When you and your spouse are both juggling full time jobs (40+ hour work weeks), Ironman athletes (who train 15-24 hours each week, depending on the time of year), enjoy spending time with family and friends, and still have a home life to balance and maintain, life can get hard…if you let it. Triathlete Magazine recently posted a great article on couples that train and race “together,” how it impacts their lives, and how they make it work. The irony is that the week before this article was published, the Iron Hippie and I were generating our own list of things we do each week to make our lives run more smoothly. Every couple has to find their own way and what works best for them, but these are some of the ways we make it work:
Communication is key…We review our schedule daily for the next day, even though every Monday looks nearly the same as every other Monday, we take time to communicate what it will look like this week. What time will we be home? Are we working out together or separate? Who will be home at feeding time to feed the dogs? What leftovers are we having for dinner?
Food preparation happens on the weekends…After our long workouts on Saturday and Sunday, we take the time to prepare food for the coming week, making sure to have plenty of leftovers so we don’t have to worry about preparing a meal after a long day of work and a tiring workout. We often freeze a lot of our meals and pull them out as we need them. Salads are one of our summertime favorites and super easy to make after an evening workout.
Laundry, laundry and more laundry…With each of us producing mountains of laundry each week, it is critical that we stay on top of this. The best time saving hack we’ve found for laundry…drum roll…wash and dry laundry while we are on the trainer riding. During recovery sections of a workout, we can put the clothes in the drier and start a new load…now if we could just find a magic fairy to fold all of it and put it away…
Post workout smoothie…The Vitamix is one of the BEST inventions and time savers that we have experienced!! In the morning we throw all the fruits and veggies into the Vitamix with some Pure Clean Beet Powder and Osmo Recovery Powder. This is the perfect way to refuel post workout and it is quick and easy to prepare and clean!
Prepare for the coming day the night before…The Iron Hippie and I both set out our work clothes and workout clothes for the next day the night before. We also pack our lunches and all the bags that we will need the next day. Some days I get referred to as the “bag lady” as I’m walking into or out of school by students and colleagues. It is part of what comes with this lifestyle 😉
Piggy backing workouts…When time permits, it is great to complete workouts one after the other. This often occurs for us more on the weekends than during the weekdays, but it allows us to take fewer showers, saves us time, and often produces less laundry…BONUS!!
Shop once a week for groceries and goods…Typically after our long brick on Saturdays, we run errands around town purchasing groceries and any additional supplies we will need for the coming week(s). If we go to the grocery store during the week, it is usually immediately after a workout when our stomachs are ravenous. This is NEVER good for our pocket book or diet!
Riding the trainer…Living in central Iowa, we spend all winter on the trainer, but even in the summer, we choose to ride on the trainer at least twice a week. It is safer since we are not on the roads with vehicles during prime times of work commuters. We don’t have to wait at stop lights, which saves time. We are in a controlled environment so we can compare our results from one workout to another. I personally love a good trainer workout! It allows me to get physically and mentally stronger on the bike by teaching me about focus, strength, and fortitude.
Take workout gear to work with us…Sometimes we go straight from work to the gym for a workout, or ride our bikes from the school when the weather is nice. By packing up all of the gear we will need before work, we can experience a smooth transition to our workout without having to make the extra trip home for workout gear.
Extra food is stashed everywhere…We keep extra food all over the place! We typically have Barnana bites, goldfish crackers, or Honey Stinger Chews in our swim bag, gym bag, desk drawer, car, yoga bag, on the table next to our trainers…you name it, we have probably stashed food there. Since we both workout between 15 and 24 hours a week (depending on how close race day is), we both burn through A LOT of calories! When I get hungry, there is a VERY short window before it turns hangry. Keeping food everywhere helps me prevent the hangry feeling as best as possible.
We both share responsibilities…I am SUPER lucky to have a husband who can do it all (and is willing to)!! We both cook our meals, wash dishes, clean the house, do laundry, mow the lawn, shovel snow, tend to the dogs, take out the trash…there isn’t one task I can think of that we both don’t do. I’m truly blessed!!
How do you balance life and training/racing? What tricks or time saving hacks do you have to help keep you sane and on track?
The following is a list of my favorites…most are triathlon related, but not all of them 🙂
Orca Wetsuit…I love the flexibility in the armpits, that it sits lower around my neck and the buoyancy it provides me while in the water.
TYR Nest Pro Goggles…I love how they sit on my eye sockets, remain fog free and leak free and that they come in clear (for cloudy days) as well as tinted (for those bright, sunny days).
