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2013-02-15 1:48 PM

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Subject: Parents! How do you do it?
So, a few years ago I was really active on here, and in life. I completed several tri's, and trained for a 1/2 Iron (didn't end up going to it, but I was in the best shape of my life), but I did run a 1/2 marathon. This was a great accomplishment for me, since running isn't my thing.

FF>> Two years, and TWO KIDS! Yep, we had my son in May of 2011, and we just had a baby girl on Feb 5th. 21mo apart, to the day. Although they are great, I am really struggling to get active again. (winter doesn't help). I gained about 30lbs from my ideal (to me) weight. I also became a Stay At Home Dad, and that has not helped. I had an active job as a main line troubleshooter for a cable company. Outside all day every day, and carrying ladders through back yards. I miss being outside...
I have been thinking about getting my butt in gear and eating more healthy for a while now, but finally just decided enough, and had fruit for breakfast, and salad for lunch. I'm done with the crap food. NOW!

So, on to the question, and hopefully on going discussion of tips and advice for all parents....

How do you juggle young kids and training?


-Kurt
(if you want to see any log activity, go back to 2010... THAT was a good year!)

Edited by fifthcircle 2013-02-15 1:50 PM


2013-02-15 4:16 PM
in reply to: #4624106

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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

fifthcircle - 2013-02-15 2:48 PM So, a few years ago I was really active on here, and in life. I completed several tri's, and trained for a 1/2 Iron (didn't end up going to it, but I was in the best shape of my life), but I did run a 1/2 marathon. This was a great accomplishment for me, since running isn't my thing. FF>> Two years, and TWO KIDS! Yep, we had my son in May of 2011, and we just had a baby girl on Feb 5th. 21mo apart, to the day. Although they are great, I am really struggling to get active again. (winter doesn't help). I gained about 30lbs from my ideal (to me) weight. I also became a Stay At Home Dad, and that has not helped. I had an active job as a main line troubleshooter for a cable company. Outside all day every day, and carrying ladders through back yards. I miss being outside... I have been thinking about getting my butt in gear and eating more healthy for a while now, but finally just decided enough, and had fruit for breakfast, and salad for lunch. I'm done with the crap food. NOW! So, on to the question, and hopefully on going discussion of tips and advice for all parents.... How do you juggle young kids and training? -Kurt (if you want to see any log activity, go back to 2010... THAT was a good year!)

I have 4 kids, so been through this, and don't mind sharing what I discovered.

Most important thing, no TV. It will help with weight control and give you a lot of spare time.

Kids tend to drag every ounce of energy you have, what makes it worse especially for stay at home (Did it for a year) is, you lack sleep. Once the kids are in bed, you finally get some time to yourself, you enjoy it and go to bed late. 

You can't do that. Go to bed early, get up early. Your quality time by yourself will be training. Otherwise you'll find a thousand excuses why you're to tired to work out. Obviously this will only be possible when the baby sleeps through the night.

Plan your entire week ahead,  schedule quality time for your wife, quality time for your kids, and quality time for wife and kids together. Then sit down with your wife and see if the schedule you came up with keeps her happy. A happy wife is one less excuses you'll use to skip trainings.

Once you get back in shape, and the baby is old enough, you can use a special stroller to bring the kids on your running work outs, this has the benefit of allowing you to work out while the wife is at work. Increasing the time you can spend with wife, increasing the happiness of wife and making your life more pleasant :-)

Good luck, training with a new baby is one heck of a challenge.

