When it comes to training for a race, regardless of distance, one thing always seems to get in the way – life. We have family, friends, co-workers and folks online ask us how we find time to do our training. The answer is by being flexible!
We like to consider ourselves a normal family, although the definition of normal may have to be adjusted a wee bit. 🙂 We have one child in school, one learning to walk, two dogs, two cats, one house, two cars, etc.. Keeping everyone alive and everything else in working order can be a downright miracle on a good day.
Although Jen enjoys being a stay at home mom, her day is anything but easy and laid back. With me working rotating 10-hour shifts with an hour and half commuting time total, I’m more absent from home than present. So how do we manage?
1. Have a plan – A detailed plan on when things will get accomplished is key. We have had many a conversation planning our back to back long runs and who will go first, how long each will take, etc. both of our training plans are taped to the fridge so we have reference to what each of us has to do on any given day. We also keep a written calendar with other commitments and appointments so nothing is forgotten (most of the time).
2. Improvise – We’ve become better at this since having children. It’s a useful skill to have when training. Did your brand new treadmill break after only one month? Go to the gym on a day pass. I recently traveled for three straight weeks and ran into my fair share of problems. But I did my best with the situation and didn’t miss any runs. Winter in New York can also throw a wrench in plans so flexibility within a training plan is important too. There are many weeks where days get switched and shuffled around to make it all work.
3. Be positive – This might sound silly but the logic is simple. If you are positive about roadblocks or hiccups encountered throughout your day, you’re more likely to see a solution and be able to overcome them.
4. Share responsibilities – Is it her night to cook, but she has to go run 6 miles before dark? I guess you’re cooking then! Did you miss your run so you could shovel the driveway for two hours? Go buy a snowblower! (just kidding…kinda) The point is, in all relationships, we settle into our “roles” around the house. Sometimes we need to help our partner out.
I learned last year that training for a big goal race is challenging. Now we’re both training and both have big goals so that makes it twice as challenging. Our training wouldn’t happen if we each weren’t supportive of the others goals. Of course there are days when the wheels fall off but we’re able to pick up where we left off the next day.