Last week I managed to get in a little over 8 hours of training. While the average amateur triathlete in my distance usually logs 10 hours/week, I usually struggle to get in 5 hours/week. It was unexpected because in addition to being on time for my swim workouts, the weather had some wonderful pockets which allowed me to get in a weekday bike ride and run. Weekdays with young children in day care is a real challenge. Fortunately my wife is able to get them ready in the mornings and usually has an idea for dinner. However, if I try to exercise in the evenings, I am usually coming home and jumping right into bath time and bed time.
The timing of the intense week was pretty good as my wife will be out of town 4 days this week. As a result, I only have a 2 hour training week planned. I will probably be able to get in a little more time than that if I am disciplined about getting in an early or late workout on days she is commuting.
The long and short weeks are not that important when training for sprint distance events. I really wonder how people train for half ironman events. Many of these people have families and have a job which requires rigid hours. I think the difference between us is desire and time management. I find triathlon training to be fun. I look forward to most workouts, feel energized and rarely feel guilty about time spent in this pursuit. However, I believe a large part of that is because I am not competitive. If I were racing more often, I would have to question whether it makes sense to be gone a full day once a month to compete or be on a 3-5 hour bike ride.
Time management is a tougher one for me. I have made good progress in cutting down television time, but I still spend a lot of time reading, watching movies and playing poker. Granted these activities are relegated to late night hours when the gym is closed and it is too dark to train outside. However, they do impact the amount of sleep I get and an extra 4-5 hours/week of sleep could make a big difference.
During the big week, I was motivated to plan my workouts. Further, I did not read as much and only took in a 104 minute movie.