General Discussion Triathlon Talk » IM training with a newborn? Rss Feed  
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2007-06-11 11:32 AM

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Subject: IM training with a newborn?
I know anything can be done, but has anyone done it and have advice or things they would change? As it looks right now my IMLP 08' training plan will be during the first 5-6 months of my newborn.

My wife has given me the ok and states she will support me. I told her I could put it off or maybe delay it a year or two. She wouldn't hear of it because she knows how bad I want to complete it. Or maybe she just wants me to get it out of my system quicker. Whatever the case I guess I'm going to give it a shot. I just worry about being selfish with sleeping and training time. Any thoughts?


2007-06-11 12:41 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?

Will this be your first child? First and foremost, congratulations!! That is an exciting time for you. Enjoy it. I am a woman with 3 small boys. Well, they're not That small anymore but I think of them that way. (3, 5 and 7) I am the triathlete in the family. I guess I can say that you will probably run into a few challenges but it would be easier now than when/if you have more children.  I would say go for it if your wife truly gives you her blessing but try to stay sensitive to her needs too. If you notice extress stress or fatigue with her, stay home and give her a break and readjust your training.  Those are my thoughts as a Mom and triathlete.

Good luck!!! 

2007-06-11 1:25 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
Thanks for that advice. It will be my first. We should know by tomorrow, and all signs are pointing that way, but still veerrryyy early. You're right about being receptive to her needs. It will only work if I can do that. If I don't give her that then she won't give me anything. I'll just have to suck it up and make it happen. It will probably be the toughest 5-6 months of my life, but also the most rewarding...
2007-06-11 2:24 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
Hey there!

I think that it's great to put this possibliity out there before slapping down your first $480 of what will be, literally, thousands of dollars and hours toward this huge goal.

First of all, I need to clarify that I am at the end of training for my first IM--CDA, which is in two weeks. My husband and I have trained since Christmas for this. We each only work four days a week and we have no children.

My gut instinct is to tell you not to do this with small children, and especially with a newborn.

I know that people do it, but I can't overemphasize how all-consuming and exhausting it is. Not only do you spend an inordinate amount of time working out, but there's also all of these other things that you forget that you'll have to organize and prepare, like having the right foods (all of the time--you have to eat CONSTANTLY) and having clean workout clothes, and traveling to and from the gym and needing a lot of quality sleep, and just doing your every day things with a lot less energy and patience than you normally might have. This will greatly detract from what you can experience with your wife and new baby. I would think that, unless you require no sleep and you have no intention to participate in caring for your baby (and wife, post partum), it would be nearly impossible to do both even vaguely well.

This is just my 2 cents, but if it were me, I would cherish the time that you have now for your family and save IM for when your kids are old enough and independent enough that you not being around or being for huge amounts of time won't impact them and your wife. IM events will always be available for you participation, but having a baby only happens a few times (hopefully!) in your life.

Congratulations on becoming a father!
2007-06-11 3:26 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
I'm doing IMCDA in 12 days and it has been tough. My two sons are a bit older than newborn (4 and 7). I do most all my workouts in the early morning and during long lunchs while at work. I also set aside one weekend day that is family day. This made for one midweek evening workout (my long run) and I was always able to get home intime to read for the kids and help with bedtime routines. My long ride on Sundays is tough even though I leave by 6 am I'm not done (and cleaned up) with my workouts until 1 or even 2.

One thing to think about is that there will still be Ironman events 3,4 or even 7 years from now. They are not going away, maybe some events will be dropped and new ones arrise, but there will be Ironman events for the forseeable future, you don't have to do it this year.

During the first 5-6 months, you want to spend as much time as possible with your first child, reading, playing, feeding, changing... everything you want to be a part of it.

There is time for both and it is doable, but be flexible with your workouts


2007-06-11 5:14 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
I'm looking at this from the other end of the spectrum. My kids are 13 and 17 and I"m the triathlete mom in the family. When my daughter was born, I was an avid runner, competing about everyother weekend. I couldn't wait to get back to the starting line which I did within 6 weeks of giving birth by C section. I continued to race for a few years and then tapered off.

Now, I have all the time in the world to train - except for work, housework etc. . . ., that is, my kids have their own lives and could care less about mom's being gone for a long ride. However, I look back and realize that those PR's could have come at anytime in my life, but the time I missed pursuing them can never be regained with my kids at some very precious ages.

Everyone is different, but I know that kids grow up much faster than anyone can believe and I didn't believe it when they were infants and toddlers. Follow your heart - if you are true to yourself you will find the right answer.