Mojo (Specialized Transition)…I love the way she rides, her fit is perfect for me and she understands me better than I understand myself sometimes. 🙂
Terry Butterfly Saddle…This is the perfect fit for my girlie parts as I ride for long distances 😉 I’ve spent so much time on this saddle, that I have burned a hole in the side of it, so I just ordered a new one. YAY for new saddles 🙂
Speedfill…I love having my water available to me at all times. Even when it is really windy, I don’t have to take my hands off my bike to drink. 🙂
Bell Helmet…I love the ability to adjust the helmet to fit snuggly to my head, the protection it provides (which I hope I never have to take advantage of) and of course the fact that it matches Mojo 😉
Garmin 310XT…I love that I can use this device for cycling and running. It keeps track of my distances, time, pace/speed, power, heart rate, elevation, cadence, etc.
Tifosi Sunglasses…I love that these sunglasses protect my eyes from the suns rays, flying debris and the occasional harsh winds.
Brooks PureFlow…I love that they make my feet happy and allow me to put a spring in my step.
Coeur Triathlon Kit…I love the seamless chamois in the shorts, the number of pockets in the shorts and top, the snug fit, the flattering style…what can I say?!?!?! I love this kit so much that I now own the Chinese New Year and Chevron kits as well 😉 I also love what this company stands for…#heartandcourage
HeadSweat Visor…I love the snug fit, the sweat absorption and the sun protection this visor provides.
TYR Transition Bag…I love all of the compartments it has while providing me with enough space to store everything I could possibly need on race day into one confined location.
Body Glide…I love that it helps prevent chafing in all of those unwanted areas. 🙂
Hoo Ha Ride Glide…I love the protection it provides when I am going to be in the saddle for a while. I even know a few men who prefer to use this chamois cream over others out on the market. So while it was designed for women, everyone can benefit from it!!
Osmo Nutrition…I love the flavors, the simplicity of the product, and the women specific formula. After all, #womenarenotsmallmen
Honey Stinger Chews…I love the flavor of the Pink Lemonade and the quick burst of energy I feel shortly after consuming them.
Bonk Breaker Bars…I love the Peanut Butter & Banana flavor the most. They provide me with the fuel and energy I need to complete long workouts while training for Ironman Wisconsin.
CEP compression socks…I love the snug feeling they provide my feet and calves.
Road ID Bracelet…I love that I can wear my Road ID bracelet 24/7 and if I were to get in an accident, first responders would have all of my necessary information, including blood type, allergies, contact information, etc.
Chaco Flips…After a workout, my feet crave the open air. I love the breathability my Chacos provide while being durable and lasting forever.
Coeur compression tights…I love the tight squeeze that these tights provide my tired (and sometimes sore) legs and glutes.
Karma Kombucha…I LOVE MY BOOCH!! Karma is by far THE BEST Kombucha on the market!! The flavors are AMAZING…Peach and Enchantment (summer and winter seasonal flavors) are two of my favorites 🙂
Foam Roller and Stick…I love my massage tools to help release tension from my tight muscles after completing tough workouts. Sometimes they provide me with a little pain, but I know they are doing their job to release tension from my tired (and sometimes sore) muscles.
PowerTap…I love the power data I am able to obtain and use to help me become a stronger and faster cyclist.
Justin’s Maple Almond Butter…I love putting a heaping spoonful of this into my cream of rice cereal in the mornings for breakfast…YUMMY!! 🙂
I am not sponsored by any of these products, and do not receive compensation for promoting them. These are truly my favorites 🙂
As you may recall, I had nutrition troubles at IRONMAN Wisconsin 2011. These troubles have lead me to practice a variety of different nutrition options.
I am thankful that Erin has referred me to Osmo Nutrition. I decided to try Osmo for Women after doing some research, reading some reviews from other athletes and asking a friend/nutritionist his valued opinion.
The longest workout I’ve had so far this year was Saturday’s 4 hour brick…20 min run, 3:10 bike, 30 min run. Osmo nutrition has been my go to for hydration during my bike and run workouts since late February. When I have long or taxing workouts, I use the preload before my workout (both the night before and the morning of) and the active hydration during the workout. I have not used the recovery formula due to the caffeine…my body is SUPER sensitive to caffeine and doesn’t respond well to it.
During Saturday’s 4 hour brick workout, I noticed the following:
It was 84F and humid during the last run portion.
It was mostly sunny for the duration of the workout.
There were strong winds from the SSW at 20+ mph.
While on the bike, I consumed 4 bottles of water, 1 bottle of Osmo Active Hydration (3 scoops), 2 Kind granola bars, 2 packages of Honey Stinger Chews.
On the 2nd run, I got very hungry. Next time I need to take in calories closer to the run while on the bike.
I sweat out a LOT of salt…my blue Coeur tri kit was covered in white salt when I was done working out.
I was not dehydrated or hyponatremic at any point during the workout or post workout. 🙂
So far, I am a HUGE fan of Osmo Nutrition and I am definitely looking forward to testing it during races and longer workouts as this summer progresses…the heat and humidity in central Iowa will be the true test 😉