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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you get your endurance training in and still be the good spouse/partner, the good father (or mother), and successful at your job?

I know some of us are passionate enough to do some quirky things...so lets hear them. ;)

This is a spin off from the lifting thread..
 

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Good question. I had a buddy who trained for years for Kona and finally gave it up because it was basically ruining the rest of his life (job, family, etc.). Pick and choose your battles, do everything in moderation, and keep the important things in perspective.

So basically, I don't know the answer...
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Success

One of my buddies is a very successful endurance junkie. He manages 10-12 hours a week before his wife, twins, and 3rd kid even get up in the AM. Those 10-12 are enough to be extrememly competitive.

I'm trying to follow his mold doing my riding off hours as much as possible. I have a 3 month old, 5 year old, wife and stressful job. I think the biggest key is not giving my wife any argument when she asks me to skip a race or a workout. As long as she knows I'm flexible and willing to sacrifice, she will do the same in return. I have also been alternating seasons where I do some races that require time and travel, followed by a season that is local and not-time consuming. She has been wonderful and very fair so far. I just have to remember to give her alone time and support when she needs it.

I get from 8 to 10 hours a week split between 2 night rides a week on the MTB and Cross Bike, road bike rides in the early AM on the weekends, and a few trainer sessions in the AM before work. I don't find a lack training hours to be a limiter for me. I don't beleive you need 15 hours a week to be competitive in the amatuer ranks. My biggest challenge is lack of sleep with the little ones and my insomniac wife, and the armor plated baby germs that are brought home from Pre-school. Last season I was sick once a month....horrible.
 

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In the rear with the beer
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I've been wondering this question. I'm engaged, so my lady doesn't hassle me too much yet, but by the end of summer when we "close the deal", the leash may get tighter. We agree that I'm gonna shoot for Leadville in 2010, then that my end my endurance career since we'll likely have a kid shortly thereafter. She also said she wants to try for Kona AFTER having a kid which will likely mean I then need to be home more to watch the kid. So i'd really like to hear how guys get it all in. Im in base training now...12-16 hours per week and I feel guilty about not spending enough time with my dog right now...let alone a kid.
 

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no wife / kids but I'm a full time student / full time job, I'm a systems admin not flipping burgers or something simple either. typically mwf I leave around 6:30a and don't get home until 8pmish. T/Th is like 7a to 7p so I don't ride M-Th anymore.. typically do a 1.5 hour road ride friday afternoon then a 3 - 7 hour MTB ride on Saturday and another road ride of 2 - 4 hours Sunday. I ride SS exclusively on the MTB and I'm not at all competitive.. :thumbsup:

Some weeks I'm lucky getting 4 hours in though.
 

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SurfSailRide - man, your first post cracked me up... I was curious to see what people had to say in this one... 8 Years ago I was an overweight mess... I flipped a switch for a number of reasons and started riding my ass off (literally) for the next 8 months and put myself somewhere I never thought I could... During it I almost lost my wife and half my friends because I zoned out so much on the task at hand... It certainly is a juggling act... I'm not quite the rider I used to be, but I'm now happily married and to the same girl I pissed off years ago!!! :) Luckily my wife is super cool with what I do and doesn't bit$h or nag when I'm out riding and as of now, no kids but that will change soon... And yes, I have to agree with SurfSailRide I too don't know the answer... :)
 

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to be taken with a grain of salt...

Early AM... Someone over on Slowtwitch posted "nobody misses you before 7 am"...
Make sure your kids and wife know you care about them. Sounds basic, but is it?
As far as work... I keep my "other life" as private as possible. Unfortunately, some of my co-workers/supervisors wouldn't appreciate the energy I spend before I even get in to work.
Thanks for starting this thread.
 

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used2Bhard said:
My biggest challenge is lack of sleep with the little ones and my insomniac wife, and the armor plated baby germs that are brought home from Pre-school. Last season I was sick once a month....horrible.
This is the hardest part for me too - with 1.5 and 3 yo I'm either tired as hell all the time or sick..I was sick once a month for most of the fall and it's all pre-school germs!
 

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I have three kids, a wife, and work full time.

My answer to the question was to change the event to meet my training schedule rather than change my training to meet the events. I train and peak for events in the early spring and don't even try to compete in the summer.

In the winter I train on an indoor trainer after the kids are in bed for 1-2 hours a night. This is about the upper limit of how much time I can spend on a trainer before going bonkers. I watch movies with my wife while I ride. Then, as spring approaches, I begin to ride outside on the weekends and get a few long rides in on Saturdays and Sundays. By the time early spring hits I am in as good or better shape than most competitors and I can do a good job in early season races.

