Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Prev Next
Young kids and I'm gassed
Quote | Reply
Two kids under 3, youngest 4 months, and I'm just gassed...I get a bit of exercise here and there--20 min run, 30 min on the trainer, swim once every other week but not much...my job is busy (sub-specialty doc), but not as bad as some of my surgeon friends.

Any of you parents out there actually train on limited sleep or just half-ass it until they get a bit older? I'm cool with taking what I can get, family always comes first, but I hear these stories of people back into training and racing with new babies, and I don't know how that's possible!
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
kittenmittons wrote:
Two kids under 3, youngest 4 months, and I'm just gassed...I get a bit of exercise here and there--20 min run, 30 min on the trainer, swim once every other week but not much...my job is busy (sub-specialty doc), but not as bad as some of my surgeon friends.

Any of you parents out there actually train on limited sleep or just half-ass it until they get a bit older? I'm cool with taking what I can get, family always comes first, but I hear these stories of people back into training and racing with new babies, and I don't know how that's possible!

No, it's not you. In the same boat here. I've found that I can keep my running fitness in good shape and/or improve, but I doubt I could do multisport at a high level. I'm doing about 60~80min per day of running with a 1 and 3yr old. Most of it is at lunch, however. If I couldn't run at lunch, not sure I'd run at all.. I like to sleep in (to a whole 5:30am when they wake up) and I'm too worn out at night. I'm really banking on the dynamic changing in a few years and getting a small bit of life zapped back into me.

My wife and I traded off when we had one kid and could train at a high level then, but with two.. it's five times harder it seems. People on Instagram who have five kids and are magically training 15 hours a week.. yeah, sure. I'm sure some people can do it, but I would feel pretty guilty being away from my kids all that time, and/or leaving all that work with my wife.
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [phoenixR34] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Don't worry, it gets easier, and you get much better at it. Just chill. Run when you can, bike and swim when you can. An IM is probably not gonna happen for a while but you have a lot of time.
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [phoenixR34] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
haha yeah 15 hrs/wk...more like 3 hrs/wk. I can't train at lunch with my job, and getting up any earlier is not in the cards. At least not until the youngest starts sleeping through the night. Maybe all these Instagram fitness/tri people have easy/no jobs, 24/7 child care...or more likely are full of sh#t :)
Last edited by: kittenmittons: Jun 17, 19 12:26
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Haha yeh, I went from 20hours a week and 9hour IM to barely a few hours a week training and could barely run down the street a year later. Wife keeps telling me to go out and train, but after being woken 3 times a night I can’t be arsed!
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
No problem,just turn Pro and be like Radka....:-)

https://www.humaninterestgroup.org/...-athlete-of-the-year
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Not just you. Been there, and am still there. Just as my oldest is getting faster than me and a lot of fun to train with we took on a couple of young foster kids. So until the situation with the foster kids is resolved multi-sport is off the table.

For me that meant concentrating on cycling and dabbling in running. Swimming will have to wait.


The jogging stroller works wonders. And once the oldest is able to bike along while you run you can cover a lot of ground. We used to set up the high chair next to the trainer and stuff cherrios in their mouths while we spin.
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
You didn't know this before you decided to have kids?
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [triathlete37] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
triathlete37 wrote:
You didn't know this before you decided to have kids?

How would you know this until you had kids?
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I remember laying in bed listening to that little baby scream and threatening each other not to go get them until they had cried for a solid hour. That was torture for us but both our kids slept through the night (ish) by 3 months. I'm no expert, just a story about my kids and my hard hard heart.
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [Justicebeaver] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Oh I'm all about sleep training once we get clearance from the pediatrician. It worked wonders for my son, he sleep like a rock now...11-12 hrs straight.
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
kittenmittons wrote:
haha yeah 15 hrs/wk...more like 3 hrs/wk. I can't train at lunch with my job, and getting up any earlier is not in the cards. At least not until the youngest starts sleeping through the night. Maybe all these Instagram fitness/tri people have easy/no jobs, 24/7 child care...or more likely are full of sh#t :)

Not being able to exercise at lunch is def a problem.
We have two kids, and my job allows me to take 1 - 1.5 hours at lunch if needed to exercise. Aside from that, many many many 5AM rides, and some late night rides. And that has been for the past 7 years (kids are now 8 and 11).
I'd also add that the training is pretty much my social life too, so no other stuff away from the family!

