Sure, triathlon can be a super-solitary sport, but that doesn't mean you can't make it more of a family affair.
Here, we asked top triathletes their secret to balancing their brood with swimming, biking, and running.
Work Kids Into Your Workout
While your 8-year-old may not be able to join you in your next four-hour ride, he can tag along for the final few miles. Professional triathlete Hunter Kemper, a four-time Olympian and father of three, says his family sometimes starts or ends his training runs or rides together.
"My wife, Val, will bring the kids out on their bikes so we can go out together, or we'll arrange for me to end at a park so I can meet them once I'm done," he says. "Including them in what I'm doing is a big part in getting them excited and understanding what it's all about."
Another option? Park your tot by your treadmill or trainer at home. "Having my daughter near me as I train keeps me inspired," says Rebeccah Wassner, a pro triathlete and new mom to Amy, 4 months. "Even though she's so young, I work harder knowing she's watching me."
Talk it Out
Carving out time for hours-long training blocks might mean precious time away from the family. So it's key to keep your spouse (and kids) posted on your plans.
"If your wife doesn't know that you're going on a three-hour bike ride, there may be consequences," says Kemper, who makes a point to discuss his upcoming workouts with his wife every Sunday. "You have to let them know what's in store for you so everyone's prepared."
Teaming up to tackle your schedule together makes it easier to come up with a plan that works for everyone.
"My wife helps me each weekend by figuring out a time that works for her to stay home with the baby while I train," says Matias Palavecino, a top age-grouper whose wife, Katie, is expecting their second child this fall. "Working as a team to plan training into each day helps us stay organized."