Later in the summer 1-2 hours a night on an indoor trainer isn't enough to compete with people who ride 3-4 hours an evening. So as they are starting to peak I get left in the dust. When this starts to happen I simply stop competing, because otherwise I hate the fact that I limit my training and start to resent the wife and kids. When you see the competition pull away and you are redlined, it isn't a good thing to tell yourself "I would be up there at the front if it weren't for my family".

At one point I almost quit competing altogether because I was so torn between wanting to do well at races and being a decent father. But by making "A" races out of what others make "C" races I can find the right life-work-play balance.
 

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Define success on your own terms (it may not be 1st place or even top 10) and set your priorities. Mine our family, riding then work, though I still work 50-55+ hours a week. So how do you get it all in?

Train early and whenever possible. I ride early 4:00am for 1.5 hours, help get the family out the door and ride to work. Work all day and ride home. The extra 1-1.5 hours of training from commuting (depending how early I can leave work) make a huge difference. On the weekends ride early. Today I was out the door right at 7 am in 20 degree temps to get in a 4 hour ride. By getting home at 11 there was still plenty of family time and chore time. It is tough, but if you want to ride long and fast those are some of the choices you have to make.
 

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WOW!! You took me back in time to '82 to '87. I made up my mind to go to the Ironman, in '82 and trained till i did go in '87 and did finish; (hence the pen name). It is not easy to do, to train for real long events and have a real job, wife, 3 kids, house, etc. For me there was very little balance it was training all the time it seemed. My family was very supportive but it did take a toll on them. I did take my family to events and try to make it a "family" thing, but I was obssesed. They did miss out on not having me there, a lot.
I had trained for a couple of marathons and thought that took a lot of time.........marathons were almost nothing compared to the ironman!!!! LOL LOL!
I was able some days to blend the training into my day. For example, tuesdays were long days. Rode in carpool to work and took my bike. Ran 6 @ lunch, rode home 25, went to pool to swim with a Masters Group, then to gym for stretching/ light lifting, sit-ups, etc. etc got home @ 10pm.
Weekends (when not racing); one day had a real long run the other a long ride.
It was tough. I look back and really don't know how i did it. A lot of things "slid' at times, like yard work, car oilchanges, tune-ups, work around the house, etc.
I can only make suggestions, based on hindsight. try to incorporate your family into it. Explain what/why/how much time it will take etc to get their support, understanding and support. I did take the time to take with my wife to spend time with her.
it is not easy, I wish you well.
What long endurance race/races you training for?
 

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Bicycle commuting, and getting creative with routes to get the miles in. Also night rides after the kids are in bed on days I can't normally ride. Riding with kids and dog when my wife wants to do something solo. If the family wants to go somewhere (Grandma's house), give them a backpack with clothes, shoes, towel, etc) and get on my bike and meet them there. Lunch rides. I also do some running in the spring fall and do core/yoga at the YMCA at lunchtimes.

Bike commuting is the big one. Stop driving and get your miles on the bike. Get an Xtracycle* for trips where you need to carry stuff.

Edit: I pick jobs within bike-riding distance, and we picked our house partially based on bike-commuting proximity.

Morgan

* pimping ain't easy
 

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SurfSailRide said:
Or, do what I did and buy your wife and kids really expensive bikes, and guilt them into training with you!
I was only 75% kidding about this... There is something to be said about "wanting to use something that looks cool." You have to cater to their interests. If your wife likes Tiffany's Jewelry, buy here a nice silver Gary Fisher with diamond studded tires. She'll like the bling. If your kids like Pokemon, get them Hardrocks and cover them with Pokemon stickers. If your Mother in-law likes baking and cooking, get her a Demo 8 with "hotpads" for grips and huck her off the nearest cliff. It's all about presentation. I bet I could make anyone interested in "training" with me by giving them the right piece of equipment! ;)

(Seriously, though, everything in perspective... Life is too short)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nothing in particular....really...

..... thought this would be a good thread that may end up useful for the endurace racer/rider with tips on training, organizing, what worked...didn't work on a "budgeted time" training program. And am hoping there's something others do that I also might find helpful. yeah!

It also really illustrates the passion many of us have for cycling and our families. That's a good thing!:)

For me, I have a wife that rides, and two kids 5 and 2 1/2. Funny thing though, it's only maybe once a month that my wife and I ride together... :mad:

In training for an event, like many of the other posters, my training has been commutes during the week and one long ride on the weekend. I'm lucky (or unlucky) to live 36 miles from my place of work, so a back and forth commute day is 72 miles of riding with hills. In any year, I've trained it's funny but I go back and the best results from training were the back to back to back days of that commute.

