Check out this pic. I’m balancing. Balance is important, but this photo’s cool regardless. Just sayin’.
Finding a balance is important in any walk of life. In sport, for example, it’s not a case of training as much as you possibly can. Training, recovery and nutrition go hand in hand and it’s all three working together that lead to progress.
If everyone was a professional athlete, it would be that ‘simple’. I write ‘simple’ that way because, of course, it isn’t. Professional sport takes huge dedication and that’s plain to see for everyone. What I am saying, though, is that if you had one thing to focus on, in this case your training, you could dedicate everything to it and make sure you trained, recovered and ate correctly.
But, most people don’t. I’m certainly not in a situation where I can focus 100% on my training. In this post, I want to talk about how I’m managing the important things in my life whilst working towards my objective.
The three things in my life.
Since signing up to Ironman Zurich, a huge portion of my time has become dedicated to preparing for the challenge ahead. I need to ensure I can keep going for more than half a day. Fortunately for me, the longer an event gets, the better I do. I’m no sprinter. I’m training around 10 to 12 hours a week at the moment, but that’s just the ‘active’ side.
The ‘passive’ side takes up a lot more time, like making sure I sleep enough. In my case, that means at least 7 hours sleep a night, but no more than 8. It took me a long time to realise that sleeping too much made me feel just as groggy as if I didn’t sleep enough. I also need to eat enough of the correct stuff to keep me fuelled and allow my body to recover; fuelling and feeding aren’t the same.
‘Active’ and ‘passive’ form two sides of the same training coin. That’s the first thing.
The next one is work. Work has allowed me to do all this, because, straight up, it hasn’t been a cheap journey. The entry fee alone cost £500. Doing an event like this costs money, especially if, like me, it’s your first one and you need to invest in equipment to go alongside. It’s important to realise that, and I did say I’d be honest in my posts.
Working 9-5, Monday to Friday, means the ‘sport’ side of my life needs to be tip top in order to not adversely affect my job. I have to do both; I have to train and I have to work. There are enough hours in the day, but it takes organisation and discipline, and this means you need to have genuine drive for what you want to do. Otherwise, you won’t do yourself justice.
The last, but by no means least important thing to talk about is family; personal life doesn’t stop because you have taken on a challenge. I think it’s important to remember that your family didn’t sign up to the goal you’re working towards, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It certainly isn’t in my case; you just have to remember not to take them for granted. Luckily, my family and girlfriend are supportive and appreciative of the time I need to commit to training. I believe I’m appreciative of this in return and I make sure I still have time to do things with them.
Finding the balance.
So, how is this of any help to anyone? I’ve written “the balance” and not “a balance” as everyone has their own circumstances, meaning that someone doing the exact same training, or chasing the exact same goal as you will have a different balance to find. I’ve just tried to write down how I’m dealing with the important things in my life to help them work together.
I’ve found a balance that works so far, but I’m still looking for the balance. There are things I want to change. For example, I want to eat more cleanly, taking a less complex approach to my diet whilst remaining healthy (if you’re an endurance athlete, or aspire to be one, check out Eat & Run by Scott Jurek. It’s an awesome insight to endurance training and diet). The body is an engine and it runs on the fuel, rest and training that you put into it. I know eating better is something that will help in my training and my work and if both of these are helped, family will be too.
I’ll find the balance I want. For now, though, I eat too much chocolate.
Thanks for reading 🙂