There are many couples who have met and got to know each other through running and are now training partners. They have had their support for each other, resulting in perhaps more achievements than any one of them would have achieved individually.
The benefits of having a good training group have never been disputed, but perhaps the benefit of having a spouse as a training partner could even be much more than that of being in such groups.
Once you are out of the door and out training, you get the opportunity to become running mates where the role of a husband or a wife is not easily defined. Your minds shift away from the daily chores and responsibilities in the house and dwell on the plans for your runs; you will have to agree on the route, the pace and the duration to go out for a run.
You might have had arguments at home regarding other matters, but when the times come for training, you get a well-deserved break into a different world for a while.
There is a lot of misconception from the general public out there about runners. I still remember the time I just started running and people closer to me thought they were doing me great favour by sending me out for errands that needed biking or walking long distances. A fellow runner will easily understand what you need when you are back from a 38km long run. They will understand it when you decide to go back to bed in the middle of a beautiful day and will even advice anyone who has come to visit that they give you some time to rest.
Someone who doesn’t know the difference between 5km and 38km will easily be wondering why you are getting lazy after training!
It is easier to just skip a training program when you are doing it alone, but when your spouse wakes you up and tells you it is time for training then you will need to convince more than two minds that you need to skip your training. Having company also makes the training more enjoyable.
Sometimes training may require one to wake up before dawn when the rest are still asleep or can take one through some paths in dangerous surroundings and forested areas. Running in the dark or in some of the dangerous places may result in runners being attacked and robbed, but having someone at their sides will minimize the incidence.
As a family, you definitely spend much of the time together after your training. You eat the same food most of the time and it will be easier for both of you to compare notes and tell whatever works best for you and what makes some days better for your running.
Some female runners often hire pacesetters to help them with their training. Others hire massage therapists to help them relax their muscles after though workouts. But, an experienced spouse in running can easily offer all these services for free and you end up saving some money for other needs.
In this era of social media branding and advertising, it is great to have good pictures of yourself running in a brand you wish to market. Having someone take good pictures of yourself when you come across great scenes on your runs is important.
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Justin Lagat is a long distance runner. A World Athletics Certified long distance running Coach, and Freelance Sports Journalist. Work appears at World Athletics, RunBlogRun, Spikes Magazine, and Run Republic, among other websites.