Marathon training can get a bit all consuming. There are early mornings, long runs and gym sessions to contend with, not to mention the psychological impact of taking on such a big challenge. If you're not careful it really can take over your life, and ruin your relationship. Something I'd rather not happen!
Mike is an occasional runner. He's run a few 10ks and a half marathon, and while he'll sometimes come out with me for a run (on the promise of a donut at the end) he isn't quite as into it at me. Running is kind of my life. Everything is planned around my training and often it's the first thing on my mind. This has the potential to cause a little tension. Thankfully, we've managed to avoid falling out so far, but with marathon training ramping up things are going to get more intense and the risk of ructions is likely to increase!
So how do you balance it all? During my masters, Mike and I used a google calendar to carve out time with each other (we bung all our appointments outside work in one shared calendar and then look for gaps. I've also found that it helps me manage my training schedule and stops me from overcommitting myself) and made sure that we were open and talked lots in an effort to avoid misunderstandings - both things we'll keep doing as marathon training starts to bite. Of course, I've always got it in the back of my mind that what we've done to date might not be enough, so I thought I'd hit up a few other runners for their tips when it comes to balancing romance and running...
Make one night each week a date night. Even if all that means is you eat dinner together with your phones switched off! That's our golden rule - Mary, A Healthier Moo
I think prioritising your time is important, my other half likes a sleep in on a Saturday so I get out and do as much as I can before 10:30 then go home and climb back into bed with him and he doesn't even notice I've gone! Also don't try to force it down their throats, if they aren't a runner its as simple as that, don't resent them for not sharing your interest. Mine is a rugby fan, so for Christmas I got him a season ticket for his rugby club - wheever he's out watching them on a Sunday I'm long running. Also, when you're not running/training make time for quality time. Always go out early and it leaves the whole day free to spend time together. We don't work together so I train in my lunch break too, that way we can have our evening to chill and have dinner together - Becca, This Bunny Runs
Get them to run it with you! I actually wrote this last year - I really struggled a few years ago with the balance and Tom ended up putting me on a marathon ban. I've since worked out how to balance things a little better and haven't been put on one since! Charlie, The Runner Beans
When I'm training for a race I can be guilty of talking about nothing but running. My boyfriends is supportive and interested but understandably doesn't want my training to dominate every single conversation we have! I've found blogging and following like minded people on social media is a good outlet for me to chat about that stuff and spare him some of the details! Kirsty, Kirsty Running
I think it's important to both have a chance of pursuing something you want to do outside of the relationship - it just takes compromise. For example, this year my husband would quite like to do a marathon, but its not really feasible for us both to do the training with a baby. So we agreed, this year it's my turn and my training takes priority, but he can choose something for him afterwards. While he's doing that (whether it be a marathon or something else) my goals will take a back seat while he does his thing. Basically taking it in turns to do something for ourselves - Jess, Twins in Trainers
It's a difficult one that I still struggle with as my hubby prefers to exercise his mind (books). My only advice is probably more general, just don't take them for granted, keep talking, let them know what you're up to in advance, do your fair share at home and make time for them. You have to compromise somewhere - Rebecca, The Style Dynamo
It was definitely tough when we didn't live together - I would sack off my training to go and see him as we each had little time available, but then feel guilty about not getting out! Fortunately we do a lot of active things together, but I also think it's important to take time apart for your hobbies. He is DEFINITELY not a morning person so I'm planning on starting a Saturday ParkRun routine and he can make me breakfast for when I get back! Beki, Miss Wheezy
My husband and I do different sports and find it works very well, though we have different training nights in the week which means we don't spend many evenings together! I like the fact that we have different interests as it stops us getting (too) obsessive. He's not remotely interested in rowing (which is why I started my blog as I was definitely boring him with my rowing talk, and he suggested I write about it instead!) and I'm not really very interested in his running either. I feel OK about taking a weekend away to compete in a big event as he will occasionally do the same for a marathon - Patricia, Girl on the River
How do you balance training and your relationship? I'd love to hear your tips in the comments!
*images: Anna Rachel Photography
*tops: Sarah Marie Design Studio