The weekend’s here and you’ve got 5 hours to kill while he’s on a ride. Sound familiar? Whether the time is spent alone, with a partner of the same sex, or the opposite sex, the fact remains that a lot of time IS spent away from home, often with people who are not a part of your life. Sometimes you will know them and other times they are compartmentalized into the tri box. We’re also talking about two types of potential conflict – the time that is NOT being spent with you and if you have children, the family and the opposite sex training partner. Neither have to be an issue, but can become one if you let it. In this article, we will explore each form of potential conflict in a two part series – first addressing training schedules.
I’ve definitely seen green when it comes to my husband’s training schedule, especially when a race is in sight. Our schedule has to be totally based around HIS training program. When making any plans, I have to count backwards for how many weeks out we are from race day. This lets me know when he will be totally unavailable; when I can schedule a late afternoon or evening event; when he won’t want to do anything too active; or when we’re good to go. It takes a lot of getting used to and can foster resentment, if not addressed as a couple or family unit.
Jodi has worked out any time jealously issues by plugging herself into workouts where possible, so they can spend more time together and she can be a part of the tri time and experience. She also feels it adds to the support factor of helping her husband get ready to race at his best. For example, she will do time send-offs in the pool and drive sag wagon on long rides to provide drink and nutrition refuels and a trip home for non-out and back rides.
She will also provide mile “aid stations” in the car on his long runs, so he doesn’t have to carry hydration and nutrition with him….more like a real race situation. It’s early mornings in the bucolic back roads of their area and it is a fun peaceful time for her. She feels useful and a part of it this way. Finally, they will pick a ride destination that they both enjoy and either have a fun dinner or outing afterwards this way.
Unless, YOU take control of the situation as she has, I wish I could say you have much control. In truth, there is little you can do to change it. They have to train for the race, especially if doing full distances, and they have to adhere to a schedule. Ergo, you have now entered a new phase of your existence together, but have several choices. You can accept your new fate and create your own “training schedule” – by that I mean book club, lunches, spin class, etc.; you can whine and complain and make life unpleasant for all; you can find a creative solution for time together as Jodi has; or you can discuss the situation and BOTH of you make compromises.
Having children ups the time jealously factor in a big way, but it certainly depends on the ages. When the kids are in school, there are so many weekday evening and weekend activities that need to be attended, serious discussion has to occur and decisions made, many as a family unit. This is imperative so that everyone understands and agrees to the outcome.
To become part of the workouts and have family time together when the kids were at home, Jodi used to do this….Guy would bike out to a state park or picnic area and she and the kids would pack a picnic lunch or dinner and meet him there for a meal and some fun, like a short hike or swim in the river/lake, and then all pile in the car and head home. Or, if it was a shorter workout, they would all go to the park/rails to trails/etc., then he could take the longer or multi loop path and Jodi and the kids would do something less, then they would all meet up at the end together. This way everyone gets out and has fun together in some fashion.
Or you could do what Dana did (this works well during the winters, too)….Her husband had to take on the responsibility of getting up before the kids to work out and be back for breakfast with the family before school. His second workout was after dinner, but in the “living room”. They kept a couch in the room and the piano, so while hubby rode his bike (make sure you have a plastic mat on the floor – seriously) or strength trained, the kids were practicing piano, doing homework with hubby’s help, or just hanging out.
If you have the time, money, and space, and especially if you live in a cold climate, an option is to build a workout room and invite the training partners all over for workouts. They can keep each other company during long rides and watch the snow out the window and crave spring. You can get your cowbell out of storage and pretend you’re at a race….
I guess our basic point is that training time doesn’t always have to be apart….even if you aren’t a triathlete, you can still spend time together during workouts, if you are willing to be creative and want to spend more time together. It helps when you are involved to have less of an issue with the time spent apart AND with others, if you are there, too. Those workout buddies become your buddies…..and when other spouses and kids get involved, it becomes a real fun, extended tri family atmosphere!
What has your experience been? We’d love to hear how you handle the time away factor…..
NEXT UP: Jealousy and the training partner of the opposite sex – real or just provocative??
– THE TRIWIVESCLUB
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.