I hope everyone had a good Easter weekend! I was lucky to run into this blog post from Outside magazine, about how parents can train. Having a family makes training for running races or triathlons hard, but when your partner or spouse has their own goals, it can add yet another wrinkle.
My wife is training for her first race since the birth if the Lightning Kid, the Yonge Street 10k in April (maybe I can get her to guest write a race recap) followed by the Sporting Life 10k in May. Meanwhile, looking at the Race Calendar, I’ve got the 5 Peaks Rattlesnake Point trail run on the 28th.
Even though it’s my first trail run, this race doesn’t present an enormous challenge for me in terms of distance, while for her it’s really pushing the envelope for her current running ability. Due to my longer legs I am the faster runner of the two of us, but in the years since we had kids, the difference in our running fitness has grown. While parenting is tiring for dads, there’s no denying there’s a more direct physical toll on the moms. So when we finally got a chance to run together like we used to, how did we handle it?
We did this run together; it is only a little over 4k – so it doesn’t represent a long run for her, nor me, really. Our paces would be much different considering distance alone. What we ended up doing is she kept up a pace suitable for a recovery run (or even over-distance/endurance pace) while I did a mixture of extras to spike my heart rate from time to time. One trick was to stop for squats, push-ups or whatever Burbathlon-style. The problem became that my wife wasn’t quite slow enough for me to do too many reps without her catching up to me even when I had sprinted ahead. Which brings me to the other trick I used: Fartlek sprints, combined with either jogging back again or even backwards running, which uses opposing muscle groups to your run, and can be a way to cross-train and injury-proof your muscles. So to sum up, sprint ahead, stop for strength exercises till she catches up.
To me, this run together was some of the most fun I’ve had on a run in a long time; I missed my running buddy, and I kept myself highly amused with the extra exercises. To her, I bet it was a lot like taking a dog for a run… SQUIRREL!