In our most recent poll, we ask you what you thought about running with your partner. To our surprise it was a mixed bag of opinions; 52.94% of you told us that you did run with your partner as it helped you both achieve your fitness goals and 47.06% of you told us you avoided it as, quite frankly, it drives you mad!
According to relationship expert Caroline Brealey and world-leading personal trainer Scott Laidler running with your partner can do wonderful things to your relationship. From increasing your emotional bond, to helping you to spend more time together, to spicing up your sex life, it seems that sweating it out in your trainers with your partner is a win-win. However, as many of you shared with us on Facebook, it can also cause a lot of problems…
We’ve compiled the good bits and the bad to help you decide whether that first Lycra-tight stride you take together is one step closer to domestic bliss or is, quite plainly, a bad idea…
Endorphin-mania: double your post-run high
We all know how good you feel after a run. The sheer rush of endorphins released is quite frankly euphoric and, all of a sudden, the world feels a much more positive place than it did 7K ago. But imagine sharing that post-run high with your other half?
According to award-winning dating and relationships expert Scott Laidler “celebrating accomplishments together can increase the bond in a relationship, making you feel like a team, creating an overall feeling of wellbeing [and] happiness within your relationship.”
Revelling in this experience together will give you a mutual buzz and will put a stop to that dreaded case of running envy.
Share the benefits together
If one of you is shedding the pounds and the other is piling them on, the road becomes a whole lot rockier. When this happens, complements stop being paid, rows in the supermarket occur over wholemeal bread, and someone is always left feeling inadequate.
Scott Laidler, one of the world’s leading personal trainers and nutrition experts agrees. “Setting similar goals as a couple sends a signal that you are heading in the same direction,” he says. “It’s a positive step that represents a shared commitment to a long and healthy life with each other.”
According to a survey carried out by Brooks*, 66% of runners believe they have more sex when they run with their partner! What’s more, the majority of the couples surveyed said that if they run six or more miles together the sex becomes even better still!
As many of us run to improve our bodies, this shared boost in self-esteem as we begin to reap the rewards through our body shape can only enhance feelings of attractiveness in a relationship. Relationship expert Caroline Brealey advises that the “teamed together, energy and high level of attractiveness” achieved through running will “lead to an improved sex life for both.”
Spend more time together
Those who run often see their training as a ‘selfish’ pursuit, requiring time and focused attention away from your partner and their needs. In pursuing a fitness goal together, your routines will be synced, allowing you to spend more quality time together, while working towards a mutual goal. One of our Facebook followers Lesley McBratney comments, “I love running with my other half. Quality time together and a good run. What’s not to love?”
Running will give you time to chat away from the day-to-day mania of household routine. “It can be a great way to connect in a fast-paced life,” says Catherine.
Gives you a shared interest & goal to work towards
Having running as a mutual interest will make your weekends a whole lot more fun! Whether it’s a Saturday morning parkrun together or participating in a spring half marathon, this will undoubtedly enhance the running experience. Scott Laidler also recommends treating running as a mutual goal-setting activity. “Setting rewards with your partner,” he says, “can be a great way to make your running goals easier and more fun to pursue.”
Your alone time is suddenly bulldozed
Our motto here at Women’s Running is that running is ‘your time!’ Time to escape the craziness of day-to-day routine and indulge in that crucial dose of ‘alone’ time doing something you love. Running gives you time to think, thoughts which will, more often than not, concern your relationship. If your partner is with you, this crucial thinking time is disrupted, which can have a negative impact on your relationship. Facebook follower, Kimberly Hardy Martin sees this as the case. “I hate it Rrunning is my ‘me’ time,” she says.
Your confidence is shattered
If your fitness is at vastly different levels, or your partner happens to run quicker than you, the whole experience can become confidence shattering and demoralising. Janet Maidment struggles with this problem. “His marathon pace is far quicker than I can even do a single mile, so when I’m struggling to keep up he’s hardly breaking a sweat.”
You feel guilty for holding him back
The majority of women polled found this to be one of their biggest bugbears. If your other half runs quicker than you, or has a higher level of fitness, they may slow down their pace to match yours, which can become very fustrating. Vikki Coulson finds this particularly annoying. “He runs faster than me and always slows down to my pace which bugs me. I’m happy for him to sprint off and meet me at home afterwards.”
But do the negatives outweigh the positives? What’s better, a spiced-up sex life and an oh so intense post-run high with your partner or the blissfulness of a peaceful 5K to yourself? Give them both a try, you might surprise yourselves….
*Brooks Running Survey: http://www.brooksrunning.com/en_gb/04-12-2013.html
For further expert advice from Scott Laidler visit: www.scottlaidler.com
For relationship services from Caroline Brealey visit: www.mutualattraction.co.ukƒ