2013-02-15 6:07 PM
in reply to: #4624106

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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

fifthcircle - 2013-02-15 2:48 PM So, a few years ago I was really active on here, and in life. I completed several tri's, and trained for a 1/2 Iron (didn't end up going to it, but I was in the best shape of my life), but I did run a 1/2 marathon. This was a great accomplishment for me, since running isn't my thing. FF>> Two years, and TWO KIDS! Yep, we had my son in May of 2011, and we just had a baby girl on Feb 5th. 21mo apart, to the day. Although they are great, I am really struggling to get active again. (winter doesn't help). I gained about 30lbs from my ideal (to me) weight. I also became a Stay At Home Dad, and that has not helped. I had an active job as a main line troubleshooter for a cable company. Outside all day every day, and carrying ladders through back yards. I miss being outside... I have been thinking about getting my butt in gear and eating more healthy for a while now, but finally just decided enough, and had fruit for breakfast, and salad for lunch. I'm done with the crap food. NOW! So, on to the question, and hopefully on going discussion of tips and advice for all parents.... How do you juggle young kids and training? -Kurt (if you want to see any log activity, go back to 2010... THAT was a good year!)

I had 4 kids in 3.5 years and now they are 6, 5, 5, and 3, so I understand the challenges of training with young kids.  Thankfully I am a stay at home mom so that helps a lot.  Unfortunately, my husband travels all week so that is not so great.  I ride my trainer a lot more than I would like but that is a necessity.  I go to the gym for swimming and some of my running.  I let some things go.  The house doesn't always look perfect, there is always laundry to do, the bathrooms could use a scrubbing right now.  I figure if the kids see me making my health and happiness one of my priorities, that will become part of their normal and take that into adulthood.  As far as nutrition, I do all the grocery shopping and cooking so I just don't buy crap.  If it isn't here, it's not like I can go buy a milkshake if a craving hits at 9pm (although we do have a new influx of GS cookies right now).  You are your children's greatest teacher!  Now you have to decide what you want to teach them.  We eat tons of fruits and vegetables.  Afterschool snacks are things like apples, carrots and hummus, bananas, etc. 

2013-02-15 7:03 PM
in reply to: #4624106

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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

My local YMCA has a "play center" for children that members can take their children to while working out. Its great. I pay 37 dollars a month, and addition to everything else, I get a free baby sitter while I work out. 

Other than that, I concur that you have skip TV etc. etc.  It also helps that I have an amazing spouse who really support my tri endevours. She is really awesome about letting me work out quite a bit.

In return, I cook every night which is a great trade because then I get to control the diet.

I do most of my working out in the morning before everyone wakes up. And then in the evenings wife and I will go to the Y and we can both work out.  

2013-02-16 9:02 PM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?
No TV? That's CRAZY talk!! LOL! When I was really into training (before kids), I watched very little TV, so I get that.

YMCA (or any gym) babysitters.... I'm not leaving my kids with anyone until they are able to communicate verbally to me exactly what they need. So that will be a few years yet. I do have In-Laws only 5mi away, so Grandma may be willing to help out with some scheduled workout time.

Diet. It needs work...that's all on me. I know what to do, and have started to deal with that.

Running strollers. We have a B.O.B. stoller, and I love it. I have ran with it, and it was ok....but, running is not my thing. I actually do enjoy it once I am in pretty good shape, but my knees are not the best, so I have to take that discipline slowly.

Biking. Love it!! I have a nice kid trailer, and my son and I went on a LOT of rides this last summer. Gonna need a two kid hauler for later this summer. My daughter will be 6mo by August, so she should be ok to go for rides at that point. I'll just have to see if the boy will be ok with her that close to him for an hour or two... I don't need him trying to feed her snacks!

Swimming. Oh do I miss the pool!! That is the one thing that I really want to figure out how to get back into. My wife is supportive, so once the baby starts sleeping mostly through the night, I will probably start going to the Y early in the morning.

So, let's figure this out.
DIET:
No excuses there! Get things very ON TRACK over the next month for when my wife goes back to work.

Exercise:
Swim - join the Y, schedule time to go. Easy, right?

Bike - trainer and some rides when weather and time permit. Easy enough. You don't have to twist my arm to get me to ride! BUT, it's gonna be tough to get outside unless I have someone to watch the kiddo's. Too dark in the mornings and evenings...so trainer will have to suffice.

Run - I can start doing some short stuff soon. I need to get my butt out there, and I love going early in the mornings. I have lost all of my running ability, and am overweight, so I HAVE TO take it slow. The alone time would do me some good too. I guess I better set my alarm!

