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A balancing act

Caz Kay competes all over Europe for Great Britain in triathlon and duathlon events. She’s a PE teacher and has two children, so how does she stay motivated and fit training sessions into her busy life?

‘I won’t lie, it is hard work balancing training, working, having a family home to run with a husband and two children (aged four and ten) but it’s doable – if I can do it, so can you.

This year I thought I would mark my 40th birthday year with a challenge: The Outlaw in Nottingham. It’s not the ‘IRONMAN’ brand but it’s the same distance – a 2.4mile swim, a 112m cycle and 26.2m run. It could take around 12 hours to complete and so I’m doing a 30-week training programme. I’m fitting in about 9 hours training a week at the moment, but this will start to increase. I do it by being organised, having help around me, reducing stress and minimising certain things which may make me feel lethargic.

I never regret a training session, but I do if I miss one. I much prefer to get my training done first thing. It can be hard getting out of bed at 5.30am but normally the weather looks worse outside than it actually is. Staying in bed, having a lie in makes me feel sluggish, so I’m normally up and out. I rarely drink so I can wake up fresh. Also, over indulgence in anything – food, chocolate, drink, lack of sleep makes me feel rubbish, so I try not to. There’s no better feeling than creeping out of bed when everyone’s asleep, exercising, coming home and having a shower and breakfast with the kids. It makes me feel amazing.

Having goals makes my training more specific – I always need a goal and something to work towards. I have my races on a calendar and normally follow a set training programme for the European events with a coach. Whether it be a training pal, running club, Pilates instructor, having a coach or someone to answer to has definitely helped with my motivation. At the moment, my 30-week Ironman plan is split into three lots of ten-week blocks, with specific goals in each block. I’m following a programme from a book, but it’s doing the same job as a coach.

My top tips
• Plan your week, for me that’s sitting down with my husband and going through the week (including children’s logistics).
• Plan your meals for the week and make sure you have all the ingredients. We do our shopping online and have it delivered to the house.
• Keep on top of tidying. I do a washing load every couple of days, so it doesn’t mount up and use the tumble dryer to save time. I promised myself as a child that I would never have an ironing pile the size of a house – so no ironing – tumble dry instead!
• I like to feel on top of things, then I’m less stressed. We have a cleaner for two hours on a Friday. It’s lovely to walk into a clean house.
• Do exercise early before work, then it is done. But make sure you have an early night. Then especially at weekends, you’ll have more time to spend with the family.
• Be mindful about the food and drink that you are putting into your body. Is it a nutritional calorie?’

Caz is sponsored by Katie Bell Physiotherapy and Wellness. She’s a regular in clinic. If you’d like more information about nutrition, setting goals with a Pilates Instructor or physiotherapist contact the Client Care team on 0114 327 2080.

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