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Work/life/triathlon balance

Hi everyone how do you all cope with the this problem????? I never seem to have time to do any of it with full effect. There's always something in the way, either that or I just end up staying up really late.

And as I writing this my two year old is shouting "daddy daddy" downstairs. SLEEP god damm it you're are tired.

Nick in Cardiff tired and just wants his dinner.


  • 45CDO45CDO Posts: 44
    It's actually uncanny but my two year old is doing exactly the same!!! Good to know I'm not alone
  • gunforhiregunforhire Posts: 457
    Small world!
    My 2 and 4 year old are having a late night eating popcorn and watching The Incredibles beside me.
    With the heat they just aren't sleeping, so why not?
    Am I training? Am I on the Turbo? Am I hell - I'm a buffet trolley tonight!
  • nicknofingernicknofinger Posts: 284
    I think he's asleep wooooo hoooo now time or dinner, I think I've got gin as well.

    I think an early night and an early morning stress free swim is in order.
  • willieverfinishwillieverfinish Posts: 1,381
    I find it incredibly difficult.

    My wife and I both work shifts and long ones at that.

    We get 4 days off together every 5 weeks and when I work she is at home and when she works I am at home.

    2 kids, 1 with special needs means at least 2 appointments a week, home physio, speech and language therapy, portage workers..... it all adds up.

    For the last month I have virtually done nothing. Think I may have cycled to work a few times and been running (2 x 5km). Just felt exhausted and drained.

    So your not alone. I think the answer is difficult but I have dropped a few things - (like Overtime) like social stuff so I can fit in enough training to do my A race next year.

    It certainly isn't easy I grant you.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    I tend to grab what training I can,when I can,myself and my wife both work shifts,neither with a guarranteed finishing time.So following a training plan is useless,no point in factoring in a long bike/run if due to crap shifts I can only manage 30 mins at best.Some weeks are good maybe 7 hours,others maybe an hour if I am lucky.I look at the time available and grab what opportunity I can.No doubt some bright spark will say HTFU,or balance it out,but it is not that simple due to RESPONSIBILTY to others.On a reply to the finishing last thread it was said that providing you have given everything at the finish line you are not a loser.Well I am sorry then I have to be a loser and a big one at that,most of my races involve travelling and competing then heading back to do a shift,If I had given the race everything I would not be able to drive back in a competent fashion,having a responsibilty to other road users,and then maintain a level of competency that a few hundred people are willing to trust their lives in my hands(foolish people) at work.
    Time with your family is limited and oh so precious,if you start to resent the important things in your life due to the big green eyed triathlon monster putting too much pressure on you,has a hobby/sport now developed into a habit not a pleasure.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    jon.E wrote:
    On a reply to the finishing last thread it was said that providing you have given everything at the finish line you are not a loser.Well I am sorry then I have to be a loser and a big one at that
    Lighten up Jon.E! That's not what that thread meant at all. I suspect you know that.

    Cheer up, all we can do is make the best we can do, with what we've got available. If you get satisfaction from your performances, then that's all that matters.
  • nicknofingernicknofinger Posts: 284
    I started more as a vent with me missing a swim this morning as I could not get out of bed, I could not cycle in and am just frustrated. Also missed my swim tonight as I had the boy (my two year old) who's great. It just gets difficult to juggle everything when you've got a house that needs diy a girlfriend that is doing a full time degree/voluntary work/part time job. And the guilt of getting home to late because you want to go for a run on the way home so your son is in bed. Then you get the can you stay late for work we need to finish this off. I think Conehead said his wife called it "the dark days" when he was training for the Ironman and I can see what she means.

    But it's not all bad it's great feeling fitter than you ever had and when you cross the finishing line shouting yes I did it.

    I think this year has just been hard trying to fit in an Ironman with everything else.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I am sorry, I didn't recognise the first two words
  • stratoTomstratoTom Posts: 36
    I'm only a student, so don't have pressures of my own family and a full time job etc. etc., but you have my understanding and sympathy.

    I don't know how possible this will be, and is very much dependent upon how structured your non-triathlon life is, but planning can make a huge difference. At this point, if you're feeling really low about training, try looking at your schedule and saying, "Ok, I have one hour on day x when I can do session y for certain". Put it in the plan, and try and find more of these 'windows' and do the same. Leave some free; this means if something unavoidable comes up, you might have some float to reschedule.

