So you want to do your first race. You’re excited because you just hit the register button and put together some sort of plan. One week into training, life happens. A parent-teacher meeting comes up and you can’t run after work. You’ve been busy the entire week and have a huge amount of chores to finish or your significant other is not going to be a happy camper. For the majority of us reading this, racing is a hobby. Still, you deserve to have that time for yourself, and there is a way to incorporate your family into training and race day.
Incorporate your Family into Training
Incorporating your family into training doesn’t have to be painful. Of course, it’s your hobby, and you do want to be able to get out to make time for yourself. There are two schools of thought for incorporating your family into training – and they go together. The first school of thought is incorporating your training around your family. The second school of thought is incorporating your family into your training. Honestly, they are not opposites, they are compliments. The two go hand-in-hand to give you the opportunity to maximize time with yourself, your family, and your training.
Incorporating your Training Around your Family
Let’s start from the bottom of the pyramid and work from there. The easiest way to incorporate your training around your family is to choose training times that don’t interfere with the day. For example, this could mean early or late starts when your spouse or kids are asleep. For someone else, this could mean getting in a quick jog during your lunch hour and having a snack. For another, this could be running before your kids come home from school. The base of the pyramid is picking the times when you are free and not seeing what you’re doing as a sacrifice of your free time but as just another fun hobby you get to focus on in that time. Remember, you get to do this and running is not work, it’s a rewarding hobby like any other hobby. Now, we move to the more creative side of the conversation.
Incorporating your Family into your Training
The other portions of the pyramid consist of ways to incorporate your family into your training. For example, maybe you have a toddler. Run with a stroller. Perhaps you have kids that are older. You can jog laps around the playground while they play. Another example of doubling up on time is taking your strength training or supplementary training and doing it indoors where you can communicate with your family if needed. Another example is getting your spouse outdoors for a walk while you do your run. No matter who you are. Lastly, get creative with your mileage. A good example of this is a person who does 3 miles in the morning, 3 miles in the afternoon during lunch, and 3 miles in the evening. Remember that no training will ever be perfect and it is better to do something than do nothing at all, even if it’s 10 minutes. No effort is wasted. Before you know it, race day is here.
Incorporate your Family into Race Day
The best way to do this is to get them involved in some way. For kids, this could be having them make a sign for mom or dad who’s doing the race. During the event, you could bring your family to the start line or expo. While you’re there, engage them in your feelings. Be honest and let them know if you’re scared, nervous, or excited. Communication and activity are the two best ways to get your family involved and excited about what you do. A race is not just your hobby that you sacrifice for, it’s something the entire family most likely worked for. Show your family the fruits of your labor and the meaning of their support. If the event is ok with it, take your family with you across the finish line. Remember, incorporating your family into the whole process from start to finish means this is not just a win for you, it’s a win for everyone. Be positive, communicate, involve your family, and go get that medal.