“I hate running.” The exact words my husband, David, said when I approached him about training with me for a half marathon. David, had never run more than 2 miles at one time, and the thought of running for two hours was definitely not something he desired to do. However, after the birth of my 3rd baby I knew I wanted to complete a half marathon (I had not run anything more than a 5k since before I had children). It was a big goal, and I needed the support and accountability of my husband.

Fast forward to October 2018, with my husband by my side, I completed my first postpartum half marathon. Although tired, we both were elated by the ability to attain our goal. We trained for 16 weeks, and had to learn how to train while having three small children. Sometimes we had to run at opposite times, during naptime, or hire a babysitter if we wanted to run together. It wasn’t always easy, but it strengthened our relationship and helped us to learn many things along the way. Below are 5 things I learned while training with my husband (running buddy for life).

1. You can train with someone who doesn’t run at the same pace as you

My husband is 6’3 and is faster than me. However, he typically adapted to my pace when we ran together for long runs, and upped his pace when he ran solo.

2. You have a built-in motivator

Training runs can be monotonous, you may have days where your legs feel sluggish, or you might simply struggle with getting out the door. However, having a training partner allowed me to not only feel motivated to get out the door, but we also shared in motivating each other during our runs.

3. It is fun to share a unified goal

My husband and I are both goal-driven, but having the same goal was a wonderful bonding experience. Crossing the finish line was even better knowing that we did it together.

4. You work harder

Sometimes when you are on your own, especially if it is your first training cycle, you may find yourself running at a slower pace, skipping a run, or taking more breaks. However, when you are training with a buddy you have another person who is also training alongside you which creates an inherent responsibility to do your best, even if you are unable to complete all of the runs together.

5. It is more fun!

I know training alone can offer much needed “time away” or “alone time!” Nevertheless, if you are training for one of your first races, consider finding a friend to train alongside. Running early on Saturday morning, running in less than desirable conditions, and crossing the finish line is all more fun with a friend.

You may love training alone. But, I hope I was able to offer insight into what it is like to train with a buddy. Maybe the Des Moines 2020 Marathon Series is your year to try it. I know my husband and I are ready to dust off our shoes for another training cycle. We will definitely be at the starting line together, and will also finish strong (even if not at the exact same time!).

Happy Running!

-Courtney

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