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The Art of Finding Balance in Training

As I get older, I have a greater perspective on the number of commitments that make up the majority of my daily life. Like most athletes that I coach, I work hard to juggle a demanding work schedule (outside of coaching), family activities, kids schedules, home projects (I still need to make time to take down the Clark Griswold style Christmas lights from this past holiday season), planning healthy meals, spending time with friends, making time for one on one time with my wife, walking the dog, cleaning the house, putting my girls to bed, focusing on my faith, and of course squeezing in consistent training.

If viewed at a macro level, the enormity of tasks on any given day can seem overwhelming. My goal is to break down my priorities and ruthlessly prioritize my time in areas that I have decided deserve my focus and attention. I work my athletes on creating a similar system that works within the framework of their goals and lives.

Speaking of goals, I recently read a quote that really stuck with me. “You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems” – Atomic Habits. I thought about this quote for a while and decided to expand upon this concept in a blog post. A goal is one thing, but I think all too often we get focused on goals and not the small, incremental habits and systems that need to be put in place to achieve a lofty goal. Professionally, every sales rep that I work with has a goal of exceeding their sales quota, however, the successful and tenured reps are the ones that create a repeatable, systems-based approach that re-enforces daily habits required to meet their goals. The same approach can be applied to physical and racing goals.

Each of my athletes have a goal of either finishing the Leadville 100 or achieving the coveted Sub 9-hour mark for the big belt buckle. My job as a coach is to take that goal and create a training plan and approach that has consistent and achievable work-outs, mental training, and tasks (a combined system) to reach their final goal. In order to accomplish this, I focus on a few key areas to maximize focus and time in an otherwise busy and noisy schedule. Below are some key tips:

Focus on your priorities: In a world brimming with commitments, endurance athletes often find solace by decluttering their priorities. Identify the key 3 or 4 aspects that truly matter—family, work, faith, and fitness goals usually top the list. By focusing on these priorities, athletes avoid the trap of diluting energy across numerous tasks, recognizing that if everything is a priority, then nothing truly is. This deliberate focus shapes a clear path through the never-ending options vying for an athlete’s time.

Cut Out the Clutter: Time, though scarce, is often underutilized. To make room for crucial training sessions, assess and reallocate "free time." A few examples include tracking the minutes spent on screens and scrolling, redirecting this time toward workouts. Another could be limiting the amount of time spent watching TV at night. By trimming digital excess, athletes carve out valuable hours for the pursuits that truly matter, streamlining their days for efficiency.

Re-evaluate Alcohol Intake: As a stress reliever and social indulgence, alcohol plays a multifaceted role in most athlete's lives. Yet, it can disrupt sleep patterns and hinder a consistent workout schedule, particularly for those rising early for training. The off-season becomes an opportune moment to reevaluate alcohol intake, finding a balance that supports both mental well-being and physical performance. I am not advocating for the complete removal of alcohol, but reducing intake can drastically improve sleep, workout consistency, energy levels, clarity, and motivation.

Personal Incentives for Base Miles: The off-season, characterized by base miles and indoor training, presents an opportunity for personal incentives. If the bike trainer is your winter companion, align workouts with the allure of a favorite streaming show. This aligns well with previous mention of decluttering your screen time. By turning training into a rewarding experience (binging your favorite show), athletes transform mundane sessions into motivational milestones, reinforcing the habit of consistent effort.

Focus on Consistent Habits: Ultimately, success lies in the embrace of consistent habits and systems. High level athletes understand that small, daily actions build the foundation for monumental achievements. By prioritizing routines, revisiting their "why," managing stress, and integrating these additional strategies, athletes ensure that every step taken aligns with their journey to Leadville excellence.

For those under the guidance of Boundless Coaching, the combination of focus, decluttering, intentional time use, alcohol moderation, and personal incentives becomes a blueprint for a balanced life amidst a bustling schedule. If you are new to Boundless and would like to review our pre-developed training plans click here:

If you would like a 1 on 1 consult with myself or one of our other coaches, you can visit my Coaching Bio to learn more or schedule a free consultation to get started!