I can only assume that those 'Instagram fitness' people doing loads of hours must:
1. Have a very understanding spouse that does most of the child care
2. Not give a crap about spending time with their kids..
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
kittenmittons wrote:
once we get clearance from the pediatrician. .

clearance from a doctor? hell man, you ARE a doctor. Let'er rip. ;-)
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [Justicebeaver] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I used to work for an older gentleman who was fond of saying, "small kids, small problems; big kids, big problems". I didn't fully appreciate that until the last few years. I have two girls, 11 and 13, and when they were babies I got zero sleep and barely managed to walk to the mailbox for exercise. I always thought that it would get better, and it did, for a few years, but now, now they are on swim team, and cross country, and fencing, and track, and ski club, ad infinitum. Now the older one wants to be a triathlete, so we put her on a junior team and cart her around to training and racing. Combine that with my training and racing along with my wife's training and racing, both of us work full time, and well, it gets hectic. Not sure this is making you feel better, but, the point is that it does get better. The challenges change, but become manageable. Right now you are in a vortex of chaos, but it will get better. Just keep moving, as much as you can. Be a good example for them and it will all fall into place soon enough. Best of luck, keep your head up.
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Also a big challenge for me since our second arrived (now age 2). In addition to sleep issues, there are all the upper respiratory infections from day care that just sap energy. With our first, I found that improved around age 4, and I was able to get in some solid long course training. With the second kid, I've had a couple of okay marathon training blocks to check off bucket-list races, but that is it. I've also found that even with (what we think of) minimal training, it's possible to have fun and be somewhat competitive at local sprint races.
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [BJones] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I started a new job 5 weeks back, and with 2 young kids in the house, a 90 min commute each way, and a demanding job, the training I was doing isn't sustainable anymore. I set my alarm earlier, do what I can everyday and accept that my semi charmed trilife is going to have to take a backseat to my family and my career for a few years now. I think as long as you treat this sport as a lifestyle (sustain a daily routine, get in your minimum workouts), you will be able to maintain enough base to get back into it when the time comes. I plan to still race smaller stuff and a few HIMs, and I stupidly signed up for St George IM next year, but I also hope that come winter, that will give me the motivation to get up even earlier and spend the required time. For now, I'm going to take a few months easy and see if a routine can solidify.

It will get better, just keep optimizing your time.
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I trained (and raced) triathlon and Iron distance through two young kids. Who are now 4 and 8. In fact I did an Ironman 1 week after my youngest was born.

You might wonder how I neglected my wife...but I didn't. Racing was important enough to me that what I gave up was the fun part of it and when I needed to I adjusted my time.

Fun? Yeah... those 5-6 hour rides on the weekend? They became 10 mile loops around my house until my wife messaged that she needed something or until she woke up from her nap. My long runs because 2.27 mile loops around my block. I wanted to be around in the morning to help so my swims were 30-45 minutes at lunch.

So fun weekend rides, monotonous runs, and quick lunch swims were just what I had to do to get through it.

I was often very tired. And when I needed to I recognized when sleep needed to trump whatever it was I was doing. If my only kid at the time kept me up and I only got 4 hours of sleep. Then I dialed back a workout or skipped it all together.

While it has become a lot easier as my kids are older. I still try to adopt that mindset. Trying to be flexible with my time, prioritizing my family and rest. Most importantly having the mindset that no single workout or tired day defines your training. It's consistency that will help you reach whatever potential you have with your time.

