NYC Marathon Day is one of my favorite days of the year.
There’s so much excitement and energy in the air. And then there are the runners — thousands of runners filling the streets from Staten Island to Brooklyn to Queens to Manhattan to the Bronx and back to Manhattan. This year was no exception and it was super fun to be on the course cheering for so many friends running the race.
NYC Marathon Day also brings back lots of memories for me. It was the 3rd (and last) marathon that I ran, the culmination of a newly found love for distance running. It was also a month after my wedding and it was an amazing experience running through my adopted hometown. But apparently, it may not be my last marathon because I somehow promised my younger son that I would run the NYC Marathon with him one day. Oops.
I trained for and ran my three marathons with my then-boyfriend / now husband. It seemed like the perfect idea. I loved running. He loved running too. So why not train for a marathon together? We could support each other while doing something that we both enjoyed AND spend lots of quality time together. Perfect, right?
Running with your significant other is hard. We almost broke up during a particularly hard and rainy long run in Central Park, but we didn’t. In the end, we crossed three marathon finish lines together. And we still got married.
If you’ve ever trained for a race of any distance, you know that it can be challenging – physically, mentally and emotionally. Add your partner to that equation, and it could spell disaster.
But it doesn’t have to. With a little forethought, you can successfully train for a marathon, or any distance race, and cross the finish line together with your relationship in tact. Here are 5 tips I learned along the way about how to survive running with your significant other.
- Understand each other’s goals for the race. Are you looking to PR? Is your partner? Is your primary goal to cross the finish line? Understanding your goals and your partner’s goals for race day is important and will set the tone of your training, from the training plan you will follow, to the paces you will run.
- Decide on a training plan and schedule together. Based on your collective race day goals, choose a training plan(s) and set a schedule. Will you follow the same plan? Will one or both of you be traveling during the training cycle? If you have children, how will you coordinate your workout schedule?
- Set ground rules. Will you complete all of your runs together? Will you run the same pace? Will you stick together, or is it OK to part ways during a run? Setting clear ground rules from the start can help curb misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
- Know each other’s preferences. Do you or your partner like to run with music? Do you prefer to lead or follow? Does your partner like to run on a specific side such as on the left or right of his or her running partner? (I prefer to run to the left of my husband.) Understanding each other’s preferences will make each run smoother. For example, if your partner doesn’t like to talk while running, it’s helpful to know this so that you know he or she isn’t ignoring your conversation!
- Be patient. Be encouraging. Find out what motivates your partner – is it the race bling or setting a PR? What’s the most challenging – speedwork or long runs? Understanding what your partner finds challenging can help you identify when to give extra encouragement. And be patient. We’ve all said something in the midst of a hard workout that we wouldn’t say normally. Be sure to cut each other some slack.
Have you ever trained for a race with your partner?
This post was originally written for RunHaven.com and is used with permission of MOKO.Mobi, Inc. Copyright 2014 MOKO Mobi, Inc.
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