A Runner’s Guide to Keeping Your Spouse Happy

You are a runner.  Or maybe you are returning to running.  Or you are doing Couch 2 5K.  Maybe you are training for your first half marathon or full marathon.  Maybe your spouse is a runner, maybe he isn’t.  Maybe he is supportive of your endeavor, maybe he isn’t.

When I met my husband back in 1994, he was a runner.  He was a runner from then (off and on) until 2010.  I started running in 2009- he was training for a full, I was training for my first half.  The logistics of our long runs and care for our three young children (6, 3.5, and 1 at that time) was daunting. After that race, he stopped running and I kept going.  While he understood what I was doing and why, I would be lying if I told you there weren’t any issues or arguments around my running.  He picked up running again 5 months ago and we have definitely entered a more positive marital running sphere this time around.20131128_092519-1

How do you make sure your spouse remains supportive of what you do?  Sometimes a spouse starts out supportive and then ends up not being supportive.  Maybe they don’t understand why you are doing what you are doing because they aren’t doing it.  Regardless, I have created this guide to keeping your spouse happy while you are out on your runs.

  1. S-E-X.  Need I be any more clear than that?
  2. Schedule your long run NOT to interfere with family obligations.  For me, our Saturday mornings were super busy with the kids’ sports games.  Sundays were reserved for church.  I am not an afternoon runner.  Luckily, I have a flexible work schedule and was able to work out to have (most) Fridays off.  I try to do my long runs Friday morning so as not to interfere with family stuff.  However, it doesn’t always work out that way.  We have taken turns with our long runs on the weekend, squeezing the runs in wherever we can.  Funnily enough, he has moved his long runs to midweek for the same reason I did- so it wouldn’t interfere with our weekend family time.
  3. Foam roll together.  You know what they say, a couple that foam rolls together, stays together.
  4. Take turns racing.  For us, since our kids are still on the younger side, we can’t both do the same races unless we line up a babysitter.  Currently, we take turns running races, which means we have to plan out our racing calendar together.  On the rare instance where we can run the same race, like the Turkey Trot 5 Miler where we had family in town that stayed with the kiddos while we raced, it was awesome to be a the starting line together.
  5. Ask your spouse what they think about your running. Do you have their support?  Do you sense any resentment on their part?  Are they on board?  It won’t go away on it’s own- you have to talk about it, work through it, and come to a happy medium.  Tell them WHY this is important to you.
  6. Involve your spouse/family on your run.  Maybe they don’t run, but you can certainly take walks together.  My kids love *lifting weights* with me.  I give them 1lb weights and show them how to do the moves.  Sometimes they will count my repetitions for me or time my laps around the street.  Warm-up and cool down together.
  7. Show appreciation towards your spouse for whatever it is they do in support of you running.  Or, just show appreciation in general.
  8. Say I LOVE YOU.
  9. If they go above and beyond in the support department, consider giving them YOUR race medal.  Seriously.
  10. S-E-X.

What has worked for you?  Is your spouse a runner or not?  Is he on board with your running goals?

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  • http://www.highheels2hiddentoys.com/ Caroline @HighHeels2HiddenToys

    I love this post! My husband has been a runner since high school… but he’s been a casual runner at best lately. I did my first 5k last June and am currently training for my first half. Thankfully he’s very supportive, but my runs have cut into our couple time… which is something I want to avoid!

  • Meh

    This article could not be more on point. I’m not a runner (yet) but I did take up volunteering every Saturday morning. And boy did that ever cause some big fights between my husband and me. One point I would add or emphasizes on this list is to be very clear with what your schedule will be. Any misunderstandings about how often you will be out or how long will really squash any odds of coming home to a happy or supportive spouse.