Adjusting to having a husband training for triathlon wasn’t an easy transition at first; we had to find our rhythm. Now that we have, triathlon feels like a normal part of our lives. Our goal is always to spend as much quality time together as a family as possible so here are some things we have found that work for us.
Communicate-It’s the best thing we can do as a family to stay on the same page and make sure there are no unmet expectations for the day. We usually chat about the upcoming week to align our schedules. Then we talk each morning about what we have going on that day so that we can sync our days up to spend the most time together as a family.
Plan to be gone at the same time- If James has a long workout on the weekend then the kids and I will go for a run and then hit up the farmers market for a bit or we will go meet up at the park with friends for an hour and play while he finishes up those big training days. On weekdays, he’s usually up around 4:30am getting his workout in which has zero interference with family time.
Know why your spouse is training, it will help you be more supportive. Instead of just thinking of it as long workouts that take them away from their family find out what drives this passion. Once James started sharing with me why he loves the sport so much it made me better understand why he does it and it helped me and the kids get excited about it for him as well. I run and our kids are very active too, so we understand why he loves it.
Share about your workouts, just not too much- As a non-triathlete I have no idea what cadences and aero means, I don’t want to know the nitty gritty about workouts but I do want to know how things went that day. James is really good about sharing his workouts with me in general terms (like it was hot and my legs were tired) rather then numbers and technical terms like blah blah blah!
Nutrition- What we eat around here has changed so much over the past few years and took some time adjusting. Although we were never big on eating out, we relied on a lot of convenience food. Preparing and cooking our own food takes a lot more time but is worth the effort. We share cooking responsibility so that when one of us is cooking the other is playing with the kids and vise versa. I also spend a lot of time in the kitchen with the kids. Most days you can find us in the kitchen mixing up bars, muffins or making granola. We have found tons of recipes that we love to make from triathlon magazines and blogs and love the inspiration that comes from them which translates to healthier choices in the kitchen.
Spend family time on what’s important to make the most of it- Instead of sitting around vegging out in front of the TV in the evenings, the TV stays off and we spend time reading books, building Legos together, playing games and Barbie’s. In the summer we hang out in the front yard while the kids ride bikes and scooters until it gets dark. Once the kids go to bed, we aren’t far behind them so that we can start the day off early once again.
Set time aside for just the two of you- Marriage is beyond important, don’t treat it lightly! Make sure that your spouse knows that they are more important to you than the sport. As a stay at home mom to a 3 year old and 5 year old, I know it can be hard to get away on date nights but make it happen whenever you can! When that’s not possible at least set aside some time at home connecting and talking to each other. I cherish the quiet moments we get together to just reconnect.
These are just a few things we do to make triathlon a fun part of our lives instead of a burden on family time. It takes a lot of work at first but once you find your groove it becomes easy! It takes us to destinations we normally wouldn’t have visited, we’ve met a lot of new friends and it’s inspired me to become a better runner.