Having a triathlete in your life can be a real strain on personal and family relationships. So much time is spent on training, races, keeping equipment up, and thinking about not just this season, but next season, too…because, of course, you have to register for races a year ahead of time. All of this activity doesn’t leave a lot of quality time for you and the kids. And as the season becomes more and more involved, so does the time required for all things triathlon.
And guess what? That leaves YOU trying to get your workouts in, taking care of the kids, the house, the meals…Everything becomes a chore and as a triathlon families, we can become more and more frustrated. The weekend seems to be worst time and it doesn’t matter if it is a race weekend or not. So, is there a way to save your weekends and savor some time together? We think so.,.
5 Tips for Triathlon Families To Save and Savor the Weekend
No workouts on Friday nights.
Friday nights are date nights or for family time. When the kids were young and still living at home, they knew as well as their father, the triathlete, that Friday nights were our family time. Period. It was a sacred time that no one was allowed to ruin. It did not matter what we did as long as we were all together. We are firm believers that triathlons can actually make you better parents and don’t have to be detrimental to family dynamics. But it takes work.
Now that the kids are grown and off on their own, the rule still sticks for just the two of us. When we both get home, we head out to dinner and chill. We keep Friday as a skip night, so that means a cocktail and dessert may be had.
Schedule long workouts around weekend happenings.
We all know that the weekend means that there will be a half marathon, a century ride, or a brick. Look at the training schedule and look at the family calendar and other tasks at hand and schedule the workouts in between. Do this early in the week so that everyone in the triathlon home has their expectations in line.
Take down time.
Do not try to do it all. Plan what you have to and have a running to do list. We also keep a wish list for things we want to do. Often, these get accomplished the week after a race when the training schedule is lighter or after the last race. But, taking down time is often more important than the tasks that have to get done. The triathlon schedule and life is hard enough. You have to remember your sanity and well-being is more important. Our friends and family get that during race season and are okay when we say no to invites.
We cannot stress this enough. Do not get carried away on the weekend. Be smart. Enjoy yourself, but not too much. It becomes very easy when relaxing to overindulge. But throwing your food off can make you feel bad, make you sleep more, and worst of all, be grumpy. Not only won’t you feel well the next day and may have gut issues, but this can lead to wasted family time. And isn’t having family time exactly the goal you’re shooting for.
Think about what you partake in during your training and adjust for your weekend indulgences. Do not let a few beers and a bag of chips, “because it is the weekend” destroy your weekend plans with the family.
This is for both when you are at the races and at home. If you are traveling to a race, do not make the weekend all about the race. Plan some fun activities and explore the area you are in. Hike, go to a museum, or just hang out by the pool. Life is not just about the race itself. Life should also be about the experience of the race. And for all you triathletes out there remember…if your family is happy and having fun, they will be much more willing to put up with everything else…