How to Structure Life with Ironman Triathlon Training

Structure. Another word, we hear is “Balance,” but let’s be realistic…is balance possible or impossible?  Instead of using the word “balance,” I like using “Structure.” WHY? Because if we have structure in our lives, when it comes to our time, our calendar, our training, then it will be a whole lot easier to Structure Ironman Triathlon training with life!   As Ironman Triathletes, it can be F&$ing hard to do just that. (Excuse the language but it’s the #truth).

So, I asked myself…how do I learn to structure  life with training for an Ironman, build a business, teach at Texas A&M-San Antonio, take care of hubby while he is training for Ironman Kona, doing things at the house, taking care of the pup and kitties (that’s easy), eating and sleeping?

I learned how to do a better job of organizing my days heading into each week and each day. If I didn’t plan better, I would be sitting on the couch, eating Bon Bon’s and watching “Days of Our Lives.”

So, I came up with today’s blog….

“How to Structure Life with Ironman Triathlon Training.”

1. Rest day is just that!

  • Rest day is a COMPLETE rest day. Put your feet up.
  • Your body is craving the rest, especially when you get closer to your Ironman. If you want to sit on the bed for 5 hours watching a movie, taking a nap and looking at your computer…IT IS OK!!!
  • Have kids? How a spouse? Adjust so you have down time to yourself. Here is an example: I have an athlete, who has two kids. I gave her Sunday off, to spend time with her family. She contacted me on Monday and said to me, “Why am I more tired from my “rest days” then not?” I said to her, “Two kids under 6…you are not even taking rest days!” We adjusted her day off to Thursday, when both kids are in school and daycare. She gets a day off, does stuff at home and take a nap.
  • Have things to do? Clean house, laundry, and lawn. (See #3)

2. Plan your weeks with a Calendar (iCal/Google) and a do a Weekly “Brain Dump”

  • iCal or Google Calendar will be the key to your success! You MUST plan your workouts. Check out my calendar.
  • I will plan almost everything via my calendar. Walk the dog. Personal appointments (eyebrows, hair cut, etc.) I will put my workouts in there as well. If I don’t…I may not get to it…I will be busy filling my time with other things (Watching Days of Our Lives or wasting time on Facebook…that is another blog!)

Ironman Triathlete ScheduleIronman Triathlete Balance

  • Brain Dump. Thank you to Angela Jia Kim and “Savor the Success.” What is a brain dump? Every Sunday, I will write out what I have to do for my business, my coaching, my workouts, home life, etc. I write down EVERYTHING! I go to bed on Sunday with a clear mind and I absolutely LOVE it! It is a must and even Chris knows when I am going to do my Brain Dump. #dailyactionplanner 

FullSizeRender 2Daily Action Planner Triathlete










3. Hire People to help you out.

  • Plan a simple. Hire someone to clean your house. Do your lawn. Take your laundry to a laundry mat and pay them to do it for you.
  • You spend how much $$ on your bike, clothing and food for Ironman Triathlon Training? You can spend extra for help.
  • Trust me…it is WAY WORTH IT!

4. Hire a Coach to Plan your Workouts

  • If you are self coached, good for you! Do you write out your plans on Sunday? By Thursday, you tend to move things around through out the week according to your schedule and how you are feeling. By the end of the week, you have so many workouts to “make up” that you are overwhelmed and you want to sit and watch DVR of “Days of Our Lives?”
  • Yes, hire a coach. They will organize your workouts for your life style (they should). They will keep you accountable! They will call you out if you are not getting workouts in (they should!).
  • Let the coaches do the guesswork of organizing your workouts around YOUR LIFE. Talk to them. Be open to them and tell them what your schedule looks like. That is what you pay them to do!
  • You spend how much $$ on your bike, clothing and food for Ironman Triathlon Training? Now it is time to hire a coach.

5. Listen to Your Body!

  • So crucial! Your body is a temple. You must listen to what you are going through and what your body is craving.
  • If you are tired but every Saturday, you do your long bike at 8 am with the group…it is OK to sleep in and ride later!
  • You have a swim and a lift and you have to get them done back to back. That is OK but do your swim first, eat some protein/CHO (within 30 minutes) of your swim, you should be find for your lift.
  • For example: I have an athlete, who like clock work, will get up at 4:00 am to make sure she gets her workouts in before work. Sound wonderful right? She will do it regardless; even when she hasn’t gotten enough sleep. So how is that going to help her in the long run? She is pushing through lack of sleep and not getting quality to her workouts…just quantity. She is actually getting better J

So, how do you really structure life with Ironman Triathlon Training?  Patience. Brain Dumping. Organizing on Sundays. Ask for help. Listen to your body. It is very simple. I would not be a 9x Ironman Triathlete, without the help of my coaches, my family and friends, Wendy, my house cleaner and Ever, my lawn guy, Angela Jia Kim, owner of Savor the Success and my Daily Action Planner and listening to my body for 44 years. So, are you going to start today?

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