Training if Your a Parent - How I do it.

author : westfried
comments : 0

Fact is, it's tough. Best bet is to do the training that you can, and let the chips fall where they may.

One trick you can try is to bike to work 1-3 days per week. This has been my secret weapon. I have a 17-mile commute, which takes me an hour by car (d*%&^&*mn traffic) or ... ta-dah!... an hour by bike. Hmmm.... let's see now. I trained for an Ironman last year with just bike commuting plus one long weekend ride. Add in some running (1 long every other week), and swimming (2 early mornings or late evenings per week), and I had a "total" workout load of 10-14 hours. But, since 6 hours were spent commuting, the impact was really 4-8, depending on the week.

Of course, you need for work to be a reasonable distance for your training, and you need your spouse/partner to do the childcare/school dropoff/pickup. Depending on schedule, you might need to get creative, like having your spouse stay late on the days that you drive (and thus do the evening pickup), etc. Bike commuting seems daunting at first (need to leave clothes at the office, find a route, etc.), but is actually quite refreshing once you get the hang of it. If you have to do the daycare runs, can you leave your car, and bike to/from work from there?

Another idea is to plan family time and training time, and accept each for what it is. When I was doing the most training, my wife was working Saturday am until 12, and again from 6-10pm. Which meant that: 1) I took care of our 2-year-old during those times; 2) we had Sunday free; 3) afternoon naps (mom and son!) meant I didn't miss much; and 4) I didn't feel guilty dropping him in her lap at 1pm. So, I did my long rides on Saturday afternoons, and we had family time on Sundays.

Then there was the day we went to the Puyallup Fair (big event hereabouts), which is conveniently 60 miles from home. So, we went to the fair together, and I biked home. Or, whenever we need car work done, I drop the car of at the garage, and bike 10 miles each way to work - takes half the time of waiting for a bus!

What about training together? My wife was training for a 1/2 IM (before getting injured), so we started to do some rides together. Short ones, I tossed on a bike trailer, and called it my "hill workout". Longer rides, we had friends babysit - we biked 10 miles with the trailer, and dropped off our son (and the trailer!). Then did a loop of whatever distance we needed, then biked home with the trailer again.

You'll be amazed at how much time you can "find", if you look beyond the standard 6am-go-workout mentality.

A HUGE key is having a supportive spouse/partner. Make it a priority to give them a huge thank you gift after your race, because they make it possible.

Good luck!
-r
Rating

Click on star to vote
7976 Total Views  |  25 Views last 30 days  |  6 Views last 7 days
date: September 11, 2004

westfried

Family (4yo, 2yo and IronBaby3 on the way!)
Triathlons - I'm hooked.
Raising $$ and awareness for Organ Donation (www.IronDonors.org)
Dogs, esp. Agility
Soccer, goalie or defense

avatarwestfried

Family (4yo, 2yo and IronBaby3 on the way!)
Triathlons - I'm hooked.
Raising $$ and awareness for Organ Donation (www.IronDonors.org)
Dogs, esp. Agility
Soccer, goalie or defense

View all 1 articles