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My Journey into Triathlons: How I fit training into a busy family/work life? By Justine Wong, 2016 Team Leader

Posted by secondwindconditioning on March 6, 2016 at 9:25 PM

I started training for Triathlons in 2013 when I was looking for something new to try. With three kids under the age of 5 at home and working part-time, I was looking to do something for myself that would get me back on a healthy track. I came across a posting on an online Mom’s forum about a Women’s only triathlon training group (MBIM!) led by experienced coaches. The sport caught my interest immediately, but I hesitated to join at first. My first thought was I need to learn how to swim! Never having taken swim lessons as a child, and always avoiding the deep end of pools, this was taking a big giant leap outside of my comfort zone. I couldn’t swim 25m without being completely out of breath never mind open water swimming in a lake! But I wanted to try it, so I set my goal --to complete a Triathlon. And in the process I would learn how to swim.

The other obstacle that I came across during my first year of training, was figuring out how I was going to fit in training into a busy family/work life. These were the principles I stood by..


1. PRIORITIZE. The first step is to put your health as TOP priority on your 'to do list'. It is so important to take time for yourself in order to better care for other people in your life and perform at your best. I'm speaking especially to new moms and moms with young children, who are often filled with guilt for taking one night a week to exercise or indulge in self-care. It is very easy to fill up your day with housework and errands, but it never ends! There will never be a better time than now to start taking control of your own health. If you feel better, so does everyone else around you.

 

2. HAVE A BUDDY SYSTEM. My first season training I signed up with friend who I met through a mom’s group. We kept each other motivated by staying committed to the weekly training day just by showing up! We carpooled to training sessions, celebrated the small victories, and supported each other through the ups and downs of being busy moms trying their best. It was also wonderful to find a swimming buddy. Early into the training season, Team Leader Sarah graciously offered to meet me at the pool weekly to help with my swim technique. She gave me the support I needed to boost my confidence in the water in time to complete my first race in a just a few months. Thanks Sarah! I’m forever grateful for the time commitment you made to teach to me how to swim!

 

3. MAKE IT ROUTINE. A regularly scheduled time will make it more likely that you will commit to exercising and move you that much closer to your goal. Meeting up every Tuesday night in rain or shine, helped to keep me on track. My kids knew it was mom's night out to exercise. I looked forward to Tuesdays nights because it was fun and it came to a point where I felt I was missing out if I didn’t go. Schedule it into your calendar and tell your family this is YOUR night!

 

4. INCLUDE THE FAMILY. During my first training season, my son and I made it a Saturday morning ritual to get up early and head out for a bike ride or run. He enjoyed biking while I ran beside him. We would stop off at neighbourhood parks, and he would want to play on the playset for a short while. So I would continue running in large circles around the play area keeping an eye on him but also keeping my heart rate up. Occasionally, my husband would meet up with us on his bike with my twin girls in tow, and we would stop off for breakfast together before heading home. It felt amazing to finish a workout and be rewarded immediately with a family meal together.

 

My kids enjoyed coming out to watch my races. My son showed interest in participating in his own Triathlon race so we signed him up for the SunRype Kids Triathlon event, and he absolutely loved it! My journey into Triathlons not only helped me gain my confidence to swim in open water, but I made new friends, had fun, and positively influenced my kids to try something new and stay in motion! I am so looking forward to being a Team Leader this year and join you in this journey together.

 

Categories: 2016 training

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