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Five rules for maintaining harmony with your triathlete partner.
Triathlon is a time-intensive sport, and being with someone who understands your passion can save you the effort of trying to convince him or her that swimming, cycling and running play into your pursuit of happiness and yes, sometimes you really need to ride your bike for that long.
But being with a fellow triathlete can present its own unique set of challenges that can strain even the strongest relationship. Like any partnership, compromise is essential, and setting aside your own needs and goals to focus on your partner is also important. Here are a few tried-and-true guidelines for turning a shared swim-bike-run lifestyle into a relationship booster, not buzzkill.
Race solo at least once a season.
Sharing the joy of a perfect race with your partner can be a fulfilling experience. It can also be difficult to focus on your own performance when you’re worried about the well-being of someone else. Make a plan to pick a special race where your partner takes on the role of gear Sherpa and motivator. Returning that support at his favorite race and sharing in each other’s accomplishments will make you both feel grateful and appreciative.
Schedule some separate sessions.
Like racing together, training together can be fun and rewarding. But setting aside some alone time is also important. Solo workouts can offer a fresh perspective outside your daily routine and leave you feeling rejuvenated. Even a 30-minute run can be enough to clear your head, and having that time scheduled on your calendar will hold you to it.
Plan your week on Sunday night.
Talk with your partner about both of your plans for the week ahead so you avoid scheduling conflicts. Triathlon is just one aspect of your (shared) life, and finding the right balance with the other elements of your daily routine is important.
Don’t let laundry pile up.
You will produce mountains of sweaty laundry and be too tired/busy/inattentive to take care of it. This is a common but totally avoidable source of contention. Establish a set schedule and take turns slaying the laundry beast.
Be thoughtful and considerate in small ways.
If you notice your partner’s running shoes are looking tattered or her bar tape is ripped and worn, a surprise replacement will go a long way toward promoting relationship satisfaction. Keep the cupboard full of your partner’s favorite gels and energy bars and earn bonus points by baking treats or preparing her favorite meal. Earn double bonus points by offering a massage at the end of a hard training session. Earn triple bonus points by washing his bike.