Happy Valentine’s Day!
My blogging buddy Charlie, aka The RunnerBeans, recently shared her thoughts about balancing a lifestyle when you have a partner who doesn’t share your passion for running, and although I read and understood her ideas, I don’t have any experience of this, because my partner also loves running!
Regular readers will know of the Irish but Edinburgh-based running gazelle I’m talking about but you might not have seen him as he’s always the one holding the GoPro on our adventures or behind the camera getting that perfect, Instagram-worthy, both-feet-off-the-ground-running-but-flying shot! We both love running and although we’re living in different cities, when we do spend time together some of that time is running. When Nige visits me in London, we jump on a train to find a trail to explore (most recently the North Downs Way) and when I’m home in Edinburgh you’ll probably find us training in the Pentland Hills or up Arthur’s Seat.
It wasn’t always like this though, the perfect partnership in which we’d both just lace up our shoes and head to the trails. When we first started dating I was much more of a solo runner and the thought of trying to impress someone while running seemed ridiculous. We had different levels of running fitness, enjoyed different kind of terrain and entered different types of races for different reasons. I didn’t want to be the girl that held him back, stopped him from training at his best or get embarrassed as I dragged myself through the miles trying to chat and ‘woo him’ at the same time. For these reasons, it was a long time into our relationship that I became comfortable running alongside him, without judgement or anxiety on my part.
Now I don’t even question spending our precious time together running. We plan days out around running adventures, find other running couples to join and have a double-running-date with, and we now plan our holidays around destinations that we want to explore by running. Visiting Gran Canaria for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday last January was a particular highlight and Nige spent a long time sussing out routes and planning our itinerary. In a few weeks we’re heading to La Palma, the steepest island in the world, to run around and explore the trails the island has to offer. Of course Chamonix was on both of our lists to visit – it’s the mountain trail runners’ Mecca – so we have a trip planned in August. We’re also both training for our first international race in June, the Cortina Trail in Italy, and although I’m nervous about the race I feel quite reassured that Nige will be out there with me, on the same course although way ahead and waiting for me at the finish line.
So my tips on a healthy relationship if you both share a passion for running
- Embrace it, ignore everyone that asks “don’t you have anything better to do?” or “why don’t you just go to the cinema or for dinner?” and just do you
- Know each others strengths and weaknesses, so that you can plan runs to suit both of your tastes
- Support each other and listen to each others needs. Sometimes that means encouraging them during tough times or letting them do their own thing and get on with it other times
- Have fun, and if it’s not fun for one of you, stop together and do something else, there’s always another time.
- Take snacks, runners get hungry and runger can turn quickly to being hangry – angry due to hunger – so be prepared
Are you in a relationship or friendship with a fellow running fanatic? How do you balance each others love of running so that you both enjoy and make the most of your runs together?