10 Helpful Family Tips for Ironman Triathletes – TriCoachGeorgia

We are publishing a blog by one of our stellar athletes, Taz aka Wes Hargrove. Taz is the husband of Coach Kim Possible and the two of them are both doing Ironmen races this year. This has been a huge test of cooperation and planning skills.

#TeamHargrove has learned to make things work for their family despite demanding jobs and lives. They have two beautiful and active young daughters and extended family nearby.

Taz has been to the world championships at 70.3 in 2014 and was recently on the podium at Steelhead 70.3. He has competed 7 ironmans including Ironman Texas earlier this year and he is lined up for Ironman Augusta 70.3 and Ironman Florida later this year.

We think he makes great suggestions to help you navigate a truly challenging time period. Without further adieu, Taz will let you know some ways how to ensure less family strife, train to have a great race, and keep the peace at home.

Introduction

Training for a full Ironman while my wife (Kim Possible) is training for one also, both working full time, and spending as much time with the family as possible can make for a bigger challenge than it sounds. Here are some tips to help ease the pain:

10 Helpful Family Tips for Ironman Triathletes

    • 1) Have a family meeting well before signing up for races and make sure that you are both committed to making it work. If there is disagreement, talk through it. Don’t force the issue.
    • 2) Always keep your family and career as top priorities. This means making time to spend with your wife and family that does not involve training like date nights and family vacations.
    • 3) Get a coach that can relate to the family life that you live; this will take all the thinking out of planning workouts and will help with racing as well.
    • 4) Plan out each week with morning and evening sessions and who has which each day (mix it up so one is not always up at 0400 to train). Offer your spot up when you feel fresher.
    • 5) Hold each other accountable and help eliminate excuses. Don’t be a drag or a downer, don’t hold grudges that can be quickly hashed out, and do be more of a cheerleader of sorts.
    • 6) Be the most supportive spouse that you can, and get your head right when you feel grumpy via smart choices like talking things over with close friends and your coach.
    • 7) Try to avoid doing long days on the same day (try one on Saturday and the other on Sunday) so the kids do not feel like they are getting left out.
    • 8) Make sure when you travel for races you try and make it as much as a vacation as possible especially if the family goes with.
    • 9) Smile at your family when you see them on the course, whether you are racing or cheering; they feed off your energy and recognize that being a sherpa is pretty challenging too!
    • 10) Take time right after you finish and hug the family and thank them for all the support no matter how the day goes! Maybe set them up with a symbolic gesture (e.g., handwritten card) or gift (e.g., framed family portrait with a nice message).

Conclusions

It is a constant juggling act for us but we seem to have a good handle on it and have formed a great support team.  Training with the Tri Coach Georgia team is wonderful because so many athletes have kids, jobs, and train hard.  There is no perfect way to balance life and training but we all do what we can to make sure our priorities stay in tune with our values.

Hope this was helpful. If you have any questions about specific strategies, Coach Kim Possible or I’d be glad to answer them. Best of luck!