Training for the Time Crunched Athlete

By Tim Doris 2017 Multisport Canada Ambassador

An approach to training that works for me, sometimes!

We are all busy with work commitments, family commitments, and extra-curricular activities which in my family are competitive dance, rep. soccer, and baseball, and of course my own training.

The most important thing that I have learned this past year is to schedule my workouts and try to stick to them. This has allowed me to be more consistent with my training and to log a significant amount of running and riding during the winter months.

In the past 4 months, I have been able to run outside most days for training, despite what Mother Nature tried to throw at me. I am an elementary school teacher in Northumberland County, so I have a variety of training routes that I can use, depending on the amount of time that I have available for training on a particular day. Even on the days when I have only 40 minutes available to me I still am able to lace up my shoes and get out the door. I also bring my bike to school so that I can alternate between running and riding. All of my training during the school week occurs during my lunch and prep and planning time. I also arrive early at school to make sure that I have my day organized and to complete any tasks from the night before. Meals for me during the day are divided up into smaller servings that I can grab and go from the staff room or even out the door to start my run. I pack a week’s worth of workout clothes to bring with me on Monday morning and have it organized in the closet in my classroom with a number of choices for any weather condition, depending on the season. I change into my running clothing during first recess so that when the lunch bell rings I am heading out the door to begin my workout.

I also make sure to have a number of energy gels, nutrition bars, electrolyte powders, water and baby wipes for a little freshen up after my workout.

Ever since high school when I had to be up early for before school workouts, I would set my breakfast dishes and even food out the night before, and lay out my exercise clothes for a quick change in the morning. Although this drives my wife a little crazy, it gives me a few more minutes of sleep so I don’t need to feel around in the dark and stumble around the kitchen and wake up the light sleepers in our house. On Saturday mornings, my wife teaches dance, so I am often up and out the door for my long weekend workout before 6 am. Without my planning the night before I could be looking at a much later start or being forced to cut the workout short.

Considering my age and my late start into Multisport racing, the 3 most important things I have learned are to get enough sleep, to listen to my body, and even with all the planning in the word to be flexible.

Somedays last minute changes need to be made, and I don’t beat myself up over it. It is only a workout and there will be another one the next day. But by planning my workouts ahead of time, rarely have I not been able to get out and sneak in a 30 or 40 minute run or ride.

I look forward to my training every day. It allows me to maintain my healthy lifestyle and set a good example for everyone that I come in contact with daily from the staff and students at the school where I teach, my family, friends and even the UPS courier who waves to me every day on his regular route. With only a little under 2 months until the start of my duathlon season, I continue to train and enjoy the experience of seeing what the day brings my way. Hope to see you on the start line this season.