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Triathlon training and business school?
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I start business school this fall and assume that class, interviews, networking, and drinking will leave little time for training. I love racing and greatly value my health, but IM training is a hobby. Family and career are top priorities. As such, I wanted to ask the ST community for anecdotes from those who balanced triathlon training (70.3 and IM) and business school. Stories about other graduate degrees are less relevant to me but still welcome.

I'm into my third year of triathlon and second IM this summer. Making big gains and loving it, but may have to take a two year hiatus with intermittent training. Or maybe not, who knows. Enlighten me ST!

2017 races: St. George 70.3 May 6 | Madison 70.3 June 11 | IM Zurich July 30 | Chicago Marathon October 8
Last edited by: RudeDude: Feb 10, 17 11:07
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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I'd be more concerned about the cost of racing as I assume you have no job.

You will have a lot less time but a lot more money when you get a job with your degree. (assuming its accounting and not marketing)
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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I was in your shoes... sort of.

business school for you.. but I was in grad programs of sports management (sort of like business school... sort of) and sports performance (two degrees). I worked a Graduate Assistantship to help ends meet, built my own triathlon related business, and PR'd an Ironman... all while getting engaged and helping plan a wedding.

I tell you all that to say I had a lot on my plate. My training went from 14-16 hours a week (1st Ironman) to 10-12 hours a week. What I did was just focused more on the stress I was accumulating in the appropriate zones that were relevant to the race (z2/3 with some z4 sprinkled in). Every workout had a purpose and again.. I focused more on accumulating the stress needed to let the body adapt and stopped looking at training in terms of time or distance. I wouldn't say I hit all my goals I had set out for, but I did PR a hot IM at 10:38 while training the entire time in the winter of Michigan.


Take-Away: you can do it... you just need to focus on the right demands that are needed for the race and ensure each workout is fulfilling a purpose.

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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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Business school is an absolute joke. It's basically a two year cocktail hour -- if anything, alcohol consumption will be the biggest impediment to your triathloning, not time.

If you have even a moderately serious job now, then this will be a relief, not a burden.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [PubliusValerius] [ In reply to ]
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That is true. Some people start businesses and do other time demanding activities (internships, competitions), but for the most part, yes, classwork is a joke. There are some difficult MBA classes, but I get the point. However, drinking with classmates, recruiting cocktail events, impromptu international trips are the real training killers. Maybe I should change the thread subject to "How to train while drinking heavily and traveling frequently".

2017 races: St. George 70.3 May 6 | Madison 70.3 June 11 | IM Zurich July 30 | Chicago Marathon October 8
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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Law school is significantly more rigorous than an MBA program as far as daily demands, and I was in my best shape ever while in law school. If you've held a real job (which I assume you have, since it's usually a requirement for admission), you'll be fine juggling all three. I'm not sure how much control you have over your schedule, but i'd try to have either late morning classes or a good early afternoon break daily for training. I would also proceed on the assumption that late afternoon and evenings will mostly be taken by networking events, which will probably be the bigger strain on family than any training.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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I got my full time MBA a few years ago from a top 20 program and trained throughout. The school work is not that difficult to organize, but here are a lot of social events and networking activities that you don't want to miss out on. My recommendation is to focus on school during the fall first year to get a decent GPA and network a lot. Youll have interviews in the spring, once you get your internship offer you have more time to train as you have this tied down. The summer between your first and second year you do your internship, kill it and get offered a full time position, if you accept it you basically coast the second year of the MBA as you have your full time offer secured. If you don't get offered the full time role or want to do something different then you have to do all the networking and interviewing again.

2x Deca-Ironman World Cup (10 Ironmans in 10 days), 2x Quintuple Ironman World Cup (5 Ironmans in 5 days), Ultraman, Ultra Marathoner, and I once did an Ironman.
Last edited by: chuy: Feb 10, 17 13:21
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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So I did B School while triathlon training (or, rather, the other way around). If you're doing a full-time, 2 year program at a ranked (top 20) school it is a massive time commitment. Yeah, you're not getting a PhD in physics, so it's not that the classes are hard or that there's insane amount of studying. But the classes, clubs, speakers, recruiting, networking events, travel, etc made for really really long days (and nights) that well exceeded my time commitments in my pre-school or post-school career. You're paying a lot of money for essentially a network and a job out of school, so you don't want to scrimp on those and just do the minimum to pass your classes. You should WANT to be overcommitted with school events (purely social or otherwise). It could be the best 2 years of your life, and certainly among the most memorable.

