Racing and training with a family

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by ekrasnai, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. ekrasnai

    ekrasnai New Member

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    I am looking for guidance on how to maintain racing and training with a wife and kids.

    I am a cat 2 that relocated at the end of last summer to start a new job and my wife had twins in October! Since then I was commuting to work until it got way to cold and I was sick. Since then I have had a rash of sinus infections and my wife has lost her support for my passion to ride and race.

    So, I guess I am looking for thoughts or ideas on how people make it work. I am a cat 2 but I am 33 so I can do 30 plus races. Fitting the training in is step one but fitting in races is also a challenge. Luckally there are a lot of races local to me but I knw my wife hates the time away.

    any input would be great!!!!

    Thanks
     
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  2. OCRoadie

    OCRoadie New Member

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    I face the same challenge, I am a cat 5 and only race occasionally, but this is the time of year that races and cenutries etc. pop up every weekend. First of all, my wife hates my bike, the time I spend on, the money I spend on it, when I talk about it etc. I am 32 years old with 2 young boys and a career. I have found a couple of things that have helped.

    First of all, I get most of my training rides done in the early morning before work, while the family is asleep (somehow this still annoys the wife). This means getting up early and hitting the road between 4:30 - 5:30 am to get in a 1 -2 hour ride. It also means getting to bed early.

    Second, I ride a tandem with the family on Saturday mornings. Back before we had kids, we used to ride tandem a lot, recently we started riding it again with our 3 year old in a kids seat in the back. This only works for about 20-25 mile rides, and is best for recovery type rides (sometimes I ride intervals, it's great training with the extra weight, but my wife wonders why we need to be hammering).

    Last suggestion is trade some time with kids with your wife. On Sunday mornings I put in my long ride 4-5 hours, this is the one that gets to her the most. I usually try to offer to take the kids, while her and a girlfriend go to a movie or something. I also take care of the kids on weeknights sometimes while she goes to gym or does whatever. Getting your family involved is great, if you enjoy centuries, find one and make a weekend out of it.

    Be fair to your wife and family. It's a hard balance and you'll probably need to compromise. It's so easy to become over-focused and selfish with our time. I still have to remind myself all the time that my family is much more important than cycling. I still manage to put in 150-200 miles per week, probably not enough to stay competitve as a Cat 2, but maybe some of this will help. Someday will all be racing masters 50+ while are kids are at college and we can be as selfish as we want:)
     
  3. AdamW

    AdamW New Member

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    Don't forget to also set up time for "dates". Find a sitter, make all the arrangements, show her that she hasn't slipped to priority #3 behind the bike and the kids. I always have to remind myself of that one. I race sport class, only when I can. Kids are 3 and 5. Personally, my fitness level took a dive after the first born whatwith dealing with everything new. It wasn't until my oldest was two that we figured out a new balance.
     
  4. stuart smith

    stuart smith New Member

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    Doesnt all this sound familiar :) I race B grade in Aus (not sure what cat that would be?) I have two girls(5&8) and my wife is a full time student who hates my bike!!! I get up at 5.00am and ride till 6.30-7.00am. I then help out by making lunches etc (including my wifes) and getting breakfast before we all race out the door. I use an ergo at night twice a week. I come home, play with the kids eat dinner etc, put the kids to bed. By this time its usually 8.00pm and i do an hour on the ergo. Sundays i start ride at six and do 4-5hrs. Come home and take the kids off her hands for the rest of the day. This works really well for me. I dont race every weekend but did some bargaining and do one big race a month. During the crit season i race every week as its on the way home from work. Like the others said, its really important to make time for just the two of you on a regular basis. Hope this helps. Remember its not how much time you spend on the bike but the quality. Intensity rules!!!!

    Cheers
     
  5. Blimp

    Blimp New Member

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    Get a new wife.
     
