Time, Family, and Training

I just got a DM from a guy who is experiencing what it’s like to try to train and race at the same time the family and career responsibilities are increasing. Here was my response:

I can relate, Jim. Lots of athletes ask about things related to this topic. (I once had a guy tell me he had been sentenced to a 30-year mortgage and 3 kids. Seems a bit harsh but that was how he saw his life.)

When my son had his first child in his 30s I told him he was now coming into the hardest time of life for a male (it's certainly not easy for females at this stage of life either, but in a different way, usually). You are expected to be a good father - and yet you are also expected to grow your career in order to support your family. No matter which you spend more time and energy on you're wrong. I went through that myself many years ago.

From a sport perspective I think the key is goal setting. The goals must be easily within the boundaries of what you could accomplish before the family got larger. Then, assuming you don't have much time, intensity becomes the key to accomplishing those goals. So it's best to have goals that are for shorter, high-intensity races. And probably not too many of them in a season. Other than that it requires a lot of patience.

It will be a long road. But a fun time in many ways that you’ll look back on later in life with a sense of accomplishment. The bottom line is that it will get easier as the kids grow up and your career rounds into shape. Good luck!

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