When an athlete falls in love with a non-athlete…it can be a match made in heaven. But if you’re the athlete in the relationship, it may break your heart to balance training, recovery and quality time with your partner and end up falling short (there aren’t enough hours in the day!). You’ll be happy to know that you can win them over with just a few romantic gestures up your sleeve.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s a handful of heart-filled ideas to help you manage being an athlete when your significant other is not:
1. Surprise your partner by taking the day off from training. Yes, we said it: Take. A. Day. Off! Sometimes you need to deviate from the training plan — especially on Valentine’s Day! Your loved one — and your body — will thank you for the down time. So, go spend the day together, snuggling in bed or doing something special that you both enjoy.
2. Give each other a massage. Touch is a powerful sense that can help relax and delight your loved one. Take turns rubbing each other with warm massage oil, paying close attention to their sore spots. You’ll both be left feeling complete bliss and relaxation. And what better way to get in some much-needed recovery for your muscles?
3. Soak in a hot bath together. Skip the ice bath after one of your hard workouts and grab your partner for a little one-on-one tub time. Pour in a bubble bath solution, surround the bathroom with aromatherapy candles and turn the lights down low (or completely off). You’ll feel the romance wash right over you.
4. Heat up the kitchen when you cook a piping-hot dinner with the love of your life. Find a recipe you both will eat with no remorse (think fuel for your next workout). And savor not only the flavors of the food but the time and teamwork involved.
5. Plan a couple’s getaway that allows you to sneak in some training. If you’re thinking of a road trip, plot a route where you can ride your bike part of the trip before meeting up with your partner and offering to drive the rest of the way. When your destination is too far to drive, scope out the area before you leave, looking for running trails, a swim-safe body of water and/or a gym. Then pack your running shoes, swimsuit and goggles to squeeze in a quick workout while your loved one is napping or shopping solo.
Amy Marsh is a four-time Ironman champion, two-time IronDistance champion, and was named the 2010 USAT Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Brandon Marsh has been competing in triathlons since 1988, and can be counted on to be a top-10 contender in every event he enters. Got a question about swim-bike-run or sports nutrition for Team Marsh? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. ‘Like’ them on Facebook or follow on Twitter: Brandon @BrandonMarshTX and Amy @AmyCMarsh.