How to Run with a Significant Other

How to Run with a Significant Other

My husband and I met through running.  Since our first-year anniversary was yesterday, I thought how to run with a significant other was a timely post.  Running with a spouse can be enjoyable if you let it.

How to Run with a Significant Other

Running is a hobby we’ve both shared.  We started running a long time before we knew each other, and there are very few spans of time we run the same pace, but it is enjoyable to share that time with him. Especially since oftentimes, running is free time. Instead of going for a long run alone, it can be enjoyable to do a training run with a spouse.

Some of the earliest dates were runs. I didn’t even say: “going to run with a boyfriend,” we were just college kids that liked running. Then we were close friends running together, then boyfriend and girlfriend, and now we are married.

These days,  we share quiet moments with uninterrupted conversation when running.  During this day and time, it’s hard to find these uninterrupted moments.

So how do you run with a significant other? 

First, set ground rules. This is true of any running partner or running group. You are still married, whether you run together or not. You might not follow the same training plan or run the pace; that’s why to run with a significant other, you must set ground rules.

Easy Mileage:

The best way to run with a significant other is easier non-pace-oriented mileage. For us, I’ll speed up my pace 10-15 seconds per mile, and he slows down a bit.  We agree we will try and meet halfway (see ground rules). We don’t do hard efforts together because our hard efforts, such as miles, repeat because our paces are not the same.

He is a faster runner than I am and also has different goals.  (I like 5k-13.1 while he likes trail running and 5k-10k).  Occasionally he will do a tempo run with me, but that is the extent of workouts together.


We like to sign up for races together.  The important part is we don’t race together.  This still counts as a run with a significant other. We will warm-up and cool down together, but we race to our own standards when the clock goes off. We are still training and racing together, but doing so to reach our own goals.

Racing for you is important because if one person is faster or feels good, it will create problems to stay on the course together.  Part of being with a fellow runner is that you can’t expect to stay together or feel the same every race.  We support each other, good or bad race. Post-run, we are still married. If you want to run with a significant other, that means an agreed staying together; more power to you!

There are some important things to remember:

Ultimately someone might feel good or better on a particular day.  That’s okay, and there is no reason to feel upset by it.  With any running partner, it’s important to remember that running is for you. Once you reach the finish line, you both love each other and love running. There is no point in holding anyone back.

Running and working out can be a great addition to any relationship, but your ability to run the same paces (or not) does define a relationship. Don’t force a run with a significant other and if you don’t enjoy it, do another hobby!

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Who are your running partners?

Do you run with a significant other or run with a girlfriend or boyfriend? 



  1. We do exactly the same, or he’ll slow down for half if we do 5k then he’ll finish the second half at his pace. Usually though I’ll run with my sister who is around the same pace.

  2. Love this post! My husband and I will run together once in a while, but not often because we are very different paces. I like to run at least 3-5 miles when I do run and he is done at about 2-3. I like to run alone now because it gives me my time to think and just be by myself. I love that you and your husband do the same races, but run separately. That’s awesome!

  3. Love love love these tips!!! Alex and I have both been running a lot more lately and I’d like to be able to run together sometimes (but he’s quite a bit faster than me!) I like the idea of signing up for races together, warming up together, and then doing our own thing. We can still encourage each other even if we’re not running hand in hand, haha.

    Thank you for these ideas!! I’m excited to keep going down this running journey 🙂

  4. I run with my significant other also! When I first signed myself up for a half marathon he decided to just train with me and we’ve been running together ever since! He is much faster than I so we do the same and try to meet in the middle, but he loves when were finishing up to push me, which at the time I hate, but in the end I feel so good! This was a great post!!

  5. My family and I all agreed to run races the same way. Pictures at the start line, see you at the finish, have a good race! There have been only a few exceptions to this when we run together, like a Valentine’s 5k my husband and I ran together and his first 10k. He doesn’t really train so no training runs together for us either.

  6. my boyfriend was a D1 runner in college, but the last time we went out together he gave up a mile in haha. He’s forgone running for weight training and his cardio isn’t where it once was, but we still like to go on shorter runs with our dog because she keeps our pace lower and allows us to stop to catch our breath when she has to go to the bathroom. He’s a great running spectator though and seeing him while I’m out running is always motivating.

