Convincing your Partner

I'm looking for a little advice here...other than

A) Grow a pair
B) Man up
C) Just do it

I want to do an IM in 2013. This year I am racing OD and training maybe 7 hours a week which I manage to fit in when the kids have gone to bed, during my lunch hour and one morning a weekend when I sacrifice my turn for a lie in to get a long bike ride in. In short, I try and minimise the impact on the time I get to spend with my wife and 2 young girls.

However, the wife is convinced going long will mean me living like a monk for 6 months and training every minute of the day so is reluctant to give me the nod. I would not dream of doing it without her say so, after all I am sure there are times when I will rely on her more than I do now, but I do think this will be the exception rather than the rule.

Has anyone else covered this ground and come up with some kind of "light bulb" argument that can allow me to pay a few hundred quid to spend the best part of 17 hours in pain? If so please share....
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Comments

  • I dont know about a lightbuld arguement but from observing on here for many years of friends who have been and are going through what you are going through it really is imperative IMO to have the blessing of your other half
    Take a look at some training plans, take a look at the current threads and see where people are in terms of training and see if that is a place that you can be this time next year ... let your wife see

    If everything is agreeable then that may be your lightbulb


    Ask her what her fears are
  • There is no way to do it without it having an impact on your family. My GF did enjoy me being really fit and muscular but I doubt your wife would take that in exchange for you spending 6 months doing little except training.
  • Stanners from the Bridge wrote (see)
    some kind of "light bulb" argument that can allow me to pay a few hundred quid to spend the best part of 17 hours in pain? If so please share....
    Also, it's not just the entry fee from a financial POV. It's the extra kit (whether it's things breaking or things you have to have), the extra food, any additional races, getting to and from the races etc.
  • I can understand your wife's point of view. I can understand your frustration. 

    Any chance you can adjust your training. You could do less? ... it's just you *want* to do more and do well? 

    Can you agree a plan with her so that she can see the full extent of time on her own with the kids?   Can you reciprocate?    Can you give her an equal amount of time for her to do her own thing?    They after all both your responsibility. 

  • My OH would never of agreed when our kids were small.but as they were older and he sensed it was important to me he agreed to give it a go.......and as it didn't break me or us I have carried on...........

    i think it does depend on a lot of things.....how much hard work the kids are.......how your partner is already coping with the extra burden.......how much you do when you are home.or do you say your tired and veg out after a training session......

    in the end though.if its going to put too much pressure on a partner its not worth it......
    IM will be there in a few more years........but the kids will soon be growing up and no longer wanting or needing mummy and dadddy.......
  • Depends how many hours you spend at work as well.  If you are putting in an 8 hr day 5 days a week (fairly light side of normal?) it leaves little family time. They grow up so quickly and when young, are full on hard work.  

    I brought up mine on my own. It's hard work. That's probably how your wife feels about it. What does she get out of this marriage?

  • If you are happy to complete rather than compete it can ge done on less than 10 hours a week. I do zero training after I get home from work, and on a weekend I swim for 1 hr on a Saturday at the same time my daughter is having a lesson and my long bike on a Sunday, but get for 10 or 11 by setting off early. During the week I train before work or at lunch, and get my cycling in by commuting (19 miles each way). Tomorrow for example I am doing my long run and will drive to work at 6.30, set off running at 7.10 and get an hour and a half in.

    So easy if you don't mind missing out on sleep!
  • I got all this time consuming stuff out of the way before I was married with kids or in any relationship. So fishing for days on end, going to golf multiple hours a week, and birding from one end of the country to the other affected no one. One the other hand other guys decide to 'take up' these activities once they get hooked up. No wonder so many get problems, they always want to be somewhere else doing something else.
  • As others have said it all depends on individual circumstances... how old your kids are, does your OH work or not, do you have a long commute to your job... all sorts of factors...