For me, I didn't do any 70.3s or IMs while in school (I did a 70.3 the summer before school- that's when I had all the time in the world to train) but I did train for Collegiate Nationals and the NYC and Boston Marathons so I did keep up some level of intense training. I joined the university's triathlon team (I was the only person from B School, most were undergrads or from other more academic graduate programs). I also did most if not all of my weekday training in the mornings as there was almost always something going on at night. Luckily classes rarely started before 9 so I could get a workout in before the day started without having to get up too early. I also swam on campus during the random hour or so breaks that were scattered in my schedule. But it was not easy and my expectations of having tons of time and flexibility to train were sorely misplaced. But I don't regret a minute of it. I don't really think IM training fits well with B School, but it might depend on how much you dive into all the campus activities and how much you're willing to sacrifice. I didn't do an IM until a few years after I graduated when my schedule was more routine.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [B.McMaster] [ In reply to ]
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B.McMaster wrote:
I'd be more concerned about the cost of racing as I assume you have no job.

You will have a lot less time but a lot more money when you get a job with your degree. (assuming its accounting and not marketing)

+1.

Team Semper Fi
just your average age grouper . no one special . no scientific knowledge . just having fun.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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Have done business school, while doing tri (IM and 70.3). Graduated with honors and have a decent job.

I feel that I did miss out on a lot of networking events, so in retrospect I would scale waaay back on training (like run 3X week for 45 min and that's it) and focus more on getting to know your classmates. These connections will last you a lifetime.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [Lilac J] [ In reply to ]
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Good advice and hat tip to chuy. I'm in one of those programs full time so I figure I'll train when possible to stay healthy, maybe even squeeze in a race or two, but it's not worth stressing about missed key workouts for IM. I'm not yet decided on a particular career path so I'll likely have a busy social life figuring it out.

For the others, $10k for fun, travel, races is not a huge amount when put in context of all other b school costs. I have money saved, but others just tack it onto their student loans and pay it off with their sign-on bonus.

And LOL at getting an MBA to go into accounting...

2017 races: St. George 70.3 May 6 | Madison 70.3 June 11 | IM Zurich July 30 | Chicago Marathon October 8
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [Anton84] [ In reply to ]
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Anton84 wrote:
Have done business school, while doing tri (IM and 70.3). Graduated with honors and have a decent job.

I feel that I did miss out on a lot of networking events, so in retrospect I would scale waaay back on training (like run 3X week for 45 min and that's it) and focus more on getting to know your classmates. These connections will last you a lifetime.

Sounds like my dad's advice! Written like a mature alum.

2017 races: St. George 70.3 May 6 | Madison 70.3 June 11 | IM Zurich July 30 | Chicago Marathon October 8
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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And just keep in mind that you will never look back at your time in business school and say "I wish I had trained more and raced more". But you very possibly could look back at business school and say "i wish I had gotten a better GPA, networked more, gotten a better job, gotten a job I like more, etc.". Business school is a very awesome time of your life which will be over before you know it and you will never experience again. Triathlons will be around for a lot more. Its your decision, but I would really take advantage of everything business school has to offer and have triathlons come second. This is what I did and don't regret it for a second.

2x Deca-Ironman World Cup (10 Ironmans in 10 days), 2x Quintuple Ironman World Cup (5 Ironmans in 5 days), Ultraman, Ultra Marathoner, and I once did an Ironman.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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I have done this . . . went to a top business school while also training 20+ hrs/wk for Ironman. I did not find it very difficult. I probably put 40 +/- 10hrs/wk into coursework, but since most of it was outside of classroom there is a lot of flexibility regarding when it happens. I did a fair bit fewer social events than average and did not have a family at the time. YMMV.

Dimond Bikes
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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Working full time in a professional career not at all related to the sport, getting my MBA (admittedly 6 credits per semester, not full time), and racing pro/elite.
So, yes. You can train and go to business school.

IG: idking90
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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Don't worry about it. It isn't like it's a real school or anything. :D (Physics studies, and now an engineer, but I repeat myself.)
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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Depends if you want to take business school seriously or not.

I made the transition from running to triathlon (Marathon to Oly distance) during my summer internship, which was only really possible because my internship was more or less 9-5 and I didn't yet have kids. I could probably have done a 70.3 during the summer now that I think about it, but at the time it looked more daunting since I didn't have the years under me.

However, I made it a point to get all I could out of my MBA, I was at one of the top schools in my country and wanted to really push myself in that regard. During the year, I was lucky to get out 2-3x per week for a run or a spin class. I found it great as a stress reliever or general way to stay in shape, when I could get out and run, but "training" was something I couldn't really do until I was working my internship.

Your school experience may be different - the way mine was structured was to throw everything at you 1st year so employers could see grades, and then a more relaxed 2nd year. Tri training might have been possible 2nd year, but given that we had a baby that year, my life became baby + school.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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RudeDude wrote:
I start business school this fall and assume that class, interviews, networking, and drinking will leave little time for training. I love racing and greatly value my health, but IM training is a hobby. Family and career are top priorities. As such, I wanted to ask the ST community for anecdotes from those who balanced triathlon training (70.3 and IM) and business school. Stories about other graduate degrees are less relevant to me but still welcome.

