When taking up running with your spouse, there’s a few things you should know. Some may be obvious, some may comes as a surprise. But they are all important.
Dragos and I work out together, and a fair amount of that is spent running together. It gets the blood flowing and helps elevate spirits.
Here’s what we found out, partly through our own experience, and partly through friends of ours that also run with their significant other.
So what should you be aware of, when you start running together ?
It can be tricky to jog together, but it’s totally doable. For sports equipment that will help you when running together (like running shoes, or knee sleeves), head on over to our Sports Accessories page. There you’ll find products that we recommend because we know they’re good, and we know they’d help you enjoy your run.
Running together with your loved one is great, just keep in mind these next 9 things:
1. You will have different running speeds
When you’re on your own, that’s one thing. But when you’re running alongside your significant other, you need to take into account their running speed.
This is largely dictated by constitution (height, weight), stamina, and training. If your partner is a jogger as a hobby, and you’re just now starting, you’ll have trouble keeping up with them consistently.
Conversely, your partner might get a bit annoyed at having to slow down every other minute so you can catch up.
As such, you two must train together. The partner with the fastest speed will have to help the slower partner increase their speed, and there will be lots of patience necessary, on both sides.
This is work on the foundation of running together, and it can be trained. If you have access to a gym, hop on similar treadmills and train together until you can both run at the same speed comfortably.
Do keep in mind that differences in build will need to be taken into account. A much taller partner running with the same speed as a short partner will cover more ground. Thus, one has to adjust their speed.
Find your own, comfortable couple-pace. If it means slowing down or speeding up, both partners have to enjoy it.
2. One of you may need more training
Even if you’re both absolute novices to running, and cardio in general, there will still be some differences. And that’s alright !
Just have patience with one another, and remember that you can make this work. If one of you is having a hard time training for a faster pace, it’ll be easy to slip into resentment towards the faster partner.
No two people are built the same, and you must remember that. Keep emotions in check and help each other get the best experience possible.
Until you both get to similar stamina levels, do take breaks according to the least trained partner. No point in dragging your husband for another 2 miles if he just needs 5 minutes to rest. Rest with him and when you’re both alright resume your jog.
For example, I like running as an activity but going for more than 10 minutes at a time is too much for me, I need breaks. Dragos, on the other hand, can go on for 30 minutes or won’t even bother at all.
So we make it work by taking small 2-3 minute breaks every 10 minutes, to make sure we’re both alright.
3. Look out for one another
If you’re running along the road, it might be tempting to run next to each other. Maybe it could be alright for some stretches of the road, when there are no cars.
But it’s easier to stay safe if one partner is behind the other.
Maybe one of you sees better into the distance (for example Dragos is the one running in front, since I can’t do much without glasses and I don’t always take them with me running).
Or one of you has better hearing and can distinguish between falling leaves, and incoming cars.
If one of you has a special need or med to take, make sure to keep that in mind before you leave the house.
After all, when you’re running together you’r relying entirely on one another. So always make sure to have each other covered and stay safe.
4. One of you will be more into it
There’s no way around it. One of you will like running together more than the other, and it can be of of two reasons.
First, they just love the running part. Your spouse maybe loves the feeling of freedom that running gives them, and could be ecstatic about the upcoming marathon. In the meantime, you’re not that into it and would rather keep your running sessions short and sweet.
Second, your spouse might be enjoying the together part. Whether it’s running or fishing or just watching paint dry, your partner loves doing it with you. So they might insist more often than not that you go running with them, or suggest it as a date activity, or just a general together-thing to do.
It’s important to know these differences between each other, and respect them.
Discuss them as best you can, and reach a compromise. One of the things to discuss is whether running together is a sustainable activity.
If the difference in enthusiasm is too great between you, then it’s probably best to think about another alternative that you might both enjoy.
5. It’s alright to roam solo every now and then
As we said above, one of you will be more into it. And that’s alright, as long as you give each other freedom to roam, so to speak.
