March 15, 2007

Time Management

"You will face new challenges at each step along the way to becoming an Ironman."
This wise warning was offered to me by an experienced Iron(wo)man when I started this journey to Ironman last fall. And as I get further into this process, I understand clearer and deeper the significance.
The challenges come in many forms - the challenge of preventing and overcoming injury, of financing the sport, of finding the motivation to train when all I really want to do is sleep.
But the most immediate challenge to me right now is the challenge of time.
How do I find more hours to make increasingly large deposits into the Ironman bank?
When the sessions were rather short but frequent, it was easy to manipulate everything else to accommodate the training. But now there is little I do that doesn't require at least a dedicated hour, if not 2 or 3 or more. And it won't start to decrease until taper, which is still a long way away.
Last week Emma and Anna started soccer practice, and this has committed me to 5-7 hours a week previously (relatively) free. Tess started cheerleading - 1 1/2 hours a week. This is in addition to the 2 hours a week of ballet, the 3 hours a week spent sitting in carline, the 5 1/2 hours a week spent driving to pick up kids or drop off kids (to/from school, to/from their mom's house), the 42-44 hours a week that I spend teaching and treating in the ED.
As the family obligations stack and the training volume increases, the thing most easily sacrificed is sleep. But that's what I probably need more than anything to help absorb the increased training.
Many regard nutrition as 4th triathlon sport. For me, right now, I feel like time management is becoming just as much of a sport as the swim bike and run.
I just need to find more hours somehow. And more sleep.
Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.


ironjenny said...

I say the 4th discipline is "Recovery"; "Nutrition" you can multi-task DURING the other three. When you want to sleep, sleep. Just my personal opinion, but I think most IM training plans are too much training and not enough recovery. Then again, you will be kicking my butt in Zurich in 3 months as a result of your level of commitment!

About the car-line, ours is really long, too, so I just park my car, walk up to get my kids and drive away. It's way faster than the car-line.


AZ Ironman 2007 said...

I'm with you man. One of the reasons I dumped IMAZ this year. Time and Losing 6 weeks of training to being one kind or another of sick through the whole Holiday season. I'm not a single Dad, so I have no idea how you do that. So there's 5 disciplines now.

stronger said...

Sounds like you've signed yourself up for some cross training- you're gonna need shin guards, pom-poms and a tu-tu!

Lana said...

I can only imagine. I have trouble mananging my time and getting enough sleep, and I'm nowhere near the kind of training volume you are. You'll figure it out, just like you do everything else, though. Keep at it. Just don't sacrifice the sleep. I did that while training for a marathon and paid dearly.

Bike Chick said...

I don't know how you do it either! Maybe you could multi-task? While the girls are at practice, you could run around the field. Or bring your trainer with you and ride while you're watching them? I don't really know if it would work, just trying to think outside the box. :) Good luck though. And to the girls too.

TriShannon said...

I have a hard enough time with everything and it is just me. I don't know how you do it.

Skimping on recovery and sleep will catch up to you real fast. Make sure you are taking care of yourself.

Michele said...

I was going to suggest the trainer at practice thing but bike chick beat me to it. But if you signed up to coach that doesn't help.
I am a bad mom, I didn't tell my kids about any sign ups for spring sports. They are taking a break so mommy can train. Fall they can do what they want again.

Iron Girl Nyhus said...

Multi-task... maybe squeeze in a run during kids' practice once a week... run from the soccer field :)

Megan said...

Yeahhh, I just read everyone else's ideas and frankly, I don't have any really good ones myself. I just wanted to say I totally undersatnd the time thing and myself have been super fortunate that if anything else came into my life outside of training (like a real 9-5 job, kids, etc) I would be screwed. You've got like five full plates and you're still trying to make it happen, which is unbelievable. You're a tough dude.

RunBubbaRun said...

I have one kid and is hard for me.

Not sure how you really get any sleep training for two IM's.. You will work it out thou.

Try to get some rest. I do agree with IronJenny on this. It will help you got burned out so fast.

Taconite Boy said...

Agree. My problem is finding the time to recover! The good new is that the training has forced me to be uber disciplined in time management!!

Robin said...

That's a tough one, and you've got a full plate already. Everyone else beat me to the suggestion of multi-tasking. That's been my saving grace, and other homeschool moms are more or less used to me showing up with running shoes or even my bike trainer (I once biked for a couple of hours in a course registration line).

Remember Pam Reed, the ultramarathoner who has won grueling events by as much as five hours. Here's a quote from an article: "Keeping up with five boys hardly gives her time to put in long training runs. Instead, she sneaks in 45-minute to one-hour workouts a few times a day in between dropping the kids off at school or shuttling them to soccer practice. "

So you can take a page from her book and fit it in whenever and wherever you can. Best!

Diane said...

Just want to say - from now on, anyone who tells me they don't have time to exercise will be sent immediately to your blog. You are amazing!