Time Management post that I did. A lot of that post still holds true today. It really is all about mapping the time you have and figuring out where you're spending it. I'm tired of always hearing people say "I don't have any time for that...." The truth is, 99% of us do - we just choose to ignore where ALL of our time is being spent.
Unless your a freak of nature, in order to be a great triathlete you need to put in the time. That means sacrificing a lot if your scenario is a lot like mine. The most important place to devote your time and energy to is your spouse...then your kids. And I'd argue that to the grave -most have it backwards. And if you're the only bread winner - then obviously you need your career to take precedence over triathlon. Some people have that backwards too which can really cause a lot of head aches for you, your employer and your family.
THEN maybe triathlon comes next....
So let's start with your spouse or even your significant other. Get them involved in your triathlon goals/pursuits. Communicate! Don't just go out on these long training days and spend all this money on races without including them. Amy and I are a team and we always map out my training weeks so we are on the same page. I try and run with her and the kids and we plan my big rides when she has things lined up with friends/family so she's not left home with crying kids while I'm outside riding my bike all day! Make vacations out of your races. Don't make it all about you. Treat your family to a nice vacation (again, importance of a successful career) on your big races.
Kids. Include them into your triathlon pursuits as well. Get them into the Ironman kids races or local road races. Get them on their bikes, run with them, swim with them. Not only does it promote a healthy lifestyle but it show them its fun and that's why you're constantly training. If they don't understand why its so fun then they are eventually going to hate you for doing triathlon because it takes you away from spending time with them.
Work. Share with your boss and co-workers what you do. Sure, you'll get the annoying "When's your next marathon?" questions but I think it's very important that you share what your passion is outside of work. "I don't do marathons!!!!" lol. You'll be surprised how many will support your pursuits and they'll probably respect you more when you decline that happy hour or donut instead of giving them any type of explanation.
Money. It's no secret that triathlon is expensive. Just make sure when you're buying bikes and gear that you are spoiling your spouse in his/her hobbies/passions. If you're spoiling your spouse they'll most likely not question you when you want to drop another $350 on a stinking race.
Free time. What free time? haha. No really, if you want to be good you really shouldn't have much free time. Learn how to multi task. If there really is a movie you want to watch, foam roll while you watch. Instead of taking a lunch staring at the computer get a short run in. Instead of staying up late watching TV, go to bed early and get that early trainer ride in. Get that early trainer ride in so you can spend time with your family in the evening. Plan your workouts around your families schedule not the other way around.
It's not easy. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to discipline with my time. What do you do that helps you balance it all? Would love to hear from you!