    At the very least, you might feel better about training if you have made a plan and stuck to it, and it doesn't matter how little you have planned!! This way you will know what training you might have wanted to do but couldn't at the planning stage, and you can deal with it there. I don't know about you, but it sure beats feeling that slippery slope feeling when you think back on the week and just get that sinking feeling that the training is fizzling out. Instead you look back and think, "Well I completed every single one of my planned sessions", and forget about how many hours it was, I thought about that during the planning.

    Of course, you might do this already but might be useful to someone else.
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    Yeah, it's difficult to fit everything in, and to pay for everything. It's hard not to be jealous of others who can do more and it can be frustrating, wondering how much quicker I could get if I had more time to train.

    I have wife, family and job to fit in, so it can be stressful, and you want triathlon to be pleasureable not a chore or a source of stress to you or the family. Family time is very important.

    I don't train as much as I'd like. That said "as much as I like" is probably as much as someone like Hussler trains - 20 hours a week or so. I do find myself not able to do planned sessions from time to time (this weekend for example it's my mother-in-law's 60th so we are away all weekend) I've had to learn to be relaxed about that, and to make sure that when I am training it is quality training.

    Some people might say that I just need to get my finger out and find the time to train more, but it's difficult. Three mornings a week I take the kids to school, so I can't even put early mornings in on those days. Plus what with everything else, if I pull too many 6am sessions I'm just knackered, training suffers, work suffers, I get grumpy so everyone at home suffers.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I suspect that 95% of us are all in the same boat. I posted a thread earlier in the week about my change in work circumstances which now means I'll be spending 4hrs a day in the car too and from work.
    I agree that you've got to fit training in when you can, but the balance becomes quality over quantity and that there is where the difference is made. Provided you can maximise the session then you'll be fine but its getting that quality that presents most of the troubles.

    Jon.E, I can't agree with what you said about being a loser. If you think that then you've defeated yourself before you've got in the water. I go into every tri hoping to knock time off and get a pb. Granted you've got to do work afterwards but are you seriously saying that you hold from not getting a new pb because of work. I don't think so. At the end of the day we are just normal plebs trying to do well in a sport thats extremely hard. We also have to contend with the elites who are sponsored and most likely will win, does that mean we give up. Bloody hell no.

    I've been thinking long and hard about how to get the balance, and at the end of the day there is no defined answer. Its what works for you and you alone.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Further to my last - very tongue in cheek response.

    For me work is a crappy, unrewarding job at times involving very unpleasant people and naturally as I work in the Public Sector am obviously an object of scorn and derision by Daily Mail readers. Still it pays the bills (just - despite what the Daily Mail says).

    Anyway my schedule is after work:
    Monday - gym, generally treadmill, stretching, abs, light weights
    Tuesday - gym, stretching, abs, light weights, spin/treadmill brick
    Wednesday - gym, pool swim 750 - 2,000m in wetsuit (depending on whether I am going to pass out from boil in bag heat stroke) as it get sme used to that style of swimming.
    Thursday - gym, stretching, abs, light weights, spin/treadmill brick
    Friday - perhaps a short gym, generally treadmill, stretching, abs, light weights deepnding on what we are doing.
    Saturday - Pilates, pool swim 750m in wetsuit, bodypump, bike ride
    Sunday - REST!

    My wife is not a triathlete (has a balance problem so cannot ride a bike) but does other classes at the gym so no squabbles there about gym time and we also run in 10K events together. Also thinking about doing Time Trials with a couple of the chaps from the gym.

    Oh yes also a member of the Reserve Forces.

