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by Kristen Marchant 

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I am perhaps one of the least qualified people to be writing about this because as a pro it is far easier to fit in training and other life obligations than those with families and other jobs as well- I have the utmost respect for those who are able to juggle triathlon/family/job and stay sane. However, I sadly saw posted on social media the other day someone who skipped an Easter family dinner just to do a four-hour bike ride on their trainer. There is a lot wrong with that sentence, the biggest of all is that the message being sent is that their training is a higher priority than their family.

This is not to say that training shouldn’t be a priority in life (of course it should!), but here are some ways to better balance training and family obligations:

1. Short and hard is always good- if you’re time-crunched and still want to get in a workout, doing a short, hard session is extremely beneficial. Think something along the lines of Sufferfest- their Revolver video has left me lying on the ground after and is only 45 minutes.

2. Split it up- if you really want to get four hours in on the trainer (I question the logic of such a long ride in March, but nevertheless), you can split it up into two 2-hour sessions so that you still get to see your family. The benefit of time in the saddle is still there even if it’s not done all at once.

3. Take some perspective- is your bike (or swimming or running) really more important than seeing your family once in a while? There are 365 days in a year (366 this year)- moving training around, or (gasp), missing a training session to see your Grandma, is not going to derail your triathlon training- it’ll probably do you some good.

I have done all of the above at some point in order to fit in other life obligations, and nothing bad has come of it. Triathlon is time consuming, but it doesn’t have to push other important parts of your life out of the picture. Longevity in the sport will only come if you can keep a happy balance :)