How we tri – using planning and flexibility to make it work

Recently I got the chance to catch up with Bindi’s Chief Sales Officer (and all-round great chick) Anne Musk.  Although I am based in Busselton, she lives nearly three hours away in Perth and manages all our stockists and athletes for Bindi. With work and family life keeping us both busy, it was nice to have a little downtime over a coffee, and chat about…guess what?

Look, with two Kona finishers at the table, pretty much the third thing out of our mouths after, how are the kids? And how are the hubbies? Was, how’s training going?

As working mums (me with three boys, Anne with three girls – how’s the symmetry!) we often get asked how we manage to fit in our training. Like anything when you have kids, it comes down to planning and flexibility.

I think as athletes, we’re all a little curious about what drives other people to take on this crazy sport we love so much and how we fit in training needed to reach the goals we set ourselves.

Chatting with Anne gave me insight into how essential planning is to both of us, and how flexibility allows us to fit in key sessions where needed, swapping sets around to make sure we keep our coaches happy!

We both came to triathlon at 36, and it didn’t take long for us to get addicted. We are both self-motivated, focused and driven, and we both understand that while we adore our sport, it’s: family, work, THEN training 🙂 

So, how do we manage?

As Anne says, you have to “find a way to train that works for YOU.”

Many people start training with a group, which is a great way to start but not very time efficient for busy working mums. You can also find a coach to write a program you can follow with or without the group. Having a personalised plan means you can be flexible with how you get through a big training schedule while balancing busy family life.

Think of it like this: less stress fitting it all in = more fun (and who doesn’t love fun?) = more chance you will succeed

Be fearless!  Step outside your comfort zone.

We both prioritise our sessions and take vital steps to make sure we get them done – sometimes in challenging conditions.  Anne and I are both prepared to get out and train in the wind or rain – it can be kinda fun and often turn out to be the best time to run and swim. If any of you were at Busselton 70.3 this May, you’d remember the hideous winds and rain, aargh it was terrible. However by training in bad weather, when your race day is cold, windy and wet, you’ll be ready.

Go solo

Sorry, that’s not a Star Wars reference! I mean, if you want to do Ironman but can’t fit in a long bike ride with your friends on the weekend but can during the week – then do it – even if it’s solo.  For a long time now I have done a mid week long ride which means plenty of alone time, but I can also be at my kids’ sport on the weekend.  Getting out there by yourself builds the character you will need on race day and the confidence that you can go it alone. Flat tyres, shonky mechanicals and hitting the wall when training by yourself, helps develop the mental tools you’ll need to get through the gruelling 180km ride on race day (er, but try not to bonk! Plan your fuel and hydration – Bindi Sports Hydration is excellent for this!)

Be organised!

Have all your equipment ready the night before – don’t find out you have a flat tyre or flat Di2 batteries at 4.45AM!  Neither Anne or I watch much TV in big training blocks and would prefer to keep on top of  household chores, and particularly like to make sure there is always plenty of healthy food in our homes. Of course, it’s compulsory for triathletes to Netflix and Chill when you’re recovering from smashing your race!

Recognise your limitations

We both understand that while we want to all of the things, all of the time, sometimes it’s just not possible. I like to set a primary goal and then focus on it, knowing things will not be this way forever.  For example, during Ironman training I prioritise training over some other jobs around the house, knowing it is just for a few months and the result is worth it!  Anne has learned to be flexible and prioritise too.  If she gets too tired, then she’ll shift an early training session to after school drop-off.  She will also work with her coach to move sessions around if she has other commitments. For both of us the coach – athlete relationship is crucial to make this work in terms of maintaining consistency within a busy lifestyle.

We are passionate about our sport, and we plan and plan and plan to make sure everything fits in. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for us.

Whatever your goals and your situation, it is possible to train well, live well and race hard!

So set your goals, and go get them! 

Happy training,

Belinda x

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