I'm into my third year of triathlon and second IM this summer. Making big gains and loving it, but may have to take a two year hiatus with intermittent training. Or maybe not, who knows. Enlighten me ST!

I think you deserve to be banished from ST for using networking, biz school and drinking as an excuse for not racing and training. If you can't race and train while doing biz school you are just plain disorganized or making excuses. Sorry for the tough love. Biz school is really not that tough. It just isn't (for the record, I did 4 IM's while working full time and doing my MBA at nite school)....it's just about being organized. Please don't use family and career as top priorities either. Of course those are for everyone here other than maybe the top 15 pros in Kona and top 50 at ITU. Everyone else is in the same boat...work pays for families to exist (family is really the priority, work is secondary, because work won't come to your funeral, family will)
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [Anton84] [ In reply to ]
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Anton84 wrote:
Have done business school, while doing tri (IM and 70.3). Graduated with honors and have a decent job.

I feel that I did miss out on a lot of networking events, so in retrospect I would scale waaay back on training (like run 3X week for 45 min and that's it) and focus more on getting to know your classmates. These connections will last you a lifetime.

Networking can easily turn into a massive BS useless time sink.

Networking is a sales process, except the currency you are measuring in is slightly different, but that's it.

It's not how much time you spend doing sales prospecting, its having a high impact funnel and having really high quality stuff fall out of the funnel and hitting your revenue targets. People network and do sales in completely stupid ways spending way too much time on useless connections/prospects.

Most of you guys have to treat your time like you money and not give it out and spend it on entirely useless things. The bulk of networking is useless (and I've done Semiconductor strategic marketing-product marketing-biz dev-alliance programs for 20ish years). Networks don't last a lifetime no matter what some of you guys think. A network is only as good as how well you nurture it and keep it organic and alive with high impact contacts that can positively influence your path to success (or not in your company).

The bulk of people in your network are not today nor will ever be your friend. They are in your network because you can make them successful in their organization and you have them in your network because they can make you useful in yours. Some high impact ones, you "pay forward" and invest in, because they have the human qualities to be helpful to you in some future capacity. These are the the high impact network contacts that you keep alive like leaves at the end of your tree's branches.

But just randomly wasting time with low impact stupid people is EXACTLY what most people get sucked into and then they wonder why they missed 7x1 hour of training this week. Well they wasted 7 hours with idiots instead of spending 7 hours at the pool, the track or on the bike. At the end of the week, they have no further impact in their network than having spent those 7 hours training. The trap people fall into is treating networking like a party/popularity thing. Networking is all about connections-follow ups and driving mutually successful outcomes. Follow ups are the key. Constant follow up and being in the face of the key people in the network, and not when you need them but when they need you as a path to when you need them because you know you will need the high impact ones at some point, so you are building towards that.

Guys who don't have time wasting it on useless networking are basically stupid business school idiots not looking at the ROI of their own time while studying ROI and NPV's in finance class......sheeeesh people they teach you all this shit in biz school and then you don't even apply proper business strategy to your own personal brand/company and then you wonder why you can't train? WTF are most of you learning in biz school if you don't treat your own self as the ultimate business that you need to manage?

Sorry for the rant....replying in general to this thread. Pubes can take this rant up from here. I tried to do my best impersonation....he's right though, biz school is not that tough and it actually does not take that much time if you are properly organized and use proper priority management (I say this as a squander time on ST on a Friday nite)
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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It's simple. Get your priorities listed. Allocate your time accordingly.

Life is simply a question of time management based on what you want to achieve most.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [PubliusValerius] [ In reply to ]
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PubliusValerius wrote:
Business school is an absolute joke. It's basically a two year cocktail hour -- if anything, alcohol consumption will be the biggest impediment to your triathloning, not time.

If you have even a moderately serious job now, then this will be a relief, not a burden.

That rather depends on the school. I went to INSEAD. The MBA takes less than 1 year, and is still the world's top ranked:
http://rankings.ft.com/...bal-mba-ranking-2016

We used to refer to Harvard as the "Club Med" option. I've hung out there a bit, and it is cruisy by comparison. INSEAD was pretty intensive. The library shut at midnight, but was always full until then. I tried not to do that, but 12hr+ days were standard. Terms finished on Fridays, with exams on Saturdays, recommencing on Monday. Nonetheless, Friday nights were "low-key" parties, Saturday nights were mega-parties. Training suffered, though. It was the only year in the last 32 that I haven't raced at least one IM. It would have been inconceivable, and I have raced IM while working full-time and doing other masters degrees part-time.

