Amy Catlin, 31, New York City
Working long hours on million-dollar deals on Wall Street doesn’t exactly encourage work-life balance. But Catlin, originally from Connecticut, has managed to get exceptionally fit between market hours. It didn’t come easily. During her first year in Manhattan, in 2003, she didn’t work out at all. But listlessness gave way to restlessness, and in 2008 she ran the New York City Marathon. The next year she entered her first triathlon. What began as the occasional ski trip out west became a winter weekend routine: she flies Friday red-eyes to Salt Lake City or Jackson, Wyoming, and returns on Sunday nights. (She has racked up 20-plus ski days a year since 2010.) In 2011, she completed the Florida Ironman in 10:49:10 and won her age group in the New York City Triathlon, an Olympic-distance race. And she did both while logging an average 60 hours a week at work. “When you have a lot going on, you’re forced to be efficient,” Catlin says.
FIRST, SET UP A ROUTINE: “Trading-floor hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., which means I need to fit in workouts before or after that. That makes things simpler. I swim Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 5:45. On Tuesday and Thursday I bike in Central Park, getting in four or five loops before work. When I was training for the Ironman, I ran at night and did longer rides on the weekend.”
THEN LEARN TO IMPROVISE: “Last summer I was in six weddings, but I found ways to schedule training. I’d bring my bike for a Saturday ride, then on Sunday I’d do a run. I was usually tired, but my mentality was, you’re never going to feel fresh during the run in a triathlon. Deal with it. Of course, sometimes there’s literally no time for a workout, but recovery is just as important as training, so those become my rest days.”
JOIN A TEAM: “I train with a team called Full Throttle Endurance. If everyone is expecting to see you at the pool, it’s easier to get out of bed. With biking you can organize a paceline, which makes it more fun. Plus, most of the people in your life won’t be able to relate to your struggles. Your team can, and that’s reassuring.”
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN: “Friends make fun of me because I have the next six months’ worth of weekends blocked out in my calendar. But if you plan in advance, you can get flights for significantly cheaper, and then you have a fun weekend of skiing or racing to look forward to.”
DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP: “If you try to make up every workout you miss, you’re going to become overwhelmed. When work gets in the way or a dinner is scheduled that you can’t miss, just move on. That will keep you sane.”