Relationship Advice for Triathletes

As someone who has been active in the endurance community for a long time, I felt an obligation to my younger competitors to pass along some sacred words of wisdom. This advice is designed to help you create harmony and balance with your spouse or significant other in the already chaotic and busy world of a triathlete.

1) Communicate.

Communicate, communicate and, when you are done, communicate some more.

2) Contrary to popular belief the weekend is not designed only for long rides and long runs.

Picture this: The grass is getting long, the laundry is piled up, your roof is leaking, your son has a soccer game and you haven't had quality time with your partner in months but you schedule a long brick workout for Saturday.

Advice: You swear somewhere in the Old Testament it says something like, 'Thou shalt go long on the weekends', and who are you to argue with the Big Guy. But, believe it or not, Saturday and Sunday are reserved for other important tasks too, including time with the family, yard work and shopping. Know what needs to get done and balance your time appropriately.

3) Stick to your time schedule.

Picture this: "Honey, I am going out for a three-hour ride this morning." Six hours later you return and wonder why he/she is not happy. He/she says: "But I made plans for us today." You throw gas on an already five-alarm fire by responding: "Oh, what's the big deal, it was only a few extra hours."

Advice: It is a big deal; your word needs to be your bond.

4) Do your own laundry. 

Picture this: It's 5 a.m. and you're getting ready to meet friends for your long ride. You notice your favorite bike shorts are still in the dirty hamper. Advice: This is not the time to tip toe back into the bedroom and whisper into your spouse's sleeping ear: "Honey, when were you going to do the laundry?"

Advice: Wear the dirty shorts--let's be honest, its been done--and do your laundry when you get home. Between running apparel, bike kits, swim towels and jackets, workout clothes pile up and take up valuable real estate in a hamper built for the average person. Do your part to keep the dirty clothes under control. It will keep your partner happy, and it's guaranteed your favorite shorts will be clean for your next ride.

5) Put your gear away.

All your gear, I am sure, has a designated shelf, closet, hanger or cubbyhole where it all belongs.

Picture this: You get done with your run and you come in the front door. Being a thoughtful and responsible person, you remove your shoes with the intention of putting them away later. Your spouse/significant other says nothing and you go about your day. He/she must not care that you leave your stuff at the front door. But later in the day as you are ready to go and look for your running shoes you call out: "Honey, where are my running shoes?" You get that staunch reply: "In the closet where they belong."

Advice: If your partner takes the time to put your stuff away, you can to.

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