If you have to dial it back to shorter races or dial back your goals for your family - then it's worth it. Kids grow up fast. You can always race later in life. Age groups basically never end!
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
You single? What's the other parent doing to help (or not)?
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
My kids are 4 and 3. I’m just now getting back into form and have lost most of the sympathetic baby weight. I ran with some success when they were young, but definitely lost a majority of my run fitness and former speed. I also travel extensively for work (half the year) and work long 12-16 hour days when travelling. This meant that either the kids or work left me exhausted often. I’m just now entertaining the idea of a half iron. I did an FTP test the other day as a baseline to a build and was 60 watts behind where I used to be. It’s quite deflating but I finally feel like I may have the time to fight my way back to form. I manage about 5-6 workouts a week for about 6-8 hours a week. Far less than my former 10-20 hour weeks. I feel like a half iron in 2020 is in the cards. Hopefully a full when I turn 50 in a few years. Lots of good advice here, prioritize sleep and family, and train when you can. A smart trainer and Zwift subscription was a huge help and indoor training in general has been a big help in using time wisely. I’m not gonna lie though... I miss the big weekend workouts followed by laying on the couch all afternoon, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Well except for getting fat after the kids were born and I kept eating like I was still training!
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Patience is key. You’ll figure out how to manage once you’re in a comfortable groove with being a parent. In my humble opinion, being fit is pointless if my wife and kids hate me (or worse yet leave me). I have a good groove now but it took communication and understanding. My wife knows training makes me more sane so we worked on a plan that suits everyone. Communication and understanding are key for those with crazy work schedules.
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [nsarris] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I guess there's a sweet spot in life when the kids are away, you manage an early retirement and you're still young enough to train without hurting yourself. There's always a lot of 50-59 year olds at every race and some of them are super fit. After that you can still be an athlete but now the wild cards fall out of the deck; cancer, heart attack, God knows what will happen to you or your spouse that will keep you away from racing.

"Aquabike is a swim then sleep session on aerobars ...."
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Hired help goes a long way, but comes at the expense of time with your spouse and/or progeny.

The way I see it (and I’m new to this, with a single 9 month old), you can either:
1) Train while kids sleep and spouse sleeps (generally not likely sustainable for you but least impactful to family)
2) Train while kids sleep and spouse does something else (mine generally works in evenings), so I have 7-10pm to myself regardless, but for some it would be a strain on the relationship
3) Train while kids are awake and leave kids with spouse or someone else (grandparent or nanny/babysitter) — this I try to avoid but some amount is inevitable.

None of the options are optimal.

I will often get a baby sitter for 2-3 hours on days I do my long ride so my wife can get a little time to herself on weekends. I’ll leave for my ride when son goes down for a nap, so it’s less time gone from him during his waking hours. Baby sitter will set at home so wife doesn’t feel trapped alone at home. She’ll go to cafe or whatever with friends.

When I’m not training, I really focus on being 100% focused on the family. No screens!!! Just rolling around on the ground with the rugrat or doing special things for my wife.

It’s going pretty well so far. But training is still much less than it was before kids, and you have to be ready to go at a moments notice. I keep my bike gear laid out and ready to go, my run gear in a bag, so if everyone wants to take a quick nap bam I’m out the door for a quick tempo run in <5 min, etc.
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
You're not alone at all! I wrote a post about this about a year ago. It helped immensely for me to change my goals for that first year and also to do non-standard races so I couldn't compare times. Maybe you'll find some helpful tips in here: https://www.triforceteam.com/...-new-dad-experiment/

Coach at TriForce Triathlon Team: https://www.triforceteam.com
Last edited by: asellerg: Jun 17, 19 20:09
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Really comes down to how responsibilites are shared in a family. Some folks have wifes taking care of the kids entirely.

We have three, the first two are twins. I simply stopped racing for a couple of years. And structured training. But did still quite a lot of sport, I just wouldn't call it training. Exercising. Returned to racing after the third child. One is more relaxed with the second one (in my case third one). Now I train quite a lot and do quite well in my age group.

That's just life, wouldn't want to have missed those years. And with twins it wouldn't have worked otherwise anyway since my wife has a job as well. A surgeon ...
Quote Reply
Re: Young kids and I'm gassed [kittenmittons] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
6 year old and a 3 year old

It 100% gets easier. If you told me 2 years ago that it would get way easier as the kids get out of the baby stage I would not have believed you. For example - my 6 year old gets his sister up on weekends, puts a show on, makes both their cereals, AND MY WIFE AND I CAN SLEEP IN TILL LIKE 8!
Quote Reply

Prev Next