Save Time By Planning Ahead: Wardrobe

Check out my other time-saving posts here!

Between work and training, weekdays can be extremely busy and I need to be efficient with my time. When the alarm goes off at 4:45 am, I want to roll out of bed and head to the pool without using much time or brain power. Here’s the breakdown of how I organize my outfits and gym bags for the week.

Plan every outfit for the week ahead

My coach sends me my training plan for the week on Sunday. Once I know my schedule, I pick all my clothes and bath towels for the week and separate them by day in a cheap sweater organizer that hangs in my closet.


Here’s an example of what I would do on a day where I only have one workout. I’ll set aside jeans, underwear, a long sleeved shirt, tank top, sports bra,  running socks, running tights, and gym towel. I’ll wear the sports bra and tank top under the long sleeved shirt while I’m at work so I’ll just have to change my pants at the gym.


Here’s an example of what I might set aside for the days I have to swim before work and spin on the trainer in the evening. A swimsuit and bath towel for masters. Jeans, shirt, bra, underwear, and compression socks for work. Bike shorts, sports bra, and tri top for the evening spin session.


For the days I work out in the morning and shower in a locker room

I keep an extra set of my essential toiletries in my gym bag and shower caddy so I don’t have to worry about forgetting something at home or deal with digging through my gym bag in the middle of a shower at home.

Shower Caddy


Gym Bag

  • Shower shoes
  • Bag for dirty/wet clothes
  • Deodorant
  • Cotton swabs
  • Moisturizer
  • Body lotion
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Perfume
  • Comb
  • Hair bands and bobby pins
  • Spare pair of contact lenses
  • Extra vitamin C powder/measuring spoon/funnel


For the days I work out in the evening and shower at home

I’ll pack a smaller gym bag with my workout clothes, running shoes, gym towel, water bottle, iPod, and a resistance band.


What are your tips for saving precious time during the week?


The Junk in my Trunk

I currently reside in North San Jose, the land of huge “luxury” (ha!) apartment communities, corporate business parks, construction of the future 49ers stadium, and people that don’t know how to drive. As you can imagine, riding from my home sucks and is also really scary (Bike to Work Day reminded me why I don’t commute on my bike every other day of the year).

Ranting aside, I usually drive to my workouts and I use my car as my gear locker. I found a way to organize my Honda CR-V that works really well for me and makes good use of the goodies from past races.

Here’s a high-level look at what I keep in my trunk (I’ll go into detail later).

  • Portable water bowl for the dog
  • Mesh bag with swim gear
  • Shower caddy filled with toiletries for showering at the gym/pool
  • Shopping basket filled with reusable grocery bags
  • A large cheap fleece blanket to lay my bike on (keeps the grease off my seats)
  • Towel to cover my bike when it’s in the car
  • Towel to keep my funk off the driver’s seat post-workout
  • Bike pump
  • Mylar blanket for emergencies (saved from Big Sur Half Marathon 2012)
  • Small knapsack for shoes
  • Duffel bag for cycling gear and other random stuff


I use a knapsack (goody bag from Reservoir Triathlon 2012) to store:

  • A pair of trail running shoes
  • A pair of sandals to wear after a workout or race (or spontaneous trip to the beach)


Now I’ll go through the contents of the duffel bag (goody bag from Napa Valley Marathon 2012). You’re probably going to think I’m OCD after this, but it’s nice to be prepared for (almost) anything.IMG_1812

Clothing Accessories:

  • 3 pairs of full-fingered cycling gloves for varying degrees of cold
  • 3 pairs of fingerless cycling gloves
  • 1 pair of leg warmers
  • 2 skull caps
  • 1 pair of booties
  • 1 pair of toe warmers
  • 2 pairs of sun sleeves
  • 1 light wind jacket, folded in its storage pouch

I keep these items stored in a few plastic bags. Winter gear goes in one bag, spring/fall in another, and summer gear in the other bag. After I use these items and wash them, I return them to the car on my next trip out the door.


Personal Care Items:

  • Chamois cream
  • Sunscreen (face, lip, and body)
  • Spare hair accessories (bobby pins, rubber bands, headbands)
  • Body and face wipes, to freshen up after a workout.


Bike Maintenance/Repair:

  • Lubricant (never leave home without it ;-))
  • Pre-packed flat kit, containing tire patches, 2 tubes, 2 CO2 cartridges, an inflator, tire levers, a multi-tool
  • Spare tubes
  • CO2 cartridges
  • Hand pump



  • Bike helmet
  • Sun visor
  • Sunglasses in case (not shown)


Cycling Footwear:

  • Bike shoes
  • Cleat covers
  • Extra insoles (my shoes came two pairs, one for hot weather, the other for cold)


This is how my trunk usually looks when I don’t have my bike in it. FYI the shelf came standard with my car.IMG_1809

To prepare for a ride:

1. Flatten the back seats, and spread blanketIMG_1810

2. Insert bike (no need to remove the front wheel!)IMG_1819

3. Cover bike with extra blanket and towelIMG_1820

Do you think this is extreme? What junk do you keep in your trunk?

Food Prep Friday – May 24, 2013 Edition

I am fortunate to have a job with a schedule that’s usually very flexible. I prefer to get my 40 hours in by Thursday to give myself 3-day weekends most weeks. Since my Friday workouts are usually short (1 – 2 hours), I like to take advantage of the extra free time to plan my meals and prepare my food for the week. I find this helps me eat healthier, save time, and reduce my food spending.

Throughout the week, I maintain a shopping list that I add to as things run out in my kitchen or I find new recipes to try. Sometimes I get impulsive and add items I don’t need and later cross them off. I save my grocery trip until Friday, when I receive my weekly produce delivery from Farm Fresh to You. I edit my shopping list based on the items in my box.

This week, I received:

3 fuji apples
2 Hass avocados
4 apricots
1 clamshell of blueberries
2 bell peppers
2 HUGE eggplants
1 bunch of broccoli
1 bunch of carrots


Here’s my final shopping list for the week (I know I’m a huge nerd for using engineering paper).20130524-101635.jpg

After I completed my grocery shopping extravaganza, I came home and prepared…

1.5 cups of Basil pesto.  This is great to mix in with quinoa or spread on tomato slices.


5 cups of steel-cut oats and a boat-load of quinoa.IMG_3990

5 roasted sweet potatoes for snacking.  IMG_3992My first-ever batch of homemade almond milk.  It’s so easy, I don’t know why I waited so long to try it.  Oh She Glows does a great job of breaking down the process step-by-step.  The almond pulp by-product looks like it would make a nice addition to smoothies and oatmeal.


Most importantly, I prepared fuel for my long ride tomorrow!


Usually, I would also cook a couple types of beans, but I decided against it today because I still have some chickpeas and black beans from last week.