Training as a Parent
Planning ahead will greatly increase your chance of getting in your workout. Have your workout clothes laid out, fuel mixed and in the fridge, tires aired, breakfast organized, etc all together the night before. The more organized you can be the more likely it will be you'll get your workout in.
Some times I end up having to break up a workout. For example: My daughter's school is very close. I will often put the kids in the running stroller or bike trailer for the trip to school. Great strength work! Remember to be mindful of your running form when running with a stroller.
Another way to break up a run is to get in a couple miles first thing in the morning and then the rest of your run in at lunch or the evening. The same theory works for bike trainer or strength sessions. Some days I have to do my strength sets throughout the day.
Swims can be more complicated with small children. I’ve had the childcare ladies come and get me mid swim or some times during my warm up. Occasionally I was able to nurse then hand my baby back, but often my baby just wasn't having it. If not, I called it a day and would do dry land work at home after the kids went to sleep.
You can also incorporate workouts into your child's activities. If your kid has a baseball or soccer game, run laps around the field. If they have swim practice, find an empty lane and get your swim in. Or schedule a playdate with a fellow swimmer. A friend and I will take turns watching the kids on the playground while the other swims at the community pool. One of my coached athletes likes to run at the gym while her daughter is at dance. I have run laps around a park pushing the baby in the single stroller while my friend watched my daughter play with her kids. Definitely many ways to be creative.
A lot of people need to use the early mornings for a workout. If you can let your body wake on it's own that is ideal but not always possible depending on your situation. You can do strength workouts at home and incorporate your kids in the plan. You can make most workouts a brick (by combining the two workouts of the day back to back) to save on time. Check with your coach first! Some workouts require a more lengthy break between.
Include the kids when you can or need to. It is best to get speed workouts in without pushing a stroller, but some times there's no other option and pushing the stroller is better than not getting in the run. Just be very mindful of your form.
Happy Training Moms!