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Finding the time to train

Many of you have likely come across the same issue that I have faced over the last few years; an increasing number of responsibilities, and an increase in the amount of time demanded of existing responsibilities. 

After being married for 5 years, and now with the addition of our (well, a while ago) 19 month old son, it keeps getting more and more challenging to find time for my triathlon training.   Now you may have a REALLY understanding partner, but in this day and age, people want equal share of the load, and to most people training for triathlons or other races just doesn’t count.  That’s a privilege.  For me (and I am sure many of you), it’s really more a necessity.  Not only do I need the feeling, but I don’t feel right without my weekly workout regime.

Unfortunately there are times you just have to sacrifice that which is most dear to you.  But there is some hope!!

So in addition to finding the time, I sometimes have issues with motivation.  Not that this is too often a problem, it’s just that I may not feel like working out at the moment there is an opportunity.    So my recent regime hits on this point, as well as making great use of time.  This includes an almost daily cycle commute into work, and a weekend run with the baby jogger. 

Let’s discuss the merits of the daily commute.  I know this is not for everyone.  Let’s face it.  The majority of drivers in Toronto are ruthless and crazy.  But I really enjoy the ride.  It takes nearly the same time to cycle as it would by any other means of commute (car or Go train) from where I live.  And I’m adding in a workout.  I can either do a steady pace, or add in sprints at every stop light to change things up.  In terms of the motivation factor, this forces me to get out.  I don’t feel like it every day, but for the most part I would rather cycle than drive or take public transport into work.  If you ARE going to use this approach, there are various elements of safety that need to be discussed, but I will not delve into that here.

The baby jogger.  This makes a run much more challenging, and although it’s not the same as normal running, as it’s difficult to get speed, but you will work on your strength a great deal.  Joggers can be really pricey by the way, but you should be able to find one on Craig’s List for $100.

So how does this all work out?  Well, I get to enjoy my ride into work most days, thus allowing more family time in the evenings.  Plus on the weekend, I give my wife a break while I spend quality time with my son.  He really enjoys it by the way, and whenever he sees the jogger, he’ll run over to it and try to climb in it and telling me he wants a ride!  Plus it is a guaranteed put-to-sleep aid when you time it right!

Of course now I also have the child carrier on the back of one of my training bikes, and I think he enjoys that even more than the jogger (he’s almost as obsessed with bikes as he is with cars and heavy construction machinery!).  I’ve done a couple of rides with him on the back.  It’s not quite as good a workout, but it is certainly challenging physically and technically to have that extra 40 pounds on the back of the bike when going up a steep hill! 

I think there are many ways to help with a tight weekly schedule and making sure you get in the level of training that you are after, it’s just a matter of fitting it in.

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One comment

  • Kudos Chris!

    All too often I hear from too many people who seem to settle on the excuse that there is no time. You’ve got it down! Rather than having a commute steal training time from you… you’re making it work FOR you…

    Taking your son out for fresh air while you log miles is another huge bonus! He’s got an awesome role model to look up to.

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