Spring Training Season Is Here – But How Can You Find the Time?

Every spring when daylight saving time kicks in and we lose an hour of sleep, a long-running debate is revived about its merits and drawbacks that is as old as the practice itself. Not surprisingly, the opposition to the custom isn’t as adamant in autumn when we gain an hour of sleep.

This past March, a Bellevue, Washington-based casket manufacturer even stepped into the fray. Titan Casket released a dark comedy video announcing its mission to abolish daylight saving time once and for all, citing statistics that show a 24% increase in heart attacks and 6% increase in fatal accidents the day after daylight saving.

“If an actual casket company still doesn’t think it’s worth keeping around, who does?” said actor David Dastmalchian, who was featured in the video. “Help us put this ancient ritual out of its misery.”

I haven’t examined the studies that spawned those statistics in detail, so I can’t speak to their veracity. What I do know is that for many of us who are passionate about sports, the extra hour of daylight is a godsend. It comes just when we need it most: when the intensity of our training kicks into high gear, especially for those of us who enjoy training outdoors in pleasant weather.

This is The Ideal Time for a Renewed Push Towards Achieving Fitness Goals

During the winter, we focus on strength and conditioning, trying not to lose the endurance we built over the warmer months. We allow ourselves to rest a little bit and give time for the body to recover.

Starting in the spring, our training time doubles each month, and we have the luxury of spending more time training outdoors. As much as I look forward to these outdoor activities, they admittedly add additional time to my workout, because I typically drive to another location for my bike ride or run.

Spring is also a time when we can banish the excuse of skipping an outdoor training session because the sun is already setting. It’s not the easy escape hatch into procrastination territory that it is in the winter, because we are granted a bigger window of time to meet our training commitments.

Still, the extra daylight hours don’t account for all the extra time we need to meet our training goals. During this period, I rely more on my family to help me reach my objectives, especially on the weekends. For example, I might occasionally miss kids’ events that I would usually attend.

This also pertains to work commitments. I must be more selective and strategic about where I spend my time. That might mean postponing an expansion of my business or not taking on new clients. My success with meeting my training goals depends on not over-extending myself when it comes to other commitments.

During this intense training season, I don’t even put fitness activities on the backburner during business trips. Instead, I become more intentional about the timing of my travel and the location of the hotel I choose. This allows me to continue my training away from home. For example, flying into a city half a day early gives me the breathing room I need to take a long run before my meetings begin.

Years ago, I found myself in Frankfurt for business. I was planning to be back in Germany a couple of months later with my wife and kids to compete in the triathlon Challenge Roth, and my training for the upcoming race was already in full swing. When my conference was over, I took the train to Roth, where I stayed in an Airbnb for two nights. I took an Uber to a local bike shop, rented a high-performance bike, attached my pedals and shoes that I had been travelling with for a week, and I was off to explore the racecourse. Did I mention it was pouring rain for the three days I was in Roth? I admit that on my first morning there, I spoke to my wife and relayed my intention to skip out of my practice rides only to be encouraged (and let’s face it, shamed) to get back on the saddle.

I don’t cut myself slack when it comes to family vacations, either. These trips are among my greatest joys of summertime, and I treasure these holidays with my wife and kids. But I also block out time for training and bring my equipment along when feasible. When we head to the beach during summer, I often bring my bike so I can take long rides. Integrating your training into other activities in this manner increases the opportunities to achieve your training goals.

Sadly, some sacrifices must be made. The time I spend on some hobbies I enjoy must be reduced or given up completely if I want to meet my training goals. Golf is a good example. The choice to spend five hours on my bike or five hours on the golf course is a difficult one for me – a real head-versus-heart dilemma.

Sitting down and purposefully carving out time for training sessions in your schedule – while also accepting which activities you must reduce or cut out altogether – can help you stay on track. If you don’t have a plan, you might find the days disappearing as the demands and distractions of daily life nibble away at your potential training time.

Before we know it, winter will be upon us again, nipping at our heels and driving us indoors to train. But for now, this window of opportunity is just beginning, and knowing what potential lies within all these gorgeous days laid out ahead of us is exciting to contemplate. I can hardly wait to see what I’m able to accomplish. And I wish you great success with your spring season of fitness too.

Happy training!

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