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Family, Wellness

TWP: Training While Parenting

I recently trained and competed in my first ever half IRONMAN, followed shortly by my first ever full marathon. The races were both grueling in their own ways, but similar to childbirth (from what I’ve heard), you forget about all the pain once you see that baby, or in this case, the finish line.

What was the hardest part of each race? Shockingly enough, the races themselves didn’t really have a “hardest part.” Yes, there were moments where I wondered why the hell I was doing this to myself, but the months of intense training leading up to each was definitely the biggest challenge. And, even harder still, was finding time and the right way to balance heavy training with life’s many other obligations: wife, kids, job, personal hygiene, etc.

I identify so much of myself as Ravelle’s husband, as Logan + Rhyan’s dad, as a business professional, and also as an athlete. But, to say I was able to play all four of these roles with 100% of my energy at the same time would be complete and utter fiction. If I ever crack that code, I’ll for sure let you know my secret equation, but until then, let me take you through how I was able to fudge it just a bit.

 

  1. Talk with your Partner about Expectations: This is listed first for a reason. It’s easy to get excited and carried away about the idea of training for a race or some sort of competition, but you have to level set what that means for your spouse/partner. You’ll need Saturday mornings for your longer runs for example, so your partner is going to have to be on kid duty for 2-3 hours without you, which is an adjustment when you’re used to spending that time together. Or, that time where you usually spend eating breakfast in the morning before work, might now be when you do your strength training and you may not be as present. Whatever schedule you decide, make sure that your better half is on board with the added responsibility, and make sure also to thank them EVERY DAY for his/her support.

 

  1. Sign up for a Destination Race: Not only is a race in a fun location a treat for you, but since you know your family will be there to cheer you on, it’s a built in vacation if you extend your stay a few days post-race. My half IRONMAN was in San Diego and my marathon was in New York two places where my little family of four could make some lasting memories far and above the races they were there to witness.

 

  1. Plan to Deviate from your Plan: My kids go to sleep and eat at the same time every single day. They’re also always well-behaved and — yeah, I can’t even finish that sentence. None of this is true, and those factors can wreak havoc on your training schedule. It’s so great to plan what you want to do every day of the week, but being nimble when life gets in the way will help you be successful in the long run. So, when your son is up all night screaming because he’s teething and that wrecks your 5:00am morning run, postpone it until later in the day, or cancel it altogether. One single day of training is not going to make or break you.

Shatter Ceilings — Don't Live Under Them 🆙👊🏾 early #mondaymotivation #qotd

A photo posted by Myles Worthington (@mylestw) on

 

  1. Incorporate your Family into your Training: Time spent training is pretty extensive. So, include the family when you can. A quality jogging stroller is such a solid investment and it allows you to run as a family. I want to raise our kids to see mom and dad as active people, and hope that from our example they can in turn learn to be active themselves. Side note: Ravelle and I definitely binge watched the latest season of Orange is the New Black while I was cycling on the indoor trainer highly recommended.

 

  1. Invest in a Headlamp: With young kids, you’ll be training in the dark, there’s no escaping that. I’ve started runs as early as 4am and as late as 9pm. It’s hard to force yourself to do anything that physically demanding during those odd hours, but embrace it, and do so safely. I invested in a running headlamp (Black Diamond Sprinter) for such occasions, and it made those pitch black jaunts a lot brighter.

 

  1. Give Yourself a Break: This is a big one, and one I personally struggled with. I felt so guilty for skipping a workout or for not giving my all because I couldn’t get enough sleep the night before. But my wife said it beautifully: “give yourself a break.” I’m not generally good at that, but in this instance, I heeded her advice. Put things in perspective, and realize that as a parent you’re already juggling so many things, and add training for a big race to the mix, you’re bound to fail every now and then. Once you accept that, and don’t let those feelings derail you from the bigger picture, you’ll find success.

 

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By Myles, December 28, 2016
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College sweethearts turned husband + wife (with 2 kiddos under 2) from New York City, then Phoenix, but now calling Los Angeles home. Cruise along with our family of four as we set out on a never-ending quest to be happy, healthy + well-fed.
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