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5 Things You Asked About Running And Relationships

Balance your passion for running with the other love in your life with these helpful tips and advice.

Does running make a good first date?

Tracey Steinberg, dating coach and author of Flirt for Fun & Meet the One, says, “I think running is a great first date. It’s a light, fun activity that’s also safe because it’s in a public place.” She recommends avoiding competition, which could lead to hurt feelings, and “upping the flirting to keep the dating dynamic.” Steinberg, who competes in marathons when she’s not advising the love-lorn, says that one of her first dates with her now-husband was a run through Central Park. The couple will celebrate their seven-year anniversary in 2014.

What if my partner doesn’t like to run and doesn’t understand why I do?

Every runner knows the irritation of trying to explain a love for miles with someone who just doesn’t get it. This conversation is especially annoying if the person is your partner.

Non-runner: So you want to wake up before sunrise to run  on a Sunday morning, why?
Runner: Sigh. 

Dating coach Tracey Steinberg recommends asking your beloved to join you for a walk on one of your favorite routes: “Explain why you’re so passionate about running while showing him a favorite flower on your route or how when you pass this light post you know you’re halfway through. That way you’re introducing him in a way that shares a part of you.”

If my partner is faster than me, who should be the one to slow down or speed up?

Like most (or every?) facet of a relationship, compromise is key. Professional runner Morgan Gonzalez, one half of a speedster marriage, speaks from experience: “My husband, Sergio, is quite a bit faster than me. He runs a 5K in 14:19 while my PR is 17:04. He runs his easy and recovery runs at my pace (meaning he slows down for me), but during workouts we each run our own pace and cheer each other on around the track. We even occasionally race on sprints, with Sergio giving me a head start, to turn training into a fun game. It motivates us, makes us feel like a team and it’s fun!”

Is it weird if I only like to run alone?

Running is more fun with a group! There’s nothing like a running buddy! These popular sentiments can make runners fear there’s something odd about their preference to go at it alone. But when it comes to running, there is no “normal.” In a recent study from Running USA, 66.7 percent of women runners cited “relieving stress” as their primary reason to pound the pavement—and there’s no better way to unwind your mind than with a solo jaunt. As long as you take the proper safety precautions, you should feel comfortable (and totally not weird!) running any way you wish.

What runner habits are too gross (spitting, snot rockets, peeing in the woods) to let your partner see?

The jury’s split on this one. Dating expert Steinberg advises, “Don’t forget this is the person you want to be intimate with. Aim to be a beautiful woman at all times. Keep it clean.” Women’s Running’s official stance is a bit more lenient. We say as long as you don’t spit, pee or snot rocket on your partner, anything goes.