Today, my friend Lauren is sharing how her and her triathlete husband Mike manage training and their marriage. I’m always so inspired by them and I hope that you’ll enjoy her tips as much as I did! Take it away, Lauren!
How you two manage to train for races and how that effects your marriage/what you do to make it work.
Running (& later multisport) have been a key part of my relationship & marriage for as long as I can remember. My now husband invited me out to his running group before he asked me out on an actual date. He proposed to me after the 2011 Shamrock Shuffle.
We’ve been active in our relationship for as long as I can remember.
Running wasn’t that big a deal. You run, you come back. Relatively speaking, it’s not a ton of time (apart from long runs during marathon training), very complicated, or too expensive. We enjoyed the races, and in 2010 even travelled to several half marathons as weekend getaways.
But triathlon is another story. We got into duathlon (run-bike-run) and triathlon in 2011. Multisport training can be time intensive, and it can also be expensive. (For tips on how to make it cheaper, look at Kelly’s post).
It can also be stressful on a relationship. Mike & I both got started with triathlon & multisport in 2011 soon after he had proposed to me. We knew we were in our relationship for the long haul, so we work our sports around that to make it work!
Talk about what you want to do, and what you’re willing to give up.
Flexibility is key
We pick and choose which races we both will RACE at. As I’m Mike’s handler for paratriathlon, I usually am not doing that race.
For key races, we look at training schedules. When I started to look at which half ironman race to do this summer, I included the following decisions in my race selection: Mike has Paratri Nat’s in May, and might go to worlds in August or September. October is Duathlon Nationals. Since we would travel for each of these races, I knew those months would be stressful enough without having to add another weekend trip for my big goal race in. So I was looking at July for a half ironman race and that meant Racine! I take similar consideration into picking marathon events or travel events, but running races are just less logistically challenging than triathlons.
Planning Training Schedules:
On a day-to-day basis, we try to be aware of each other’s training schedules. We’ve found that checking in on our training schedule (and “life” schedules) to help with planning for our meals, social time & also some important relationship time. We’ve gotten creative with some late night ice cream dates to go out (and satisfy the sweet tooth!) when we’re too busy to do a full on dinner.
We also have gotten into informal meal planning – mostly just the chat at the beginning of the week regarding who has what key training workouts, and when each of us anticipate being home for dinner. It helps us to plan what to make, and when to use our “quick & easy” dinners.
Like any other major expense, we do consider and talk with each other about most of our triathlon purchases. Some of this is on a small level (anything you need from the swim store?) but also to involve the other person and planning around bigger purchases like a new bike.
Like any other article on relationship advice, I cannot deny that communication is key. I think we have come to more clearly state our expectations for each other around triathlon & running- not around our performance but around how we work together – so that we don’t get upset or annoyed later on.
One great example was earlier this summer when we were heading up for the Pleasant Prairie triathlon. We’d discussed when we wanted to leave home as “Lauren will go to a 10 AM appointment, then we’ll finish packing & leave.” We had a bit of a fight later on when we realized that Mike had thought that we’d be packing things into the car when I returned, and I had interpreted our conversation as “I’ll pack my bags up when I get home.” For our next road trip race, we discussed a specific time schedule as to when we’d leave and also when we would try to do different things at the race destination.
Thanks, Lauren for sharing your advice!
How do you manage your training and your relationship? Any tips for making it work?