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5 Incredibly Useful Time Management Tips For Busy Triathletes

triathlon training for busy triathletes

As a triathlete, you know that time management is a critical skill for getting the most out of your training. We all want more hours in the day for training, recovery, or spending time with family.

But life often gets in the way, forcing us to skip a training session or do something that impairs recovery. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it can be difficult to find a way to get back on track.

Read on for my top five time management tips for busy triathletes to help you get the most out of every 24 hours. These tips are based on my own experience as a triathlete and coach. I hope they help you find a way to balance your life and achieve your goals.

Remember, it’s not about the amount of time you have, but how you use it. Ultimately, it’s about planning and using your time as effectively as possible.

Below are my top 5 time management tips for triathletes to make the most of your time:

1. Train in Duration, Not Distance

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One thing that has helped me and my athletes adapt training to the demands of life and work is to plan and execute sessions based on the available time. This means running 40 minutes, instead of 4-5 miles. Biking 6 hours instead of 100 miles.

The benefit of this method is that 40 minutes or however long is a fixed time frame. It won’t extend if the weather is bad (hello headwind!) or if you’re short on time you can’t speed up to get it done faster.

40 minutes is 40 minutes no matter how fast or slow you go. Training sessions like this can also easily be scheduled as any other appointment and will not impact the rest of your daily schedule.

2. Use a Calendar

The quote “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities” rings true. The best way to ensure that your priorities get done is to schedule them into your calendar.

The same idea can be applied to training. The best way to ensure training sessions get done even on busy days is to schedule those just like any other important appointment. 

This is the practice we use inside The Triathletes Google Calendar and attaches a priority to a specific activity and frees up time to do it. Remember, the key is to schedule your priorities.

3. Train in the Morning

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There is no doubt that waking up early is hard to adjust to but has proven to be one of the most important time management tips for busy triathletes. 

I’ve learned firsthand over the years that the only time you can truly control is first thing in the morning. As the day goes on there is more that can “pop up” unexpectedly.

Schedule your training session for first thing in the morning, before work. The later in the day we leave our training, the greater the chance for something to come up and change even the best-laid plans. 

When pressed for time I found that a 30-minute training session is always way better than no training session at all. You can always squeeze in 30 minutes…

4. Do Something Every Day

Yes, we should and need planned recovery days. But at all costs please avoid taking multiple unplanned days off in a row. Not moving the body consistently actually does more harm than good. 

Our body responds very well to consistent stimulation. So it’s best to try to do some form of training every day, even if just for 20-30 minutes. The keyword here is consistency.

5. Schedule Management

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We do a lot of the same general tasks every day, prep meals, pay bills, clean, train, and the list goes on. To save time in your week try to look for ways to save time and how you might be able to automate a certain task.

Time blocking is a big one, bulk together similar activities to save time on getting ready and executing them. Create checklists or routines for daily tasks to reduce the amount of time and effort it requires to do them and even free up some mental space.

Here are some of the ideas:

  • Meal prep
  • Automate bills and monthly services
  • Create a standard grocery shopping list and order groceries online when applicable
  • Create a morning routine to be highly productive in the morning
  • Create an evening routine to make your morning even easier

Bonus 6. Focus on the Overall Goal

Time management is not only about having the time to get everything done, it’s also about not getting distracted or procrastinating.

A good practice is to ask yourself regularly whether or not what you’re doing moves you closer to achieving your goals or just keeps you busy. If the answer isn’t yes, find a way to drop it or delegate it to focus on things that matter the most.

Carly Guggemos Triathlon Coach Michigan
Carly Guggemos
Triathlon Coach at Organic Coaching | Website

Co-founder of Organic Coaching, Carly Guggemos is a triathlon coach with an extensive background in 70.3 and full-Ironman events. Carly is an age group winner at both long-course distances and has competed at the Kona Ironman World Championships in 2014 and 2015. With nearly a decade of coaching experience, Carly has expertise supporting athletes with busy or non-traditional schedules.