The last seven weeks have been a whirlwind of fun, craziness and hard work in a number of ways. I took on the nine-hour Spring Challenge, Girls on Dirt Enduro, the Salmon run, went tramping (for study), did some work and finished my degree. Three years of hard work and I have finally made it to the end of an exciting journey. I have learnt a lot during this journey especially with the challenge of balancing study, work and adventure racing. Here is a summary of the main things I learnt along the way:
- Balance is really important for everything, especially to fit in study, training and work. Too much training and then not enough study gets done, but then I am much more productive when I am training and being active as that is what I enjoy. It’s about doing the right amount of each thing. You also need to fit in time to look after yourself otherwise there can be a risk of burning out.
Time management and planning
- Time management is the key to balance and staying on top of everything. It helps to have training planned out in advance for the week so you can work out how to fit in to make sure it happens. My study timetable changed weekly so this was super important to make it easy to get my training done. This is one reason it is awesome having a TeamCP coach to help plan and set the training for you. Training Peaks is also a fantastic tool for this. We could adjust the training load depending on the amount of time I needed to put into assignments and work each week.
- Preparation is fundamental for a race and really anything. I did many presentations during my degree and the more prepared I was the better the presentations went and it is the same for racing. I have found over the years preparing for racing has become easier through doing more races, gaining experience and learning how to do it and what works. If you prepare your gear and food well for a race, things are likely to go a lot smoother. Things like getting your bike serviced before the event and giving it a good check over and clean are important.
- Being motivated helps to get things done. I pick races and set goals that I am excited about which helps to keep me motivated. Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated when things get tough especially with hard assignments or when feeling tired. This is when you need to remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve to get you out the door for that run or to get that project done. I’ve really enjoyed going to the Team CP Tuesday morning run group as it is social and takes less motivation to get out and do the training.
- When everything gets busy it is easy to cut down on the amount of sleep you get but it is fundamental to doing everything else well. The longer I studied the less late nights I put into assignments. I found there would be a certain point where it was just not productive; if I got more sleep I would be much more productive and be able to train better. Sleep is also important for recovery from training sessions. You have mange your time to make it all work and prioritise getting sleep. All those late nights studying did pay off though when I raced in GODZone and had to deal with sleep deprivation.
Looking after yourself
- Sometimes you just need to look after yourself and take a breather. This can be challenging when we all live in such a busy technological world. For me I like to escape everyday life and head to the hills. Whether it’s just getting out for a day walk or really getting away from everything and going on a three to four day tramp. When out in the bush I enjoy being away from the demands of every day life and digital technology. It’s good to find something you can enjoy to be able to take some time out for yourself.
Friends and family
- Without the support of family and friends I would not have been able to achieve what I have in Adventure Racing and degree. They have support crewed for multiple races and supported me in to achieve my training, racing and study goals.
With my degree done everything is pretty exciting and scary as to where I will go next but that’s ok. I will chance my focus from study to now training for GODZone and two day Coast to Coast which will be fun, exciting and challenging.