The Benefits and Tricks to Training With Kids in Tow


Whether you’re adapting your race strategy because of a tire blowout or a blowout of a different kind, or you’re persevering through a 15 mph headwind or the 100th replaying of “Baby Shark,” parent triathletes have a unique skill set that can be an advantage when training and racing.

Of course, there are challenges that come along with training with kids in tow. Professional triathletes Tim O’Donnell and Mirinda Carfrae know this all too well as the parents of 3-and-a-half-year-old Izzy and 16-week-old Finn. “One big change I’ve noticed is that now I go back-to-back with some of my training sessions, instead of spreading them throughout the day,” Carfrae said. “Unless there’s something specific that’s scheduled for later in the day, I try to get all of my training done early, so I can spend as much time as possible with the kids in the afternoon.”

While it might not be ideal to get a bike workout in before the sun comes up, scheduling training for later in the day almost always results in sessions being shortened or canceled, because work ran late or the dinner bell is calling. In addition to the timing of workouts, O’Donnell believes quality over quantity is the best method for achieving success, especially for busy parents. “It’s just smart to be as efficient as you can be with your training,” he said. “Do your best to prioritize the sessions that are going to give you the best return on investment.”

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