Triathlon, or rather endurance training of any sort, can take up a lot of time in your already busy lifestyle. But there are certain lessons we learn in endurance training that can actually help increase your productivity at work or at home.


1. Wake Up Early

It’s been said that some of the most successful people wake up early. I feel like this is certainly true, but mostly due to the fact you are up before everyone else and can accomplish a lot. Waking up early also allows you to train early. Morning runs or swims are my favorite to give to athletes or to participate in myself. There is something refreshing about training in the morning that can invigorate the rest of your day.


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2. Schedule Training Around Your Life

Family, work, friends, and life obligations get in the way of training, but you already knew that. To be able to stay successful at your sport or to prepare to enter the endurance sports, you must face one of the biggest challenges - finding balance between your training and the rest of your life. Because there are only so many hours within the day, you know that you have to get your training and work done at certain times. This in turn causes you to be more focused at the task at hand, leading you to get more done during the allotted time. So, getting your training in and fitting it into your schedule is another way to balance your life and increase productivity.


3. Work Smarter and Harder, But Not Longer

Long slow distance works when you have time, but we all feel like we never have time. When endurance athletes start training, having a good base is key to long-term success and injury prevention. That advice is vital for beginners to the sport, as well. I can’t stress enough how important endurance and aerobic sessions are when first getting into the sport, or even if you don’t have one or two years of solid training under your belt. However, for the rest of us, aerobic endurance sessions can detract from the long-term goal. If you are training for an Ironman or marathon, a long run has its part in your training. But I have seen that strength workouts such as hills and fartlek training build up the capacity for a longer race, while also giving you the mental strength needed for your event. So, instead of going out for a sixty-minute slow run, try going out for a forty-minute hilly run. It will do more for your training than running slowly if you just don’t have the time for a long run.


4. Training Partners Make a Difference

You are sitting at work and you have to finish a report, but you are rushing to do so since you have three other training partners waiting on you. A non-athlete may just call it a day and take the work home and finish it there. But because you have training partners, you have others who are counting on you to show up - and in turn, they are showing up since you are counting on them.


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5. Forced Recovery Means More Time at Home

The last thing we learn in triathlon training that actually increases our productivity involves the recovery that athletes need to take. Some athletes take a recovery day on Sunday, Monday, or Friday. Whichever day works for you that would allow you a day off is the right day. The stress not only of training, but also of daily life can lead to serious burnout for anyone. Burnout in training can start to affect your work and your balance of life at home. Stress is constant in our lives, but exercise allows us to reduce it, but too much exercise stress breaks down the body and can make your life hell. If you are trying to recover form overuse injuries because you didn’t take time to rest and recover, your productivity is going to suffer. But on the flip side, taking a recovery day can help you increase productivity in other areas of your life.


As you can see, triathlon and endurance sports (we can even say exercise in general) can easily force you to be more productive. Getting out there and meeting new people could even lead to some big things in your career, but you won’t know until you lace up those shoes, pump up those tires, or put on some goggles and go out your front door.


Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.

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