Finding the time

17 March 2015

Finding time to train

Finding time to train for a triathlon is sometime quite hard. Jokingly on some ironman podiums they are known as the parade of the selfish. Training for one discipline and trying to juggle with your life is hard enough never mind three. I found I had to organise my life to make goals which also affect others. One of the best things to have is an understanding wife this makes it a lot easier to get out training but it also doesn’t ease the guilt of leaving your family to pursue your own goals.

I found that adaptability is the best thing for training. Look at the times where you spend your time sitting about and not being productive and also set goals but be prepared to shift them around to suit others needs. I also think that if you know your family are happy you are happy and you will also train harder. The first and easiest gap I had was my commute to work. Living in Keswick and working in Whitehaven gave me the perfect opportunity for an epic commute. Taking the flatter route it is 29 miles each way. But how was i going to test if i can cope. What i decided to do was to break the journey up and drive half way and cycle the rest. This worked for a while but the transition times were slow as I only had a small can at the time and taking my bike apart and back together all the time was taking too long. Eventually I opted to take the hilly route over Whinlatter Pass and through Loweswater. This cut the journey down to 23 miles each way but this route was also 2600ft of accent. The timings between the two are almost the same. A one hour commute in the car turned into a 1hr 45 minute cycle commute and a saving of over £5 in petrol every day I cycled. I started doing this 2 days a week and I am now up to 3-4 times a week averaging 150 miles a week. All these base miles have proven beneficial to my cycle training and I have noticed a massive increase in fitness since i started.

Swimming was the next thing I added to my routine and with the lake being on my doorstep I find it hard to go to a swimming pool to train. I am and never will be a gym person and much prefer the the outdoors to train. I started in summer last year and have kept it up throughout winter. What I did was just to buy more and more thermal kit as the water got colder. With my coldest swim of 2.5 degrees and breaking the ice to swim I am now through the coldest weather and I can now see the temperatures crawling back up. In the summer months I would take the family down and have a picnic by the lake while I could go out in the water and do sprints to the island and back. This gave me both time with the family and the ability to train. Now its winter its just a case of going down early in the morning before they are awake and be back just as the are getting up.

Running in my lunch break at work, early mornings and late at night are usually the best time for me as littles ones are in bed that those times and when at work it again doesn’t affect my family time. The problem with early morning times is my body is still relaxed and it takes longer to get into the run rather than last thing at night or in my lunch hour. And because most my morning workouts are usually cycling I tend to keep my practice for lunch times. This however means I am limited to the time I can run as I only get one hour for lunch. What I try and do it just go a little harder than I normally would and this helps build my muscles for the longer runs. I also try and get in at least one long run a week.


Andy Nichol

Andy Nichol

My name is Andy I am 38 and have been a keen outdoor sports enthusiast all my life. I have never really competed before but recently decided to work on my fitness I have set myself a goal for the 2015 Keswick Mountain Festival Triathlon and want to not only compete but to get a decent result. Already I have cycled over 7000 miles this year but I really need to concentrate more on the other two disciplines.

  • Location: Keswick
  • Event entered: Long Triathlon
  • Favourite cake: Black Forest Gateau

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