2007-06-11 8:02 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
Tough one! There are definitely no right answers except for the ones that are right for you. I have 3 children, 3,5, and 7. I think the most important thing to consider is your wife and her feelings and plans. If she is breast feeding, she will be getting up every single night for the first 3-4 months at least. Every night. It will wear her out, and she will need your help when you aren't working. If she isn't, you will probably be sharing in the getting up, which could be hard to do after being out for a 6 hour ride the day before. On the other hand, it is a lot easier to leave a 5-6 month old, in my opinion, than a 3 year old. The 3 year old can talk and say things that make you feel really guilty for going out on that long ride.

It is definitely doable. Babies nap, and you can find time to train during those naps. Once they are over about 3 months, they can ride in a baby jogger as you run. Early a.m. is definitely the thing that works for me. The question becomes, do you want to do it. Only you know the answer to that one.
2007-06-11 9:30 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
I am doing it right now ( Redman Iron Distance in Sept.) and have a 16 month old. Like many said it will be tough but with proper planning and willingness to change plans it can be done. What I find sacrificed is a lot of not so important things. I don't watch as much tv. I am a huge baseball fan and this year is the least I have watched in my life.

Best of luck, it can be done but it is not easy!
2007-06-11 9:33 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
We are kinda going through this. I did IMAZ and a week later our little one was born. I'm holding off on IM distance for a couple of years. I found it a bit rough on the marriage to be doing that much training while she was pregnant. You can do it, just expect that things will come up and eat into your training time. Go for key and quality work outs and don't set any race finish times.
2007-06-12 9:38 AM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
I've thought about everything imaginable that could take place. All of your responses have made sense and it really does come down to my choice or our choice. I know it's very easy for her to say she will support me now, but when it comes down to the actually training time it could be different.....

Some of you have said there will be IM's down the road, and there will be, but maybe not for me. My wife plans to stay at home with the baby and with my public service job, my salary is pretty set. I work a standard 730am to 330pm workweek so extra work hours is not an issue. We're in a great living situation now, minimal rent and don't plan on moving until after the IM is over. Then we will buy a house. Once the house comes, there goes the money and who knows maybe another baby which would be fantastic. My wife has told me to talk to as many people as I can just to get opinions and ideas.

We're actually planning to go up to IMLP and volunteer this year and then I was going to sign up for '08. There is no way that if I go up there and get the feel for it that I'm not going to sign up. Anything will seem possible when I'm up there.

If I do do it, it could be the most rewarding 6 months of my life. The more I think about it the more confused I get. Thanks for the thoughts, keep 'em coming...
2007-06-12 11:04 AM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
Actually no Angela, just found out that Safari on my new Macbook doesn't work with BT very well.

Now back to the post that didn't make it due to the compatibility.

to the orginal poster:

I finished my first Ironman last summer and had an absolue blast. Probably one of the greatest achievements of my life. I signed on again for this year with the full support of my wife all all intentions of finding the quality training times, while balancing a family and a business.

This weekend, my 20km run turned into a 2hour 8km interrupted jog due to screaming kid in the chariot and a mid loop feed session. It should have been funny but was very stressful for me. I also planned a 110km ride which was cancelled due to teething and my wife feeling stressed about the time that we have together is broken by training sessions.

The fun in training that I loved last year, is not there this year. The training has become stressful and negative for everyone involved. It's hard to find the time and equally hard to justify it with a seven month old that is now starting to explore the world.

I don't say the above to dissuade you, but I'm living your future at this point. Make sure you don't sacrifice your family's continuity and hapiness for the Ironman. It'll be there in a couple years, this first months of your child's life wiil not be.

I've reluctantlly decided to pull the chute on my attempt this year and just have some fun. It was a tremendously hard choice, but I think the right one.

Good luck with yours!
brad.

Edited by bradk 2007-06-12 11:21 AM


2007-06-12 11:08 AM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
I think you might  be on the wrong thread Bradk. 
2007-06-12 11:20 AM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
If it were me, I would sign up for the Great Floridian (or another race you can still get in to for 2007) this year and get this IM-thing done before the baby comes. You only have your first child once; do you really want the added stress of training for an IM at the same time? I wouldn't.
2007-06-12 11:54 AM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
I think that trying to get the IM thing out of your system (at least for a while) before your baby comes is a great idea.

I'm guessing that a lot of relationships are seriously damaged due to one partner staying home taking care of not-so-glamorous details while the other person pursues his or her IM dreams. If I were home breastfeeding and changing diapers, feeling stretched out and exhausted and stressed, and my partner was getting in the best shape of his life, training for IM, I would develop some serious anger and resentment. Put yourself in her shoes--how would you really feel if it were you who carried and bore the child and (I'm assuming) took care of it all day?