If your sweetheart’s completely exhausted and could really use a day off running, then it should be alright for you to go running by yourself.
Some days will be like this, everyone knows there are energy dips every now and them. So go running without your spouse, if you really want to head out and they really want to stay in.
Just make sure there is no resentment building, or that you’re both very clear about how this won’t affect your relationship.
It may sound silly, but people get attached to the most random things. Your partner might care very much that you do this together, not solo, and as such might take offense that you don’t want to come with.
Always be clear about the state of the relationship.
6. To talk or not to talk ?
If your’re going on longer runs, then you’ll probably slip into a conversation or another. Or even if it’s a short 10 minute run, you might want to talk about those cool trees you saw on the side of the road.
Now, you could say that it’s distracting and will make you short of breath faster, and you won’t enjoy your run. Or, you could think it;s invigorating and a great way to pass the time.
Both opinions are right here, and it depends on each of your personalities how you want to do this.
Personally, I can not talk while I run. It throws me off and I can’t focus on the conversation at all. Dragos is a chatterbox and wants to tell me everything about that squirrel he just saw.
So, we make it work by having chats during our breaks and being quiet while we run. But if something really short needs to be discussed in 3 sentences, then we can discuss it while running.
You and your spouse can make it work as well, just think of your own styles of communication. Are you both quiet ? Or are you both very talkative ?
Just make sure you’re both clear about why you’re talking or not talking, and you’ll be fine.
If you do end up talking throughout your run, make sure you take a few minutes of silence as well to regulate your breathing.
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7. There will be a surge in energy and good mood, make the most of it
Although it might seem like running is draining, it releases endorphins which trigger your good mood, and your energy levels increase.
In the case of a couple with a lot of energy and good mood, it can totally change your relationship for the better. Maybe you were brain-dead when you came from work, but after a 30 minute run ? You two might get some ideas.
It’s also a great way to reset your moods together, if you’ve just had an argument, or need a little pick me up. If you work together, even if that means general house chores, a short run can be a welcome break.
Greater energy for both of you can mean greater productivity, improved health, and a general better disposition. Arguments arise less frequently, and you’ll have clearer minds.
8. Your routine will need adjustments
If you both work in the same place and come home at the same time, you’ll find it easier to find a running time that’s alright for both of you.
But if you have different work schedules ? You’re going to need to find some times in the day (or evening) that work well for both of you.
That also means that your preexisting home routine will need adjusting. You’ll need to take into account the showering, the changing of clothes, the things that can be done later in the day, and generally be aware of how your schedules interact and overlap, so neither of you is impacted by the running time.
If you have kids, then this will be harder to balance, but it can be done.
9. Your bond will be tested
This is always a surprise for everyone, but it happens to be a very, very real thing.
Running together, like any group project sort of activity, is very testing. Your patience, goodwill, stamina, nerves, and love will be tested.
You’ll see each other sweaty, tired, exhausted, happy, annoyed, and you’ll have to deal with it. Not just put up with it, but deal with it properly, and like functioning adults in a healthy relationship.
Stopping for the 5th time in a row because your partner picked some terrible running shoes and they’re getting sore feet might want to make you just leave them there and keep running, or snap at them, but at the end of that run you’re both going to the same home.
You’ll want to skip running, and your partner will get on your case for it.
One of you might be tempted to nag, and the other will give in, but will also remember that when the next argument comes around.
You will find out whether you can work together or not, and how you can improve on your cooperation skills. You are a team, you both need to be in top shape and in great standing with one another.
So always put the relationship first, and watch out for how one bad word during your run can affect your entire relationship down the line.
We hope this article was helpful to you, and that you’ll have a great time running together. For Dragos and I running together taught us that we need to respect each other’s style, and that silence can be a wonderful thing.
Feel free to look around our blog, maybe you like some other articles as well.