Training as a parent

So, well, just a recap from myself since the daughter is now 16months old and my last post on training as a parent is almost 1 year old. So how do I look back at the goals I had and the tips I gave:

  1. I said 1 year ago: be open about your planning and ambitions when to ride and give room for the other
  • Well, still is key. During the year I kind of ‘claimed’ the saterday morning. Since it was a bit of strange year with COVID and group rides were forbidden for a long time, I started my rides earlier than when training with the club (start 9:30). On saterday I normally took the ‘early shift’, so getting up between 5.45-6.30 depending on how late the little one woke up. I had some time with her, had breakfast and around 8am woke up my girlfriend so she could take over and I could prepare to go out around 8:30. The goal was always to be back around 12-12:30 to lunch together. This gave me a great opportunity for still a serious long ride, while also give gf the possibility to sleep a bit longer.
  • Other thing I changed compared to pre kid’s is to prepare my ride better the evening in advance. So that everything is really ready to go. So, just change of clothes an off you go to maximize day light opportunities.
  • During the year, the GF also recovered and wanted to sport again. I really tried to give her all the room for that and first picks on time slots during the week. I felt really happy that she was having fun in sports again!
  1. Don’t be to harsh on yourself when you are tired as ***
  • We were quiet lucky that our daughter was a good night sleeper, so almost always I got around 7 hours a sleep after she was 5months old, but still this rule really counts. Don’t train if you don’t feel like you have energy for it.
  1. enjoy the workouts you get!
  • Definetly true! In the beginning of the year I had quiet some XC marathon races on the schedule, so really tried to stay as good in shape as possible with lots of serious training, but still enjoying. Since almost everything got cancelled, I was a bit easier for myself, just #ridesolo. But found out, riding solo is very efficient, no coasting in groups, just pressure on the legs the whole training. Really had positive impact on my fitness, but also still enjoying just some rides a tempo. Also during the summer started to train with my mates again in small groups. But I managed to let them start earlier than normal (even 8am) and said: oke, we got 4 hours, we want to do 120km and also a stop for icecream of cake, so just pedal harder. Were great rides, really pushing in the front, recovering a bit in the wheels.
  1. Don’t overestimate the time you have when the little one is sleeping.
  • Still holds true. She almost never sleeps longer than 1 hour in one go during the day, so it is really impossible to plan a training when she is sleeping in the morning or afternoon. So my trainer rides are still around 7;45pm, 8pm when she is a sleep. Or, when going out during the week, I normally leave around 7;7:30pm while the GF brings the little one to bed.

Overall, maybe partly due to COVID which gave me a bit more flexibility and less pressure on social activities it was a year with almost 9k km, which is still very good! Also weight is lower than ever. Due to the fact that average rides a shorter than other years, but intensity higher, I was still able to record PR’s on my powercurve, primairly within the range from 1.30min-5min. Even was able to go out for a 5 days bikepacking trip without the family! We had a 3 week holiday in Swiss with our three and was able to get some really nice MTB rides in! When riding with my mates, I can still seriously hurt the other guys and now when CX training (no racing unfortunately) is ongoing, I am still very capable.

So conclusion: cycling is still great as a parent! Although I miss a little bit in performance, I am still way better than I was expecting to be!

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great update, thanks for sharing!

The gate is great! Wish I had thought of that. Our 2 year old has grabbed the chain on my bike at least 4 times and gotten grease on our couch pillows (which are white, I might add!).

Training is tough when you have young kids. Mainly from an availability of time perspective. I was set to do 1.5 hours on trainer today but that amount of free time is reallllly hard to come by (well 1.5 hours in one single block of time is). So I got up early and knocked out 30 minutes of the ride before anyone else was up, and then I’ll have to do the remaining hour during their nap time. This year I have been lucky to be able to work from home a good bit which has allowed me to ride the trainer.

Once I start back full time in the office I really don’t know how I’m going to be able to be consistent with training. I would have to get up at 4:30am to do an hour, then do the remaining 30 minutes around 9pm.

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The twins are 2yrs old today :birthday: Hence an update…

The past two years has been both fast and slow. In the moment, time often seems so slow. In hindsight, everything seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye.

The first year, especially in the beginning was a lot of adjustments. I eventually settled on lunch rides doing the Specialty > Enthusiast > Time Crunch 45 plan. It is kind of tucked away in an odd place so many probably don’t know they exist. Anyway, they are awesome! I highly recommend them. Worst case, do the Time Crunch 30 plan and if you have extra time/energy on certain days, bump the workout to the 45min version. After the plan, I continued on w/lunch rides doing my own thing. There were also outdoor weekend rides when the weather and twins permitted. My volume was way down w/only 1hr trainer rides and occasional outdoor rides. In the fall, I decided to start running again :man_shrugging: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Why do such a thing? Well, I wanted to be outside more often and it also provided me a way to increase my total training volume. Running would be done at o’dark thirty before everyone woke up.

