Pros and Cons of You AND Your Spouse Training for the Same IRONMAN Race

The Iron Hippie and I are both registered for IRONMAN Wisconsin 2014.  We are just a few short weeks away from the start of our second IRONMAN Journey.  We both trained for and raced IRONMAN Wisconsin 2011, so we know what most of the pros and cons are of training for and racing the same event.  We’ve decided that finding balance is critical to a successful IRONMAN Journey.  Let’s start with the cons so we can finish on a much more positive note 🙂


  1. When we both finish a long, hard workout, it is easy for us to go out for dinner instead of cooking a healthy meal at home.  This training season, we are focusing more on preparing meal plans and having left overs available in the refrigerator/freezer to quickly reheat after long, hard workouts.
  2. When one of us is in a crabby mood (from a hard training week, lack of sleep, stress, etc.) the other person gets the brunt of our bad mood.
  3. When we are both in full training mode, we both tend to neglect household chores until they MUST be done…laundry, dishes, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, etc.
  4. Date night has often revolved around our workouts.  This training season we have set aside Monday evenings for completing household chores and date night every other week.  We have started to implement this now, so when we are in full IRONMAN training mode, it is already a habit.
  5. We have to coordinate with each other regarding multiple feats…our training and racing calendar, workouts, planning time to visit family and friends, letting the dogs out, planning and preparing meals, bed times, wake up times, etc.
  6. We spend a LOT more money when we are both training and racing…race fees, lodging at these races, food, sports nutrition, gear (extra tubes, CO2 cartridges, running shoes, apparel, etc.), transportation to race events, etc.


  1. We both have a very good idea of what the other is going through during challenging training weeks, recovery weeks and the taper.
  2. We are both very aware of the importance of eating to train instead of training to eat…we help each other eat healthy and consume MASSIVE amounts of healthy foods…especially after challenging workouts or long training weeks.
  3. We both have similar training schedules (we use the same coach, who writes separate training plans for each of us, and she helps coordinate some of our workouts for us) since we are training for the same race.  We are both gone for relatively the same amount of time each day to complete our workout(s)…our long rides are on the same day, our long runs are on the same day, etc.
  4. We are both much more conscious of going to bed early and getting enough sleep to help energize us for our next workout(s).
  5. We feed off of each other’s positive energy and support each other…if one of us is in a training slump, the other one is there to help motivate and encourage the other.
  6. We both help each other with the household chores…dishes, laundry, cleaning house, mowing the lawn, tending to the dogs, etc.
  7. We both understand the importance and advantages of mental preparedness…we communicate with each other to help each other find effective ways to prepare mentally for tough workouts and race day.
  8. We both can relate to the other’s obsessiveness in preparing for race day…laying out every possible piece of gear, nutrition, etc. a whole week+ in advance.
  9. On race day, we are both out on the course racing our own race, which allows us to stay relaxed…it is much easier to be an athlete than a spectator on race day 🙂
  10. We get to share in each other’s accomplishments and achievements…both during training and racing.
We survived Ironman Wisconsin 2011...Time to do it better in 2014!!
The Iron Hippie and I survived IRONMAN Wisconsin 2011…Time to do it better in 2014!!

2 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of You AND Your Spouse Training for the Same IRONMAN Race

  1. Oh, can I relate to this! Nick and I trained together for Canada and will be again for Wisco. I don’t know that I would have it any other way, either… so fun to experience the highs and lows together and (somewhat) be on the same schedule. LOVE the idea of a dedicated date night and setting one night to tackle household stuff! May have to implement that one. I’ve also been contemplating hiring someone clean once every couple weeks… it would eliminate so much of my stress! I can’t stand clutter and dirt, and when training is in full swing, there just isn’t time to get it all done as well as I’d like.

    When are you starting back up with training? January?

    1. I have also considered hiring someone to clean every couple of weeks. With two dogs, the everyday wear and tear that the Iron Hippie and I create and my perfectionism, it is unnecessary stress to have a cluttered and dirty house.

      We will be starting back up with training again in January, although I am currently trying to get back into a routine so January doesn’t come as quite a shock 😉

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