    The couples where I see this sort of thing go well are those where:

    • when they met he/she was already doing endurance stuff like marathon training or such and it didn't come as a huge shock
    • they take a couple or even whole family approach where you can maybe do some runs or rides with you OH, the whole family comes to races to support, everyone is interested and thinks it's fun
    • people who are exceptionally self-motivated and organised and manage to get a long run in before their OH even wakes up...
    • people who manage to fit training into the daily grind, for example if you work 20 miles away from home and the roads are ok, cycle commute to work a few times a week and count it as training

    On the flipside... from experience here on the forum,

    • conflict usually arises when the race committment (whether financial or time wise) wasn't negotiated properly beforehand and everyone else is just expected to put up with the temporary hardship and this breeds resentment
    • the OH isn't genuinely interested in the whole thing and a year is a long time to be getting on someone's nerves giving them the ins and outs of your Garmin splits when they don't really give two hoots
    • the OH has nothing similar that they themselves are at all interested in, no own hobby
    • the OH is the sort of person who is quite lost socially without the person doing the race and ends up feeling lonely and excluded
    • the OH is the sort of person who gets jealous easily and gets twitchy about mixed gender training groups etc

    Hope you work it all out. image

  • Being in the wifey camp of training much less than my OH - if you said that the following 6 months would be for her to choose how you both spend your spare time - that would work for me! Depends on what you want to do after the IM - is this a one-off or are you already planning something else afterwards?

    We often negotiate on the fact that my OH goes away quite a lot so I get a large say in what happens when he is home.  It can all hinge on wanting a happy husband and not wanting one who resents me for stopping him doing what he would choose given free will. 

    Of course this comes with all the good sense talked above as a baseline.  6 months can seem like a very long time sometimes and you need to be prepared to help out if your OH finds it too tough to cope with everything else on her own.

  • Good profile name, Stanners. First thing I should say is welcome to the forum! I didn't know you were coming on here, mate. Due to meet for a pint in town tomorrow after work, so perhaps we can chat it over a brew in the Chop House?

    Some tripe being offered up.....
    I got all this time consuming stuff out of the way before I was married with kids or in any relationship. So fishing for days on end, going to golf multiple hours a week, and birding from one end of the country to the other affected no one. One the other hand other guys decide to 'take up' these activities once they get hooked up. No wonder so many get problems, they always want to be somewhere else doing something else.

    I don't get this "get married - end life" attitude. The sort of attitude I see evidenced by my obese, drunk, bitter old mates down the rugby club on a Saturday evening, moaning about all the incredible things they'd do if it wasn't for "the missus". More like lazy, idle blokes who've lost their get-up and go. There's plenty of scope in all our lives to do a tough job, enjoy a fulfilling marriage, cherish your kids and complete a little race. You make sacrifices elsewhere.... pubs, telly, newspapers, lie-ins etc.

    COMPLETING an iron distance race and being a good family bloke is wholly compatible, Stanners. I was lucky that mine wanted me to go and push myself - keep looking to improve and grow as a person at the age of 39. We had two kids, aged 2 and 4 (a bit like yours). We both have fairly grown up jobs (like most Iron Distance triathletes.... wonder why that is?)

    Two suggestion;

    1. I went from nought to a 12:44 at Outlaw last year on an average of 8.5 hours a week for 40 weeks. That's not much different from your Oly training, mate. Only difference is a longer bike ride. And that ride only really needs to get long on one day a week during, say, 12 weeks of the summer, when you are blessed by enough daylight to crack out early and be back by lunchtime. YOU DON'T NEED MUCH MORE THAN YOU'RE CURRENTLY DOING. So work out a plan based on that and share it with your wife. Beware that the key word lifted from above is "COMPLETE". Don't expect to be anywhere near the pointy end on that volume of training

    2. Take your wife to a big event. Whizz over to Bolton during July and let her take in the atmosphere. My wife was starting to get a little bit fed up by the end of my programme last year (getting up to 15 hours a week for a few weeks), but when she spent the day at Outlaw, she was totally buzzed by the whole thing. The spirit of achievement can be pretty intoxicating! So this year, especially with the kids a year older, we're both going long (different events). The garden looks like shit and I've had to hire cleaners, but we'll get there!

