How to Fit Triathlon Training Into Your Busy Schedule

Fitting triathlon training into life can be tough. These tips from AgeGroupers can help to balance your schedule.

Fitting triathlon training into life can be tough. These tips from AgeGroupers can help to balance your schedule.

It’s no secret that training for a triathlon comes with a time commitment. We are all so busy with work, family, social lives, etc., that finding time to fit in training can be a daunting task. We are here to tell you, it can be done. 

A large misconception is that all triathletes need to train like the pro’s and rack up 30 plus hour weeks over multiple days. While yes, you will have some longer days, the reality is most triathletes train eight to 12 hours per week, and that is largely dependent on the distance of the race the athlete is training for.

But even the lightest training plan is still a commitment. So how do you fit it all in?

We’ve pulled together our best practices that many AgeGroupers are successfully using today. 

The early bird

Wake up earlier. Here are some tips to getting the most out of your morning workouts. 

  • Set your alarm. No brainer right? But make sure you give yourself enough cushion time for the things outside of your workout, including: breakfast, cool down, commute (to and from the gym, pool or work), shower and prep time for your responsibilities that day. 
  • Don’t check your phone. That is worth repeating. Do not check your phone. You’ve done the hard part and made the effort to wake up early. The last thing you want is to derail a workout because you are mentally elsewhere. 
  • Set yourself up the night before. Make it as easy as possible for your groggy self in the morning. Fill up your water bottles, lay out your clothes and/or pack your bags so you can just grab and go. 
  • Don’t forget the recovery meal. Particularly, if it was a hard session, you will need to replenish with 15-25 grams of protein if you want to fully recover. Whether it’s a shake, sandwich or fruit cup, make sure you get that food down within 30-60 minutes after completing your workout. 

The night owl 

While somewhat riskier than the morning because, well, life happens, doing your training in the evening hours can be convenient for those that have heavy responsibilities in the morning.

  • Set a start time. Try to set a fixed start time every night so you can develop some form of routine. Researchers and health experts know that a consistent routine is key to developing a healthy lifestyle. 
  • Skip the late meetings. If possible and within reason, do not accept late afternoon meetings. Instead, use the end of the day to tie up loose ends and leave at a predetermined departure time. 
  • At home training. A bike trainer, free weights and/or treadmill are great tools to have at your disposal. They can save you time and frustrations when the gym is closed, the weather is uncooperative or you have a sleeping child upstairs.
  • Plan meals accordingly. Make sure you’ve had a snack/light meal within an hour or two of a workout. 

Lunchtime/afternoon delight 

You may find that midday training is the most conducive to your schedule. Stepping away from your desk to get in a workout is a great way to break up the day and give your body boost of energy.

  • Get approval. First and foremost, confirm with your direct manager or boss that this break is approved. 
  • Plan ahead. Review your work obligations in advance, and where possible, schedule daily workouts that do not interfere with your work schedule. 
  • Put it on the calendar. Block your calendar for training sessions. This will ensure no one can book over it. 
  • Turn off alerts on your phone. If your profession can accommodate this, silence all alerts so that you don’t get interrupted mid workout. 

The commuter

If you are fortunate enough to live in close proximity  to your place of work, try building training into your commute. This will likely be bike or run training, though we did come across one AgeGrouper that would swim across a channel each day to get to work. 

  • Scout the route. Make sure there is a safe and accessible route to commute on.
  • Find a group. Oftentimes there will be a cycling group that commutes  together. 
  • Take the beater. Commuting will put a lot of wear and tear on your bike. If possible, it might be worth picking up a road or commuter bike.
  • Plan for the elements. Be prepared for bad weather or low light. Make sure you have the appropriate gear, which may include rain and cold weather apparel, front and rear lights and a tire changing kit. 
  • Stay in touch. Tell a loved one your route and when you start and finish each leg of the commute.