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How A Busy Mom Finds Time to Train for an Ironman 70.3

Training for an iron distance event is challenging. So many athletes are working hard to fit everything in with work, family, sports, and kids’ activities. It can get overwhelming and trust me I have seen this happen. Feeling overwhelmed is draining and can lead to burnout and unnecessary fatigue. Finding that precious time to train and fitting it all in doesn’t have to be stressful. It just takes some common sense.

I want to share with you an interview I had with one of my athletes Charlyn S. She is an experienced triathlete currently training for Waco 70.3. She is a busy mom of 3 boys, 2 of which are in sports all year round. She works full time as a Physical Therapy Assistant and manages to make it all work. Here are the questions I asked her and her candid answers which I hope will help you see how other busy moms and dads find time to train.

How did you get started in the sport of triathlon?

I have always enjoyed competition. I played sports in high school and I completed several 5K and 10K road races. I didn’t know what an Ironman was until I met a co-worker who completed one. I was inspired by this and wanted to do the impossible.

What is a typical day like for you with work, kids, and training?

I prep all my meals on Sunday. I lay out my workout clothes each night so I am not looking for things in the early morning. I usually wake up at 3:45am, make my coffee and take my supplements. I grab my gym bag and head out the door. I will usually work for an hour or so during that quiet morning time, then go and do my first workout. I will come back from that then see patients for a while until about lunch time. This is usually when I do my second workout of the day. For me, if it doesn’t happen before the end of the day, it probably won’t happen. I do have a second job that I go to a few days per week, so after my second workout I will usually work until 5 or 6pm. My twin boys play many sports, some of which are tournament sports. Right now we are in football. This keeps us all pretty busy with games and practices. My boys are my priority. I don’t miss any of their games!

Any unique ways you find time to train that you can share with us?

The key is to just be prepared. Prepping ahead of time saves so much time in the morning. Planning out your day is key. I usually do this on Sundays to be ready for the week ahead. I have all of my clothes, shoes, and gear laid out ahead of time. I know which workouts are happening on each day.

How do you overcome obstacles such as being tired after work, having to be up late with the boys’ sports, etc.? In other words, how do you push through?

I just get dressed and START. Chances are you will feel better along the way. Sometimes I don’t know how it will go down, but I always show up. If I’m exhausted, I will do half a workout and give myself some grace along the way. My best advice is just get up, get dressed and start.

What are your top 3 motivators that keep you in the sport of triathlon?

*I want to show my kids that anything is doable.

*I don’t want to ever be trapped in my body. In my profession, I see people all the time who don’t move their body and it catches up with them.

*I love to feel like I am accomplishing a goal. I love to push myself further than I think I can. I want to set the example for my kids.

What advice would you give to the busy mom or dad who is trying to find more time to train?

Planning is huge! The biggest thing is planning. Keep it simple. Get to bed early and wake up early. Do the hardest thing first thing in the morning and go from there. Use the time that you do have wisely. Where there is a will there is a way.

I am so thankful to Charlyn S. for sharing this with us! I hope you find value in her insights! Need a triathlon coach for your next event? Click the button below for a free 15 min call to chat about your goals!

Mary Timoney

Ironman University Certified Coach

ACSM Trainer

USA Cycling Coach


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