Once you start running ultra marathons, they can be additive. You can really rack up the hours both training and running races. But there is a wrong way to train for ultramarathons. That is to become self absorbed in working out and racing at the expense of your loved ones. We tend to focus on our goals, such as our next hundred miler, but that goal needs to be tempered with the foundational goals of our relationship. Races are fleeting moments of experience in our lives, our relationships are the core of our lives. The following post shows how things can go terribly wrong.
The Wrong Way to Train for Ultramarathons
Greg runs ultramarathons and training takes all his free time. Emily feels like she’s a single mom. After years of asking him to cut back, she’s done. Recently she announced that she wanted a divorce. Greg was totally blindsided.
Emily: I can’t breathe in this marriage and I have no desire to work on it for even one more day. I’ve contacted a lawyer and I’m looking at houses to rent.
Everyone thinks Greg is so amazing, and I thought so too when we met. He’s smart, successful, generous, and adventurous. But 10 years later I’m over that. Now all I can see is that he’s selfish, bossy, and judgmental. I’ve had it.
When Greg makes a decision he focuses like a laser. A few years ago he became obsessive about running. He doesn’t just go for a jog. He runs ultramarathons, which are 50- or 100- mile races. You start at 4 a.m. and run for 30 hours straight. Even elite runners who make their living doing this don’t run as many races as Greg does. And when he’s training for a race, Greg can easily average 20 hours a week just running. Add another 20 hours of weight lifting and cardio on top of the time he spends at his fulltime job. He’s never around, and I’m left with three little kids, doing everything and trying to keep it all together.[Read more...]
Wow, that’s quite a story! But even if you train the wrong way for ultramarathons, there is hope. Maybe some of us have been guilty of focusing too much on our running at times. But if there is open communication, a schedule can be worked out that works for all parties.