Warring Workouts With Significant Others | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


My wife and I are usually pretty good workout partners. Sometimes we just pop in a DVD and knock out a solid circuit routine and for others times we throw the kids in the running buggy head out for a run. Despite our days of synergy sometimes it’s a battle to agree on anything at all and the end result just might be not working out together or at all.

I’ve never really asked other people how often they work out with their significant others but I have read a fair number of blog posts about people not being able to run with their partners due to pace or chattiness. Maybe we’re an anomaly in how much we try to work out together but I really enjoy spending that time working hard to get healthy and fit with her. It’s so much more rewarding knowing that we’re doing it together and supporting each other throughout our journey.

Our current dilemma, and the point of this post, is that the further I get into my journey this year the more it’s focusing on triathlons. Obviously this means focusing more on swimming, biking, and running. While I’m still doing 1 – 2 circuit training routines per week most of my workouts are focused on one of the other 3 sports. This alone has greatly reduced the number of workouts we do together.

For swimming I’m the only one with a gym membership that has pool access so that’s not really an issue. For cycling I ride with my local cycling club or solo and she’s not yet at a level where we do training rides together. We’ll do a family ride when we get a chance but that’s not quite the same thing. Then there’s running …

Much like other bloggers running is usually a contentious issue with us. I don’t mind doing a slower pace to run with her but she’s constantly telling me to run ahead and get a better workout in. She then beats herself up for being slower than me even though I tell her not to, obviously those aren’t feelings that are as easy to control though. When I do run ahead I’m constantly feeling like I’m abandoning her and feel a huge sense of guilt for not being at her side.

So what’s a guy to do? Stop running together?

Run but try to just push through the issues and try to get past any pace barriers?

Run together and just try not to worry about anything and just run?

Running is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the underlying issue. How do significant others workout together when they’re at different levels of fitness with different event goals?

Give Amy a step or fast paced aerobic/dance routine and she’ll smoke me leaving me to trip over my own feet. Give me an endurance event where you have to push through any pain or the heat and I’ll leave her in the dust.

It’s not that she’s horrible at endurance or that I’m horrible at aerobics, it’s just that our degrees of fitness and natural abilities differ depending on what we’re doing. If our goal is to workout together then the challenge is for both of us to bring our levels to a point where we can both workout together while somehow still feeling like we’re getting a good workout in. I think as time goes on one person can bring their fitness up to increase the challenge for both parties but I think it has to start by the stronger person meeting the other and supporting them.

In other words it means compromise and growth which are already at the foundation of any strong relationship. What makes it hard to implement is communication, which let’s all admit is hard sometimes in even the best relationships.

For my wife and I it’s going to come down to planning, like so many things have along this journey. The days we’re going to work out together need to be planned ahead of time and we either have to agree on a hard workout that may require one person to bring their A game or an easier workout that might mean another person may want to add more workout time in. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to workout together, in actuality it shows just how much we do because we’re willing to workout even longer.

Whatever we do we just have to communicate and not throw up our arms and miss a workout all together. In the infinity wisdom of my daughters favorite TV show:

that does nothing but cause confusion and delay

How do you deal with training issues with your workout partners? Do you work through them or just choose to not workout together?

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