Running Relationships


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Running can be tough.  Relationships can take work.  Mix in the two, and you've got a recipe for either disaster... or success, depending on the extra ingredients you throw in.  Training can take a lot of time and commitment, but you don't want that to effect your significant other. 

Some couples are made of two competitive runners, others are made of one recreational runner and a competitive runner.  Or in some cases you have a runner, and a non-runner.  All of these couples can have a happy ending, but each case presents it's own challenges.  So what's the perfect recipe for a happy medium between running and a healthy relationship?

I decided to ask my friends Rob and Tan for some insight into their "running relationship".  They've been together 13 years and are both competitive runners.  How do they make it work?  Here's a little Q&A from the happy runners! (full disclaimer, they are a same sex couple, but any challenges they face, are the same any couple would)

The following answers come from Rob, on the right. His partner Tan, is on the left.

Q: Do you and your partner run at the same level?  Who is more competitive?
A: We run at completely different levels.  Most of my races have been half marathons (about 15) and one full.  He (Tan) has a bunch more full marathons including Chicago, London, and New York.  He will run Boston in a couple of weeks.  We are both competitive, but not with each other relative to racing.  He is much faster than me (and more obsessed).

Q: Do you ever run together?  How often?
A: Yes.  We run together often.  Probably twice a week assuming no one is injured.  Generally we will run together for a couple of miles and then he will peel off and do his thing.  Sometimes we will do the whole distance together but that is rare.
Q: Which is easier, running with your significant other or you both doing your own thing?
A: Running on my own is obviously “easier”, because I can run slow, or walk for a bit if I feel like I need to.  Running with him is “better” because I’m forced to beat back my internal demons and keep up a better pace without stopping or screwing around…

 Q:  When traveling to races, do you both compete? 
A: If it’s a full I generally am in support mode running around and cheering him on at multiple locations, but for a half we both generally compete.

Q: Have “race weekend” trips that surround only YOUR race ever became an issue?  Or maybe the other way around?
A: Never an issue either way… we both have fun either way.  For example, I really enjoyed being on my own in London and Chicago wondering through the city and getting to the next way point to cheer him on, and he enjoyed the race
 Q: How do you juggle training and maintaining the relationship?
A: No issues here… since we work, run, and train with similar schedules so it’s generally not an issue. 
Q: What’s the best advice you have for a couple who aren’t both on the same running level?
A: Encourage and support your other half without being a nag.  It’s supposed to be fun!  The more advanced runner should not pressure the less advanced one to put in extra miles, faster intervals, hills, or alter a training schedule to match the one he is on.  After years of running you get to know your body, understand its limits and progression related to training that will keep you healthy. 
                                                                   
If you pressure your partner into altering their plan and he or she gets injured then someone gets fat and the other one stays skinny… that’s when the relationship starts to have problemsJ!!  (JK..not really…ok kind of…)

Thanks so much for sharing your story guys!  Now, about YOU?  Do you have a partner in life and in running?  Share your advice below!

Comments

  1. Love this post! People assume that my husband and I both have been running forever but he was much more into running when I could barely run a mile. We both happened to start racing at the same time and now are pretty active. While we both "run" the idea of "running together" is still pretty foreign but we get to obsess about our running issues because we both understand the challenges. The key is just being great support systems!

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    1. I love ya'lls dynamic Jessica! Different things work for different people, and you two have a great support system going... which of course, is the most important! Keep up the great running and inspirational relationship! :D

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  2. Awesome, loved this Q&A sesh. I've never dated anyone that runs (a girl can dream lol) but even if I did I know I'd be way slower and not competitive with them at all. Mostly b/c I'd always lose haha.

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    1. You'd be surprised how a couple can inspire each other! Take a look at Jessica's comment above... they were on different levels but now they're racing all over together like the two I featured, Rob and Tan! But even if you end up with someone who's NOT a runner, having that support makes all the difference, even if they're always on the sidelines! :D

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  3. Love this post! I never even considered this topic and the Hubbo and I are both runners. We are pretty lucky that we can train together for most runs. He's faster but our weekday miles we can typically do together and our long run days he runs with a faster group.

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    1. Thanks! It's great to be seperate sometimes. Allows a little independence but you get to share your experiences together afterwards! My partner runs the short fast distances, while I focus on the longer ones. We may be on different levels but as long as we support each other and continue to enjoy the experiences, we can maintain balance! Thanks for reading!

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  4. I love this post! I've never dated a runner, but I love the idea of getting to share something I'm passionate about with someone I love. Good luck to Rob and Tan in their races and relationship! They sound like a wonderful pair.

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  5. Great post! Don't they say that couples that exercise together, stay together?

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  6. Thanks for this post. I've recently recruited my husband to run his first 5K with me! Should be interesting. :)

    -Rachel @ runningonhappy.com

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    1. You'll be surprised what awesome adventures and amazing feats you can accomplish together! good luck!!

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  7. My boyfriend and I run together but we're in very different places/paces...he'll basically do some of his easier runs with me and often does longer distances on his own.

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    1. I typically do the same as well. And Tan and Rob do the same. It's all about getting out there and being active together! Miles are miles!

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  8. Great Post! Rob & Tan seem lovely!!! My hubby took up running after i'd been running for around 12 months or so & we attempted a few shorter runs together but he hogs the footpath & I get frustrated with that!!! Plus I like to run to my schedule & he doesn't really do other peoples "schedules" so I'd get frustrated having to wait around for him to decide he was ready to go LOL!!

    He now runs once a week/fortnight/month on his own while I run my schedule (usually 4 runs). He is very support (except when I run in the rain) & is great at looking after my stuff while I'm running an event (although refuses to fix a meeting point & invariably there is a lot of wandering around looking for each other in the crowds!!!!)

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    1. Tan and Rob are one awesome couple. And i'm sure you and your hubby are pretty dang great too! You both don't have to be running on the same level to still enjoy running together! My bf and I like to plan vacations around my races and enjoy the city together!

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  9. Nobody can reject the info you have given in the blogs, this is actually a great work.how to fix a relationship after a break up

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