4 Tips for Balancing family and training – Give them a tri!

Guest post from David Garza:
I love my family, and I love training and racing in all triathlon distances.
I am currently training to complete my 4th Ironman race in Cozumel at the end of November, which means, now is my heaviest load of training. To make things even more challenging, my wife travels for her work Monday thru Thursday. Needless to say, I know how hard it is to balance family and training.
Here are 4 tips that have helped me find that balance.
Tip #1-  Set up an interactive dinner/activity
(love this tip especially because we all know the research on the importance of eating dinner as a family – having it interactive makes it fun for everyone to get it ready!)
I try to get my training done with early morning sessions so I can be done to pick up my son.  My kids love to make smoothies so we shop and make smoothies for snack and sit down with them for dinner.
Tip #2-  Really get them excited about chores/tasks
(if everyone chips in with jobs that need to be done, that means more time for other things.  )
My kids get excited about doing their chores because they get a reward from our treasure box selection after the task is done (sometimes this is great,  others, uumm not so much and the reward has to be different).
Tip #3- (Very important) incorporate kids into my workouts.
(This tip is a perfect example of David’s motto: Inspire by Example)
One of my fondest memories of my son and daughter is when I had a bike/run brick session where I finished my ride at my house quickly raced my kids and wife to the local track where my cool down was laps with my kids. They loved it and keep asking to do it again.
Tip #4:  Schedule your time with your kids/family  like you would schedule a workout.
 As athletes, we give everything we have in our workouts. Our biggest fans (our families) deserve the same dedication and respect! I know with out my wife and kids I would not be able to do what I am passionate about, triathlons and the triathlon lifestyle.
What does implementing these tips into an average day look like? Here is an example:
Mon: Wake up around 4:30 see my wife off and get on my bike trainer till 7 (if I am lucky, normally a kiddo comes and lets me know they are hungry), get kids ready for school and drop them off by 8. Run a couple of errands (grocery store, misc) head back to house get back on trainer till 11 or 12, head to gym to run or swim, head to pick up my son from school, hang with him for an hour (just daddy son time), get my daughter depends on if they want to go to the park for a bit, head home play eat dinner (I’m lucky if I can get them in a bath), get daughter to bed by 7:30, sing songs read books and prayers, head to my son, finish homework read talk up tommorow, pray, get on computer to get caught up with emails, tell son its ok to sleep in my bed (yeah I know), relax for a few min then head to bed by 10 if the planets are all in alignment 🙂
Tues: Not so early but light ride about 1 1/2 ride before kids wake up, get them ready for school and take them to school by 8, head home, check emails, head out for medium run, possible client to train, head to another gym to teach a cycle/ab class downtown, swing by Mels Meals (place where I get all my food), drop food off at house, go get my son, have 1 hour time for homework, get him ready for kids run group, do warm up with them, get my daughter and head to the gym to teach class, finish, get daughter, have dinner with her, go get my son around 7, get home and do night routine again.
I am busy all day but I wouldnt trade it for anything, I truly believe that I am blessed everyday with all the littlest daily things me and my kids do.
About David Garza:
I am 35 years old, husband, father of 2 beautiful children, a personal trainer, a group fitness instructor, or yeah and a triathlete. Follow me on twitter @davidgarza1