How to Balance All Three Triathlon Sports

Balancing Your Life

John Harris, who's training for a triathlon, runs in the wind and rain as the effects of Hurricane Alex are felt on the Texas coast on June 30, 2010.
John Harris, who's training for a triathlon, runs in the wind and rain as the effects of Hurricane Alex are felt on the Texas coast on June 30, 2010.
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Balancing three sports is difficult enough, but life doesn't stop for triathlon training, and triathletes need to adapt their demanding training schedules to work, family and rest. In addition to knowing their bodies, successful triathletes must be masters of time management, knowing when to train full-throttle and when to hit the brakes.

Finding time to train for a triathlon while working a full-time job can be the most difficult time-management consideration for many aspiring triathletes. Because the 40-hour workweek places limits on training, many triathletes subscribe to the weekend warrior routine, training very lightly Monday through Friday and going on much longer runs, swims or bike rides on the weekends. This technique can actually be quite beneficial in preparing for a triathlon. Those long training days can push you to the limit, simulating the physical and mental stresses of race day.

Training for a triathlon can be just as taxing on loved ones as it can be for the triathletes. Some common complaints are that triathletes are cranky, tired, self-absorbed and generally difficult to be around in the weeks leading up to the big race. Getting support from family and friends is a vital component of training for many triathletes.

Triathlon training can be lonely and alienating at times, which is why experts suggest training with a partner (many husband-wife teams train together) or hooking up with a local triathlon club. Training with a partner or a group can help motivate you to get out of bed and train, even when you don't feel like it, and it can help push you to reach your goals. However, if you choose to train alone, numerous national organizations, Web sites, forums, books and magazines exist to help you become part of the larger community.

Triathletes are like acrobats, walking a tight rope while juggling three demanding sports. The challenge can seem daunting at times, but the key to success is approaching each sport methodically, getting proper rest between training sessions and balancing the other aspects of your life.

Continue reading for some useful links and lots more information about balanced triathlon training.

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