There certainly are joke business schools of course. I'm not sure why anyone bothers with them, but there seems to be a market.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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Everybody makes such a big deal about how tough business school is, it's really BS - an image put about somehow to make it seem more aspirational and more of an achievement by those who have graduated. I loved business school, I studied hard and played hard, much more than my under grad - but I have also never been fitter than I was after two years studying for the MBA!!

Your time at business school will be way more flexible than during your career post business school. So if you plan to continue to train and compete after graduating then just get used to juggling lots of priorities now!!

If you can't do this whilst at business school then you will really struggle later. This will only get harder once real life hits post graduation.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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Hey there! I was at University of Chicago for my MBA from 2013-2015 and was injured/unable to train at all for most of the first year but trained 15-20 hours (more like 20-25 if you include running drills, stretching post workouts, etc etc) per week in my second year so can provide a little insight!

The short answer is, it depends. On both the program you're in/how demanding it is; the industry/function you decide to recruit for; and the priorities you set along the way.

Longer answer: In my experience, the first year of b-school is crazy because recruiting takes so much time. Everyone says that it's just cocktail hours (how hard can that be right?), but those cocktail hours are with recruiters who decide your fate the next summer (and possible after school) so it's not ALL fun and games. There is a good amount of stress. Depending on what you decide to recruit for, late fall and winter will also be full of interview prep, followed by interviews in Jan/Feb. But then all you have is school and socialization in spring (yay!). That said, I had classmates who trained for marathons and triathlon during that whole time (even in Chicago winter). They just couldn't necessarily get quite as much volume on certain weeks and had to be flexible with training days, off days, when recruiting, exams, etc. really ramped up.

In the end, it comes down to your priorities. I would say it's VERY feasible to continue training (even if you drop it down to a moderate/maintenance-y level at times), do school, and maintain a moderate social life (going out every night, which some people do, is probably not possible plus school, recruiting, training). It will just take some time management/advanced planning :) I'm happy to help and/or discuss more offline if you want to DM me!

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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [RudeDude] [ In reply to ]
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I ran xc/track during my Engineering undergrad, and did tris during my MBA (both were top5, highly competitive programs); the latter was definitely easier to balance. You are done with classes by mid-afternoon and then can train before dinner. Casework after dinner followed by social events (depending on the night) stating at 10:00ish. Lots of time on the weekends to train/race.
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Re: Triathlon training and business school? [Bone Idol] [ In reply to ]
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Bone Idol wrote:
PubliusValerius wrote:
Business school is an absolute joke. It's basically a two year cocktail hour -- if anything, alcohol consumption will be the biggest impediment to your triathloning, not time.

If you have even a moderately serious job now, then this will be a relief, not a burden.


That rather depends on the school. I went to INSEAD. The MBA takes less than 1 year, and is still the world's top ranked:
http://rankings.ft.com/...bal-mba-ranking-2016

We used to refer to Harvard as the "Club Med" option. I've hung out there a bit, and it is cruisy by comparison. INSEAD was pretty intensive. The library shut at midnight, but was always full until then. I tried not to do that, but 12hr+ days were standard. Terms finished on Fridays, with exams on Saturdays, recommencing on Monday. Nonetheless, Friday nights were "low-key" parties, Saturday nights were mega-parties. Training suffered, though. It was the only year in the last 32 that I haven't raced at least one IM. It would have been inconceivable, and I have raced IM while working full-time and doing other masters degrees part-time.

There certainly are joke business schools of course. I'm not sure why anyone bothers with them, but there seems to be a market.


It's not that INSEAD is that hard (my sister went there so I have some family context), it's just that they cram it all in tight. I seriously question if that is a better approach in terms of actual learning and retention of the knowledge acquired. The more country club approach referred to (Harvard in your example) does not mean they cover less, they just have more time over which it is done. Speed learning does not always result in the most successful outcome in the long term. I don't know about you guys, but I do a lot of thinking/planning/studying/analysis/synthesis while working out or doing other things and when I get back in front of the computer or books or with the team, I have everything all sorted out. I personally have difficulty say advancing the synthesis of my thoughts from finance class when I am crunching stuff from accounting. If I can go for a walk or run, I can review the entire finance class and let it sink in. I'm not a fan of compressed degree programs. I did both my MBA and Electrical Engineering masters degree spread out over 3 years at nite school while working full time. I still use both degrees every day at work more than 20+ years later. But you have the experience of the compressed 1 year Masters and the spread out multiple year masters while working and doing IM, so you can probably judge which one leads to a better outcome. I am biased by my path of not compressing any degree programs. On a plus note, I never lost any income while getting the degree stuff done and didn't lose any sporting life experiences either!
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