We all know that balancing the demands of social life, work and triathlon training is challenging (at best). Throw a young family into the mix and life just got a whole more chaotic! For those contending on a national level, it's no different - just more pressure to keep all the balls in the air and hit your numbers.
One athlete (and mum) who looks like she's got it under control is Amy Walker. We wanted to know how she manages it! Over to Amy....
This is now my 9th year competing in Triathlon and my passion for the sport just keeps growing. I'm also mum to three beautiful children aged 3, 5 and 7.
I was introduced to the sport by a good friend who let me borrow his bike and some gear and I’ve never looked back. I remember the feeling of euphoric joy following my first sprint triathlon in Scissett, which is my local triathlon and the sense of achievement I got from it. So, fast forward nine years to the present and let’s just say life is a little crazy!
People always ask me ‘how do you do it with three children? how do you find time?’ … Well my answer is I make time and don’t find excuses not to train. Don’t get me wrong it’s really difficult at times putting my trainers on to go out for a run when I could just sit and watch tv, but I also find the mental side of it really helps my day to day life by clearing my mind and re-focussing. I have found that you can’t stop what you are doing just because you have kids, but take them on the journey with me and hope that I can inspire them to follow their dreams!
Unpopular opinion, but one thing I’ve not done is have a triathlon coach as I think it puts a lot of pressure on you to train at certain times and do specific things which doesn’t always work around children and adds extra pressure that personally, I don’t need. I like to involve my children in my training when I can and sometimes take my eldest boy for a run and he takes his bike…this was all good, but now he’s getting faster the older he gets..Not all bad though, I think I’m getting faster by having to chase him down!
Other sessions include early morning turbo sessions before the kids get up for school and fortunately I work as a swimming instructor so I get to use their facilities at dinner time to get a gym or swim session in a couple of days a week. As the kids have got older and found hobbies of their own, sometimes I may run to their activity or sneak a turbo session in while my husband takes the kids.
Reflecting back on having 3 children in 5 years just seems crazy. I trained through all of my pregnancies, tapered back where it felt necessary and also had a running pram to get back running again. I always wanted to be the best version of myself to try and inspire my own kids to chase their dreams. They learn what they see at the end of the day. Two of our children have already taken part in a fun Duathlon, that our eldest son ended up taking the win. The bit I love the most with the kids is their interest to give anything a go and for them to know that they have our support whatever they do.
Since having children I have had to adapt and set new goals, but I feel it has just made me more determined. All the hard work has finally paid off and I’ve managed to represent GB Age Group in various races from Aquathlon to Triathlon and travelled all over the world to compete in the World and European championships, as well as earning a couple of titles! I love having my family there at these special events, seeing beautiful parts of the world you wouldn’t normally travel to and having new adventures!!
Thanks to Amy for finding the time to write this blog. She can be followed on Instagram @triathlon_mumontherun