Running with a buddy can help your motivation and, if that person is your significant other, it gives you a chance to spend some time together. But it's not always easy to work out with your sweetie, so here are some tips for making it an enjoyable experience:
Don't forget your goals.
Make sure runs with your sweetie doesn't compromise your own training plans. If you're training for a big race and he's not, it's probably not a good idea to run together every day. But you can plan to run together when you're scheduled for an easy recovery run, so you're not missing out on your important workouts.
Take cues from your partner.
When I ran the Boston Marathon several years ago, my husband jumped in to run with me and immediately started asking me a bunch of questions about the race. I had run almost 22 miles at that point, and I definitely did not feel like talking. After about the fifth question with barely more than a grunted response from me, I just looked at him and said, "Can we talk later? I don't feel like chatting right now!" Try to pay attention to how your partner reacts to you. Sometimes he may be in the mood to talk and other times he may just want to zone out and listen to music. Make sure the two of you communicate and express your desires so the other person doesn't get annoyed.
Make it a family affair.
If you and your partner don't run together because one of you is on kid duty while the other runs, get the kids involved! Go for a family jog or hike. Even if the kids are too little to run with you, there are ways to bring them along. Head to a local track and do a speed workout while the kids play alongside the two of you. Or, invest in a jogging stroller and have the two of you switch who pushes it.
When your training goals and programs don't match up, you may need to get a little creative. If you can't do an entire run together, you could always warm up together, do your own run, and then meet up again for a cool-down and stretching. Or, one of you can bike, while the other person runs.
Do your best to make your sweetie feel good about the workout. Don't yell or criticize them during the run. Try to make supportive and motivational comments while you're running and after you finish.
Don't try to show off.
This isn't the time to push your limits or prove that you're much faster than your significant other. Chances are, you both probably know who is the stronger runner – there's no reason to prove it during a run together. If you try to show off too much, your partner may just get frustrated and not want to run with you again.