    As you can probably guess we do not have children but we do have a very fine cat called Timmy.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Some good replies here & at the risk of repeating....quality rather than quantity has to be the key for those of us who are not tri pros. I fit in around 10ish hours, possibly could manage more & I am sure that I could better use & be more specific with that time. I don't plan that well but do have a regular work pattern that lends itself to some good training, but I still could do better I am sure. Everytime I sit down to make the bombproof plan....I fail, it never quite happens. This from a guy who can & does build all his gym sessions into his working day & gets paid to do 2 or 3 spin sessions a week that I can tailor to my needs 'cos all my class participants will simply do what I ask/say! Oh & no kids either, which is a huge time advantage of course because I can just decide to go swim/bike/run with no notice & no plan.
    So in short as said do what you can, don't worry about what you can't & be the best you can be with that & still you are better/fitter/thinner etc than 90+% of the population.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    All you guys/gals with children and long hours at work have my upmost respect for managing to do any training and for keeping such a demanding mistress (not sure of the male version?) as Triathlon, my gf is sometimes understanding abut the amount that i need to train, other times she tells me that she's going to move back to Aus and leave me to it. The fact that you manage to stay married/engaged/on speaking terms, see your children and hold down a job is no mean feat (and i doubt i could manage that) so I think you should all look at that as an achievement and be proud.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385

    If you have given your all (that you have to give) then you are not a loser.

    Although I hate my job I am fortunate that I do not have to work shifts (yet) so I do have sympathy with your position, but you know how much you can give and if you give it all and still carry out out your work at the end of it then respect to you.

    As for those with families again respect, you cannot switch off from your responsibilities just because you are tired.

    But to you Jon.E and those with family/caring responsibilities the fact that you drag yourself out for training and toe the start line and give evrything that you are able to give to get over that finish line deserves respect as, pointed out quite rightly previously, that puts you in the top 10% of fitness for the country.

    So well done, and as my Dad said to me when I told him I was going to enter my first traithlon 'keep it up'.
  • SwizzlenapSwizzlenap Posts: 160
    I really do admire you guys who have familys, long commutes etc. I've got no kids and work office hours with a 45 min commute.

    In reality my only time constraint is a GF who likes to organise a lot of things to do on weekends. Not much of a complaint really.

    Er, didn't aim to sound smug or anything, just wanted to say I've got respect for those who fit so much in.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    If my earlier post was unambiguous or misconstrued in its comments,I suppose an apology is offered.
    To Jack,I kow that Bopo's coments was posted and its meaning to which it is intended,work hard play hard.
    To stratotom,yes a plan to follow would be ideal,but sadly not viable,I tried but it created more hassle than what it would be worth.
    The day I resent a race,or a training day will be my last day in triathlon,the enjoyment will be gone.
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    I have thought instead of agegroups there should be race categories of "single" "relationship" and "relationship plus kids" to make things fairer. There are old guys in the tri club that kick my arse, but they have nothing to do all day except training
  • combatdwarfcombatdwarf Posts: 258
    I can sympathise with you all - having just made the jump from Sprint to 70.3 this year and the training burden that required I have used up my training credit for one year with the Chief of Staff (Home) and the kids. I suggested that "going long" next year sounded like a good idea which was met with stony response....

    I was also in the Reserve Forces for seventeen years but I am currently in the process of retiring to try and increase the amount of time I have with the family....

    So now I only have a European job (that takes me all over UK, Europe and the world), two daughter (2 and 5), three dogs and a triathlon obsession to mange time-wise...simples....but I do seem to have got somewhere with the IM dream....the boss has said yes to IM Switzerland 2010
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    like pretty much everyone on here i am in the boat of wanting to do more training but struggling to fit it in. if i didn't cycle to work it feels like i'd pretty much do nothing at all! i struggle to make it to the pool more than once a week and i need to get into running more (again, once a week is about the most i usually manage).

    the reality is, my commute helps me keep my training to a basic level and i fit in the other stuff when i feel i can around family and work commitments. i'm another with a 2yo and by the time she is in bed the thought of going out for an hour or so just can't compete with cooking, cleaning, or spending time with my other half.

    i've been considering finding an joining a tri-club to encourage me to get out and train more. i tend to find that if i make a regular evening for a particular session then i stand a better chance of carrying it through. unfortunately my nearest club is bath which is £180/year! i could try out swindon tri club but it's more of a trek.
  • nicknofingernicknofinger Posts: 284
    Cheers everyone glad I'm not alone, I went out tonight with my girlfriend for a picnic and a glass of wine, my brother had the boy. Now getting ready for a 112 mile ride on Sunday after a very stressful week. I know I'm lucky to have family around and support hearing your stories just reminds me how lucky I am.

    Cheers everyone I feel better today .
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