Running with your better half can combine the best of both worlds, but if things don't go as planned, it can also cause arguments and potentially derail your training—and your relationship.
Luckily, we've got some tips for combining your favorite hobby and your main squeeze.
Talk it Out1 of 7
Before you log even one mile with your partner, have a frank discussion about what you hope to get out of the run. One of you may be looking for quality time and bonding, while the other may be in the mood for a little competition.
Agree in advance on distance and pace. If one of you is faster than the other, let the slower runner set the pace. And until you get into a groove as a running duo, plan your run dates for easy days and leave the watch at home. You'll likely want to focus on enjoying time together, not maintaining a specific pace.
If both of you are up for a little competition, that's fine too—just chat about it beforehand, and don't be a sore loser if you're left in the dust.
Stick With Your Training Schedule2 of 7
If you're training for a race and have important workouts or long runs on your calendar, don't be afraid to speak up. As much as you may love running with your mate, you don't want to compromise your training goals.
Your partner should respect your training schedule enough to be flexible—and if he or she doesn't...well, that's an entirely other discussion you should be having.
Note Your Differences3 of 7
It's also important to acknowledge your fitness level may not be the only thing that's different.
Some runners love to chat throughout a run, while others are content to lope along in companionable silence. Neither approach is right or wrong, but make sure you're upfront about your communication preferences.
Always speak up if you need to slow down or could use a water break. And if you just aren't feeling up to talking, don't feel bad about asking for some silent (or headphone) time.
Plan for the Unplanned4 of 7
It's also a good idea to have a strategy for when things don't go as planned.
If you feel terrible and need to walk, will your other half stay with you? Or are you fine with them running ahead? If someone needs a bathroom break, will both runners make the pit stop?
And it's not fun to think about, but if one of you gets injured, it may add some strain to your running relationship. If that happens (or if one of you just doesn't feel like running that day), think of some couple-friendly alternatives. Can one partner ride his/her bike alongside the other during their run? Can you team up for strength training or cross-training?
Switch it Up5 of 7
If running on the road proves to be too much of a challenge, you still might be able to log miles a deux.
On days when speed work is on the agenda, hit the track with your sweetie. You can cheer each other on and still be in same general area while doing your own specific workouts. If the weather is bad and you both belong to a gym, you can sweat it out on side-by-side treadmills. Some cities even offer treadmill classes that allow friends (and lovers) the opportunity to run together at their own pace.
Know if Couples Running is For You6 of 7
Just like in other areas of your relationship, clear communication is key when it comes to running with your main squeeze. If logging miles together works out, there are few things better than an adrenaline rush with your sweetheart.
But if you decide you'd rather run solo, there are still plenty of other ways your partner can make your heart beat a little faster.