Going to be a father

If all goes well, I am going to become a father in May, and I am looking for some advice on how to train leading up to that. I am excited about becoming a parent, but know that it is going to impact my training and life style (nutrition, sleep, etc.). So I am wondering what is the best way to lead up to it - should I give up on training all together? Should I repeat base+build plans until the baby arrives to build my fitness to a high level and then take time off? Should I follow through the whole base/build/specialty progression as if I am racing the whole season?

Basically, if you have 6 months to train and know that after that your training is going to take a substantial hit for a prolonged period, how would you tweak the workouts over the 6 months?

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I think it really depends on what your goals are for the next season. Maybe you could consider shifting your A race to April or early May which would give you a chance to get fully prepared for the race with little impact from your new arrival. I have 3 children and in my experience and approach to fatherhood I was able continue training, but at a reduced level. You might be able to still get close to normal amounts of training for the first few months after birth because babies won’t require as much attention until they start crawling (wife may be a different story :). You’ll just have to expect a reduced training schedule after that, but you can still do quite a bit if you remain flexible in your training approach. And personally, I found success rotating back and forth between SSB and Build.

Congratulations @Thatcher fatherhood is a blessing that has to be experienced to be understood. Everything about it will blow your mind.

From my experience when my son came a long he woke up every 45 minutes to be changed or fed for the first 4 months of his life. I told my wife that I had gotten better sleep in combat. Any semblance of training disappeared and I stacked on a lot of weight.
I am certainly not trying to scare you as every child is different. My sisters 2 week old daughter sleeps 4 hours straight through the night :angry:

Personally, I would build up a solid base and get into the best shape possible until May. I would also have the mindset that I might need to take an extended period of time off from training when the baby comes (sounds like you have already gotten there mentally). A side benefit of being in shape is that your improved physiology will better help you cope with the new stresses of parenthood.

If you stop training now, you have until May to put on weight and lose fitness. If you are not able to train when the baby comes then you will just compound the losses you have already accumulated. In other words you will have a lot further to go to get back into shape.

My $0.02, and again congratulations :smiley:

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Congrats and at least you realise there will be an impact.

You’ll soon laugh when people say the baby won’t affect their lifestyles

Basically whatever you plan now will go out the window, its impossible to tell how your routines will change and how you and your partner will care for the little one.

With my eldest the impact on my training was minimal as he was such an easy baby and toddler. The first few weeks will take a knock anyway and after that you’ll possibly find 5am workouts the only time to exercise.

You’ll just need to take it in your stride and see how things work out, unless you have a goal event in the next 6 months I’d just work on my base

Congratulations! :baby: Being a dad rocks.

Fortunately, I can’t remember what I did when I was single/childless otherwise I might be jealous. I can’t imagine all the free time I must’ve had, but I dont remember doing much or being all that happy either so…

Baby is likely to impact your training both more than you think and less than you think. Most often you won’t realise how much stress you’re under (took me years), but also how much free time you still have (evenings, commute time, etc).

In short, I wouldn’t plan for a six month hiatus. There will be times when mom and baby don’t want you about or are sleeping, or busy. Plus, baby will still be there in six months time. I Would plan for flexibility and inconsistency, don’t beat yourself up if something else takes priority over a planned session.

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Congratulations…I shall be following this thread with interest because just like the OP I am also due to be a Father for the first time in May!

Right now I am just riding (mostly indoors) with an aim to just keep some of my fitness from what has been my biggest year of cycling to date. Next year my A (and possibly) only event is in July for which permission has already been granted! :slight_smile:

I plan to start sweetspot base at the end of the year and work through it as much as possible but like you I know things will have to decline at some point and then I aim to just make my workouts fun (I will prioritise getting outside and riding in company over indoor training) and of the highest quality, I can. I also want to get into the best physical shape I’ve ever been in by the time I become a dad so I will be spending more time in the gym over the winter, trying some different stuff and not taking it all too seriously.

I wish you all the best, it would be good to compare notes and experiences as we go through it at similar times!

Thatcher -

Giving some thoughts outside the scope of your question. First CONGRATS. Best birthing advice I got a few days before the big day - it goes like “As humans, we have done this a few billion times. Remember nothing will happen to you & your partner that hasn’t happened millions of times before…some of them in a cave”.

Second tidbit - if your wife goes into pre-labor, don’t take a ride. I did, my phone was on mute and 38 missed calls later I had a very long full gas effort back home.

Third tidbit - expect your training life to change in waves. The first few weeks (hopefully you are off work) training should stay normal (or very close to it). The first 3 months is different from the next 3, and different from the second year. My take-away from all this is expect to modify the amount of time you have and when it comes a few times through the first year or two.

Finally - to your question - if you don’t have a major race goal for this season, and you are just trying to keep the lights on…don’t change anything. Stick to your plan for the next 6 months, and then when the baby comes throw in a base or build plan and see what you can do or can’t do in a week. After that plan has run its course, you will have a better idea on new life demands and you can pick a specialty plan that works better for your time allowance.

Protip - newborns can sleep next to a trainer


Congrats to all the expecting dads! As others have said, being a dad is an incredible thing.

I have 3 kids now and the youngest was born at the end of September. I agree with the others that you should train for the next 6 months as usual. It’s great If you can find an A race before May but don’t plan anything within a month of the expected birth.

Once the baby is born, be flexible and (I cannot stress this enough!!) take sleep when you can get it. Luckily my baby sleeps well this time around but it was very hard with my older kids. Also communicate with your wife about any training/racing plans once you have the baby. 30-45 minute workouts may not win you races but they help you stay in shape while the kids are young.

Best of luck!

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Congrats! My wife is pregnant with twins, so I am definitely subbing to this thread.

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Congratulations! I became a first-time parent 5 months ago so I enjoy reading the parenting/training threads.

Unless you have an A-race or event planned before the baby arrives, a base/build progression sounds like a solid plan. Fatherhood is an A-race, after all. I was able to get in some of my most consistent training in the months before mine was born.

If you have something on your bucket list though, now’s the time to do it. Do some fun rides, get outside, ride with friends, the kind of stuff that’s hard to do when you have a newborn. Just don’t schedule anything close to the due date, as mentioned previously.

Also, get LOTS of sleep now, while you can!

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There are time crunched 30 and time crunched 45 plans (look under speciality, enthusiast). If you got a trainer at your house, you can always fit in 30-45 minutes

More discussion here.

Congratulations @Thatcher. Being a dad will change your life…FOREVER…in a good way.

I am about to have our 7th child! This one was an accident!!! Lol. Whilst I do not compete, I love working out for general health and fitness.

I have found out a couple of things. Here are my thoughts.

Your priorities will change. Being a father is new and scary to both you and your partner. She will need you more than ever. Not just your physical presence but emotionally as well. It took me a while to adjust to this as my focus was always on my PR’s and TSS.

She will be the primary carer, she will need you around -physically and emotionally. You will be tired & stressed and lacking in sleep. Adding training on top this may not best idea. You will feel like you are not giving the best to your family, not getting quality training, not getting enough time to rest and recover and you may not perform that well in races - too much pressure!

I suggest that you train to build your fitness. Then change your priorities with the aim of maintaining your fitness.

The other point, I found that when my wife’s emotional needs were met, she gave PERMISSION to focus on me!!

Good news - there is no right answer. Make the best of your situation.

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Hey there!

We talked about how to train with a newborn on last weeks podcast! You can check out this discussion here: