My life has changed significantly over the past few years from being a full time cyclist traveling far and wide every weekend to compete, to working full time, managing University studies and still finding time to train and compete. Making big life adjustments is never easy, however, the easiest way I have found time to balance everything is to become organized and prioritize what is most important.
Being a competitive bike racer and maintaining work/ life balance is very possible to do, the key is to make your fitness endeavors adventurous and fun. Use your friends to motivate you and push your limits on training rides. This has been a key for me in preventing burnout and as well as gaining new insights on other best practices. Monitoring your rides and fitness can be very useful in staying motivated to train. I personally use Strava and follow all my friends, this can be quite fun to compare your fitness levels and keep an eye on your competition.
It is always fun making the competition suffer!
Be Flexible! When you have such a busy schedule and incorporate training as a priority, you add extra stress to the system. Many athletes don’t understand the importance of good rest and sleep. Consequently, they think that a decline in fitness is a result of not training hard enough (I have fallen into this trap many times) when you actually need to put the bike away for a few days, roll the legs out and get some quality rest.
There is always time for easy recovery spins with your friends!
Ask your coach questions! Especially if you are new to the sport, training is very demanding and having an experienced coach there to support you both in training, racing advice, and keeping your personal life balanced will yield great benefits in the long run.
As the 2016 season approaches I am happy to be on board with SLM coaching and to help you on your cycling journey as many have helped me in the past. Of course feel free to reach out to me at any time and we can chat over coffee, go for a spin, and discuss your cycling goals in the upcoming year!
When everything comes together as it should, there will be champagne podium celebrations!