NYC Marathon Training: The Balancing Act!



It was Sunday morning, and I was supposed to be back by 8:15am so I could be  in the car leaving for church at 8:45am. When I walked in the door dripping with sweat at 8:30am, I could see the look of disdain (she says “frustration”) on my wife’s face. Balancing family, work, and marathon training is definitely going to be a bit more challenging this time around.

Every competitor knows that success not only requires their own sacrifices, but also the commitment of their support system. It takes a village! Getting the balancing act just right is definitely an art, not a science, but here are a few strategies to keep your people smiling:

Exercise early:

These days, the alarm often goes off at 5am so I can get in my run and shower before the rest of the family even gets up. I have to confess that I’ve even grown fond of the solitude and peace in the early morning. It’s also a great way to ensure you don’t skip your workout.

Be productive:

Take the term “running errands” literally.  I’ve been known to stop at the post office, ATM, and even the grocery store while out for a run. All those logo backpacks you get at races can really come in handy. To maximize time and save someone else a trip, I’ve even run 10 miles to the service center to pick up our car after maintenance. I think what they say is true...the more you have to do, the more you do!


Don’t assume anything! Look at your weekly schedule and actually speak to your partner to see what works best, especially if you both place a priority on exercise. This could mean switching the day for your long run, taking the kids in the jogger, or changing the time you work out. It may be easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, but planning and negotiating ahead of time pays off in the long term.

In the end, running (especially for several hours) is a choice. It is not one that everyone understands, but there are certainly rewards for those who stand behind us. They get a partner, friend, parent and/or colleague who is stronger, healthier, more confident, and less stressed.

Best of all, it's contagious! If you can't beat them, join them.