If you’re like us, as a triwife/tripartner of a triathlete, you’re spending a lot of alone time this time of year – it’s RACE SEASON. Yeah! With our triathletes working full-time during the week and often on weekends, plus having brutal training schedules, we’re left to fend for ourselves and our families.
It took a lot of adjustment and we’re still not always happy campers, but it is a fact of our lives that we have come to accept and deal with – usually anyway…They have to train for the race, especially if doing full distances, and they have to adhere to said training schedule. So, there’s not a lot of choice with this reality.
First and foremost, we held a discussion about the situation and BOTH of us made compromises. Ideally this is done before the decision is finalized to become a triathlon family, because once they’re into the sport, it’s harder to pull them back. This is especially important if you have kids and they have activities on the weekend that require parental participation. Balance and fairness are key and it’s vital that this lifestyle have some element of fun for the WHOLE family…
It was important for us to keep in mind that we can take control of the situation and choose how we react, as with most things in life. It’s up to you, too. As we dealt with this issue over the years, there were options that we tried with varying degrees of success. Here ‘s what we’ve learned…
4 Ways To Handle Alone Time While Your Triathlete Trains
1. Accept your new fate and create your own “training schedule”. Many of these activities can also be done with the kids. Here are some examples:
- go play a round of golf or hit some balls at the range; play tennis; go kayaking; train for your own race
- learn something new – take a class; be it cooking, photography, french lessons, spin, or yoga
- join or create a book club or better yet, start writing your own book
- do volunteer work; so many organizations would love to have you; my favorite is to socialize a pup at my local animal shelter
- enjoy outings with your friends, whether it’s shopping, lunching, or seeing a play
- get the kids together with other tri families and have some fun – then maybe the triathletes can join you after their workout and you can have a get together at someone’s house
2. You can find a creative solution for time together – assuming that’s what you want – such as driving sag wagon on long rides or timing them at the pool; creating a water station somewhere along the run course; or designating a place to meet for a picnic after a bike ride. Just remember to bring towels, clean clothes, and some cleansing wipes! Again, this activity can be done with the kids. Maybe they could set up a lemonade stand along the run course – just make sure your athlete has a lot of loops!
3. Get the kids involved in the actual workout. Have your triathlete bike out to a state park or picnic area, pack a picnic lunch, and meet them there for a meal and some fun. You guys can take a short hike/run and then meet up for the run to the “finish line” or take a swim in the river/lake. When you’re done working out and getting your post-workout nourishment, you can all pile in the car and head home. This way everyone gets to feel a part of the training and have some fun together.
Or during the winter, set up the bike or weights in an area where you can put a couch, table and chairs, and some entertainment, so that while your triathlete rides or strength trains, the kids can do homework with your triathlete’s help, everyone can watch a movie, you can just hang out as a family, or you can sit and chat and have a glass of wine.
4. Okay, this is not the option we recommend, but it might be your choice! You can whine and complain and make life unpleasant for all, which trust us, will get you no where. We tried it and as you can imagine, the result did nothing to improve the situation and probably made it worse. It’s very easy to get caught up in either the “feeling sorry for yourself “or “being angry” mode – yes, we’ve been there – but it really does nothing to make YOU feel better or change the situation. Plus, you’re into this lifestyle now, so it’s best to find real solutions.
As we said in the beginning, it took us a long time and trial and error to get to where we are now in terms of acceptance of the time commitment required of this sport and being able to discuss what is working and what is not. Just know that we’ve found it is possible to reach a compromise and there will be fat and lean years in terms of the number of races and distances that they’re going to do. And, that may well be one of the compromises…
DANA and SHERRY
HOW DO YOU HANDLE YOUR ALONE TIME AS A TRIWIFE/TRIPARTNER?
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.