One of my favorite YouTube videos has to be this one:
If you’ve done any of our triathlon strength training workouts or stretching routines, you have probably noticed that we do a lot of time saving combo moves and sometimes fit in our stretching while we’re grilling. It’s multitasking at its finest!
Although life is busy and it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day, we’re here to tell you that you CAN train for a triathlon and still have a life. Here are 7 tips that will help you find time for your triathlon training:
1. Practice your transitions before and after your workout
We’ve said this in the past but it’s super important to practice your transitions before race day. (click here for some great transition tips). A great way to not only create more time for your workout, but to also get used to changing quickly from one sport to the next is to use the time before and after your workout as “transition practice”.
For example, let’s say you get off work at 5 and you drive to the gym for your 30 minute swim session. Instead of dillydallying and taking your time to change into your swim suit or washing your hands for 5 minutes to because you don’t feel like getting in the pool, imagine that it’s race day and you have to get in the pool as fast as possible. Then, after your workout, do the same thing… see how fast you can get out of the gym and back into your car.
Now, this isn’t always realistic, like if you workout in the morning and you’re way too groggy to put some pep in your step, or if you have a hot date after your workout, I’m sure you’ll want to spend a bit more time getting ready, but a few minutes here and a few minutes there can really add up!
2. Pack your bags
Just like packing your lunch the night before helps your morning go much more smoothly, packing your gym bag will do the same. You’re much more likely to forget to pack your goggles or your helmet when you’re rushing around in the morning trying to get ready for work.
Davey and I like to keep a few extra swim caps, goggles, a spare towel, socks, an empty waterbottle and most importantly, a snack (we love Clif Bars!) in our bags at all times for those last minute trips to the gym or for those times when you forgot to pack your socks.
If you can, keep an extra bag in your car with whatever you need to workout. That way, you can’t use the excuse that you forgot your [fill in the blank] because it’s already in your bag!
2. Don’t overthink it
Sometimes you need to turn your brain off, mute the voice in your head that says you’re too busy, silence your excuses and just do your workout. Your triathlon isn’t going to train for itself. Yes, training for a triathlon is a big commitment, but you’ll be so happy you took the time to train well come race day.
Having a triathlon training plan can help you stay organized and not waste time wondering what workout you should do. Our Beginner Triathlon Training Plan gives you your weekly workouts and takes the guesswork out of your training. You won’t have to worry about whether you’re doing the right exercises or if you’ll be ready on race day. Our plan will help set you up for success and complete your first sprint triathlon in as little as 3-5 hours a week!
4. Workout first thing in the morning
Even though I’m a morning person, I hate working out in the morning. I feel tired and sluggish and also ravenously hungry. However, sometimes, the morning is the only time I have to swim, bike or run. And honestly, it feels SO AMAZING when you’re done working out by 8am and you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day!
Check out my post on How To Make Morning Workouts Easier.
5. Invite your friends
Sometimes people skip their workouts because they don’t want to miss hanging out with their friends. If left with the choice, I’d choose dinner with the girls any day too! But here’s the good news, you’re training and your social life doesn’t have to suffer just because you’re training for a triathlon!
Grab your friends and head to the lake or the beach and get in a 30 minute swim before you lay out. Try a new yoga class or go for a run together before you head to happy hour. Sign up for a 5k run, like Color Me Rad and get your run in while having a blast with your friends at the same time! Go for a nice long bike ride on a Saturday morning with your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/friend and then stop and have a picnic when you’re done. The options are endless!
We recently joined a local running club and every Wednesday, a huge group of us gathers for a 3-6 mile run. This is a great way to meet new friends who share your love (or toleration) of running and it will help to motivate and challenge you to not only get your workout in but to push yourself harder than you would had you been working out alone.
6. Get creative
A lot of people can’t find time for their workouts because they don’t want to find time for them. Going to the gym can be a drag. The treadmill or the stationary bike can get boring. Swimming laps is about as much fun as detention.
To combat this, get your creative juices flowing! Try this workout the next time you take your kids to the playground, or go for a fun run. Explore a new bike route or find a new path to run on. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery! One of our favorite things to do is to drive to the lake and do an open water swim and then meet up with some friends over at the picnic area to grill and hangout.
7. The 1 hour = 1 hour principle
Identify time sucks. These are the little things that suck up your precious workout time. For me, I realized that it took me 10 minutes to decide what outfit to wear, 3 minutes picking out what sneakers best match my outfit, 2 minutes to decide whether or not to wear my compression socks, 30 minutes looking up new songs for my workout playlist, 10 minutes downloading those songs onto my iPhone, 7 minutes looking for my headphones, 4 minutes deciding whether or not I need a snack before my workout, 10 minutes making a snack and eating it, 15 minutes looking at Twitter while waiting for my snack to digest… and on and on and on.
Those little time sucks add up to OVER AN HOUR. No wonder I feel like I don’t have enough time to fit in my workout!
Enter the 1 hour = 1 hour principal.
If I have scheduled 45 minutes, or however long for my workout, then I try to cut back on my time sucks. So, if it does take me 10 minutes to chose what water bottle I want to take to the gym, then that’s 10 minutes I’m taking away from my workout.
Just make sure you don’t use this principal to suck up all of the time from your workout. 🙂
So the next time you think you “ain’t got no time to workout”, think again!
What are your favorite time saving tips?
How do you fit your workouts into your busy life?