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Extreme Training Can Wreck Relationships

Has Training For a Race Ruined Your Love Life?

Relationships are hard work — just ask my buddy Très. Training for an Ironman triathlon is hard work too. Put the two together, marriage plus extreme training, and you have some disappointed and lonely spouses. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal details the toll training can have on a relationship: waking up many mornings in an empty bed while your partner runs, swims, or bikes; family vacations centered only around destination races; hot dates skipped due to exhausted spouses or eclipsed by training plans. It can be a life of literally waiting on the side lines.

One way to remedy the situation is to cop the attitude that if you can't beat them, join them. But if kids are involved, another element needs to be factored into the training equation, making it all so complicated. I know. I rarely get to ride with my husband, but our competitive spirits ensure we both keep up on our weekly mileage.

The article highlighted only exercise widows, but I have heard a few men complain about missing their wives as they log miles in their sneakers. Love and exercise are both good for the heart, but has your romantic life suffered from zealous training — either yours or your man's?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
benheld benheld 6 years
My girlfriend and I compromise and are flexible with each other. Sometimes I plan a morning run, and she wants to go out for brunch, so I'll "re-schedule" to the afternoon. I also try to keep her updated on upcoming races, and when I'm going to start training, what that means, etc. so that she's mentally prepared.
Runnergirl13 Runnergirl13 6 years
I wouldn't say training has ever wrecked the relationship my hub and I have but it's definitely stressed it - on both of our parts! He's really into Crossfit and trains intensely 5 - 6 (or 7) days each week with his guys and I've run several marathons. We both understand the others' obsessions - it was even a part of our wedding vows! From time to time, though, we kind of have to remind each other about that!
Arthur Arthur 6 years
ruin would definitely be a strong way to put it, but heidi gets irritated with my sports. Pre baby she liked my dawn surf sessions cause i sneak out and she gets to sleep in. Now our older daughter may waker her and the baby up when I am not around in the morning. and I sent her the wsj article. she got a chuckle out of it. The weekends she gets a little frustrated when I plan everything around a long run or the right tide for the swell. On the other hand, she likes me better when I get in my workout time. And when I get under her skin, she always sends me outdoors.
wmoonw wmoonw 6 years
I wouldn't say we're doing extreme training, but we're training together for a half marathon, and I would say that it's great for our relationship. We run together, and it's really motivating to have him along!
jessicaeden jessicaeden 6 years
I'm single now and my training interferes with trying to meet someone new because I don't go out nearly as much and spend most of my time working out or resting. But at least I have something to look forward to post-race!
Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine 6 years
My boyfriend and I are both runners, so he understands why it's so important to me- although he's an afternoon exerciser, so there are some mornings where I get up to run and he's sad I'm leaving him to wake up and have breakfast alone!
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