I didn’t forget!

I haven’t forgotten about my blog but work has increasingly taken over my life these last few weeks and sadly as that pays for my race entries, equipment, gym etc as well as regular house bills it had to be my priority. 

I have lots to write about when I get a spare minute! 

Hopefully I’ll be posting again here shortly! I miss it!

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Comparing Yourself.

We all do it. We all compare ourselves. We never quite measure up to the next person, or fall short in some area. We compare ourselves to the pros, the elite, the best of the best or that person at the park who had run 6 miles by the time we had finished one.

We get caught up in the vicious cycle on envy and what ifs, being cruel to ourselves and punishing ourselves if we don’t make the grade. It doesn’t matter what form it comes in – berating; putting yourself down; pushing yourself harder on that next workout even though you’re tired, it doesn’t help.

So how about you start comparing yourself positively, because nobody is ever likely to stop.. compare yourself to you. Look at where you started and where you are now. Think about all the effort, blood, sweat and tears, the time you have put into your training and meal preps and early morning workouts and start to think about that before you want to compare yourself to someone else.

The majority of athletes aren’t athletes to become elite or to reach those highest levels, it’s a personal challenge or self improvement. So why would you compare yourself to them?

Same goes for a new sprint triathlete – when you’re training, you don’t compare yourself to an Ironman.

Let’s start comparing positively. Did you get out there and do your workout that was on the schedule? Yes? High five! Doesn’t it feel awesome? Who benefits you? And who suffers if you compare yourself negatively? You?

I’m not saying that a bit of healthy competition and comparison doesn’t do you good, but like all things – moderation!

Now get out there and do your workout and if you want to truly feel amazing, think of the millions of people who just won’t bother today, or tomorrow, or the next time!

How to make the most of your time and your training.

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Upon recommendation of a tri/training/time management book by Don Fink, I began to think carefully about whether I was effectively using my time or if I was wasting it, along with training sessions.
It was a shock for me to see how much time I was wasting or dedicating to useless things like sitting in traffic.

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Living in a large (huge) city, I spend an inordinate amount of my time sat in bad traffic. There is ALWAYS a crash on the 10 and there will NEVER be a day when the beltway is empty in rush hour… So how can I skip the “workout commute” and get extra workout time in.
I’ve looked at my schedule and where I am the majority of the time. Work.
So how can I limit the damage that driving (because walking and public transport aren’t options in Houston) do to my schedule?
I used to drive to the park which in reality is only 15-20 minutes drive but with traffic could be 30 minutes away plus finding parking. I wouldn’t leave work dead on a specific time so I would waste another 20 minutes before I left and probably another 20 once I got to the park. You don’t have to be a mathematician to work out I’ve already wasted an hour – that’s a 17/18 mile ride or a 6/7 mile run or a good few thousand meters I could have swum in that time.

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I’ve been throwing my time away freely and then wondering where my evening has gone when I stumble in around 8pm (still traffic just not as much).
So I got thinking and then I got smart. There’s a bayou and park within a 2 minute walk from my work (yes, walk!) and it is about 3/4 miles long so that’s one hour of running for 6/7 miles right there. How many minutes driving or wasted? 0.
There’s a pool and gym on the way to the freeway from my work. It’s 10 minutes by car (and I found a couple of sneaky shortcuts to avoid traffic). If I leave promptly and get straight in the pool I could have done an hour and be out by the time I would normally have been just starting a run at the park. I could even squeeze a strength training session in that would still be done by the time the run would have been over.
Evenings are finally getting longer again so I could head to the park straight from work to ride (or the bayou nearby) or I can get on the trainer when I get in- there’s a traffic window, you either leave so early you miss it or you leave so late it has died down. It’s not perfect but you work around what you have to deal with.

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I have also started incorporating morning workouts into my day to give me a break in the evening or a chance to do something else. It does mean I need to go to bed earlier but I should probably be getting that extra sleep anyway!
If you have a family (I just have pet kids) then mornings before they wake up may be more appealing to you so you have the evening to spend with them.
The one thing I have found with an increased schedule whether before or after work is I have had to become more savvy with my routine and get myself organised!
I now do a couple of runs of laundry a week so my gym clothes are always ready to go. My buddies D and L spoke about meal prep at the weekends and making big batches for a couple of days so you only have to cook a few times a week or snack packs that you can keep in the fridge for the whole week. One of my tri colleagues makes a giant batch of smoothie on a Sunday and freezes portions down for the week, defrosting them the night before they are needed.
Although it seems like extra work initially, those extra 15 minutes to cut up additional food or to portion out the servings for the week will save you probably 15 minutes minimum each day.
I sort my kit out and have it all packed ready to go and make sure I lay my work clothes out the night before. If I need to get up early I can grab it and go and if I don’t then I have an extra 5 minutes to dedicate elsewhere in the morning.

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The techniques listed on her picture above are about considering the skills you need for time management but you could make your own list or mind map of what you need to do each day/week and prioritise things before then deciding how to tackle things and reduce time needed over the course of the week.
If you’re working around families or social commitments schedule those in and build around them.
Can you delegate tasks? Maybe there’s a 6 year old dying to help you make smoothies – you can combine spending quality time with them, educating them about healthy eating and living and getting your smoothie batch made. If you have fruit cut up, they could add it to the blender and push the button. Involving people in your life in your training makes them feel like a priority too, which they should be.
Can you move workouts to different times to fit them in? Maybe lunchtime you have 30 minutes or an hour you could dedicate or a morning workout to keep the evening free.

What tips do you have for making the week more organised, stress free and productive?

Weekend training

This week has been busy work wise so I was relieved to see the weekend on the horizon (I’ve blinked and it’s already gone!).

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I tested out my GoPro this weekend and got some videos of swim training so that my friends and I could analyse our stroke and see what we are doing and where we can improve. I don’t think I’m able to upload to here or I’d add it onto the page. Maybe I’ll brave YouTube and put them on there at some point.

Anyway.. I managed to dig myself out of bed (as you may have seen on Twitter) early (RIDICULOUSLY early) to run, twice this week. I’m going again tomorrow dontcha know! I got swims in as well but I haven’t been as dedicated with the biking so need to make that a focus this week! I did make it to the gym to use the spin bikes this morning and swim as well. We had hoped to cycle outdoors but the forecast was awful – it turned out to be lovely so we will hedge our bets next time!

Keep training!