Jean-Yves Cloutier, a personal trainer and the author of several fitness books , provides some tips to help you enjoy running with your significant other.
1. Run at the pace of the slower runner.
To avoid losing your motivation or overexerting yourself, the best strategy is to adopt the slower runner’s pace. If you don’t want to limit yourself to that speed for the entire run, you can do so at the beginning and end only: “If both partners depart for the same length of time but normally run at different speeds, they can hang together for the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes,” says the trainer. In such a case, simply determine a place to meet.
2. Vary the places where you train.
Why not take advantage of the weekend to try out new routes outside your town? It’s an excellent excuse to make an outing out of it and plan some activities in the same area afterward. “We all have familiar routes that we take from our house. But on weekends, we have more time. We can take the car and stop at a café after the run, for example.”
3. Have a common goal.
Entering the same running event increases the motivation to train together. This way, you share the same goal, even if you’re registered in two different races. “One of you could train for the 21‑km race, the other for the 10 km,” explains Jean-Yves. What’s more, the person running the shorter distance could go support the other when finished.
4. Make it a family affair!
Running with your significant other is a great way to unwind as a couple. But if you have children, you shouldn’t hesitate to occasionally include them in your workouts. This will make your outings that much more enjoyable and allow you to avoid calling the babysitter. “Some people run with their child comfortably installed in its jogging stroller. Older children can follow mom and dad on their bikes.”Don’t have kids? “We’re also noticing more and more people who jog with their dogs on a leash,” says the trainer. Whether you choose to run as a couple, as a family or with a pet, exercising with company greatly contributes to your motivation and enjoyment.
5. Solve life’s daily problems … after the run.
“It’s already a major effort to train. Therefore, most people don’t want to talk about anything in depth. You’ll be more inclined to discuss things at length after your run, when you have a clearer head.” It’s advice worth considering by those who would use the run to discuss the clogged bathroom sink or stretched family budget!