Training With a Significant Other

Tim and I met through running at a college cross country race.  We went to neighboring schools and both ran cross country.  Our first date was going on a run together and we have since run off and on together. 

From the half last weekend
From the half last weekend


That brings me to the question of the hour.

Do you train with a significant other? 

When we lived apart Tim and I obviously didn’t run together.  I have always run the majority of my miles by myself even before I met Tim.  This is partly because I’ve always had a schedule that didn’t work for others.  In college I ran in the morning before class or in the middle of the day when others had class.  Tim would occasionally join me in the middle of the day depending on his schedule.  (He didn’t go to my school but a neighboring school).  We never ran more than once or twice a week together.

When I would visit him and in the summer, we would run every single run together.  You go from not seeing each other to seeing each other for a week at most…of course you are going to want to spend the most time together.  Tim was (and still is) a good sport about slowing down for my pace.  A reason I do enjoy running with him is that he isn’t going to push the pace to something that is uncomfortable and frustrating for me.  It’s hard for me to run with someone who is constantly checking their garmin or saying oh my god this five seconds too slow/fast, ect.

I’m a very grassroots, carefree and could care less about the overall pace kind of person.  When I stop improving from not caring, I might care more but right now I’m continuing to improve without aggressively keeping tabs on my pace.

Now that Tim is about done with flight school he can start running more consistently again.  He has taken the last year or so off of any serious running because it’s next to impossible to with his schedule.  You can say wake up at 3 am go for a run and then go to work for 12 hours…but let’s be honest it’s a lot easier to say that then do it.

Since I’ve moved down here to Texas we have been doing the majority of runs together.  He is currently  getting back into running shape.  Right now our paces are pretty similar so it’s nice for me to not feel guilty about slowing him down.  In another month, I won’t be able to say that.  My pace won’t be as good for him as a 7 minute pace he would be training at.

Will we still run together occasionally?  Yes.  We both love running and spending time together. Will we be that twinnerz couple running and training together every second?  No and I can’t imagine doing that.  Both of us are really type A runners and we both know what we need to do to get better.

I can’t imagine running 80 miles weekly with anyone let alone a boyfriend or significant other.  I think that would get terribly tiresome and strain even the strongest relationships.  No two people are the same athlete or have the same methodology for improvement.

Questions for you:

Do you prefer to train alone or with others?

I like to run a lot of miles by myself so I can go the pace I want.  That being said, I do enjoy running with others a few times a week to change things up.  Being alone for that long gets really boring quickly (and it’s also part of the reason I enjoy racing so often).

Do you train with a significant other? 

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  1. My take is similar to yours. For the most part, I need to be able to train on my own & push myself. My only competition is me. Having said that, I like to run with a buddy now and then for company, to mix things up and sometimes to push my training. That includes my man.

  2. I love that my husband and I do crossfit together! Were hoping to start competing next spring! It has really helped us bond all over again! Hes the best workout partner ever!

  3. Great post! I love training with my coaches and teammates because they push and challenge me. That being said, though, I’ve been enjoying running long by myself the last few weeks. It’s very therapeutic, and I like my “me” time. 🙂

  4. Though I don’t train for anything with the hubs, I do train with my coach once a week. It helps me to push my pace and effort level. Other days I enjoy running a conversational pace with friends. Then the days I run on my own I try to keep the miles consistent. 🙂

  5. You two are a good looking couple! Generally I’m a solo runner, but I do run with a small group of people a couple times a month. My husband and I both do CrossFit (he’s not a runner) but we never partner up for anything, which is the extent of my training with a SO.

  6. Brennan and I have ran together a handful of times. I get frustrated easily because he will push me to hard. That is fine for a short time but if someone is going too fast they just die quicker and then run gets cut short. He only runs once in a while but he is still faster than I am. Now that I am about to start running after 5 months off I will definitely be a slow poke. It is a good thing Sasha (dog) is allowed to start running now so I can take her for any early morning runs when it is still dark and feel safe.
    You are lucky that Tim is happy to run with you and not push, it drives me bonkers!

    1. I’ve run with a few people that pushed the pace too hard for me and I honestly couldn’t maintain that. I know I would have gotten injured and frustrated daily running with them.

  7. I run with Mike all the time, but we’re not really training for anything, just trying to get faster/healthier together. He’s OK with it if I run ahead of him a little, and it’s really helpful for me to run with someone to keep me going. He’s in med school and I’m a reporter, so if we can spend the time together (or at least kind of together), we’ll opt for that. Not sure if things would be different if I was actually training for a longer race, though.

  8. I’ve only run once with someone else and they were just worried they were going to pass out throughout their first 5k. This was after I stopped taking running so “seriously”, so I was just trying to take in the scenery without being too miserable. (Color Run) With that being said, I think I’d be good running with another person once or twice a week. I need “me” time and runs are just perfect for it.

  9. I like doing solo workouts. I’ll take a spin class or something with a friend on occasion, but usually prefer being alone. Though I wouldn’t mind having someone do a weight workout with me. Especially someone who knows what they’re doing as I’m still a newbie to strength training.

