Running with your partner

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Get hot and sweaty with your significant other, raising your heart rate and working your muscles! We are, of course, talking about running with your partner (or partners) – be it your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or someone you’re still getting to know.

As Lonely Goats, most of us do the majority of our running solo – either through circumstance or choice. The idea of running with a partner might seem wonderful, or the worst idea ever! Whichever camp you fall into, here are some thoughts on why you might consider running with your partner, and how you can go about doing it.

Quality time

You might share a home, but how often do you get to spend quality time together?

There are a lot of other commitments or drains on our time that can make it hard for us to spend time with the one person we want to hang out with the most. Work, children, commuting, housework, general life admin, friends and family.

Making time for each other can be hard, but is so important for a healthy, happy relationship. If one or both of you would have been running anyway, why not do it together every now and then?

Shared experiences

If only one of you runs – or you both run, but not together – you might end up having a different experience of the place you live. For example, one of you might get to enjoy the morning mist in the park, but the other never sees it. By running together, you get the chance to enjoy more of the same experiences and increase your shared memories.

At the very least, you might end up with some dinner party stories about “that time we both ended up in a muddy puddle after trying to take a short cut”.

Couple’s therapy

Many runners find running to be a meditative act, or one that provides the opportunity to spend time working through problems or coming up with ideas. Admittedly, this might be tricky if you’re negotiating road crossings, battling through stormy weather, or struggling to keep going when the pace gets tough. But, on those occasions when you get in the groove, you may find your brain is able to work stuff out you hadn’t been able to when sat at home.

It stands to reason, therefore, that running with your partner might offer an opportunity for the two of you to work through any questions or problems you’re facing together. What carpet to get in the bedroom; how to deal with problems at work; or perhaps even something more fundamental about your relationship.

Safety first

If you’re wary of running on your own, then heading out with another person can help you feel safer. Another option is to get a dog to run with, but hopefully the conversation will be better with another human.

Personal coaching

Everyone’s running style is different, and that’s fine, mostly. Sometimes, however, we might have a weird quirk in our running style that is either the result of a muscle imbalance or injury, or could lead to one.

These can be hard to spot on our own, unless you’re able to run past a reflective window or film yourself running. By running with someone else you’ll have a personal coach with you who can point out if your heel is doing a flicking thing, or if your shoulders look really hunched up.

Cheap date

Running with your partner has to be one of the cheapest dates you can go on together. Yes, there’s shoes and kit, but if you’re both runners anyway, then you’ll already have this stuff.

If you wanted to, you could add running onto a more expensive date. For example, if you’re on a spa break in a posh country hotel, you could head out into the surrounding countryside for a run together. Or, if you’ve driven somewhere for a fancy meal and got a taxi home, you can run back to the restaurant in the morning to pick the car up and reminisce about the meal on the way.

Lonely Goats, Fiona and Iain Jarvis at Bushy Park parkrun
Lonely Goats, Fiona and Iain Jarvis at Bushy Park parkrun

Book it in

The best way to make sure you actually run together – and not just talk about doing it – is to put it in the diary and stick to it. Otherwise, all the other life commitments you have could take over and not leave enough time for running together.

Pick a day, pick a time and commit.

Yes, you might need to move it every now and then to deal with unexpected, immovable appointments, injuries, or illness. That’s just life and is absolutely fine. But it is a lot easier to commit to a regular day and time – and rearrange occasionally if necessary – than to have to try and carve out time from scratch each week.

Synchronise your speeds

It doesn’t matter if one of you is a faster runner than the other. Even the speediest runners need to spend some of their time running at easier effort levels to get the most benefit from their training. For more on this, read our article on 80/20 training.

It might be that your hard effort speed works out the same as their easy effort speed – or the other way round. That’s OK, as it means you can run together – it’s just that one of you is likely to be more out of breath, and less chatty, than the other.

Adjust the length

If your preferred distances don’t match up, one of you can always cut the run short, or hop in part way through. You don’t have to do the whole run together, perfectly in step with each other.

“Couples who run together, stay together”

We admit, we don’t know whether the above statement is true, and whether couples who run together are less likely to split up. What we do know is that in a relationship with two runners, doing some of your runs together is worth giving a try.

If you’ve got any of your own tips or stories about running with your partner, or you have questions that need answering, get involved with the conversation on our social media channels:

We’d love to know how you get on!

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