Ironman Training and Time Management

How to fit training into your busy schedule

Hello to you all reading this. A few of you may know that I have entered an Ironman triathlon this coming July. The reason I entered this crazy test of endurance is purely to get a tick on the bucket list.

 I have been involved in endurance events on and off for around 20 years.  At times I’ve been quite fit only to let it all slip and get out of shape again. I’m sure that’s a familiar story to some!

 However, the whole time I’ve had this ironman monkey on my back, as it’s the only distance I’ve never attempted.  For those who don’t know an Ironman is a long distance triathlon consisting of a 3.8k swim, 180k cycle and 42.2km run.

 Now it should be said I don’t consider myself special or amazing in any way by entering an Ironman, I believe most people could complete it if they wanted to and trained enough.

 I decided to write this blog as I often hear from patients that they never have time to exercise or go the gym or do the rehab they’ve been prescribed. In practice I encourage people to move more everyday as I feel a lot of the problems patients visit us with are often due to being too sedentary or not being strong or flexible enough.

 I’m writing this blog as I sympathize with the time pressed people I talk to as I now find myself in the same boat. 

How I Manage my Time

 I work around 45 hour per week, which isn’t too unusual, and having hired a coach to help me train for the ironman I currently have to fit in approx. 10-12 hours training per week as well.  I have to fit the training in around my fatherly and spousal duties.  Hence it leaves little time for much else e.g. socializing and house projects are facing further delays I’m sorry to say!

 I find myself fitting in training where I can e.g. early morning, late in the evening or lunchtime if time allows. Yesterday being a fine example, I pressed snooze once too many times so that ruled out an early morning run.  Thankfully I managed to fit this in at lunchtime before returning to work (don’t worry I showered.) I finished work at Cheyne walk at 8pm, got home around 8.30 then it was straight on the bike trainer for an hour before eating enough but not too much.

 Luckily my wife Martine didn’t mind as it meant she had control of the TV last night!

The Importance of Sleep 

Another important aspect of this heavy training regime is making sure I get enough sleep. I have recently read some research which stated that for every extra hour of training we do we need an extra hours sleep to help our body recover from it. 

What this Training has taught me  

To sum up this process has taught me that it’s very possible to find a few spare minutes each week to move more and exercise. Your body will thank you for it in the long run and it will mean fewer trips to see us in clinic.

 Anyway I’m off for a swim now, I shall try check in again soon with an update on my progress.

 Mark Bolton, Osteopath at the Osteopathic Clinic