    Good luck, mate. It's worth it!

  • S.T.I.L. you speak much sense, but perhaps not everyone has a double-income and the finances to 'outsource' the cleaning and other shitty jobs to some other minion!  image

    Of course if you're in the priviledged position to have it all then it's much easier to deal with the rest.  But some couples, who are on one modest income, the sacrifices will affect everyone.  For some people it might mean no other holiday that year etc and it's only fair that that is negotiated.

  • "I don't get this "get married - end life" attitude."

    Where you've always done other stuff then it's just part of normal life.  

    I think RicF's point was that where someone STARTS wanting to do things that take them away from the family, it can cause problems.

    When you suddenly start wanting to spend hours and hours out of the house then it could feel like being lumbered with all the drudgery while the OH is out enjoying themselves.

  • Wilkie wrote (see)

    I think RicF's point was that where someone STARTS wanting to do things that take them away from the family, it can cause problems.

    When you suddenly start wanting to spend hours and hours out of the house then it could feel like being lumbered with all the drudgery while the OH is out enjoying themselves.
    Yes that's kind of how I interpreted it and I think it's a fair point!
  • The original post here sounds very familiar.  My wife was convinced that IM would consume all hours for an entire summer, even if I was capable of doing it.  The lightbulb moment was meeting a bloke at a wedding who'd done Roth the year before and made it sound amazing even to a non-believer like herself, and the next morning she told me to go & book it. 

    She was swayed by the idea that it would be a weekend away for both of us, it was in July so we'd have the rest of the summer free from IM activities, and that it would be a one-off.  That last bit turned out not to be quite true, but then again neither did the training take over life completely.  We'd arrange for a weekend away with friends, I'd leave on the crack of dawn on my bike, ride 120 miles to Cheltenham and she'd arrive with the kids: weekend training done, the rest of it was family time.  I had to be flexible in fitting weekend training around other things, and if that meant not being able to do a long run until late Sunday afternoon rather than my preferred morning slot, then so be it.

    I'll admit I'm fortunate to be able to train in my lunch hour, and during the week training doesn't affect family like much at all.   And she's since said that we get to see more of each other than some of her friends at work, who's husbands are off playing golf twice a weekend.

  • I'm training for my first IM at the moment, and many of the points above ring true.

    I had a long chat with my husband, who, once he got over the "you are kidding, you nutter" phase, has been nothing but supportive, as have my kids

    However, as everybody else seems to be saying, you have to know your partner and know your goals. Mine is just to finish, so I'm happy bumbling along with about 10hours a week training.

    Lots of 5am starts, and luckily for me lunchtime sessions.

    My biggest issue is fitting in my long bike ride, I also have two young girls who do all sorts of activities at the weekend (horseriding, skiiing, football), as well as wanting family time with mum and dad.

    Our solution has been for my husband to commit to doing a century ride, so we take days off work together to do long rides occasionlly - which has actually turned out to be really cool image.

    Or we do our own version of "tag team", where I take girls to activities Saturday morning while he rides, then we swap at about 1pm, and he does activities and I ride Saturday afternoons. Then Sunday is family time image

    Seems to be working,  but ask me again after Outlaw image

  • Interesting stuff! 

    For what it's worth, I can simply say that it's quality not quantity.....meaning that a quality family meal out or trip to the cinema or even just a good game of Monopoly can outweigh missing a couple of nights in front of the TV.

    Oh yes, and get up at 5am every Sunday so that you're home by 10 or 11am, to spend rest of the day with the family.  That means the sacrifice is more mine than the family's.

    Having said that, my 12 year old asked me this evening "why was I doing it?"........and I had to think hardimage,

  • Much sense already been said.

    Get an IM plan, lay out the hours. Many of the middle plans start at 7 hours and build towards a peak of 20 hours.

