Making the decision to participate in endurance sports or triathlons can be a very time consuming endeavor. With multiple sports to pursue, writing year long training plans, honing race day nutrition, researching and purchasing training gear and aids, and deciding which brand of spandex looks best on that perfect ass, you are busy. Add in family, work, and curating your miniature crystal mouse collection, your week is probably full. While a lot of articles focus on practical tips for training, I’m going to look at some tips that will allow you to make the most of your time and keep you on the straight and narrow. Specifically, I’m going to give you 9 ways to create time to workout. Well, they aren’t all ways to “create” time, but maybe make the most of your time that you have.
- Workout at the same time everyday – Taking the guess work out of your workout time will reduce the likelihood that workouts are shortened or skipped all together. Sticking to a routine reinforces behaviors. When is the last time you thought about brushing your teeth or putting on deodorant? Working out first thing in the morning will not only take the guess work out of scheduling but it will also get your metabolism going and even allow for some fasted workouts.
- Hire a coach – Hiring a coach takes the guess work out of training plans and workout decisions completely. Hiring a coach allows one to spend more time with your family, working, or building that rocket in your barn. Having an outside influence on your workouts will probably make them more effective as well.
- Plan your menus – Planning your food intake eliminates decisions and by not making last minute decisions, you are better in control of what is going into your body.
- Make you food on Sundays. Making large portions of foods you know you will eat throughout the week saves time. Instead of making 2 chicken breasts, make 6 and package the rest.
- Have a “B” plan. Know what you will do if you can’t get the exact amount of exercise in. Know what you are going to do if you don’t meet your nutritional goals
- Take responsibility for your own success. Be familiar with what the overarching goal for each week of your training. This way if a workout is cut short or is missed completely, you are keeping the overall goal in mind. If you use Training Peaks you can look at your weekly TSS scores as a metric for what your weekly goals should look like.
- Workout closer to home. How much time do you spend commuting to the pool or to the gym. Is there one closer? Even if it costs a little more per month the savings in gas and time may make it more cost effective. Studies have shown that changing our “environment” helps to be more compliant to an exercise plan.
- Keep a packed gym bag in your car at all times. Sometimes our days change, meetings get cancelled, or the kids have a surprise activity after school. By having workout gear ready and waiting, we can capitalize on any opportunities to get in a workout.
- Use services like Walmart Grocery Pickup or the Amazon Prime Now app to maximize your time. Most people don’t realize how much time they waste shopping or running to the store for last minute items they may need. If you are in an area with these services, use them. They don’t cost anything extra (with the exception of a tip for the Amazon driver) and they will save a significant amount of time. Not only that, but it eliminates buying stupid stuff on a whim because all of the shopping is done online and you can shop whenever you think about it, preferably naked. Think race wheels for groceries.
So there you have it, 9 ways to create time to workout or at least make the most of your workouts. How you use it is up to you. Work out more, spend more time with the family, kick that heroine habit… it’s up to you because it’s YOUR time. Spend it wisely.