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5 Steps To Balancing Family Life And Not Give Up Your Running

Want your partner (and your kids) on board for letting you have a regular running routine? It’s not as tough as you might think.

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1. Get Support

While your partner may not want to join you, he or she needs to support you or there could be tension, says Tara Costello, a mental-performance consultant based in Charlottetown, PEI. Don’t assume your partner is on board.

“To avoid tension with your partner while running a marathon, it’s imperative to engender support,” says Costello. “Discuss with your partner why the goal is important to you and why you need his or her support. Review the training plan, how it will impact your schedules and how you might work together to solve any challenges.”

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2. Adapt

In a perfect world, runs would happen on schedule and on time. But with significant others, family members and friends in the picture, schedules may need to change. You might want to go on runs later in the day to ensure that you read your kids a bedtime story, suggests Costello, or in the early morning before everyone gets up. Janice Morris suggests working errands or school drop-offs into your running route (for example, she drops off her kids at a play centre on the way to physio).

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3. Plan Ahead

“Map out your week,” says Morris. Then you won’t have to feel guilty about your runs. “If you have kids, you need to look ahead and make sure that you have childcare and a good backup babysitter.” And plan ahead for couples time with your partner, whether it’s having an earlier dinner to accommodate an early bedtime, doing a cardio DVD together or watching a movie on the couch, says Dr. Lindsey Forbes. “Be creative,” she says. “Make the most of time with your significant other.”

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4. Check In

“I’m a big believer in couples doing daily and weekly check-ins, because people grow apart” says Sig Taylor, a marriage and family therapist based in Calgary. Ask your partner how he is doing or if he needs anything. These types of short conversations ensure that couples stay connected and that relationship issues are dealt with as soon as they arise. Then your running habit won’t seem like you’re trying to get away from the house (even if you are).

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5. Be Grateful

Don’t forget to thank your biggest fan club for supporting you and your running habit. Your partner may be carrying a heavier load at home, cheering you on at races and rallying the kids. “Acknowledge the sacrifices that your partner is making,” says Taylor. “Make sure those efforts don’t go unnoticed.”

Originally Published in Best Health Canada