  10. Jordan and I trained for my last half marathon together, and I loved it. Since we trained for the whole thing in the gloominess of the winter, it was helpful to do it together. However, I also really enjoy running and working out on my own, since it’s my “alone time.” It just depends on my mood!

  11. I’m glad I’m not the only one who really prefers running solo. I do like occasionally being with someone else… sometimes they push me harder on tempo runs or they make me go slow on recovery runs… but usually, I want to go my own pace without worrying if I’m going too slow or too fast for someone else. My boyfriend is a soccer player (and a goalie at that…), so whenever I convince him to run with me, it’s usually just for my slow 2 “warming up” miles. HAH! It would be nice to have a significant other who really understands the runners’ mentality (like yours), but I’m also sort of glad that he has no interest in racing whatsoever. We’re both so competitive, I’m not sure if we would make it if we both did the same sport! 😉

  12. I have jealousy over everyone’s posts of group runs – they seem so fun! but honestly for me running time is a time to clear my head and zone out. I like racing for the fact of being around others for motivation (and because I am competitive…) but I do work out based on mileage and paces laid out by my coach so pretty much all but 1 or 2 runs a week are specific workouts…and it is hard to find someone who is THAT compatible.

    1. True! My biggest fear with group runs (or running with multiple people) is the pace differences. Not everyone can run at the exact same pace comfortably and I would be nervous it wouldn’t work out. I honestly prefer 1 person or 2 at the very most!

  13. I like to run by myself (so I can just think with my thoughts – that sounds silly) but I love when I race how much faster I do go with others…. I can’t train with my significant other, he doesn’t really do the whole running thing. We had a good laugh the other day when I called him (and to preface I run a lot and long distances too) and he was out of breath saying he had to just run to catch this truck and he was saying “Man I had to run so far, like very far, like so far you wouldn’t believe, it was like… um… 400 meters”

  14. I love to do classes with others but if I’m training for a race I’m all about going solo with it. For me, running has always been a time to just go off on my own and clear my head. If I have someone else, it’s almost like we need to talk. Also, I’m bad about keeping a pace at all so it’s like fighting a fire with gasoline — it just doesn’t work.

    The few times I’ve tried to do any sort of training with my husband, who was a certified fitness expert in the Army, I’ve wanted to thrash him. He goes into drill Sargent mode and I get angry. Thus, I say go on your occasional runs together but it isn’t essential to become “that couple.”

    However, if you do, please get matching outfits. If you’re going to be that couple, go all in. 🙂

  15. When I’m running in a busy or boring area (track, town streets) I like the company to pass the time. When I’m running my favorite way – which is with a water view, through trails where you have to pay attention and similar I kinda of like the solitude with nature – unless my son wants to run with me – then we experience that together. I also focus less on my pace when running with others, and even if it’s mental, I seem to be able to run much farther and a bit faster pace.

    BTW – I absolutely look forward to all your posts! Great site…

  16. Mike and I do 80% of our training together, it works for us and is why we started running/doing triathlons in the first place. That said we do run alone at times (not really bike since it’s dangerous and swim we are the same speed) when our schedules conflict and we run with different groups of people too. It is nice to have Mike by my side for our long runs, though!

  17. I like your approach – nice and balanced. I like working out with other people, but that’s definitely more for the social aspect than for actual progression. I don’t usually tend to push myself as hard when I’m with others, so I definitely can’t do it all the time. That and I need my alone time.

  18. I prefer to run alone. When I’m alone I can focus on me and not compare myself to anyone else. That being said, I am a part of my law school’s running club so I run with a small group once a week.

  19. I like switching it up and being with peeps sometimes not but all the time. I haven’t really seen it with running, but I have seen many of swimmer couples fall apart because they were ALWAYS together!

  20. I almost always run alone, by choice!

    Awesome that your BF runs though! I wish my hubby ran more.

  21. I like having the commitment of meeting others for a run, but then running by myself. My friends & I have a great arrangement–we are all training for different things, but we meet up at the same time in the mornings & then do our own thing. Not only does it make you feel guilty if you miss a run, but since we’re running through the same neighborhood, I have to think it’s safer, too!

  22. Alex is faster than me, but I like running with him because he pushes me (but not in an annoying way) and he is distracting enough that my body forgets I’m running 😉

  23. My husband rarely works out. I wish he did that way we could spend more time together. On the other hand, that’s MY time. Time to relax, destress, and get away. And I’m not the kind of girl that always needs a workout buddy. I actually love running alone. My pace, my music, my time.

  24. John and I work out together once in a while, well this year has been hard since he has been injured most of it. I think it’s nice to run together once in a while but I also know when it comes to running we are on a different page. Running together all the time wouldn’t help either of us. Just as I couldn’t ride bikes with him all the time because I would hold him back. Couples who train too much together are going to have issues racing, they didn’t train for their OWN race.

  25. I usually prefer to train by myself, mostly because if they are extremely faster than me it discourages me. If I have someone that helps push me alittle out of my limits, I can handle that.

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