This past year was more of the same, running in the mornings and trainer rides during lunch. I only doubled up three days a week. Weekend would have a long run and a long ride. By fall, I was mostly running :hushed: ~70-80km/week w/occasional lunch rides.

That brings us to 2021. I do plan on getting my bike volume back up while continuing to run. Twins will be getting strider/pushbikes this month as well!

Anyway, key points from the last two years:

  • Patience
  • Things will get easier as the kid(s) get older. There will still be issues/problems, but they will be different ones.
  • If you miss a workout, forget about it. You probably need the rest more than you need the workout.
  • Get up early and get your stuff done before the kid(s) and wife wake up. Yes, you will need to go to bed earlier and/or you will need to nap. I often nap when the twins nap.
  • Patience !!!
  • Do as much as possible to be supportive and of help to your wife.
  • Make sure your wife gets her own personal me time as well.

Cheers to everyone and hoping for a better 2021 !

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how long do you think those white pillows are going to stay white? :slight_smile:

Probably not long! Going to trade them for charcoal color pillows haha :slight_smile:

First really hard VO2 max session of this years plan. Got up early, carbs and caffiene down me, good playlist queued up, guess which of my intervals I was on when my kid switched off my music and put on the octonauts playlist

Jesus that was a difficult interval until I switched my music to youtube.

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Father of twins here as well. Mine are 3,5 years old. When they were 2yo things got easier… for a while, until they decided to skip the 1,5-2h nap after lunch. That was the time I used for training on weekends. Gone forever. :poop:

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I have the exact same experience. I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Fitting in training wasn’t too bad because I could get a ride in after they went to bed during the week and then a longer outside ride during naptime on weekends. Now that naps are more sporadic on weekends it gets tough to get that weekend ride in.

I am almost entirely after bedtime at this point, which isn’t terrible for 1-1.5 hour rides.

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Newborn parent here, was doing about 5-8hrs of training prior to birth, have taken a week off before I start my time crunch 30 mid vol, just come off the back of SSB low vol, so going to miss those 90min workouts. I’m hoping to maintain as much fitness as possible. Looking forward to the short but brutal workouts, hopefully can do one workout outdoors per week. Seems from the advice here being flexible with time is key as well as not being disappointed if a workout is missed. Have a grand fondo event in November so hopefully I can start throwing in some longer workouts come October.

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Our eldest was sleeping through the night from 7 weeks, youngest from about 13 weeks. Of course there was the odd wake up here and there, but for the most part we worked hard to get them to self settle. Short term pain for long term gain. We also totally avoided pacifiers. They are 6 & 7 now and still great sleepers

Of course all kids are different, and all parents are different, but these things worked for us as well. Do what you and your partner and you child are comfortable with

I have always been an early morning person, so I still ride at 4:30am ish (group ride starts at 5), home 6:30-7:00. Quick shower then ready to make breakfasts/lunches/get them ready for school before I start work at 8:00ish (full time working from home since 2017)

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Trying to build up a bit before the long taper when our second girl is born. Getting after a base cycle with AT and hoping that TrainNow when I can squeeze it in will help extend my fitness through the dark year. It will be interesting to see how things progress this time around. Totally dropped off the boat after the first one.

:sweat_smile:

Lots of good responses here as well Bike/life balance

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Here is my experience from my first child (currently a 6month old). ‘Fitness’ screenshot from intervals.icu

I trained about 10hpw for the year prior to the birth. This included a 4hr long ride with some efforts every Saturday.

I knew I would be time constrained (at least from going away all day) so I switched my focus to trying to PR in sprints, 1min, and 3min efforts. I have been lifting 1-2 times per week and doing structured intervals.

I am now focusing on a 5min effort for the summer, but I havent been able to ride more than 3hours so far since the child’s birth. I usually can train 1-2hrs most days. I do 2-a-day when I lift (combine a lift day with structured interval - hit the trainer at lunch, lift after work). I also MTB bc you get a nice workout in an hour or two.

Tip: train like its Track and Field and forget about chasing the higher FTP business for now. Just cant get the continuous time on the bike required for that (3-5hr riding). Also the 3hr rides I have gotten in recently leave me feeling wrecked bc I dont sleep like I used to anymore.

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I really like this approach to focus on improving short power when the option for long rides disappears. Game-ify it by finding some appropriate Strava segments to slay. :metal:

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