The key to making the most of a tight schedule is to minimize time wasting and maximize training time. A few tips I find helpful when I need a quality workout, quickly:
1. Have training clothes in the car and go straight from work to the pool, track or trails. If I make a “quick stop” at home to change I always manage to lose 20–30 minutes to the couch/fridge/Facebook.
2. Work out first thing in the morning. Putting it off until later in the day guarantees that something more important will come up or fatigue will win out.
3. Plan to meet a training group or anal-retentive friend for a workout. A set time creates a deadline to get out the door and a scheduled workout means you are less likely to let other things take over your training time. An unforgiving training partner means you won’t dare be late.
4. Brick workouts are effective to combine two sports in one session, and they don’t have to be monster workouts. Instead of spinning down after a ride, finish your intervals at your door and grab some running shoes to cool down for 20 minutes on the run instead.
5. Chlorine and/or handy wipes = shower in a pinch. This can cut at least 10 minutes off your morning routine. Done occasionally, no one will notice.
6. Move near the pool/trails/track to cut down on the commute.
7. Quit your job.