Besides the time and physical/psychological toll, don't underestimate the money, either. You would think that it would be cheap to work out all of the time, but the costs (clothing, food, equiptment, other shortcuts you devise just to get through it) are all expensive. My husband and I have been really lucky this last year. We could afford to enter and train for CDA in every sense of the term, but it was really hard and I can see how, if we had been in different places with our jobs and money and family, it would be completely miserable. Frankly, that much training becomes miserable at times, in and of itself.

Set yourself up to do IM when you can really focus and enjoy it, and not sacrifice the other things in your life that are important, like your family.
2007-06-12 11:59 AM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
I've been thinking and I do believe it is time to "Man Up" and take on the challenge of being there for my wife and baby during the early months while passing on the IM. Probably one of the toughest, most important, and best calls I am going to make in my life.

Doublej, and everyone else, you're right about the added stress that will come about if I try and do both. I think I have a strong desire and will to attempt to complete the IM. This will lead to me being more determined later on if I get my shot. I've got Timberman 1/2 this August and will go hard for it as my last long distance Tri for now.....

My wife and my baby are and will be the most important people in my life and I want to be there as much as I can for them. So I'm content with my decision. Thanks for everyone's input.
2007-06-12 12:50 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
I'll bet that your experience will be all the sweeter when you are able to go for it without a shred of guilt or hesitation. Also, with all of the shorter distance events you'll be able to do, jumping up to iron distance won't be as hard on your system. AND, this way, your child will be able to call you "Irondad!" There can't be anything sweeter than having your child waiting for you at the finish line, cheering you on.


2007-06-12 1:59 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
I also have CDA in a couple weeks. I have a four month old at home. I knew it would be tough to get outta the house to train and it was. I missed probably more workouts than I should have. It can be done. But once the baby starts smiling at you and rolling over and laughing it is a heck of a lot tougher to get out and train just because, well for me at least, I wanted to stay home and play with baby.

Congrats by the way!!!!!

2007-06-30 7:43 AM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
I'm on my 4th child. I run at 5am, swim at 6am, bike at lunch (from my office) and squeeze bricks in on Sunday's between feedings. it's not uncommon to see me running around town at 10:00pm... Like everything else... you find your baby has some patterns... work around them. That's what us age-groupers do right? congratulations!
2007-06-30 3:30 PM
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2007-06-30 7:14 PM
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2007-06-30 8:03 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?
my wife and i have a 20 month old and a 2 month old, she is in full support of me doing ironman cda, i like many others have said train early in the morning, up at 4am during the week and sometimes out after 7:30pm when the kids go to bed. if your wife is on board just be flexible..... i think i have way more quality time with my kids because i do work out. just be sure the wife is on board and understands the training requirements....


2007-07-05 1:36 PM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?

My first little one is just ~2 months old right now and I have a HIM planned in September.  There were a couple very bad training months close to my daughter's birth, but things are much better now that she's sleeping at night.  Plus, she's able to ride in the jogging stroller with me at this point, so not only do I get training done, but my wife gets a much-deserved break as well.  I think the best advice you can get is from folks who are currently in your shoes, or who have been in the past, rather than those who might just speculate about what it's actually like to have a newborn.  If you believe you're capable, and your wife believes you're capable, then you can find ways to be a great dad, great husband, and great athlete all at the same.

Go for it, man!

~B

2007-07-06 1:03 AM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?

I had to cut back training through my wife's pregnancy and the first year of our daughter's life. My IM aspirations are still on hold for now. I am not sorry. IM will be there. Your child will change before you know it.

I will qualify the next part as my opinion so take it or leave it: If you are working full time and training (I assume 15+hours a week) You will miss out on what should be one of the most significant periods of your life. You will be an absent parent. Being gone is gone whether you are riding a bike or watching TV at a bar, you're still not home. When baby is a year older and less dependant you can go back to full time training.

And congratualtions.

2007-07-06 8:40 AM
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Subject: RE: IM training with a newborn?

Congrats!

Lots of good advice on here I'm not going to rehash.  But as the father of a newborn (he's 4 months now) I want to remind you of the unpredictability of children, particularly with their sleep habits.  It's one thing to plan to train at 4 or 5 am in order to be there for your wife as the supportive husband/dad.  It's another thing when the baby decides to wake up at 10, again at 1, again at 4, etc.  I find that when the baby has a rough night, the early am workout is the first thing that goes.  It maybe that I'm a wimp about it, but I find it hard to crank out the miles on just 3-4 hours sleep, or 6 hours with lots of interruptions.  Of course, my eldest slept through the night from 6 1/2 weeks on while the baby still wakes up.  You just never know how things will turn out.  I think an IM definitely can be done, but you just have to be super flexible and realize you might not be able to churn out 20 hour training weeks with a baby in the house.

Just my .02.  Best of luck!

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