This week, on Tri Talk Tuesday, Courtney, Miranda, and Cynthia have selected the theme: “Training/life balance”. This is something I am constantly working on, as I’m sure most runners/triathletes are. For me, you might think it is easy to maintain balance because we have no children yet. I agree, it must be incredibly difficult to maintain balance between your training and life when you have children, but it’s also difficult when you have a husband. Either way, you have to work hard to maintain a balance and make sure that your relationships are healthy, AND that your workouts are getting done. Here are some things that I do to try and maintain that balance.
1) I try and include my husband in my workouts. John LOVES numbers and analysis. Because of this, he offered to be my coach when I started triathlons. This has resulted in it’s own challenges (see my post from yesterday) , but overall, it’s been great because we get to spend a ton of time together that we wouldn’t have if he had no interest in my training. Along with coaching me, he has also decided to do a few races with me this year! Because of this, he does a few workouts with me a week as well. I know not every couple is like this–everyone has their own interests. BUT, it’s nice when you can do something with your partner that they like to do
2) I do a TON more workouts than my husband does because I have different race goals, so the ones he doesn’t want to do with me, I try and get done either when he’s at work, or when he’s sleeping. I only work 10 months out of the year. When I am working, I get up at 6am to get my workouts in while John sleeps until it’s time for him to go to work. This makes it so we get to spend all of our evenings together (granted a few of those evenings are spent together at the pool) Now that I’m on summer break from my job, I sleep in with John, and do my workouts after he’s left for work.
3) I try and keep up with the housework during the week, so that on the weekends after my workouts, we can spend more time together. Yes, this is VERY challenging during the year when I’m working, but I try and throw in a load of laundry in the evening or clean while John is doing computer work. This way, when he’s free, I’m not stuck doing chores. This is really easy during the summer. I can literally do all my workouts, AND housework, AND yard work while he’s at work. I even mow the lawn for him all summer.
4) Compromise and communication. John and I talked about the decision to go in to competitive triathlon training in detail before we jumped in. We both agreed to it, and he fully supported the decision. He also has compromised a ton by taking work off for my races, driving me to all of my events, AND cheering for me at every race no matter how horrible the conditions or how long the race! This part of “maintaining balance” is all due to him. I know it’s hard for wives or husbands who have a spouse who doesn’t enjoy watching a race for hours on end in the rain. But I’m glad mine does
5) When you don’t have time for both, choose life. This is hard, but it must be done if you’re to have a healthy relationship with your spouse, family, or whoever you spend your life with. If we are crunched for time, or I know John would want me to do something with him, I have to be willing to sacrifice a workout that day. Many times, I’ve shifted my training plan around so that I have a recovery day on a day that he’s home, ect. It is possible, and it won’t hurt your training in the end. It’s more important for you to have days where all you have to do is spend time with each other!
Do you struggle to maintain balance between your training and your family?
What do you do to help keep the balance?