Stay consistent with training and manage your life priorities by starting a simple habit of planning your week.
As a coach the most common thing I find people to struggle with is time management. Fitting triathlon training into your schedule is not always easy but planning your week will greatly improve your chances to keep your training consistent. Let me guide you through my simple 8 step weekly planning process and share tips on how to set yourself up for success.
Step 1. Make planning enjoyable
Like anything you want to keep doing consistently, make the planning process enjoyable. Sit down with coffee or tea on Sunday and take some time to plan your upcoming week. Get yourself a whiteboard or print out the WMNS TRI My Week -template. The difference between writing your whole week on one paper or board compared to your calendar is that you can set it up somewhere where you and your family members will see it every day to keep on track.
Make the planning fun! Maybe you like to use colours and code your activities instead of only writing them down. Maybe you like to colour your template as well? You have a black-and-white version of the WMNS TRI My Week -template just for that.
Step 2. Set yourself a focus
Set a focus for each day. This can be anything you feel is important to you and you want to prioritise. Maybe it is a key training session on the first day, to spend extra time with your kids on the second day and prep your food on the third day. Keep it simple and achievable.
Step 3. Schedule the non-negotiables
You might have set work hours, kids' hobbies, appointments and social gatherings planned for the week. Mark those down to your weekly plan as these will create the frame to plan around your other activities. One very important non-negotiable is sleep. You want to keep your sleeping rhythm as consistent as possible. So one of the first things is to mark down is when you wake up and go to bed.
Step 4. Plan your training sessions
Check your training program and see how the sessions work with your non-negotiables. Do you need to make changes and switch some sessions around? Do you need to ask your coach if the structure is still smart after adjustments so you will not risk injury or overtraining because of several executive hard sessions? These are some things you want to consider. Also, check that you have access to the pool or other facilities when you are planning to do your sessions. It is such a bummer to go to the pool only to find that the swim carnivals are on… Make also sure your plan takes into account the time you need to get ready before and after the sessions.
Step 5. Plan time for rest and recovery
Schedule specific time for rest and recovery. You need it every day. This could mean that in the evenings you have a specific time to relax with family, read a book or maybe do some gentle stretching. Anything that calms you down and you enjoy doing. This time also sets you up for a good night's sleep so you wake up feeling recovered the next morning.
Step 6. All the other things
Then it is time to mark down all the other things you want to get done. When to do groceries, cooking and meal prepping, cleaning the house etc. When you plan all the basic weekly activities, you don’t use energy on thinking about when would you should do them as you can simply follow your plan.
Step 7. Time for nothing scheduled
It is so important that you have time for nothing scheduled. Life happens, as it should, and you will need flexibility. Avoid the trap of over-scheduling yourself. If your days are totally full, you can start stressing about getting behind your schedule. You want the planning to help you to avoid stress, not increase it.
Step 8. Do it all over again
Sunday comes again and it is time to plan the next week. This time start by reflecting on how did your week go. Did your plan work and if not why? This is an opportunity to learn and improve your planning process. After a few weeks, you will notice how much awareness you have gained about how you spend your time and how you can manage it better.
Download the WMNS TRI My Week -template and have fun planning!