  6. Phreakbat

    Phreakbat New Member

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    A less radical would be to use an indoor trainer for getting time in the saddle during the week. Making use of a good cycling DVD training aid designed for indoor trainers makes it more interesting as well - this is the best way of keeping both parties happy - you are staying at home and training when you get a quiet hour or two and only going out on the weekends.:)
     
  7. TrekCyclerChic

    TrekCyclerChic New Member

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    A friend and I have been having this conversation for a while. All of his friends have gotten married and basically stopped riding. It's appalling to me. I wouldn't date anyone who didn't love me riding. And the guys are right, as long as you try to spend quality time with you family to offset the amount of time you spend away from them on your bike, I don't see the problem. It kind of bums me out that women get mad because their husband has a passion and is trying to stay active and enjoy cycling. I don't know that "getting a new wife" is exactly the right decision, but to the single ones, think twice before marriage to someone who isn't fully behind your biking. Even if she says she is know, women are stupid (i should know i am one) and will change their minds when what they want changes. (ie it's fine now, because you don't have a family, but once you are married with kids, she wants to sell the bike or store it in the attic.)

    Good luck.

    Diana
     
  8. jhodder

    jhodder New Member

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    OCRoadie nailed it.

    I'm trying to balance the same thing, though my wife seems to be more supportive than some of you other guys. She realizes that my rides are necessary "zen" time that enables me to fully dedicate myself emotionally to the kids and makes my time with my family that much better.

    In addition to 1.5 hour road/trainer sessions at 5:30am before work, I manage to squeeze in a shorter 2 hour ride before they wake up on Saturdays followed by a long 4 hour ride on Sunday (the only day I take myself away from them specifically for riding).

    One thing that helps me deal with my tough schedule is to remind myself that the hours are a choice that I am making for myself. I could easily ride after work and force my kids to adjust to daddy not being home for dinner 3-4 times per week, but that's not the type of dad I want to be.

    I guarantee that, if you continue to view the challenges to your riding time as something imposed on you by either your wife or kids, your fristration and anger will grow and manifest itself in other ways. (I have a plethora of shrinks in my wife's side of the family).

    The hardest part for me, so far, is the fact that I do so much of my riding on my own. Riding solo is cool, but it gets old after a while. All of my cycling friends either don't have kids, or are able to get away with a clear conscience for longer periods after work and on the weekend.

    I constantly have to fight the "lets roll at 10" on weekends and have yet to get any of them out for 7:00am starts.

    I joined a local group of racers for Sunday rides, but have yet to find a group I can ride with on saturdays or during the week.
     
  9. krasnai

    krasnai New Member

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    Thanks for all the input. My next questions in how do you all fit the racing in. Being a cat 2 I am used to racing alot(every weekend) but the schedule will not allow that anymore. I am planning on doing more 30 plus racing now but I guess my question would be how do you take a step back and reduce the amount of racing but stay race fit.

    thanks again





     
  10. BlueJersey

    BlueJersey New Member

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    That's so right. What if your identity is solely defined by your cycling passion? Your job only pays the bills. It is cycling and racing that define who you are. I am still single and have no intention to date anyone or getting married soon. :)

     
  11. TrekCyclerChic

    TrekCyclerChic New Member

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    You have a really good point. Biking is a huge thing for me and my ex hated the amount of time I spent riding. I live about half an hour away, so we don't see each other every day, but biking is more important to me than any job or college or any other hobby. We are no longer together. it was more complicated than biking, but that itself did spur a lot of arguments. He was SO jealous of my biking buddies and that I would spend so much time with them. I told him he can get a road bike and share it with me, or he can find his own hobby to occupy his time, but me biking won't change.
    D
     
  12. oznicki

    oznicki New Member

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    This has been said before on more than one forum. Involve the family.You think your life has changed? Try giving birth and having a couple of small humans living off your body.

    As one who did just this, I have just in the last got back on my bike (and bought a new one) six years after having my first child (I raced until I found out I was pregnant). Prior to this, my husband and I trained and raced together, so I know what you feel you are missing out on. Training in a bunch also gives you an opportunity to meet new people if you've moved. But it means that you are socialising with a whole different crowd to your wife's new network.

    It is hard and it is a big lifestyle change, but you must have had some part in the whole kids decision in the first place (don't whinge about it now). It does get easier as they get older, but in the meantime, your wife is (rightly) going to object to you spending half a weekend with your other love, especially if she doesn't get time off.
     
  13. park

    park New Member

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    My brother rises at 4 am everyday to train for triathlons. He puts the kids to bed and then retires himself. With the exception of events on either Saturday or Sunday, his family isn't even aware that he is away. He also does the laundry, the dishes and keeps the house neat. Bastard. I can't get up that early and I can't bring myself to pitch in as much as he does. Things weren't so bad for me until my wife took notice of my brother's regimen. It isn't easy but for the disciplined his approach can work.
     
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