Triathlon Training in a 60-hour Work Week
A Pro's Schedule
Professional triathletes have it easy. Wake up, roll out of bed, head to the pool, come home, eat, take a nap, go for a run, shower, make a few sponsor-related calls, answer emails, have dinner, go to sleep, and then repeat.
Sure, they make themselves hurt during a swim, bike, run or strength session, but physical fatigue is much less grueling than mental stressors. Most athletic-minded folk would certainly choose grinding out 1-mile repeats at the track over tip-toeing around a hothead boss or spending 60+ hours a week problem solving in front of a computer.
The Rest of Us
A few years ago, after selling a business that I founded, I had time to train like a pro--meetings and phone calls scheduled around workouts. Now, with another successful business thriving and my travel schedule more complicated than ever, workouts are scheduled around everything else (and sometimes skipped). This training dilemma is one that most age-group triathletes face...how do I maximize my fitness and performance while juggling a 50+ hour work week, family commitments and other obligations? In other words, how much training time do I need to effectively train for a triathlon? Answer: 8 hours per week.
In preparation for a mid-July Half Ironman race (shorter races will require even less workout time), the following weekly training schedule has worked well for me. In addition to getting in key workouts each week, this plan also allows me to work out in each discipline at least 2x/week. Also, it provides the right combination of hard/sprint sesssions and long/endurance workouts.
Monday: Off or Easy Swim (30 minutes)
Tuesday: Hard bike (e.g., 5x7mins.) (1 hour)
Wednesday: Hard Swim (e.g., 5x500's) (1 hour)
Thursday: (key workout): Hard Run (5x1-mile at the track) (1 hour)
Friday: Fast Swim - shorter intervals (e.g., 100's) (1 hour)
Saturday: (key): 2.5 hour bike +20-minute immediate run (3 hours)
Sunday: (key): Long Run (100 minutes)
Again, this training schedule is for a Half Ironman distance race (1.2m-swim, 56-mile bike, 13-mile run). Olympic or sprint distance triathlons will require even less training time.
Of course, you will have to be very efficient and organized with your free time, however, finding 8 hours each week should be "no sweat" for most aspiring long distance triathletes.