Savvy age-groupers share how they fit training into their time-crunched schedules.
Efficiency is King
Shawn Phillips covers a lot of ground—specifically, the region from Texas to North Dakota, and Arkansas to Minnesota. As a regional sales director, Phillips is on the road 35 weeks out of the year. That means the majority of his triathlon training takes place in gyms, where he can check off multiple workouts with the most efficiency.
“I spend a lot of time on spin bikes and treadmills, but I make it work,” says Phillips, who recently completed his 17th Ironman. To maximize his time in the gym, Phillips has a detailed training plan with specific, focused work. If he’s only got an hour to ride or run, he’ll make the most of it by including hard intervals.
“If you try to wing it, you will more than likely fall short of your goals and expectations,” advises Phillips. “Be honest with yourself on how much time you really have to train because it does you no good to schedule 15 hours when you really only have 5 hours.”
The biggest key to his successful training on the road, however, is not time management but an honest assessment of where triathlon falls on his list of priorities each day. Sometimes, job demands require that day’s workouts be shortened or skipped altogether, and that’s OK.
“Most triathletes are Type-A personalities, and when they decide to do something, they are all in,” says Phillips. “But unless you are the 1 percent of triathletes who make a living as a professional, then this is a hobby. As the old saying goes, you need to remember who butters your bread.”
Researching the location, amenities and guest-pass fees for gyms at your destination can be a time-consuming process. Skip the search and head straight to your workout with these tips from Phillips:
- Buy a membership to a gym with nationwide locations. “It’s a little more expensive to get access to all of them, but well worth it.”
- Check with the front desk. “I have found that several hotels have open gym memberships in the area that are free to use for guests. Always ask.”
- Surf for a pool.
“I have found some really nice pools in my travels. Many have a daily fee of $3–$5. You can find these easily on the web (check Usms.org or Swimmersguide.com), but make sure you look at the open swim times so you are not sitting on the deck waiting for too long.”