Time to work on a schedule!

Edited by fifthcircle 2013-02-16 9:04 PM
2013-02-16 9:21 PM
in reply to: #4624106

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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?
Talk to your pediatrician before using the bike trailer on your littlest one; ours advised us not to use the bike trailer until our daughter was at least 1.  Jogging stroller at 6 months, bike trailer at 1 year.  


2013-02-16 11:10 PM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

jmholzman - 2013-02-16 10:21 PM Talk to your pediatrician before using the bike trailer on your littlest one; ours advised us not to use the bike trailer until our daughter was at least 1.  Jogging stroller at 6 months, bike trailer at 1 year.  

Same here.

As far as how I do it, my husband and I try to trade off gym nights.  We both work, but we'll trade off who does daycare pickup and the person who doesn't do pickup goes to the gym.  Even if you're a SAHD, you need a break, too!  Try to work out a schedule with your wife.

For food, we (well I) do a lot of planning ahead.  Knowing what is going to be for each meal for the week means that we eat a lot healthier.  If you can make meals ahead and freeze, that's even better.  

2013-02-16 11:29 PM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?
No real help from me, I didn't get active till my kids entered school.  Just a quick shout out from a fellow stay at home dad (11 years now, man that time went quick!).  Laughing
2013-02-17 7:04 AM
in reply to: #4625441

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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?
Always cool to hear from another SAHD!!
2013-02-23 4:56 PM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?
The tv can be your friend with regard to fitness. Every now and then, I still trot out a couple of videos that I'd use after the boys were born. I remember it would be a pain to have to pause periodically, but you don't have to gear yourself and them up and leave the house. Collagevideo.com is a good website to start with to see what's out there to purchase on dvd. If you're set up to stream (i.e. Wii, xbox), there are a bajillion fitness workouts and channels on YouTube. There's another website called sweatn.com that has a good variety of stuff to browse through, too. Netflix no longer offers fitness videos to stream, however.

2013-02-27 5:18 PM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

I'm a slacker--only 1 kid--but when I first got into triathlons my wife and I both spent 3 hours commuting every day, so there was never really time before or right after work to exercise. My wife and I made a deal: if I could plan my training around our daily life, I was free to train my off!

So I did 90% of my training at night after our son went to bed, which is probably only possible in a few places (like southern California, where I live). But that killed two birds with one stone: it gave me plenty of time for training and it kept me away from the TV and the accompanying snacks.



2013-02-27 8:14 PM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?
Well I carry my race gear everywhere with me, my bike, swimming stuff and running shoes are always in my car and use all available time to train whether is be 30 mins or 3 hours.  I also sacrifice my mornings to ride and usually leave my house on Saturday mornings around 5 so I can be back by 8 to cook breakfast for the family.  While the kids and wife are napping I am out running.  Swimming I do during my lunch break and for lunch I just eat my meal from the pool to work, usually salad, rice and lean protein shake.  It really is all logistics and have find what is good for you.  Get one of those pull behind kid carriers and just train on a road bike, strength training.  Alot of YMCAs offer childcare while you workout as well. 
2013-02-28 8:25 AM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

I agree with what outlandluc said...I did many bike rides with a good trailer (pack it with snacks/toys/books/gadgets to keep the kids occupied).  Made me a faster rider because sometimes it feels as though you are pulling a parachute behind you, but you are increasing your power.  I also did the same thing on runs....my trailer can easily be changed into a jogging stroller. 

Sleep is key, diet is key, and just keep moving....

Cheers and good luck to you.

2013-03-12 10:18 AM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

4 kids from two marriages (ages 14, 13, 3 and 1) so very busy with wide range of "things" plus my career in sales where I travel a ton.  For me, it's 1) planning (i.e. what will the week look like, when will I work out, etc., meals) 2) we belong to the local Y - love the child care, they are great and 3) my older kids like to work out at the Y with me, or we go for a family hike, something active. 

