Keeping a regular training schedule while juggling work, kids and life can be a complex balancing act. With school about to resume, parents who ride need to often prioritize their family schedules which can make finding riding time more difficult than during the summer when things are more flexible. To keep your riding form intact, you’ll need to find the time perhaps squeezing riding into your schedule more creatively than you had to during the summer months. Here are five strategies for getting more ride time into your busy schedule and one backup plan for when you simply can’t ride.
Do you work in an office with a shower and the flexibility to take an hour, or more, off for lunch? Perfect, you can start knocking out lunch rides to squeeze in a workout or at least a nice spin of the legs in between meetings and work assignments. Your route can be a circuit around a local park, it could use some mixed-use trails near your office or if you are lucky to have an office within striking distance of some nice roads, a quick 30 km loop. An hour of riding at lunch is better than no riding at all.
Riding your bike between home and work may not be the best way to get a strenuous workout into your schedule but every moment in the saddle counts if you are pressed for time. Ditch your car and give your subway pass a break by committing to commuting by bike. If your commute is a little longer or you can take a more scenic route into the office, you can even mix in some intervals. While you may not envision your commute being your only ride time, sometimes you’ve really just got to squeeze your saddle time in. Getting outside for some exercise before your workday could also do wonders to your mood and productivity.
Load the kid(s) into the trailer
Want to spend time with your family while getting in that precious ride. Load up the bike trailer with the kid(s) and head out for the recreational trails near your house. The extra weight while add resistance making you work just hard enough that you might be able to get a proper workout in.
Wake up early
The ride at the crack of dawn is a staple of many cyclists. Set your alarm clock and head out before even the roosters rise to get in some ride time. The roads will be quiet before the city wakes up and you will be able to then have your whole day ahead of you without the need to squeeze in a ride at a less convenient time of day.
Join a local cyclocross series
Having a race commitment is a structured way to make sure you are getting at least one high-intensity ride in per week. It’s a defined time each week you commit to riding and it’s easier for your family to expect you to be absent every week for a couple of hours. With cyclocross season looming, it’s a good time to seek out a race series near you. Some clubs do weekly clinics and races. These are the perfect opportunity for you to get that high-intensity riding you need to hold onto your fine summer form.
Core exercises if you can’t ride
If you don’t get a chance to head out for a ride, consider incorporating some core work, yoga, stretching and bodyweight exercises into your day. Range of mobility, strength and core exercises can be accomplished even when you are stuck watching Paw Patrol. They won’t entirely replace riding but can at least help you keep your body fit for when you do have time to get on the bike.