It's Friday, your friends invite you out for an after work drink. You don't really want to do it as you know you have other matters to attend to. You hear that voice inside your head saying "it is important to keep up appearances and be social". You agree to go for a drink. Your first instinct is to grab a cold beer but you are worried it will have an impact on your important objectives for the evening. Still it is necessary to be seen so you order a glass of soda water and lime. At least they see you with a drink in your hand. You can feel the itch of the costume under your work clothes, pressed hard against your skin. How long do I have to stay for? There are some serious matters for me to deal with tonight. You engage in small talk, not really paying too much attention to what is being said. Your mind is on the task ahead. As soon as it is possible you slip away. Sometimes you do this quietly, other times you say goodbye. Its time to get serious. You are alone. You gather your things. You rip off your work clothes and reveal your uniform underneath. At last! You are free, free from wearing a mask that you wear around people. Free to be yourself. You feel that anticipation that comes right before you do something that you know is going to hurt. Your heart rate picks up a bit. It is time. You start your Friday night workout.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a superhero. All of those who know me will know that I have a slight obsession with Superman. So it should not be a big surprise that I like to think of being fit and healthy as similar to the lifestyle of a superhero. What do I mean? We spend most of our time wearing tights, we are awake when most of our friends are asleep and then we are tired during the day while other people are wide awake. We don't drink as much as some of our friends and we are often leaving parties or the pub early. I think that sounds like the lifestyle of a superhero. I am not saying that there is anything super about it. But I am often surprised by how impressed other people are that I am able to maintain my training with all the other demands that life throws at me. This has become much easier for me in the last month as I have reduced my working hours and am instead focusing on my law degree. However, I still spent two years working, studying and training for triathlon. It can be done.
I understand how hard it can be for people. We work all day, hard. When we finish the last thing we want to do is go to the gym. A great trainer I know called Andrew Read explained that stress can be just as draining on the body as physical exercise and he is absolutely right. There is nothing worse than trying to fit in quality training when you are stressed or exhausted.
So what do I do? One of the things that I think has enabled me to train effectively with all the demands that I have is my time management. I have incredibly strict 'life rules' which I follow. For example I do not do any study after 6pm. I also try and minimise travel. If I have a swim and bike session the same day that I am at uni I will normally take my swim stuff to uni with me and swim on my lunch break and then have my bike gear ready to go so I can grab it quickly or have the trainer set up so I can jump right on it. In fact I rarely don't have training gear in my bag. I try to manage all my training while my wife is at work or at the gym herself or out with friends. By doing this I manage to stay married by avoiding hours away from her when I don't need to be. As for uni work I try and get that done either on the train or in the early morning. I am an early riser but I don't like to train in the morning so instead I use the time to get my school work done.
I often miss out on some things that I would like to do like have beers with mates or go out for dinner. But it is a sacrifice that I am happy to make because it enables me to maintain the healthy active lifestyle that I live. I saw a great quote once that said 'I don't have time is the grown up version of the dog ate my homework'. So next time you want to start getting a bit more active take some time to stop and think about what is it that takes up all of your time. Is there nothing you are able to sacrifice to fit in some exercise? Maybe you too could start sneaking away from Friday drinks for a quick gym session instead of downing a few beers. Try being like Batman and leading a double life. I promise you don't even need to wear lycra if you don't want! It isn't that hard once you get the hang of it and it is amazing how impressed other people are.
Onto my training. I had a mini breakthrough this week with my running. I found a different way of running/got the hang of the mid foot strike and saw a he improvement in my pace. I am going to have to work on it though as my calves are a bit sore. But if I can master it I expect to see some big improvements in my run splits. Other wise I am still working towards Bintan and will also do a little Olympic Distance race in a few weeks as well. A huge congratulations to everyone who completed Iron Man Australia over the weekend and it was great to see Sam Appleton beat an impressive field at Busselton 70.3 for another win this year. Sam does a great blog of his races which I will like here. Check him out on Social Media and give him a like/follow.
Have a good weekend of solid training everyone and remember to TRI!
I lost 50kgs though triathlon and completed the 2016 70.3 World Championships. Aiming to hit 4:05 for a 70.3, the same time it took me to complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. I want to bring as many new people to the sport as possible. Whether you are fit and active or want to make positive changes to your life.