As a busy mom with 4 kids and double-digit training hours each week - I want to give you a few ways that I keep myself organized and scheduled. I will first state that it’s NOT always perfect and things don’t always go as planned but I feel like having a system to stay organized and planning my week helps me to “feel” more balanced and prepared.
On Sunday, I sit down with my family calendar and plan out WHEN I’m going to get my workouts done and WHAT other obligations that I have for the week. I have a bike trainer in my garage and don’t have any other option but to run outside so those 2 things are always set for me… and this often means running in the early hours of the morning. (But that first break of dawn is my favorite time of the day!!!) If I can sneak in a bike ride during the day outside, that’s a bonus for me! I check my local pool schedules ahead of time and note any pool closures and pool opening times. Nothing worse than getting to the pool to find that the local swim team has a meet!
Then I plan the times that I will do my workouts and for me this is primarily around my kid’s schedules and teaching during the school year. I schedule most of my workouts in the early morning but HOW early depends on the duration of the workout or if it’s a double session.
In addition to planning my workouts, I will mostly plan the meals for the week and this includes snacks and recovery fuel. That way I’m not standing at the fridge looking for something to eat when I’m done with a workout. I also keep a snack bin in the fridge with some quick grab-and-go type snacks. For example: apple slices, cheese sticks, snack bag of seasonal fruit, snack bag of nuts, or hard boiled eggs.
If I have a very early session, then I will usually fill my water bottles and workout fuel and put them in the fridge at night. That gives me an extra 5 minutes of sleep in the morning! If I have a swim workout in the morning, I will write the workout on a post-it note and stick it in a ziplock bag to take with me on deck. I will also fill a water bottle and put any paddles, pull buoy, or kick board that I need right in my swim bag so I don’t have to search for them in the dark in the morning.
All of these little things really add up for me and help me to stay organized when my training load increases and my life gets busy. If you’re not sure where to start - start with one of these items I suggested above and see how it works for you.
I also keep a training journal each week of my training that needs to be done and also my results from each session. I like to look back on a previous session to see how I did - it gives me an idea of how I’m improving over the course of a training cycle. I also add my strength sessions into my training log for the week so I can allow time for these to get done. I have found that strength and rest is just as important as the training itself when it comes to preventing injuries and becoming a stronger athlete.
What tips do you have for organizing and balancing your training in your life? Put your suggestions on our Cal Tri Forum. https://californiatriathlon.org/