How to Keep Your Training Intact When Your Time Is Scarce
Author: Jeff Horowitz
The very nature of triathlon is ambitious, three sports in one day. However, to many people, the training is the aspect that is the most intimidating. How does one find time to train for three sports?
Here are some tips to conquer the often heard challenge of not having enough time to train by a USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach and 20 year Personal Trainer Veteran, Jeff Horowitz.
"I don’t have time to train, Jeff."
I hear that all the time as a personal trainer. People used to think that technology would create more leisure time, but instead we seem to have less. As free time dwindles, workouts get lost along the way. It doesn’t have to be that way. With some planning and creativity, you could still get in your key tri workouts with the following habit changes:
1. Get up earlier. Don’t count on working out after work; fatigue, hunger, and unexpected crises can quickly obiterate an afternoon workout plan. If you need to get up at 5 a.m., do it. Seeing dawn break and knowing that your workout goal has already been met is a great way to start the day.
2. Do two-a-days. Do half in the morning and the other half in the evening. This works especially well with the run. You could even break it up even further; I’ve logged 10 or 12 mile days by doing a few miles here or there all through the day. Since the endurance-building benefits of multiple workouts done on the same day are comparable to that of a single workout, you’ll be fine, and you might even be able to do these shorter workouts at a higher intensity than you could sustain for a single longer run, which will make you even more fit.
3. Make your commute your workout. Biking or running to work takes longer than driving or taking public transportation, but it takes less time than commuting and working out combined. Saving money and the environment is just an added bonus. The trick is figuring out the logistics. Ideally, you can access a locker-room and shower facility at your job, or a nearby gym, but in a pinch, wash up in the restroom. Bring a week’s supply of clothing to your job and use a local dry cleaner, or fold your daily wear neatly into a backpack. This could also help improve your running form, since you’ll learn to run more quietly to keep the backpack from jumping around.
4. Go for quality over quantity. Only
have 30 minutes for a workout? Hammer it at 80-85 percent of your max heart
rate once or twice a week to improve your speed and form.
5. Do a stairwell workout. Can’t make
it to the track? Use your office building. Run up the stairs two at a time to
build power, or one stair at a time to improve cadence and increase leg
turnover, while using the journey back to the bottom as recovery between
Jeff first fell in love with endurance sport almost a quarter century ago, when he chose the Marine Corps Marathon as his first race. Since then, he's run over 150 marathons, including at least one in every state and on 6 continents, including Antarctica. He's also taken up ultramarathoning and long distance cycling. His swimming is a work in progress; it took him a while to realize that when people said he swims like a runner, it wasn't a compliment. Jeff is the author of "My First 100 Marathons: 2,620 Miles With An Obsessive Runner (Skyhorse Press, 2008) and is the Mid-Atlantic editor of Competitor Magazine, He is a coach and personal trainer, certified by USAT, USATF, RRCA, USA Cycling, and AFAA. He also is a member of the Clif Bar Pace Team, and loves being a brand ambassador for The Nations Tri and the Washington DC Triathlon.
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