How to Run with a Significant Other

How to Run with a Significant Other

As most people know, my husband and I met through running.  It’s a hobby we both share.  You read the full story here.  We both ran long before we knew each other.

He is a faster runner and there are very few periods that we run the same pace, but it is enjoyable to share that time with him.  Running allows us to share uninterrupted time together.  During the day, it’s hard to find uninterrupted moments.

Since coming to Alabama, we’ve been running a lot more together.  While it usually involves being out the door at 5:30 am, it’s an hour we can spend together.

Many readers have asked: How do you run with a significant other?  Or Could you share some tips to make running with a spouse more enjoyable?

Keep in mind, running together is not always sunshine and butterflies.  I can remember a significant moment in our running relationship.  It was our first long run together.  I’m a very chatty runner and if you’ve run with me (or even raced), you know I’m yapping all the way.  My husband, however, is much quieter when he runs.  This took us a few runs to figure out.

We started off doing a 15 mile run in San Antonio, Texas.  All of a sudden he was running a few steps in front of me and silent.  I began getting irrationally upset.  Why were we even running together?  It was just silence.  I continued to get more and more upset until finally I snapped and said:

“I’m tired of this dude running.  Men just run single file in a straight line and not talking.  Women don’t do that”.

I didn’t know his running habits, and he didn’t fully understand mine.  Since then, we’ve had no more escalated running arguments, but my point is: it’s important to know any trainer partner’s habits.

So How do you Run with a Significant Other?

The short answer: We both put on running shoes and move one foot in front of the other.

The long answer of how to run with a Significant Other:

We run easier mileage together.  I’ll speed up my pace 10-15 seconds per mile, and he slows down a bit.  We agree to try and meet halfway.

We don’t do hard efforts together because our workout paces are not the same.  He is a faster runner and also has different goals.  (I like 5k-13.1 while he likes 5k-10k).

Occasionally he will do a tempo run with me, but that is the extent of workouts together.

Run with a Significant Other with Racing:

We both like going to races.  In my 2017 goals, I wrote how I planned to use a lot of races as workouts.  For us, going to races is quality time we spend together as well.  We like to sign up for races together.

The important part is we don’t race together.  We will warm-up and cool down together, but when the clock goes off, we race to our own standards.  The majority of the time, we do not stay together.

Racing for you is important because if one person is faster, 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.  Does it stink to be dropped by your husband or a training partner during a race?  Of course, but that is the nature of the sport.  We support each other, good or bad race.

There are some important things to remember to when you run with a Significant Other:

Ultimately someone might feel 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.

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.

Meet in the middle.  Chances are you aren’t running the same pace or training for the same thing.  Don’t be selfish and meet halfway with paces and mileage.

Don’t Be a Sore Winner or Loser.  There is no point to “racing” your significant other because heck neither of you is bumping each other out of overall awards.

Running with a significant other can be a fun and pleasant experience.  I know my husband and I are extremely lucky we get to share that with each other.

Know each other’s habits.  It will make the run easier and it’s essential if you want to run with your significant other.

Finally, don’t force or guilt them into running with you. Don’t take anything personally, sometimes they don’t want to run.

Questions for you:

Do you Run with a Significant Other? 

Have you ever run a race with someone?