Sounds like you are getting your mind around it and I know for me, it's 75% mental, 25% physical.

2013-03-13 3:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

jmholzman - 2013-02-16 10:21 PM Talk to your pediatrician before using the bike trailer on your littlest one; ours advised us not to use the bike trailer until our daughter was at least 1.  Jogging stroller at 6 months, bike trailer at 1 year.  

 

Yeah 6months is WAY too young for the trailer, I wouldn't even do it at 1 personally. 

Time is a precious commodity with kids that close together (mine are 20 months apart).  I typically run or swim for an hour during my lunch break at the YMCA near my office, and will typically get in a longer workout either early in the morning or at night after the kids go to bed. It's a constant struggle to get the time in though. 

2013-03-25 10:12 AM
in reply to: #4624106

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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?
I have two boys (12 and 14), my wife is an IMer and I'm a roadie/CX racer. We had to negotiate and plan our workouts way ahead of time. We also had to change the way we trained. We also used the baby jogger, a baby carrier for the bike (never tried a trailer), and we logged a lot more trainer hours than we thought a human being could stand (both bike and treadmill, especially good at nap time). There is never enough time to train the way you used to, but by using ideas like many of those given above (especially those about early or late time slots), you can get a good workout in most days. Hang in there. These are precious days with your little ones, they will get older way too fast and then they'll be waiting for you at the top of the hill. 


2013-03-25 11:51 AM
in reply to: #4624106

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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

OP -- we have three little kids (6, 3 and 1).  Both my wife and I are training which further complicates matters.

Best thing that we did was to invest in a "pain cave".   We bought a high-quality treadmill and trainer, along with Apple TV and a baby monitor, and set it up in the basement.  Now our favorite time to exercise is in the evenings, after the kids are in bed.

We evaluated the tradeoff between home exercise equipment vs. gym / YMCA -- the issue for us was primarily time.   Getting to a gym involves getting a bunch of kids dressed, packing them in the car, driving to the gym, getting them settled in the day care, THEN putting on workout gear and doing whatever... then re-do the entire process to get home.   A half-hour workout all of a sudden takes two hours.  And you can only do it when the kids are awake.

In terms of outdoor exercise with jogging strollers etc. -- we do some of that, but very hard to do during winter.  Plus you still have the limitations of when are the kids awake.  And what works for one kid may not work for 2 or 3.

The right choice is going to be different for everyone of course.  For us the at-home gym has been a great way to go - but you need to weigh a bunch of factors:

  • Distance -- we live a bit out in the country, so it's a good 15 minutes to the nearest gym (each way) which is a big disincentive.  If you live next door to a gym, different story.
  • Age and number of kids -- I think with bigger kids, you have more flexibility and they may enjoy some gym time themselves.   Smaller kids -- harder to pass them over to someone else.  And any option whose cost varies with the # of kids will quickly start to lose its appeal as the family grows.
  • Breadth of options -- With the gym at home, you're very limited in what you can do -- fine for basic running and biking (and maybe weights) but that's it.  I'm OK with that;  some folks aren't.
  • Maintenance:  If a gym treadmill is broken, you just hop on the one beside!   There's a lot of low-quality home treadmills out there (that we've bought before -- big mistake)
  • Weather -- we live in a cold climate with few daylight hours in the winter -- so outdoor biking is not an option for half the year -- and outdoor running is only for the hardy!
  • Budget -- At-home gym is a big upfront cost;  that said, a regular gym has a big monthly component (especially when you factor in child care, gas, etc.)
  • Space -- we have a big house that is reasonably soundproof -- so the kids aren't going to woken up by daddy's exercise-induced cursing.  Small house with thin walls -- the kids might learn a few new words Smile

2013-03-25 12:40 PM
in reply to: #4624106

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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

1. Look at my log and weight... not so well.

2. 4am wakeup calls.

3. Managing work is harder than managing the kids.

2013-04-09 9:20 PM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?
Yeah, what everyone else said: planning, trainer, gym after bed time, BOB, etc.

