto, Ontario in November. We instantly clicked because we were runners or at least I was 1/3 of a runner. I definitely have a lot to learn from her and her blog www.gosydgo.com, check it out or IG feed; it is always full of wonderful action shots and proof that she is not afraid to put the miles in. Thanks so much for this thoughtful blog. Let me know if you like it and comment on mine or Syd's blog if you feel like it. We really appreciate it.
Training for a race can be time consuming. I can certainly say this was the case for me when I trained for my fall marathon over the summer. I needed to plan out to eat the night before training, what and when to eat breakfast, and what to fuel with during training. Then you have the actual training, doing whatever activity it is that you are going to compete in, but let’s not forget about cross-training, stretching and recovery. There are a lot of aspects to consider when training for an event. They take up a significant amount of time and it is a large commitment. A marathon is a single discipline event, so with training for a triathlon, time management becomes even more important. In addition to the considerations mentioned above, you have 3 different disciplines to train in. Here are my 10 tips for making the most of the time you have to train:
- Goal Setting: before your training cycle starts sit down and map out a realistic goal for the event you are planning to compete in, I recommend having multiple goals. One you have done that, you need to determine what needs to be done to reach those goals.
- Create a Training Plan: Map out the months and weeks leading up to your event, ask yourself how much time you can dedicate to training each day and at what part(s) of the day are available for training.
- Meal Plan: You can also do this before your training starts, it doesn’t have to be entirely mapped out. I suggest thinking about how your body reacts to certain foods and making sure you have a good supply of groceries on hand to meet the nutrition needs of a distance athlete. Hint: if you make a little extra dinner, you can take it for lunch the following day. I try to do this every night so I don’t have to plan lunch separately.
- Buy Fuel in Bulk: Seriously! You don’t want to be headed out for an early morning training session and realize you don’t have any fuel. The stores won’t be open and your body won’t be happy! Stock up on your fuel of choice in advance so you don’t have to think about it beyond making sure it’s in your bag!
- Pack Your Training Essentials the Night Before: That way you can double-check you have everything you need and not wake up the rest of the house by rooting around in the dark looking for a bike pump.
- Use Your Days Off to the Fullest: Whenever your weekend is, those 2 days should be the heaviest days of training each week. You can train for more than one discipline on these days and still have time for other things.
- Get Used to Early Wake-Ups: The early morning is a great time to get training in, for cycling, the roads are empty, and that means a more relaxing training environment. Plus you can fit your training in before anyone else even wakes up, leaving the rest of the day to be social or spend time with the family. Just be sure to also go to bed early because sleep is super important too!
- Use Your Commute to Work as Training Time: The great thing about a triathlon is 2 of the disciplines can be used as modes of transportation! I often run home from work as a means of fitting in my training while beating rush hour traffic, you can too! On a double discipline training day you could even bike to work, leave you bike there and then run home.
- Go for a Lunch Run: If you have an hour long lunch break, why not break up a day of work by going for a training run? You can eat at your desk after you’re done and you might even find you’re more productive at work by being physically active midday.
- Cycle or Run to the Water: Swimming is often the most dreaded component of the triathlon, but it still needs to be practiced. Since most of us don’t have our own pool, training means finding a pool or open water to train in, and that involves spending time to get there. But wait, you can also use your journey to the pool as training time for running or cycling.
Prioritizing training will affect other parts of your life, you really have to want to be spending a lot of time training. It can be difficult to have a regular social life when so much of your time is dedicated to training. My recommendation is to train with a like-minded group of people, you can support each other and share tips along the way!