While for many of us participating regularly in running, triathlons or cycling events is an important part of our lives, it shouldn’t be the end all and be all, especially when stacking it up against family, friends, and your career. We are NOT a professional endurance athlete!
You say, “Of course Dave, don’t be silly!”, but I’ll let you know, that many people I come across in the endurance sphere are so hard on themselves.
“I have to make Boston!”
“I have to make it to Kona!”
“I have to break 4 hours for the marathon!”
“I need to workout 7 days a week!”
Stop the insanity, people!
Unless you’re single, your kids are out of the house and all grown up or your spouse is just as much of an endurance nut as you are, you need to put your endurance lives into a bit of perspective.
I’m living proof of this. When I first moved out here in Phoenix a little over 10 years ago now I was trying to make the Olympic Trials in the marathon, which at the time was a time of 2:22 for the “B Standard”. My best is and was 2:27, and so to cut off 5 minutes was going to be a large feat. Did I mention my son was just 1-year-old at the time, we had just bought our 1st home and I was working at nights – Yep, not a great recipe for success.
I was running 80-100 mile weeks, and my wife was annoyed at me, for good reason, because I was a walking zombie, not helping around the home and was irritable, to say the least …And for what? So, I could say I made it to the Olympic Trials. There wasn’t a chance in hell I was going to make the Olympics. True, it would have been awesome to achieve that goal, but at what cost?
Now that I’m in my mid-40s, I more than ever know the need to have balance between my love for running and the rest of my life. I of course, wish to be as competitive as I can, but not to the detriment of quality time with my family, friends, and career.
Try to keep a balance
It’s hard to keep this balance, but remind yourself, that for most of us running, swimming and cycling should be something we enjoy – that’s why we are doing it in the first place. And although it’s great having personal goals, unless we are making a living to reach these times or marks, these races shouldn’t take precedence over other facets of our daily lives, in my opinion.
Run hard, ride hard, swim hard, play hard, love hard…
I believe in balance, and still think that many of our personal endurance goals can be met even while balancing a healthy loving home life…So take a deep breath, exhale and realize the journey you are on is for you, but also has a large effect on loved ones around you.
I know some of you may not agree with me on all of this. Look, I understand. You’re competitive. You want to see what you’re truly made of mentally and physically. All I’m saying is that you can’t always put your endurance training ahead of the rest of your life, again and again. With that stated, I do have one asterisk on this subject, which I discuss here in this post.