Can you tell me about the busiest time of your training life and how you managed?

Hello,

I’ve been having a lot of discouragement lately. I am trying to get back into the swing of training and this time of the year I always feel overwhelmed by the amount of responsibilities I have. I’m going to list my daily time sinks

  • Working full time in a semi physical job (retail manager, lots of running around)
  • Taking 2 college courses for 9 units
  • Spending time with my girlfriend and her family every night (board games, movies etc)
  • Trying to get through SSBLV

Work has become a lot more stressful and busy since covid and I feel very drained some days.

My typical work schedule is around 9-6 and I wake up at 7:50 to get ready and leave (my commute is half an hour) and I go to bed around 11:30 or 12:00. I eat breakfast and lunch at work. Once home usually have dinner unless if I am riding. Some night are school heavy and that throws things off. Because of covid I have been living at my girlfriends house since May with her family, we do not want to risk seeing each other if we’re not in the same household. Her family has been very patient and I have no reason to feel uncomfortable. However it feels exhausting to not be in my own home.

I think this is what being an adult is like but I do not have kids and I cannot imagine how difficult that makes things. I am a kid at 21 and I am sure my plate is not loaded compared to most people but Id like to hear your words of advice.

Thanks for your time.

Sounds to me like you’re quite stressed, my question would be why add more by trying to complete structured training. Personally I would just focus on riding your bike for a bit as more maintenance and fun and attempt to build a routine. Once you establish a routine of time and frequency then you could think about training plans.

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I’m in a similar position to you in terms of commitments. Balancing work and college is a challenge in itself, and it’s difficult to add a hobby into that mix without letting the people in your life slide. One of the big challenges with education IME is that the workload is pretty unpredictable. I never know how much stress you’re walking into that week or how much time I have available, which is sometimes at odds with a typical plan based around a 9-5 work week.

I try and make things easy on myself- I set up my training space ahead of time, lay my kit out, etc. Cuts back on some of the time spent messing around, which adds up. I think it’s also worth speaking to your girlfriend and setting aside a couple of time slots per week to train- if people know ahead of time I think everything runs a bit more smoothly, and intentionally scheduling time to do something for yourself each week is something I would recommend to anyone from a general health/wellbeing perspective. I also let my partner know ahead of time when I have a recovery week and we usually plan something ‘special’ together- usually just little stuff like the movies, but I try and go out of my way because training sometimes takes up a little too much of my time/energy :sweat_smile: Planning and communication can go a long way!

And finally, don’t beat yourself up! At the end of the day we’re all doing what we can with what we have, and something is always better than nothing even if you’re not always able to stick to the plan. It sounds like you’re working super hard, so don’t stress if you need to take a step back from training, especially if you’re in unfamiliar circumstances. Those fitness gains will always be there for when you get back into things :slight_smile:

Working as a management consultant (~70 hours a week) while going for a masters of engineering degree (full-time) had me quite busy for two years.

Back then I also did some ultra running which obviously didn’t help time wise. The crazy blonde I dated back then made the shitshow complete. Happy times. :joy:

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How many days do you work?

It seems like you’ve got a lot going on. I would say probably the biggest obstacle you have is that you’re living at your girlfriend’s family home. There’s an etiquette to those situations where it seems unlikely that work-bike-dinner-sleep is going to be possible.

Is it possible to shift your training to the morning? LV is three days a week and one hour workouts (if I remember), so it could be possible to do three early start days and then have « normal » days the rest of the week. Going to bed earlier would help facilitate this. I reckon it’s because of school you’re up that late, but more sleep is always better.

It’s also likely you have two days off from work. Those are two of your three training days right there. The main benefit of doing a LV plan is that you have so much room to shuffle things around. Each week doesn’t have to mirror the last in terms of workout structure; just do them when they work. Try and give yourself a day between two of three at least, but otherwise it pretty customizable.

I work 5 days a week. And you have the obstacle part right.

Morning training is the best option definitely. I dont have a spot for my trainer here and I break it all down/setup every time I ride indoors I talked about going to sleep earlier around 10:30-11:00 and its possible. Difficult sometimes because my gf will be getting home from work at 9:00 some days. I’ll have to sleep before her which is fine a couple night of the week. School is usually the reason I am up late, also board games will really stretch on some nights!

My days off I can definitely get a ride in hopefully 2 but we took up surfing recently and one day is dedicated to that. It doesnt feel tiring but afterwards im exhausted from getting pummeled by Poseidon’s wrath.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Everyone I live with is in-active and I only hear “You’re doing a lot! You need to take a break!” It helps a lot to hear some reason.

I am a chef working 60 plus hours a week, so I feel the struggle…
I found for me, early ass morning helps (4:30-5:00am) the wife is supportive of my riding/training. That definitely helps.My sleep schedule I try to lay down as early as I can (9-930pm) I’m not in school so I could only imagine that extra time needed. Not to be a relationship counselor but tell the lady how you want to be committed with your training, make it up to her by treating her frequently with little things she likes. You gotta make her feel A part of your life. Sometimes a great home cooked meal or nice date night can help :wink:
If you could somehow squeeze a spot for the bike to be set up or have it half way set up the night before your training. That could help, I’m sure you’ve thought that. If that doesn’t work, are there any good road spots near where you live? I have a couple roads without many stop signs or lights. If you live in a city that wouldn’t work.
Like other said you have 2 days off a week and those days would be the best to get some rides in.
Hope you figure something out :muscle:

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I find that the more seriously I take my training, the more my partner can tell it’s a big deal to me and understands, even encourages me, in ways to make it work. When I used to downplay how serious I was about training it always felt like we were butting heads.
Mornings are definitely your friend for training. I don’t want to encourage you to sleep less, because I envy how much sleep you get, but you can probably get up for the hour workouts three days a week without even adjusting your bed time. I train in my kitchen so I get the struggle of having to set up and tear down every time. If you can, definitely set everything up the night before.
We lived with my in-laws for a few years. I sympathize with the stress, even when everyone totally gets along.

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In 25 years’ time you’ll have a wife, 3 kids, a job with 3.5 hours daily commuting and have done something stupid like sign up for an Ironman and want to do 15 hours a week training. It’s all possible, trust me on this.
The tricks are:
a) Don’t piss off your spouse. Find a balance of giving her enough attention as well as your own me-time.
b) Don’t sacrifice what you want/need to do for your own happiness to do what you think others want you to do instead. (The long board games with your GF’s family sound adorable, but maybe miss one or two a week to go and do your legitimate need to train. If you establish your training as a “real” thing then they will respect you for your commitment to it)
c) Become efficient with your time: You can get up an hour earlier and knock out a session, go for a 30 min run at lunctime, or grab a nap in the car.
d) Don’t stress and worry - none of it really matters, it’s supposed to be fun.
e) Be flexible and easy-going - If you can’t get your training in that day then don’t sweat it.

f) Enjoy it.

100% this.

A few years ago my wife and I both got promoted at work and with 2 young kids time was at a premium. However we both discussed it and she understood I needed a few hours “alone time” a week to train and I understood she need a few hours “alone time” a week to watch crap TV.

Neither of us was being unreasonable so it worked as long as we were flexible.