13hour_clockI used to laugh at people who’d get up at 4:30am to go training. “You’re insane”, is a phrase that regularly popped out of my mouth. Yet I was also trotting out this little chestnut: “With work and kids, I just don’t have the time to do any training”.

So, how do all these other people do it? Are they all without kids, a demanding job, a house that needs cleaning and a family that’s high maintenance? Are they blessed with an extra 2 hours everyday that I’m not privy too? Do they also know where to find platform 9 3/4 to Hogwarts???

Everyday as we go to work, walk the dog (which is exercise by the way), pass people in the street or sit next to people on the train we are inevitably seeing people who do in fact experience all these issues and many more on a daily basis. Yet some of them look really fit. Wtf! How is this possible?

The answer is surprisingly simple. They’ve just set themselves a goal and made the time. Now I know you’re thinking, “yeah sure, how do you just make the time?  It’s easier for you because ……. but but but ……..”

Well, hold that thought and let me answer that question with a question:
“Could you find an extra 1hour each day if your life depended on it?”

Ironically, in some cases this is exactly the scenario. You just need to tune into the Biggest Loser to see people who are saving their lives by doing regular exercise. Of course this is an extreme, but one hour each day can make a huge difference to your life and wellbeing.

I recently met a single mum with 4 kids that trained for and completed an Ironman. An Ironman !!!!!! That’s a 3.8km swim, a 180km ride and a 42km run. And let me be very clear that the event in itself was actually the easiest part of this whole equation. Training for something like that takes hours and hours out of every week to just get to the start line. Take a few seconds to think about the logistics she faces every day. I know I did.

So how do you do it?Triathlon Cycle Training

Well in a lot of cases, it all happens in the wee hours of the morning before the rest of the world awakens. But of course that doesn’t suit everyone’s circumstances. I personally exercise in the morning as I find it to be an awesome way to start the day. (Despite having to get out of bed at some “insane” time.)

But there are other ways to skin a cat. Here are some tips and tricks that may assist you: (Or get you thinking)

Work’s too busy

  • if you’re the boss, learn to delegate
  • prioritise your work and then ask yourself “will any small children die if I went for a run instead of doing this other task right now?”
  • renegotiate delivery times

There’s just not enough hours in the day

  • make it part of your commute to work. Drive part of the way and ride or run the other part.
  • go for a run or a swim during your lunchtime
  • go to bed one hour earlier and wake up one hour earlier
  • do something immediately after work
  • weekends – do something with the kids or put aside one or two hours just for yourself. My introduction to running was Parkrun every Saturday morning.

Trade offs

  • take a long hard look hard at your habits and look for trade offs. For us it was TV. We used to watch every series, every night and stay up late. We decided that our health was more important than knowing whether the Mentalist eventually caught Red John.

Join a club

  • I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I encourage you to join a group, a club, a team or exercise with a friend, your wife or the kids. My first running group was a free group of people that met twice a week on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 5:30am for an hour. I used to go to bed at 10:30. I just changed that to 9:30.

Start slow and work to develop habits. Maybe just try a Parkrun once a week for the first few months while you get used to running and building your fitness. Start by walking most of it and build up the amount you can run a little each week. (See Run Forest Run for tips on starting to run)

It’s about changing your life one hour at a time. Give it a crack and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve. Maybe one day we might even be on the start line of an ironman together?

Keep Smiling Tri Monkeys

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