  7. Great tips! I got Dan to start running with me last year, and he’s still a bit slower than me. I like running races with him if I don’t care about my time and can just help pace him and keep his mind occupied. He hasn’t fallen in love with running yet, so I try to encourage him as much as possible!

  8. I’ve run with guys I’ve dated before and it can be tough. I usually wasn’t fast enough to run their easy paces but I enjoyed it when we did go. It’s nice to be able to run together but also separately and still support each other’s individual goals.

  9. I don’t run with my significant other, but he’s a cyclist, so we ride together. It’s a bit of a balancing act. When we first started dating, I was a brand new cyclist, so if he wanted to go out for a hard ride, he’d go without me. When we were closer to the same speed, he would just always take the lead and break the wind. Now, since I spent all winter training for a marathon and he spent all winter playing video games, I’m faster than he is (for the time being). So when we ride together, I just know I’ll be going a little slower than normal.

    When it comes to working out with significant others, two things lead to problems (IMO): competitiveness and needing to hit a particular pace.

  10. My husband definitely tricked me into thinking he liked running before we got married. I guess he was just trying to impress me since running is my favorite thing to do (second fav, now that I’m a mom ;-)). To his credit though, he did do an ultra with me…and thank goodness. I couldn’t have done it without him. (PS-he barely trained and completed 50 miles…aren’t people like that annoying???)

  11. I would just love it if I could get my husband to run consistently – with or without me! After Boston, I am going to encourage him to run some easy miles with me. He can do it, just chooses not to. I guess it’s not for everyone! Love that you guys can share the love of the sport with each other.

  12. This is weirdly so timely for me because I finally got my boyfriend to go on a run with me for the first time last night! We did a lot of run/walk intervals but it just made me so happy that we were doing something I loved together. I don’t know how much he loved it hahah but it was great.

  13. My BF & I both love to run but he’s much, much faster than me so we’ll warm up together and cool down together, just like you guys! We don’t do any training runs together though, because his pace per mile is a good 2:30min faster than mine – so while we don’t run together, we do hold each other accountable! He knows my training schedule better than I do!

    1. That’s awesome that you are both able to keep each other accountable though. Often times, that is what we all need most!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Savannah! It’s a toss up for me between the 5k and half for my favorite distances.

  14. For sure most important to just support each other, regardless of the endeavor! My husband and I run together on our easy runs sometimes. I think it’s always best to not go into it with specific expectations on the run since on any given day either one of you could have a good or bad day! I just love being able to spend the time together – you’re absolutely right that uninterrupted time together is so hard to come by!

  15. I really liked this post :). I actually just signed myself and my partner up for a half marathon in Sept. (we are both new to running…fingers crossed.) so hopefully training together goes ok!

  16. I’m always afraid to run with my hubs because he’s definitely faster than me, and I think the farthest race distance he’d ever want to do would be a 10K whereas I love the 10 miler and half marathon distance. He likes to run fast right out the gate but I like to ease into it. I think once I’m finished my half in May, I’ll ask about running easy together once a week and see how it goes. It’s hard because we both like to be in charge too!

  17. Very interesting – I’m running with my husband this weekend in his first 5k! I’m very excited for him to do a race, but trying not to be overly excited and scare him away 🙂

  18. My husband and I run together sometimes and are making it a point to run together every week now since he wants to start running longer distances. I’m a huge believer that pace doesn’t matter on easy days as long as it’s an easy pace (like, I don’t care if it’s an 8:30 or 10:30 on my easy days), so when running together we opt for the pace of whoever needs to take it easy that day. It’s so fun to have a built-in running buddy!

  19. … and to continue what I wrote on your last post 🙂 … you guys have it right in terms of doing easier workouts together and then warming up/cooling down at races. It’s great to see running and racing is part of your relationship, but you’re both totally comfortable going off and doing your own thing (and not expecting to race together).

  20. My boyfriend and I run together sometimes. I got him into running races and taking running a bit more seriously. We just ran a race together yesterday. We’ve come to understand we just run at different paces. And honestly everyday is so different for each of us that some days I’m faster than him and other days he’s faster than me. But he was faster than me yesterday and beat me in the race. It’s important to remember like you said that each day is different and not to get caught up in comparing yourself to your partner.

    1. Kayla, that’s awesome and I’m happy for you. That’s right though, it’s definitely important not to compare (important but hard).

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