“Wait for me!” “Slow down!” “I need to walk” “Stop talking to me”
These are all phrases I say whilst out running with my husband. He’s a 5/6 minute mile runner. I’m an 8/9 minute mile runner. We often try to run together, and when I say together, we leave the house and start our Garmin’s at the same time, but that’s pretty much it, because he finds it “uncomfortable to run that slow”.
I say all of this in jest though, because actually, it’s great having someone to share my hobby with. And why is that?
You can talk about running all day long.
And we do. We talk about what races we want to do, what goals we want to achieve, what days we might run in the week ahead, what routes we might do… the list is endless.
You understand each others language
When my husband says to me that the track session will be “6 x (1 x 400m (100m)) 200m (1 x 1200m (200m))” or 30 mins at long run pace vs 15 mins at threshold pace, we both know exactly what that means. And if we don’t, we enjoy looking it up together.
It’s easy to buy gifts
Depending on the budget, you might go for socks and gloves, or trainers and Garmin’s. Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, running holidays or races abroad.
Ups and downs
You know that epic feeling when you’ve got a PB and you’re on cloud 9? Or that awful feeling when your legs feel dead and you feel like you’ve spent the whole run wading through toffy? We both get it. And we both know exactly what to say in either circumstance.
Having someone encourage you all the time
Whatever our goals may be, we encourage and support each other. There’s a mutual respect and understanding between us. Sometimes that means having a stern word when one of us can’t be bothered to go out….or spending time looking at each others training plans and giving critique…. or offering words of support before and after a run. Speaking of which…
There is always have someone to wait for you at races and cheer you on
This is the best part about running with your partner. Having them there when you race (or just when you run generally). I am lucky that I am the slower runner as it means that my husband is always there at the finish line waiting for me, cheering for me and yelling words of encouragement. It doesn’t matter how bad my run is going, I always look forward to seeing him and making him proud. #soppy
You’re on the same page
You know when you’ve finished a run and it’s 4.94 miles? Your running partner totally understands when you start running up and down the road trying to round it up to 5 miles. Likewise, when you want to get an early night on a Saturday because you’ve got a race in the morning, you’re both happy to turn in before 10pm with a cuppa.
You share a lot of the same friends
That’s what parkrun is all about, right?…
But what about the “C” word?
Of course, life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. There are times when sharing your hobby can be a real pain. Especially if you mention the “c” word: Children.
Luckily (?) we don’t have any. But I know people who do, and it’s a real challenge getting out there and doing the same races when you can’t get childcare. I applaud all you runner parents. It’s certainly a challenge, but I think the word my parent friends would use is compromise. Drag the whole family to parkrun if you can, get a running buggy, seek help from family and friends, take turns and remember to respect each other.
Respect that each of you has a different reason for running, a different goal, a different pace, a different destination. Help, support and encourage each other. Try to allow each other time to pursue the hobby and find ways of doing it together when you can. And if you can’t, don’t worry, just make a schedule that works for you.