As a triathlete, we have many time consuming work outs and a rigorous schedule not only in training but in life. That’s just how we prefer things. In order to have as much of a regular life, job and healthy relationships as possible, there needs to be compromise and balance. Here are my top 5 tips in maintaining a balanced life as a triathlete.
- Miss the occasional work out. You do not have to be a slave to your workout schedule. While yes, it is important to be diligent and stay on top of your training schedule, life is going to happen. Sometimes you are going to feel overwhelmed by the amount of training you have and feel like if you do one more swim work out at the pool you are going to start thrashing yourself against the lane line. You are going to miss seeing your family and friends that you never get to see anymore because you are out doing a 90 mile rides every single weekend. And even when you don’t have a work out, your body is so tired it is hard to even drag yourself out. So chill out every once and a while, and go see how the other half lives.
- Enjoy bad food in moderation. As triathletes, we are obsessed with everything we put in our mouths from the daily breaky, lunch and dinner to what kind of gu you are going to eat to what kind of electrolyte you are going to drink to the supplement you are taking after a workout (chocolate milk, duh). But sometimes, you need to have a donut or a cheeseburger or you will go insane. I have tried to be a vegetarian TWICE now and have failed both times because I just needed a dang cheeseburger. My usual rule of thumb is to have one cheat meal or day a week. You have something to look forward to and can get in those bad calories without feeling guilty.
- You need to have a significant other who can support your crazy habit. On weekends when you want to roll over and sleep in, you need someone who can poke you and make you get out of bed. When you are getting up for your 3rd consecutive day of doubles in a row and want to pull your hair out, you need someone who can say they bought you those new nutrition bars you wanted to try. Better yet, find someone crazy enough to get up with you and actually go work out along with you. You cannot have someone who wants you to choose them over something you love. A significant other of a triathlete needs to understand your passion and be there to support you on the big day of your race because that’s what matters to you. If you weren’t doing what you love to do, then they wouldn’t love you for who you really are.
- Relax. Triathletes are so busy running around all the time doing a million different things that it is very important to take some you time. If that means reading a book in the park, going and getting a massage, catching up on netflix or just doing nothing, then do it for you. Often our lives are just like a steamroller constantly moving forward and it’s easy to forget how much you are actually doing and become overly exhausted (this can also lead to injury). Your body needs this time to charge and heal. And sometimes, this is going to take longer than a day off.
- Remember how to workout for fun. When all you do is swim, bike, and run, repeat, repeat, repeat, sometimes you forget to remember why you are actually doing this or why it is fun. Go take a yoga class, go for a hike, heck ride a bike without a carbon frame that doesn’t have a real brand and just go have some fun. And remember, it’s not a competition.