Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Fitting it all in

One of the biggest challenges to a working father is finding the time to fit the training in without alienating yourself from family, friends and work. Sometimes it runs on a knife edge and the stress can start to effect all things. Achieving the balance requires planning, flexibility good time management and motivation.

Ironfit by Don Fink gives some inspiration (but not much). Fitting a 20 hr training week into a 50 hr working week and still being there to pick kids up from school and taking them to swimming, generally be dad and be a support to my partner requires a lot of Juggling. Luckily the nature of my work enables some flexibility as I am to some degree my own boss. A fixed and fairly rigid schedule outside of work and maximising the use of early starts is the main key for me. The last part is an endlessly tolerant partner who reminds me of the necessity to participate rather then just be present for the family (although sometimes I can only just about manage being present) and who will challenge my need to train when it encroaches too much on the rest of the activities.

To this end I am early to bed and early to rise. An hour run is often snuck in before the family gets up on a weekday. A regular 3 hour ride on thursday morning, starting at 04:30 is another key session. My long ride at a weekend is always done by 12 on a sunday and saturdays as often kept free from any peak time training (so again I get up early and I am often back by 9 having done a 2.5hr brick session).

Funnily I often feel I have more time than I used to. I always make a pack lunch to ensure I have what I want to eat when I want to eat it and do not waste time queuing to get it. I organise my work diary to maximise effectiveness at work and to eliminate dead time and avoid taking on projects that do not have clearly defined endpoints or outcome measures. Finally I still watch tv but not as much (I was once a full blown couch potato) and usually only watch specific programmes that I have recorded.

More and more I try to make my training part of my lifestyle, such that it no longer feels odd to excuse myself from company to go and do a 1 hour run (like when visiting friends) and then pick up where we left off.

Mind you we all need a rest sometimes and I look forward to tapering in 4 weeks.

1 comment:

Jevon said...

Great to see you on the blog trail. Only trouble is that it adds another thing to do to the bloody week :-(
Still... enjoying reading it and glad you're managing to fit everything in. What are you chasing time wise at your IM's this year?