Finding Time For Triathlon Training

Beginner Triathlon

Finding Time For Triathlon Training

A multi-discipline sport like triathlon takes up a lot of your time, especially if you want to do it well. Will Clarke advises how best to find time for your triathlon training.

A multi-discipline sport like triathlon takes up a lot of your time, especially if you want to do it well. Will Clarke advises how best to find time for your triathlon training.


Most us lead very busy lives, and that’s before we add in a time consuming sport like triathlon. I coach five athletes and they all have demanding jobs and finding the balance between training, family life and work life is always a challenge for each of them.

Apart from the obvious that you only have so many hours in the day, you also have to factor in fatigue you take from your working life, family and sleep and that is harder to measure than if it was a full-time professional athlete. If you want to be a good triathlete you have to be very committed and very organised; time management is everything when you’re trying to squeeze training amongst work and family.

Get your family on board

Before you embark on your triathlon journey I think it’s very important to get your family on board with what you’re doing so everyone supporting you are kept happy. Let them know what you want to achieve and what it’ll demand on everyone in preparation so there are no surprises. It’s also important that there is an end goal, whether that is a family holiday after your race or a long end of season break. Without their support it’ll make training a strain on yourself and the family. When I’m training for something I always make it clear that after every race we have quality time together as a family and usually after an Ironman I’ll take my family to Sands Beach in Lanzarote to relax and that’s very important for keeping the family happy!

Cut out time wasting activities

You have to clear room for all this training and one of the first steps is to try to cut as many time wasting activities out of your life as possible. We live in an age where you can do anything through a mobile phone but I think most of us agree that time can be better spent! Rather than using the time scrolling through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, often while watching TV at the same time, just turn them off and get out the door for training.

Use mornings and lunch times wisely

Early mornings and your lunch hour are great opportunities where you can get in some training but try to make each session count. Focus more on quality sessions rather than quantity so you’re getting as much out of your training as possible.

Make use of the commute

It’s also a good use of time if you can commute to work by foot or on bike rather than wasting that time sat in a car. If for example you have a 30 minutes commute each way you can ride to work and back in a big gear at high power before running off the bike as soon as you arrive home.

Don’t neglect sleep!

If you can get in some good training in the morning that’s always a good idea, the family are perhaps still asleep and it frees up time in the evening to relax but it’s important to get enough sleep, in my opinion there is not any point in waking early if you’re digging yourself into a fatigue hole!

Work the family into your activities

If you can try to incorporate the family into your training as much as possible. The best example of this is using a bike trailer so you can take your kids and the pace will be easy enough then that perhaps your partner can keep up! You can also plan a route so you meet your family for coffee or lunch half way so you have something to look forward to half way.

Ride more at the front

Try to train as specific and smart with your training as possible. As I said before your week should definitely include some intense sessions in all three sports and you should aim to get in a long ride every weekend, but I’d advise to not waste this sat in the middle of a group ride spinning on the flat. Try to practice in your race position as often as possible and do enough turns on the front that you get more out of the session.