6 Tips for Family Track Night
Are you and your spouse both runners? Zach and I often get questions about marriage and running. It is easy to miss seeing one another between work, training, and family. Maximize the sport of running in your relationship and enjoy shared passion and goals. If you have children, this can be a great opportunity to get the kids playing, running, and encouraging one another as well. I also include how to coordinate the jogger.
CHECK OUT: Fitness: A Family Event (this has different kinds of runs you can do with your kids)
It takes effort, and we are working on prioritizing. We never regret going down to the track together. It takes some looking ahead on the schedule to make this happen. Half of success in running as a parent is communication.
Have a back-up plan, and maybe even a back-up plan for that back-up plan. Flexibility is the name of the game!
Find a local track.
Many tracks are open to the community. Before you plan your night, check the school or public track’s schedule. Busy tracks are bad for family track night. Have a back up track in mind if your local track is unexpectedly busy.
Hydration & Snacks.
Not only is this important for those doing a workout, but a great distraction for the kids. It elongates their tolerance for being at the track. Parents everywhere know that you have to bring drinks and snacks just about anywhere. The track is no exception.
As mentioned above, a major tip for making training work as a parent is communication. You can strategically design workouts to take care of the children and tag team responsibility.
For example, Zach and I often do repeats with active rest.
◊ Workout with baby:
If Zach is doing 800m repeats with 400m rest, I will do 400m repeats with 400m rest. I push the jogger during my rest (just over 2 minutes) which is perfect timing with Zach’s 800m repeat. He then will push the jogger for my 400m repeat. My 400m is quicker than his jog, but we trade off wherever we meet up on the track. This workout has worked rather smoothly. We will create a list of workouts in a future post. If you are interested or have a contribution, please let us know and subscribe.
◊ Workout with children:
We have also seen older kids joining one of the parent’s for a portion repeat each time. Length will depend on child’s age and ability. Side-by-side efforts are so empowering. They won’t be able to do the entire run, so come with a soccer ball and other games they can play on the infield.
PRO TIP: Use that long jump pit! It is a workout saver. We bring sand toys and sometimes that’s all we need to keep the kids content.
Bribe the kids.
My brother and sister-in-law have wisely advised a “carrot” at the end of this family time. We go out for ice cream afterward and plan to start sharing with Miles! I guess we bribe ourselves.
Making track nights exciting by doing extra special things keeps the kids begging for track nights.
Share your goals.
Tell your spouse your training plan, what you hope to accomplish in the workout, and any form objectives. This helps you feel more like a team and invested in the other’s running.
Training doesn’t have to be what keeps you from your family. Please comment with how you make training fun for the family!