So I am a coming to the realization that I will never have enough time to be competitive in Triathlon and it bums me out.
I had done tri's a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I even did 3 70.3 races. But I was strictly middle of the pack. I had a young child but could still get out for the occasional long bike, etc. After taking a few years off, I want to get back into triathlons, but now have 3 kids 8 and under. I have been trying to figure out the best way of getting in training around work and family. I would also like to not suck. But I don't think it is possible. I just bought a book from Matt Dixon called "fast track triathlete, balancing a big life with Big performances in long course triathlons". While an Ironman is out of the picture both financially and training wise, I figured it would give some tips to get up with some 70.3s.
The training plans for a 70.3 average between 11 and 15 hours a week! With a full time job, a family etc. How are you supposed to get 15 hours of training in a week? I always thought the cost of Triathlon was the biggest hindrance but I believe it is really time.
Does anybody have good tips for training with limited time. I was thinking about doing something like a FIRST training plan (3 hard days a week) but then do that for biking and running as well. Biking and swimming aren't hard on my legs so I figure I could use them as down days from running. I am looking to focus on Sprints first but eventually want to move up.
I hear your challenge, concern, and goal.
Balancing home life with work and activity is a challenge.
Mostly, my response is that 15 hours is not necessary for 70.3.
I've done 2 full ironmans and 4 half ironmans, and have never done a 15 hour week (for either of those distances).
I believe I had a successful result (top 20% in age group) with my training plan.
There's a book by Joe Friel and Gordo Byrn titled "Going Long" that talks about this challenge, and asks the question how much you can invest into the sport based on the other commitments (work and family). Buy the book. Best book I've ever read as it relates to triathlon.
I do not have a coach, and train solely based on information I gained through Going Long.
And... the less "SlowTwitch" macho man forums you read, the better. There are guys that pride themselves in how many hours they can put into a week (20+ hours, etc.). Don't worry about those guys. Worry about yourself and getting to the starting line prepared.
You can prepare properly for a 1/2 ironman on 5 - 7 hours per week. You might need to find 8 - 12 hours for a full ironman (average about 10 hours).
You won't podium finish, but you'll have respectable times.
I can share how I have broken out my training plan details to get me healthy at the starting line without doing too much training.
With that said...
When I'm at my busiest (within 10 weeks of race)
I go to bed early (9pm)
I wake up early (before 6am)
I do a workout before work (2 - 4 days).
I do a workout at lunch (3 - 4 days).
I do NOT do a workout after work and spend evening with the family.
I spend Saturday morning doing a long bike ride.
I spend Sunday sometime doing a run.
My long run is one of my mid-week workouts before work.
Most important part of the schedule is sleep, followed closely behind by the long bike ride on the weekend.
#1: Do what I can do (250+ training days, 300+ aerobic hours).
#2: Race shape - BUILD aerobic base
#3: Race (Cincinnati MiniMarathon - 3/18, Grand Rapids 70.3 Tri - 6/10, Ironman Florida - 11/2)