On the weekend rides, to have the least impact, I'd start two to three hours before other riding buddies(often, riding with others is a bonus), then meet them and ride. I also found that I got nothing out of any ride over 6 hours for training purposes. So with an early a.m. ride, I could be home early with the family. And I think chasing kids, after 5 or 6 hours on the bike is great cross training! LOL.

Also, if I need to focus on hills, instead of riding out hours to hills, I'll drive to the bottom of the AR Canyon in Auburn (lucky to have it)and do repeats up varying hills until my legs fall off. Ouch.... That way I can get close to 10k of climbing in as a lil time as possible.

Back when my wife was pregnant with our son, we bought a commercial level spin bike, this thing has been great ever since! After the family goes down, I can hop on it and spin for an hour to three hours depending on what it calls for.

The last thing is Spinerval videos on the spin bike. These things provide enough variations and intensity that the minutes go faster on the spin bike with less boredom. The two hour video, I think it's called No Mercy or Sufferrama, shells your legs in a good way too.

I think the biggest obstacle for me now with the kids getting older is being motivated enough after they go to bed to workout.. it can be quite easy to just lounge on the couch or surf MTBR. :D Knowing that though, I need to be diligent about commutes and lunch time workouts as well.
 

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Commuting by bike isn't really an option for me since I'm a cop with a take-home police car. Getting up early and getting a ride in is tough too. I have to be in briefing/roll call at 0600, so I usually get up around 0500. We work 11.5 hour days. So my day unofficially begins at 0500 and runs til 1730 (5:30pm). We don't have kids yet, but we're talking about starting a family soon. I'm interested if anyone has any suggestions for my situation. If I can make it out of patrol operations before we start the family, things might be easier. But I've been doing this for 9 years, and getting a detective slot is never a guarantee.

Most of the guys I know that have families and still race competitively usually go for the early morning spin, trainer rides, and the long rides on the weekends. Unfortunately for cyclists/mountain bikers, a long ride can be 6 hours. For runners, a long run might only be 90 minutes. So we're definitely at a disadvantage.
 

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Skeletor said:
I'm a cop with a take-home police car. But I've been doing this for 9 years, and getting a detective slot is never a guarantee.
No really hints to make training fit in better, but you are doing a more important job then most (if not all) of us replying. If cycling is your love maybe another kind of race, cyclo-cross runs 45 minutes so the long training rides can be 2 hours (and shorter if you want), plus cross is fun.
 

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Night training

I also did a lot of night training.. Ran @ night sometimes my long runs. When I started mtnbiking, got a cheapo light and rode @ night. Eventually got a Niterider that worked great for me!! Could ride longer with a far better light!! Anyway that worked for me. I wish all of you out there good training!!:thumbsup:
 

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Skeletor said:
Commuting by bike isn't really an option for me since I'm a cop with a take-home police car.
I've gotta say it; endurance racing might be fun for you, but you just don't have the training time for it! Focus on short, hard rides when you can get them, no wasted time on the bike, and then one long ride on the weekends.

A one-time consultation with Lynda Wallenfels over the phone might do wonders for you. She's a really good endurance mtb racing coach, posts on here (Lyndaw) and she helped me a lot last year with my training for TransRockies. I bet she could give you some really good advice.

Most important thing besides fitness is a good attitude, when it comes to endurance racing. Sounds to me like you've got the right attitude. Don't give up.

Make every minute count on the bike. Learn what wasted time looks like on a hr monitor and avoid it, that is, except for when you're just getting out to enjoy the bike. Keep it balanced.

Morgan
 

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Married with a 1 and a half year old. Stay at home dad. My wife is a University Women's VBall coach so from Sept till about March hours can be screwy.

Do the commuting of course to my casual job. But aside from that have been doing about an hour a day of specific training. A lot end up at night as that works for certain day's the best. The other thing I do to get more time is riding to the school while Joely drives in with Gabby, then drive home. Do the reverse when I pick her up. Sure it's only 20-30 minutes but in the end it's all about time on the bike.

Whe it comes to the hour ride during the week try to be more intense. This year have 2 rides a week where I make it more a Cross type session. get a hard work out i a shorter period of time.

Other thing I started doing was what I will call the Karnazes approach. When we travel say to Toronto, at a certain point say about an hour out by bike the wife will drop me off and I'll ride in. Or when we leave I may do similar. That way I can still et in training while stil being around the family.
 
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