Making Time, with Christina Smith
Not that a record-breaking performance isn’t awe-inspiring, but we’ve always been wowed by regular people who find the time to make it happen. The below is a guest submission from a very busy Tia Smith who tells us how she does it. And more inspiration from folks just like her. – Ed
The marathon; 26.2 miles. Something that less than 1% of the world population has completed! The Ironman™, or 70.3/140.6 distance triathlon; something that less than .05% of the world population has completed! How do everyday people with everyday jobs and everyday lives fit the training, nutrition, and recovery schedule to do all that?
I am a wife, mom, sister, teacher, endurance athlete, and coach. Chad, my husband, is a police officer, who also trains year-round for endurance races. He is a 2x 140.6 Ironman™ and a 2x Ironman™ 70.3 finisher. He has completed a full marathon, and many half marathons. His most recent feat, was Bike2DC in May. He rode his bicycle 500 miles from Charlotte to D.C. My stepdaughter, G, is 23 years old. She runs with me all the time, and she just finished her first full marathon! My son Thomas, age 17, has completed three triathlons, and is a baseball player. My daughter Rachael, who is six years old, follows us wherever our training and races take us. She is learning what it is like to be active, to train, and to compete.
In the past 12 years, I have completed 20 half marathons, two marathons, four Ironman™ 70.3 races, and most recently, my first 140.6 Ironman™ in Florida. That was the highlight of my athletic career. And somehow I find the time to train for it all.
With the large amount of responsibilities in my personal life, putting aside an average of 11 hours a week to train is challenging. Not to mention the nutrition prep, recovery time, and getting adequate rest.
Keys to success for me:
*wake up early to train
*use our indoor treadmill/stationary bike as last resort
*train when my six-year-old is asleep
*not being afraid to say “no” to social events
*being selfish with time
*having a support system of friends and family
Here’s more real life advice from everyday athletes who also find – or make the time – to train, race, and have a life.
Jeff Newman (2X 70.3 finisher) give these tips: “As a husband who has a full-time job, co-owns a business, and has a 10-month-old, time management is key for training. I strength train in the morning before work, and a short Peloton ride or run would be after work. On the weekends, I do my long run or ride. If the schedule does not work or gets stressful, I was not afraid to change things up to make it work. Make life easier.”
Jackie Monkern (marathoner) says… “As a wife with a full-time job, a puppy, and living on 5 acres takes much upkeep, I find a plan that gives me one rest day. I run 4X a week, usually in the morning, cross train two days, and then rest. I have learned after much running, that listening to your body is key, if you need to rest, do so! Lastly, do not forget to warm up, cool down, and STRETCH!”
Arezou Montgomery (5X Ironman and marathoner) shares this…
“As a mom of three teenagers, and a teacher, dog mom, I have to plan my workouts around my work and personal life. I need the structure of a plan, that is 30 weeks. I am constantly training for a 140.6 Ironman event. I make ZERO excuses when I am training. I eat healthy, I strength train, do yoga, and swim bike and run daily. It is not selfish to do this, it is HEALTHY.” Sign up for the race. Train your heart out. Have fun.
Anything, is possible. Xo- Tia
Tia is also a 2023 Novant Health Charlotte Marathon Ambassador. For more on how she makes it all happen, listen to this episode of The Running Around Charlotte Podcast, or follow Tia on Instagram @tiasmith_tri
# # #