    That is 1-week with 20 hours. Not 20-weeks at 20-hours.

    If your wife is intelligent explain the training process, steady, build, peak, recovery 4-week cycle. It is easier to understand in hours. That way she sees a better week every 4th.

    Mine took the view that there was about 6-weeks where training volume was too high and only a couple of weeks of ridiculous levels of stuff. She could see her way through that period and the rest was manageable.

    Then show where you will do the training. Mornings, evenings, lunches, whatever works for you. I am sometimes away for work in the week (1-2 nights) and I would do as much as I could whilst away. Get up at 5am for long run. Find a local pool for swim sessions.

    The daftest session I did was up at 3:30, out the door at 03:45 and bike till 6:45, masters swim till 8 then bike and home by 09:30. Showered, fed and ready to go out by 11:30 for BBQ.

    If you don't put the effort into the plan and how it will work then don't expect her to buy into it.

    M.eface

  • What all of them said. image

    Like others I'm 15 weeks in to Outlaw training. I'm pre-emptively retiring from IM after this until the kids are older (well, maybe Challenge Henley later this year...). If I'm away in the week I'll do what I can to maximise that time, but it doesn't feel good doing long bike rides when I could be at home with my family.

  • I haven't read the whole thread and not sure I am the best person to ask but I am in awe of those who train for IM with a young family and full time, 9-5 office job or even more.

    What a balancing act. You all deserve to be given a separate medal as the commitment is awesome.

  • I agree with Bedders. Just doing the training is hard enough without having to fit it round family life with a couple of kids.
  • Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply. It's been really helpful and has helped the conversation move along (particually when I left the forum on the iPad for her to discover...and show I take her concerns seriously). They've moved on so much so I've been given a tentative green light for 2013!!!! The agreement is based on

    1.) I focus training efforts when the girls are asleep or at nursery so we can still maximise time together as a family and means I still get to pull my weight

    2.) My wife is a secondary English teacher, so spends most weekday evenings during term time marking, so this gets me out from under her feet and means she can watch Corrie at the same time (I'm not sure if that is the definition on multi-tasking...sounds like double pain to me)

    3.) My typical working week involves been away for a couple of days a week and working from home the remainder. When I'm away, get in as much long training as possible (not a great deal else to do in Peterborough) and when I'm home, make sure I use lunch hours for swims and running speed work

    4.) 1 long ride a week, which I trade my weekend lie in for

    5.) If it gets too much (I do tend to have an addictive streak), my wife holds a veto!

    So, now all I need to do is make it through this season's OD races, find a coach or team for next year to make sure my training is structured, and decide if the family get a weekend in Nottingham, Bolton or Temby

    Thanks again.

    PS S.T.I.L. Sorry about jibbing out on the beer, but still have my eyes on some Prawn Sandwiches at Old Trafford week Monday image
  • Aw I love a happy ending

    ...and blinding move there Stanners 'accidentally' leaving the forum on the iPad for her to discover...and show I take her concerns seriously image

    (Only joking Mrs Stanners...I was on your side!)

  • Yippee - a bit of give and take - that's what it's all about! Hope your training all goes well and you give 2013's butt! Enjoy image

  • definitely it relies on give and take........just watch out in case one of you gets too stressed...you have to watch out for each other....

  • Stanners from the Bridge wrote (see)
    PS S.T.I.L. Sorry about jibbing out on the beer, but still have my eyes on some Prawn Sandwiches at Old Trafford week Monday image
    It's a 3-course meal & booze at Old Trafford, my friend.... I believe prawn sarnies are banned. See you there.... and well done on convincing A.
  • Stanners from the Bridge wrote (see)
    So, now all I need to do is make it through this season's OD races, find a coach or team for next year to make sure my training is structured.....


    Each year, a Mentor Thread is resurrected where you approach a fellow Pirate to offer mentoring and guidance for your IM aspirations.  Keep an eye out towards the end of this year/beginning of next

    PS Goods news on the wife buy-in image

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