The sports of triathlon and endurance running are a time consuming endeavor. It can be taxing on any relationship for sure, and I’d think even more so when only one side of the relationship participates.
I got into triathlon in 2000, the year before Jeanne and I got married. Like most people, I amped it up over the next 3 years. During this time, my loving wife had 2 beautiful kids and held down a full time job. I too was working a lot as I opened two restaurants in 18 months while we had a newborn and a toddler. Shit was real…
There was a time when my wife truly resented triathlon, and it was 100% my fault. It was an obsession for me, and I can say I was not the best husband and father over this time. At that time, my wife though fit, really wasn’t into triathlon or running. Things got chippy from time to time.
Fast forward to 2007 or so and Jeanne did Rocketchix. She wasn’t stoked about swimming but she really loves running and yoga/strength training so that’s what she gravitated to. In 2009 she trained for her first half marathon, I provided a plan from one of my accounts and ran the race with her, but for the most part, just did what I could to give her the time to run.
Now we are a deeply engrained endurance household. I still likely get an unfair amount of training time, to be sure, but I still work hard to help her get in whatever she is training for. It works.
In the spirit of my lists, here are the top 3-5 things you can do to have a successful endurance marriage.
1. Talk it out and plan. There is enough time, it just takes either careful planning, or adept juggling. I get up at 4 if I have something that won’t happen unless I do it at the witching hour. MEN-defer as much as you can to your wife. It’s just smart.
2. Trade off goals-I did Ironman last year, this winter Jeanne had dibs training for The Louisiana Marathon. I will train for another IM this summer.
3. Look in the mirror and repeat this back to yourself. “I AM NOT A PRO. I HAVE A FAMILY. I WILL DO WHAT I CAN TO PUT TRAINING IN AT THE LEAST 3rd PLACE OF IMPORTANCE IN MY LIFE!!!” Yes, scream it at yourself. Remember that we get to do this. We get to run and play and train. It should be fun, and even though it may feel super important to you, a weeks vacation, or your kids soccer game is more important. But also remember if you start at 4 or 5 am you can ride 80 miles and still make it to a 9:00 am game…just saying.
4. Take time to train together. I know my wife appreciates when I take time to run with her. Include your kids too. An endurance marriage can become and endurance family with a little work.
5. Have fun.