We have just had a second baby (boy this time called Sebastian 5 weeks old)
I have managed to do a vo2 max and threshold or sweet spot each week and then maybe a third depending on the fatigue and sleep dept. At the moment seem to be maintaining my numbers which although not the priority has kept me feeling good mentally and physically through the long nights.
Just wanted to see if anyone would share how their experience went as 21st century fathers and maintaining fitness
Don’t skimp on recovery. It’s easy to dig a hole without solid sleep, so don’t push hard physically if you can’t recover hard as well.
Don’t be scared to exchange bike work for the gym, or splitting up workouts during the day.
Most importantly, enjoy the time with your kids! We don’t get that time back, the bike will always be ready when you are.
To be honest, it went to hell. And that was fine.
My running volume, I was a runner then, was cut by 80% for the first year or so. Once the kid is sleeping life gets a tiny bit easier. But rest assured your life is massively more complex now. Rather than worrying about your fitness today, I’d recommend focusing on how you and your partner can establish new patterns to ensure all three of you have your needs met.
And don’t worry, the fitness will return.
Make sure your honest with your partner about what your goals are and how often you’d like to train a week.
Genuinely appreciate the replies thank you!
Family definitely coming first, that doesn’t even need to be considered. I also know that for me getting a couple of decent workouts in per week allows me the mental space to be the best I can be for them
Get a portable bassinet you can put next to the trainer. The loud white noise from the fans was a great help getting my kid down for naps, and you’re right there when they wake up. Plus you can have a bottle etc. handy to give your partner a break.
We had our second kid in May - what a whirlwind! I think it forced me (in a very positive way) to clarify my goals for the year. My focus has been 1) be as great a father & husband as possible, 2) maintain a love for cycling, and distant 3) put a target race on the calendar in 2024.
As expected, my fitness took a nosedive (ftp 297 down to 275 over the summer) - just squeezed as many TrainNow session in as life would allow. I started training again in October and it has been a slow road back (currently sitting at 288). Recovery is hard when you’re not sleeping! Flexibility within your week will be key. Good luck!
Am on round 3 at the moment, about to start a new job, but finally getting away from shiftwork. Communication is the key, when an opportunity arises to grab a session in, take it. Have your gear ready on standby. Bottles in fridge, bibs chamoise creamed, wireless earbuds charged, zwift and trainerroad updated (no waiting time), all these little things matter. Prepare to get up early if need be.
I’ve had 2 kids in the last 3 years. Fitness has been fine, but I’ve only ever rode about 8-9 hours per week, so no big sacrifices as if I rode 15-20 or something big like that.
I used to get to do one weekend warrior ride of 3-5hours on Saturday mornings and hit the trainer Monday through Friday for 1hr after work, but with the second kid that hasn’t been much of a thing. When I did that, I’d do 1 hard 10 min effort on Wednesday and the rest easy endurance with Saturday being my long ride plus intervals day (like a 200TSS day ride).
My new playbook is using most of my work vacation time to do a half day or take a few hours off the end of the workday when the weather is nice and my kids are in daycare. A family vacation seems a terrible waste of money with a 1 and 3 year old lol!! I do about 1-2 hard workouts each week on a 1.5-2hr ride, 1 or 2 really easy spins <=1hr, and the rest are 1.5-2hr endurance pace. When the sunset is later I’ll get back to doing 3hr rides on the weekend. Goodluck
I have three little girls and there has been a lot of trial and error. It is easy to divide and conquer (each have a child) and my wife and I did that but it doesn’t work out for training. What ultimately works for us is for one of us to take all the children and give the other one complete time off. My recommendation is for you to talk to your wife about you taking all of the children and giving her 100% time off from them for a few hours, and then her return the favor.
I second this, @James_Sanderson
I have 4, youngest is 9. My mistake early on was thinking I could go to work, come home, do kids for a few hours and be generally helpful…and then thinking I had earned my time to do what I wanted.
Communication about your and your partner’s fitness expectations, time together, time alone is huge.
There are other great suggestions ok how to blend training with sleeping babies…do those if it works.
Mostly, adjust your expectations via open and honest communication, and allow yourself to get good there.
Once my second kid came along I essentially didn’t ride for a few years (my annual hours went 31, 16, 9 before starting to ramp back up). It’s fine, I had more important things to do. Riding was still there when I was ready to come back.
Congrats on the new arrival! Having been through this a couple of years ago (son about to turn 5, daughter about to turn 2), I mean this in a compassionate way: let go of any expectations.
I would remove as many barriers as possible (e.g. minimise choice fatigue by using TrainNow or having a go-to session/route, always have a kit ready to go, always have a bike on the trainer, always have a kettlebell available for a 15min session) and see how it goes. Embrace walking (your daughter will likely have a difficult time of it at some stage with the new arrival) and taking your new son for a walk whilst your partner gets time with the older one (and vice versa) is invaluable. If you feel really good, for the walk stick a kettlebell in a backpack or invest in one of the new fancy rucking vests.
You boy might be an absolute delight and let everyone carry on as normal, but there will almost inevitably be change in the house. Enjoy the ride!