By Brandon Laan

This is not a lecture, rather a gentle reminder. It is no secret that training groups are a breeding ground for budding relationships. One can spend upwards of two hours a day talking, training, and enjoying a post-run coffee with their training partner. Depending on the level of training, some people end up spending more time socializing with their training partner than they do with their significant other.

When your training partner is someone of the opposite sex, the time spent together can progress the relationship beyond what was originally intended. Sparks have been known to fly and have caused other lifelong promises to wane. When training with someone of the opposite sex while in a relationship with someone else, there are precautionary measures that can be made to help remove the potentiality of a fire before it ignites.

Here are few tips to ensure you run fast, while ENHANCING your relationship with your significant other.

Put Yourself In Your Significant Other’s Shoes

Imagine your significant other was hitting the gym every night with a fit member of the opposite sex? Simply be mindful of their feelings and do not dismiss their feelings as jealousy.  Avoid temptation.

Do Not Complain About Your Spouse To Your Training Partner

If your training partner of the opposite sex starts sympathizing with you, consoling you, and complaining about their significant other, you are likely to start wishing that your significant other were more like your training partner. You may want to run away from this training partner or recommend a well-respected marriage counselor.

The Grass Is Not Always Greener On The Other Side

Although you spend a lot of time with your training partner and he or she may seem more appealing at times than your significant other, keep in mind that they are giving you the best of themselves. They are not always THAT good.

On a similar note, if you spend all of your energy on your hill, interval, or fartlek session, how much energy do you have when you get home? If you return home a sweaty, exhausted mess, and spend the whole night talking about your kilometer repeat session, chances are your significant other will resent your running.

Do Not Over Share

Intimacy can be cultivated by sharing deep dark secrets, emotional feelings, and fears.  Do not console one another and provide emotional support that your significant other would normally give you.

Share With Your Significant Other Before Sharing With Your Training Partner

Make sure that what you share with your training partner, you also have shared with your significant other. Moreover, it’s always nice to have secrets that only they know.

Bring Your Significant Other To Destination Races & Social Events

This is a great opportunity for your significant other to meet some of the people you spend a lot of time with.

The following should go without saying, but just to be safe…DO NOT share a hotel room with your training partner if your significant other cannot tag along.

Do Not Train With Just One Person

Try to avoid having a single training partner that is of the opposite sex, and if at all possible, train with a group.

Take Interest In Your Significant Other’s Interests

It cannot be about running all the time. It can be a humbling realization that not a lot of people care how fast you ran your tempo run yesterday, even if you are Bernard Lagat.

Put More Time Into Your Marriage Than Your Marathon

If you are training upwards of 2 hours per day, make breakfast, do the dishes, fold the laundry, or buy some flowers.

If Feelings Start To Materialize, Find A New Running Partner

Enough Said.

Marriage is a lot like running a marathon.  To do it well, it takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, time, commitment, training, and coaching.  You can expect tough patches that require mental toughness, fitness, and strength.  And like a marathon, the hard times make all of the victories that much sweeter.

Brandon Laan is Co-founder of the website Runner’s Feed LTD and Race Director of Rock the Road 10k

You may find him on Facebook: