Let’s face it. You love your workouts. You got into your sport thinking you were just running a 5K, just biking on the weekends or just training for your first triathlon. It didn’t take long, but now you’re hooked. Congratulations on your healthy and active lifestyle.
Whether you are following a training plan, taking a particular class or just mixing it up, workouts take up a good chunk of time. With any kind of commitment, you have to figure how to fit it all in. So what do you do when you are feeling that push and pull between training, family, and friends? Bring them along for the ride… literally!
The more you involve your family and friends with your activities, the more of a lifestyle it will become. Here are some tips on how to you can turn your workouts and races into a family and friends event.
When to bring ‘em along
While some of your workouts require you to go hardcore, other workouts call for a recovery run or an easy ride. That is a great time to invite your loved ones to join you. Sure, you may go slower than what you would normally do, but that’s ok. You need to build easy days into your training anyways. So give your body a break and let your relationships get stronger. Without your family and friends there to support your lifestyle, what fun is it really? Who knows, they may get hooked themselves!
When you need extra motivation
Let’s be real. You are not always pumped up to get your workout in but you are committed. On the days when you just don’t feel like hitting the road hard, turn what was your speed workout into a fun game of tag with your kids. All participants receive ice cream sandwiches! Or your long bike ride just isn’t happening? Then hit the trails with the hubby and have fun exploring a scenic route. Or do a race with your friends just to remember why you wanted to race in the first place. Family (or friend time) and being active is really where your motivation is today. Save the harder workouts for another day.
Friends that are not at the same fitness level as you
When you have friends that are at different fitness levels, it doesn’t mean you can’t workout with them. You can still get your girl time in by doing one of these:
- Start and end your workouts together. Do 15 minutes of warm-ups and then go your separate ways. Meet back 30 minutes later for your cool-down (and a workout report as well).
- Track workouts and pool swims are great for working at your own pace. There is something about just seeing your friend the entire workout that feels like you did it together.
Let your kids be your coach
Your kids really can help you succeed with your fitness goals. Not only will they realize how great you are, they will take pride in coaching you. Depending on your kids ages and abilities, here are some important roles they can play in your training.
- Bring your kids to the track. If they are old enough to join you with your warm-up run, perfect! Then give them a timer and they can track your laps and record your times. They will be cheering you on (and it isn’t even the race!). It’s a win-win for everyone.
- Have your kids bike along side of you while you run. Water bottle? Check. Put a water bottle holder on your kids bike and they are now in charge of your hydration. This is also serves a great opportunity to discuss simple nutrition facts on training and how to be properly fueled and hydrated.
- Let the kids pick your course. Get out the map and let your kids decide where your big workout will take you today. Being the decision maker is a BIG deal for the little ones. They may decide today is a 2-hour ride— so watch out!
- Hill work. Find a decent hill that you can bike climb with your pre-teen. Let them set how many climbs you are going to do together. You will be more than likely working extra-hard climbing that hill to keep up.
If you have kids that are competitive swimmers, bonus. They know all the drills and sets. They will be more than happy to swim in the lane next to you and show off their fancy strokes. Way to build their self-esteem and get in your workout.
Preparing for your race
- Hey, a girl’s gotta look good for her race. Do a fashion show with your favorite Moxie tank and let the family decide what your race outfit will be. Husbands and kids always have a great eye for this. Plus, they will know what to look for as you fly by them on race day.
- Prepare a checklist. Getting ready for a race is no small feat, so let the kids check off your list so nothing is forgotten. Have your kids grab your bike helmet from the garage, get the extra gels in the kitchen and mix your water bottles. What? Your husband is going to put the bike rack on the car for you? How sweet of him. Let them know you couldn’t be doing this race without them!
- If you have a lot to carry to the transition area, let the family and friends help. Your kids will be more than happy to walk your bike or carry the pump for you. Or throw your little one on the saddle while you walk the bike for extra brownie points. Everyone will be excited to help you today—so let them!
- Congrats for finishing your race! If you receive a participating medal as you cross the finish line, let your kids wear it. There is nothing as exciting as watching their face light up as you place your medal around their neck. After all their hard work helping you train, they should get some of the glory.
Involving your family and friends from training to race day helps build this great lifestyle you have going. Not only will you get your exercise on, you will be teaching your kids about commitment. You will inspire your friends. Your husband or partner will love your decision to live this healthy lifestyle. Chances are that if they are not already doing the same, they will be soon.
Kim is a Moxie Ambassador and blog contributor. Check out her bio here!