It's a never ending battle for those of us who live endurance sports lifestyles. The members of our executive team know this all too well lately as growing Enduro Bites as a company has required a huge time commitment. It's made maintaining a balance with training, family time, social activities and any other personal and professional commitments a real challenge.
Personally, I've had to become more flexible with my training and begrudgingly reduce my competition schedule. For now focus has shifted from training to compete to training for physical and mental fitness. Don't get me wrong, I still train hard, it's just that I'm not 'as' obsessed with preparing myself for a particular race. I'm happier and function better in every way when I train regularly, even if it's not according to a regular training schedule. Not only does it keep me fit, but it helps keep me sane.
We always find it interesting and inspiring to see how other endurance athletes balance trying with the rest of life. A lucky few are gifted and committed enough to be able to support themselves as professional athletes and give training and competing the highest priority. Yet others choose to forgo having a social life or maintaining significant family commitments in order to get as close as possible to a pro-athlete lifestyle. However, those who manage non-athletic professional careers, families, and social lives with training and competing are often the most inspirational. These men and women are as dedicated as any professional athlete. They are also masters of time management.
Asking the “balance” question around the office has yielded some great tips from our team that help keep us fit, active and able to maintain as much of a balance as possible. Here are our five tips for finding balance.
1. Sweat everyday: that is, make sure to at least do something everyday to get your heart rate up and your body moving. Sitting at a desk all day is terrible for you. By getting in even a short workout you can increase your energy and be more productive.
2. Workout in the morning: this one is especially hard for me to adhere to on a daily basis but is a great rule to follow if trying to maximize time. Getting your workout done early gives you a boost of energy for the day and helps you avoid the afternoon lull of energy that makes working out later in the day more difficult.
3. Mix it up!: I try to hit the gym on a regular basis while mixing up mountain biking and road cycling workouts. It's easy to get board by focussing on riding endless miles, so mix in weight-lifting and a little running for weight bearing activity. Your bones will thank you for it. I've also been extending my ski season as long as possible by searching for areas with good snow for backcountry laps.
4. Plan your workouts, meals and wardrobes ahead of time: by proactively preparing for the next day you can eliminate time intensive tasks that can take away from your workout time. This has helped me get back to training in the morning. Since I'm practically brain dead when I wake up, I layout all of my gear and mix my bottles the night before so there's no thought required. I can then roll out of bed and get out the door quickly which is half the battle.
5. Combine your social life with your active life: because who doesn’t like a beer with friends after a great workout? By working out with a friend or with a group you are more likely to show up to the workout and can add some social life to your training schedule. A win win!
Good riding partners make for good rides. Sweet single track and aspens help, too!