Mind and Body Running the Fine Balance between Parenting and Training

Running the Fine Balance between Parenting and Training


By Noel Paine

“Funny how so many times we cannot apply what we learn in running to life.”

How many times have we all been told about how we should balance our training, balance our diet and do things like balance training and rest? It is something most runners learn rather quickly on their own even if no one tells them.

A proper running training plan requires hard days, easy days and often days of complete rest. You also cannot train hard all year-round without performance suffering. The body needs a balanced diet to perform at its best and rest is required to gain and get stronger after workouts, races and long runs.

It is when we step back and look at a training plan, a journal or even when a coach guides us – that we realize there is a need for ups and downs, valleys and peaks. One cannot always push.

Parenting and especially as a running dad involves a lot of pushing. Parent life can be about pushing a stroller, pushing for time to run, pushing away some things to make time for daddy duties. I love my daughter and have some great times with her but I struggle with the parent life. Life is busier and more restricted, demanding and often unrelenting. There are positive, fun times but also stressful, exhausting moments.

This is where I have looked to what I have learned while lacing up and try and apply to dad life. Balance. When with my daughter I try and be there, present physically and mentally. I stop worrying about the next run or other issues. When able I plan for time to get a run in, to stop and meditate for 5-minutes and for active things my daughter and I can do together.

A run clears my mind and helps me de-stress, meditation allows me to stop and find a calm moment in the day and being active with my daughter keeps my need to be active fulfilled and shows her a good role model. I balance my needs, my child’s needs and busy parenting time with down time or run time to be an energized positive dad for my daughter.

Be honest with yourself, be a positive active role model for your kids and balance life and running.

Noel Paine is a communications professional, running coach, and father based in Ottawa. Paine is a regular iRun contributor and you can also follow his journey on Twitter @NoelPaine.