Training for ultras, even if you go to great lengths to incorporate training in every element of your daily life, still takes significant time. Managing your family and/or professional life can be a challenge. If you don't have a spouse, kids, or even a job, ride that wave as long as you can. You'll never have this much free time. Well, at least for a number of decades.
Anyway, in the event you do have a spouse, kids, and/or a career, balancing these responsibilities can be a challenge. Here's some practical advice:
- Set priorities. Mine always went something like this: Time with spouse, time with kids, ultra training, work-related stuff.
- Develop a training schedule that has a minimal impact on other responsibilities. This may involve training after everyone else goes to bed or before they wake up in the morning.
- If you have to miss a workout, don't fret. Missing a single workout isn't going to doom your plan.
- Give your spouse plenty of time to follow their own hobbies. We all need our own “me' time. It may also help to lavish them with gifts.
- Understand that most opposition to an ultrarunning spouse is rooted in resentment. The non-running spouse feels as if they are shouldering an unfair burden. Having open, honest communication about sharing responsibilities will usually cure this issue.
- Bring your kids with you using a jogging stroller or, if old enough, have them ride their bike behind you.
- Get your spouse hooked on running ultras, too.
When I was building my endurance base early in my ultrarunning days, Shelly and I were having lots of babies. When the babies got on a fairly reliable sleep schedule, I'd leave to run after they woke up in the middle of the night. This allowed Shelly to sleep for a few hours undisturbed and allowed me to stick to my training plan. As our kids aged, finding time to train became easier.