Finding Balance in Endurance Sports Training

July 28,2015

It’s no secret that the world of endurance sports can require what some may think is a ridiculous amount of preparation. For me, I’d like to think of it as an intense passion for health, fitness, and triathlon. Many would also suggest that life balance and endurance sports cannot coexist peacefully because of the intense amount of time spent training. Of course it takes a little of elbow grease, but you can totally be successful.

I look at each day as 24 hours to accomplish everything on my list. And when training I typically work even harder to use my time in a more efficient way. I remember looking into the world of triathlon as I embarked upon training for my first 70.3 Ironman wondering how in the world I could balance it all. What I learned in the years since is that the truth is that there are many ways to balance sport and your personal life. Here are some of my secrets to doing it.

What I learned in the years since is that the truth is that there are many ways to balance sport and your personal life.

Find your purpose- It’s really hard to be completely dedicated to something for someone else. Being competitive in endurance sports has to start with a fire that lights each and every time you head to train for it. Of course there are off days but if the passion isn’t there, it’s going to be really hard. Bottom line is find the passion and make it your purpose!

Eliminate wasted time- Many of us would like to think that everything we do is a top priority, but being honest here, most of it isn’t. At the beginning of every week I prioritize the big tasks on the list that must be accomplished between Monday and Sunday. This may mean skipping my favorite TV show or a nap to get things done but believe it or not, prioritization will work every time!

Be realistic about what can be achieved- Looking at all the tasks competing for your time with a realistic eye can save you from being overcommitted and disappointment later. Sometimes you need to be creative about how to fit everything in knowing that something has to give. Being honest with yourself and your family can save resentment when you are unable to follow through with competing commitments.

Early to rise- The number one reason people don’t exercise is time. But if you ask most triathletes (and anyone into endurance sports for that matter), we are out of bed as early as possible to squeeze in our first workout before starting the day. This actually can help especially if you have a family. On most days before heading to work I know I’ve already accomplished a lot and that leaves me feeling really good.

Plan ahead and share your plans- As we head into training season, my husband and I sit down with our calendars and plan our training scheduled around other set commitments. They key here is communication. We both need to be open about what’s nonnegotiable on our must attend lists. Of course things change, but it’s nice to know ahead of time what training days will be completely focused on training. It also makes sure we balance our commitments with family and makes sure we don’t miss important time with them.

They key here is communication.

Fitting everything in isn’t always rainbows and butterflies and naturally some days just don’t go as planned. But if you can learn from mistakes and continue to move forward, it will all workout in the end. Planning endurance training and prioritizing what matters in your personal life can be both fun and rewarding when you hit the starting and finish line knowing all that you’ve accomplished along the way!

Amanda Gabarda

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