Balance = a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
To most athletes, the word balance has multiple meanings. If you ask my triathlete friends what balance means to them, they would say getting in a good balance of swim-bike-run training every week. If you ask my tennis, sailing, runner, cyclist friends, they would say balancing their training effectively to achieve great results. If you ask the average person what balance means to them they would likely say achieving equilibrium in their daily lives.
We endurance athletes are up against a lot in this busy and sometimes over complicated world that we live in. Balance is a state that we seek to achieve but it takes work and doesn't come easy.
This year as I am in the midst of my fourth season in the sport of triathlon, I work hard to achieve balance as I train for my second Ironman. Two years ago when I set out to train and race my first Ironman, I had no idea what I was up against. Ironman training is not for the faint of heart. It is months, weeks, days, hours of training and recovery time with little time left over for life activities. As a first timer training for an Ironman, I likely overtrained (they say most newbies do) and missed out on life activities outside of training. I likely achieved the same results that I would have if I added more balance of outside activities to the training. So this year, two years older and wiser I am working on adding more balance to my family/work/training/life in that order.
Instead of going into each week with blinders on to get my workouts done, I am working hard to include my wife and friends in my scheduling so that I can balance out fun activities with the training. This is a win/win - I get to spend more time doing things I like to do and with the person I love and the friends that I love spending time with. It even means incorporating a mellow bike ride to the beach or run around the park or getting up earlier to get the workout done so I can have my afternoon/evening free for fun activities with friends. Two years ago this was not the norm but now it is becoming more so. And guess what, it's more fun.
So I ask you, what are the three ways that you are achieving balance in your life? I challenge you to try to mix things up with your current training schedule so that there is less of an emphasis on getting the training done and more of a balance of family/work/life/training. And while you are at it, treat yourself to that ice cream cone, splurge for that massage, have that second glass of bubbly with dinner. Sounds easy right and more fun, which we all definitely deserve.
Happy training, racing and balance!
Written by Carla McKay
Follow Carla on Instagram! @carlamckay