One of the hardest things for me, when training for an event, is creating a workout schedule. I can hazard a guess as to why it is so difficult. Reasons include:
- So many people have their opinions on the correct way to train, but when your goal is simply to get across the finish line, the training can take many different forms. So, who do you take advice from? Well, I only take advice from people who have similar priorities and are successful maintaining balance with all of their priorities. Those types can be hard to find.
- Adjusting my life schedule to work within my training goals sometimes throws me a little off balance.
- Maintaining balance between life and training gets extremely challenging, because I get fatigued and exhausted from training. All people have this problem when training, but I experience fatigue and exhaustion without movement, adding movement only exacerbates these feelings.
- 'My People' energize me, and if I don't have time with them I find myself down in the dumps. Maintaining my visits with my friends is necessary for my mental health. My friends keep me motivated, and I am not willing to give up my time with my friends.
- Sleep is the most important aspect of training and I don't like sleep. I like early mornings, I like late nights (well, late for me), naps make me more tired (yet they are necessary for point three above). And so, this actually can cause a cycle of exhaustion within point three.
So, I am sitting here writing a training schedule for a big bike ride and an Olympic Distance triathlon, first putting in my time with my friends, gardening, and sleep. Can you tell what my priorities are?
Balance is key to anything in life. I simply don't believe in giving anything up for one activity in my life. It drives me nuts when people give up a type of food, doing the things they love, spending time with friends/family for the purpose of their athletic pursuits unless they are getting paid for their athletics. Yes, running and riding are awesome and fun, but so are my friends (BTW, I'm fortunate because my best buddy is also my riding and running buddy), and they are more important than two seconds faster across the finish line.
So, as I sit here writing my schedule, planning my workouts around my life, I can promise myself that while exercise and maintaining my health are huge priorities, I will not allow myself to lose site of the other, just as important priorities in my life.