Juggling full time work and training to compete at the sharp end of triathlon is no mean feat. It takes dedication and strong time management skills. AGILIS ambassador Iwan will be at the 70.3 World Championships in St George, Utah later this month. Iwan works full time as a barber, not only cutting hair but helping run the shop social media and other business areas such as bookings / appointments. We caught up with Iwan to talk us through his season so far, preparations for the World Championships and his advice for fitting quality training around work / life.
Making quality training fit around work.
It's a fair challenge balancing training with work and social life. A typical week for me in the year would be around 10-15 hours of training a week, spread over around 10-12 sessions.
Planning is key, I'm fortunate to have a coach who sets me sessions each week. I know my sessions for the next week so I can plan my life around them. I make the most of my mornings, I work 09:30 to 7, so a quality session before work means I have time to relax and spend time with my partner after work.
Recently I have been focussing on peaking for the World Championships, with the support of my partner my daily routine has been 100% focussed around my training. I’ve been training early morning as usual and then fitting in a session in the evenings straight after work. Being prepared with good nutrition to recover from the sessions and getting to bed on time has been instrumental in keeping the workload up over a number of weeks – 20 hour training weeks on top of 50 hours of work is possible with the right habits and support from friends and family. It’s difficult but nobody said it would be easy!
What does a typical training week look like?
- Monday - Easy day with a longer swim and either a steady ride or run.
- Tuesday - Hard day with a quality swim and run.
- Wednesday - Longer but less intense swim and cycling session.
- Thursday – Another hard day, a hard bike session followed by a V02 session in the pool.
- Friday – Recovery day to freshen up for the weekend, normally an easy swim.
- Saturday – Key run day, with a threshold / tempo session.
- Sunday – Long ride, occasionally a swim in the evening.
What tips can you give for fitting training around work?
I would try and get some of the easier hours in by commuting to work by bike or running. This is an easy way you can get a session in while you would usually be travelling for work. I would also highly recommend laying your kit out the night before so it’s ready when you need to leave / arrive home - I usually spend ages faffing about looking for kit before training!
How has your season gone so far?
I raced a few local races earlier this year, I was happy with the results. I was second overall at Llanelli sprint and third overall at Cardiff Olympic. One of my A races this year was Swansea 70.3. I have mixed emotions about it, I had a poor swim, so it was going to be difficult to claw back time on the leaders. I biked and ran well to finish in 4 hours 33.
What are your goals for the 70.3 World Championships?
My goal for the World Champs is pretty simple – to put together the best performance to date over all the 3 disciplines. It'll be my first-time racing in hot conditions, it will be interesting to see how the body reacts. I’ve been adapting training slightly to acclimatise to the heat. I’ve been running on the treadmill and riding on the turbo with no fan. I think if I put together the race of my life, and depending on who's there, a top10/15 is possible.
After the worlds I’ve got a few easy weeks planned, it’ll be great to catch up with friends / family after a busy few months of training. Over the winter I’ll probably get involved in some winter running events to keep training fun and interesting.