When I was still on maternity leave my husband and I switched off the hour or so after he got home from work. One night, he'd go and I'd feed the kids, next night I'd go and he'd feed the kids. I had dinner cooking when he arrived, and me already in my workout clothes. We still trade off saturday and sunday mornings. We usually have this, "Are you going for a workout? No? OK, then I'm going." sort of conversation. I have to say, it makes me much more efficient. No more dilly-dallying when I have to get back for the bedtime routine, or with time for hubby to fit in his workout before the kids' swim lessons. Oh, and yeah, I only watch TV when I'm riding the trainer.

Good luck! You can make it happen! Congrats on the little ones!
2013-04-10 8:29 AM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

For me, I have 2 kids...my deal is I either get up before work or go during lunch break...when I come home I am home with my kids.  If I can't get it done at those two times then I don't do it.  On the weekends I get and get either my run or bike done before they are really getting out of bed.

There are some days where I am the one who stays home with them instead of my wife.  Those are the day swhen my energy really gets zapped.  During their nap time in the afternoon is when I squeeze a bike in on the trainer.  It takes all the energy I have but I know that is going to be the only time I could do it.  It also helps with going to bed eary though because I am so wiped out.

I have a good friend who is a single parent of twins, twin's dad ended up being a douche!  They are 1.5yrs old, she gets up at the but crack of dawn to get her workouts in.  You just have to make the decision to do it.  It will suck the first few weeks but your body will adapt and you will begin to have more energy...

2013-04-20 12:32 AM
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Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?
This all great advice and I agree with planning, planning, planning. I am a SAHD too but only have one child. I also coach a Junior College Volleyball team so think of that as a part time job year round with serious hours in the fall. For running you can see by the avatar that the BOB is the way to go. As for bike, I have the Topeak Baby Seat II atached to my mountain bike that gets tons of use. My son rode it at 1 years old and loves it. Whith two kids the options are trailer, topeak + wee ride, or an xtracycle family kit. (can do two child seats.) I also do a lot of errands on the bike. The grocery store we like is 6 miles away so thats a nice ride towing the trailer and the kid.

Swimming...havent been in a pool in months. I have not made it a priority. The closest I get is getting in with my son during daddy and me swim lessons.

It c an be done, it just takes commitment, planning, a supportive family, and flexibility. Hang in there and best of luck.


2013-04-29 12:51 PM
in reply to: #4624106

Subject: RE: Parents! How do you do it?

Wow,

I can relate!   My kids are 5, 3 and 1.  They all come with their own challenges.  My biggest problems/ barriers to training are 1) guilt about being away.  I work full time, so the few hours in the evening that I get to see them is like gold.  I hate losing even an hour of that time.  I get around it by trying to get my workout in either mid day ( I have showers at work) or after they go to bed.  That leads me to barrier 2) Sleep…. You know how it is.  The toddler will not sleep, so they wake the baby, the baby wakes the third kid and now you start all over again.  Early morning workouts were a joke at my house.  I had to work out an “every other day” agreement with my wife.  That way, I know I can go to bed early, and not have to get up to deal with the kids that night.  The following day is an AM training day. Finally 3) sharing time.  Weekends are no longer devoted to long rides, or double sessions.  The house is a mess.  My wife is a runner, so some evenings. Nice days get passed off to her.  The reality is, I can still be healthy, and fit, and a triathlete… but maybe this year, Im content to just finish, or not lose too much time on my ultra competitive years.  

YEAH RIGHT! #3 leads to a new one... #4- Im too competitive to be content with finishing.  SO I ll train harder when I can, which leads to exhaustion… which leads to being grumpy in the am when baby is up before the sun…which leads to guilt, which leads to ….see…. It’s a vicious cycle.  

The point is, get out and do the best you can.  Adjust, be flexible  with workouts, and time, and don’t be too hard on yourself.  I also find smartphone apps help me to be a better eater, and get more quality out of my training… logging the training helps too ( I fail there).   

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