If you have ever signed up for a race with your significant other, it was likely with the best of intentions. You’ll be toasting great training runs with glasses of chocolate milk and bonding over the tough miles. Running with your partner will make you stronger as a couple—metaphorically and physically! You’ll get matching medals!
Training for a race with your spouse or significant other is a great way to bond and work toward a common goal while keeping healthy. However, there are some downsides—namely that some friendly competition could end up destroying your whole relationship. You know, no big deal.
However, there are a few ways to get through your race with your marriage or relationship still intact. You’ve been warned.
Don’t do every run together
It’s nice to train together. But running is also great for clearing your head and getting some alone time. If you and your partner are always training together, then you’ll always be together. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, especially when you both smell like you’ve been running for hours. Because you have been.
Inevitably one of you is probably going to be faster than the other. If you’re the slower one and try to keep up, you could end up going too fast. This can lead to a DNF or an injury. If you’re the faster one and slow down so your spouse can keep up, then you’re not going to get a great workout. Either way, you’re going to end up pissed off. Agree to separate if necessary, so that you can both run at your own pace.
Encourage, but don’t nag
As all people in relationships know, friendly encouragement can easily turn to nagging. If your partner needs to miss a training run once in a while, that’s fine. After all, when you need to miss a training run, you’re not going to want to hear it from him or her.
Take turns doing the laundry
When one person is training for a race, the laundry basket quickly fills with smelly, damp running clothes. Now double that. It gets … pretty disgusting. Make sure the laundry goes right into the hamper and not on the floor. Do it often. And switch off so one person isn’t permanently stuck in the biohazard suit.
Don’t compete with each other
This is supposed to be fun, remember? I mean, unless you’re the faster one. Then go for it.
Related: The Truth Behind 10 Running Myths