Having a family, full time job, and training year round can challenging, but if you can balance it just right, the rewards are worth it.
Not that I am an expert only having been doing this for 2 years now, but here is a list of what I have found to help fit triathlon into my life.
1 Involve your family. I think this one goes without saying. Bring your kids to the race, triathlon store, or anything they can safely do with you. I involve my daughter in everything I do, and she ended up racing in a KOS.
2 Early morning training. Not quite an early bird, but I have found that hitting the gym, path, or road before the girls get out of bed allows me to give my full attention during the day and evening to my family. I also have been able to routinely compete 2 to 3 hour workouts without effecting my work hours either.
3 Proper distance. Your life can only fit a certain amount of training, for me around 9-11 hours is all about mine can handle. This equates to a 70.3 distance. Do I want to step up to a 140.6? Sure, but only when I can fit the training into my day-to-day life.
4 Find a gym with child care. My daughter would like nothing better than to be dropped off in the child care at the local YMCA for a couple of hours while I train. I can then get my workout in or head on a ‘date’ with my wife (see point 5).
5 Take your family with you. I have run with my wife on several occasions. Sure, I don’t run with the same intensity as I would by myself, fartlek anyone?, but filling the karma pool is a great trade off.
6 Trade time with the kids. Give your significant other some time to themselves. Take your kids to the amusement park, swimming lessons, or Grandma’s house and leave them to hit the spa. When I have the chance, I let my wife sleep in.
7 Head on a vacation. After race season, take a trip. Leave the training gear at home, and use that time to recharge your batteries from a long season, and enjoy your family without thinking of the next workout.
Question: What have you done to be able to fit Triathlon into your life? More importantly, what have you done to show your family that you appreciate it?