By guest blogger Jennipher Walters, co-founder of FitBottomedGirls.
How I love thee, let me count the miles…
Mile 1: Running together is fun! Look at us jogging like one of those happy couples you see on TV.
Mile 2: Hmmm, is my partner wanting to run faster, slower? Why isn’t he talking?
Mile 3: Just breathe…I’m seriously having trouble keeping up. I don’t want to look like a weenie, but I’m dying here!
Mile 4: Okay, he’s doing this on purpose. Why must he always run a step in front of me?! He knows I’m winded. [Insert choice expletive.]
Mile 5: We’re never running together. Never. Again.
Sound familiar? It does to me. That’s pretty much a snippet of what goes through my head almost every time I run with my husband.
See, running and romance can be totally awesome or totally tricky. Part of it depends on the mindset you have going into it, and the other part has to do with just how well suited you are to run together.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that true love doesn’t always make for good running partners. But it certainly can! Read on for five tips on how to mix the two without needing a relationship counselor to intervene.
1. Set a goal for each run.
Before you go out for a run with your partner, both set clear expectations for what you’d like to get out of the run. Will your pace be easy, or do you want to go for a faster tempo run? How far would you like to go? Do you want to pick up your pace as the miles tick by? Before heading out, agree on the goals of the run and what “easy” and “fast” means to each of you, so that neither of you get a big surprise once you hit the pavement.
2. Leave your ego at home.
The name of the game is patience. You know how runs are. One day you feel like you can run forever, and other days your legs feel like lead. So try to stick to your goals, but be realistic that some days your body and your partner’s body just isn’t going to want to do what your mind wants it to. Respect your body and your partner’s abilities. If you need to run a little slower to stay together, do that. Focus on strengthening your relationship and compromising skills through running — not just getting your miles in.
3. Check in with each other often.
Some couples like to chat; others prefer silence or iPods. Do whatever works for both of you, but be sure to check in with each other every mile or so to see if the pace and distance is still right. How does he/she feel? Make tweaks to your goal based on how you both feel. It’s all about the communication!
4. Treat it like a date.
You may not think running is that romantic, but treat your time running together as a date! Wear your best apparel and shoes. Smile often. Be courteous and considerate. Sneak a kiss in during a water break. Those little things go a long way in making your runs not only good for your body but also good for your relationship, too!
5. Consider the treadmill.
If you two simply don’t do well running together or have drastically different goals, consider hitting the gym. I know treadmills can get boring, but you can run side by side and each do your own thing. That’s kind of a thing of a beauty when it comes to romance and running!
Or, do what my husband and I do, cross train together! While we may not be best suited to running together (he’s a fast beast, and I’m a bit on the pokey side), we love lifting weights together, walking the dog and doing yoga on side-by-side mats. You have to do what works best for you and your partner.
How have you mixed running and romance? How has it worked for you? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
About Fit Bottomed Girls
As co-founder of Fit Bottomed Girls, Jennipher Walters has several fitness credentials under her belt: She is an ACE-certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach, and advanced health and fitness specialist, and an AFAA-certified group exercise instructor. Jenn has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and an MA in health journalism from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Jenn can be found challenging her husband to a wicked game of MarioKart on the Wii, chomping on kale, updating her 1960s-decorated home in Kansas City, Mo., doing CrossFit and running with her pup.
For more information on Fit Bottomed Girls, visit www.fitbottomedgirls.com