Chris and I are asked so many times, so how do you fit your training in? We have 3 young kids, our twin boys are also young triathletes, swimming 3 times per week, cycling, running, playing football for their club and singing in a boys’ choir. Our daughter does gymnastics, ballet, swims twice per week and plays football too. So yes its tricky! Chris is an AG Triathlete, training for his 2nd full distance Ironman and I am an ultra-runner, training for a 100km race. We both work, sometimes from home, but are often out and about.
Let’s start with the running. This is the easiest discipline to fit into life, and Chris and I do this by sharing the early morning shift. It’s so easy to come in from work, after the school club taxi driving or other day to day tasks, sit down and then think of every excuse not to go and train. Running or even cycling early in the morning is the perfect solution, although many look at me aghast when I suggest it as an option. Up with the birds early running is incredibly energising, almost meditational and leaves you free to fit your life, work or your second training session, into the rest of the day. So how do you prepare yourself for that 5.30-6am alarm…
1) Prepare your body – eat a good meal with carbs, protein and fats in normal proportions the night before, as its very likely you won’t eat anything before running. Just eat a good breakfast when you get in.
In fact, it’s a great training tool to run on empty, especially if you are training for longer events, as it teaches your body to switch to burning fat as an energy source earlier in a race. Your body can only store a certain amount of carbohydrate, the rate at which this is consumed will depend on the intensity of the work-out, but its best to keep unfuelled running or cycling low intensity. Some folk will manage 2-3 hours unfuelled, others up to 90 mins. The length of time can be increased with practise.
2) Ensure you go to bed at a decent hour, defrag your brain by having an hour away from internet trawling and relax as much as possible.
3) Lay out your clothes, GPS watch, HR strap, headtorch if needed, trainers etc, so you simply have to get up and put your kit on.
4) Have a route planned already so you aren’t wasting time planning before you go.
5) Take a glass or bottle of water to bed, so you can sip if you get up in the night, or drink some when you wake up.
Why not get up early tomorrow and give morning running a try?