How to communicate with your partner to get support while preparing for an endurance event

Currently, my husband is training for a big endurance event. He doesn’t like to be the centre of attention, so this will be all I will say about him. 🙂

On my side, I have noticed that during this training period I have gone to some social activities on my own, and I have a partner who sleeps more than normal during the weekends. This does make me think about the importance of setting expectations with your partner before you take on such an event.
So, you have chosen an event, you are super excited about it. It is a great challenge and you are all set to jump straight into your training. You might have some friends or club mates ready to train with you but have you thought about the logistics at home?
In our situation, we both train for endurance events, and it was a slow build-up of distance and amount of training over the years, so it is just part of our lifestyle. We give each other the space we need for training. For example, the mornings of most weekends have us both go training, often solo but sometimes together.
However, if your partner doesn’t take part in sports, then if you suddenly start training for more hours in the week, it will change your routine. I would therefore recommend you first have a conversation about what you are about to take on.

These are some of the things that could change in your life when you are training more often:

  • ⏱️ Less time for other activities: when you have more trainings, you have less time to spend with your partner.
  • 🛌 More time is needed to rest and recover from training: in the case of triathlon, you might promise that you will do something in the afternoon after a long ride in the morning. But it could be that you are more tired than you expect.
  • ⛽️ Need to fuel: sometimes there is a “hanger” in the air when you don’t eat well after big training sessions.
  • 💃🏻 Impact on social life: with the extra training and more recovery required, you might be unable to attend as many social activities as you would normally manage.
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Time with kids: I have no experience of this here, but I imagine it might be harder to organise your life around kids. As well as communicating how much time you have for this, you might have to adjust your training to allow you to take care of your kids’ needs. Remember, this is a hobby and not your job.
  • 💸 Expensive: not all sports are expensive, but with equipment, entry fees and travel, you might have to take this into account.

I therefore recommend that you have a conversation with your partner before you start training to set expectations on what training for a big event might look like. It is fun to support someone who is working towards a big goal and be for them when things get tough, as well as celebrate the wins along the way. But if you don’t know what to expect, as a supporter, it could be quite the challenge, and not in a good way.

If you are currently training for a goal, here is a great blog by Sandra de Gelder about mindset.

Author: Lorna Wilson

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