Is it easier to date a fellow runner or a non-runner?‏

The TrailRunnerMagazine Blog Symposium posted a really interesting topic this month and more so than wanting to chime in with my own 2 cents I am really interested to get feedback from everyone else.

So let’s just dive right in to it shall we?

Is it easier to date a fellow runner or a non-runner?

I see this topic falling into a few categories (It does say “date” – but I can expand on that).

Dating a fellow runner -Dating a non-runner -Marrying a fellow runner-Marrying a non-runner-Having kids with a fellow runner-Having kids with a non runner. Am I missing any here? Let me know.

Running has often times been described as a selfish sport – If you Google “Is running selfish”  You get somewhere around 24 million hits and then  the question becomes “How do these opinions play into dating and relationships?”

Let’s start right off the bat with a selfish reason I think you should run together – Read this and tell me you DON’T want that.

Refilling my water and grabbing some aid before lap #2

Refilling my water and grabbing some aid before lap #2

I for one think it is far easier to date a fellow runner than to not. I think about all that goes in to my own running – Skipping out on the late night party because there is a long run planned for Saturday – Getting up at 5 am to squeeze a run in because you have family or friend obligations like a first communion or birthday party.

Spending time out on the trails when it is 10 below zero or the roads when it is 90 and humid. Hanging out in a park and cheering on Ultra friends – or standing on a street corner in the pouring rain waiting to get pictures of your awesome runner friends.

Coming up with a race budget and making decisions on where to run/race. To me all of this is easier when you SHARE it with someone who “gets it”.

It makes so much more sense when someone says “YES – THAT SOUNDS AWESOME” rather than “Seriously? Again?”


Then I think about the time we get to spend together. Even when Sheila and I are not running “together” we are often running together – Same time, same place – same trail – same route. We have trained for a 50k together that happens THIS Sunday- Those hours and hours of long runs and hard work would have been done away from her if she was not a runner-I would have been developing relationships with other people not named Sheila. I don’t always see that as healthy. I find it so beneficial to our relationship that we do this together.

Thanks for this photo, Ron!

Thanks for this photo, Ron!

There is this too   Psychology today knows more than I do about these issues (well they should)- Click that link for some details But running together does these 5 things for your relationship.

1.  Increase your happiness with your relationship. 

2.  Improve the efficiency of your workouts.

3. Make your partner fall in love with you.  

4.  Help you achieve your fitness goals.  

 5. Increase your emotional bond with your partner. 

Then I think about when we do have a child – There seems to me, that there will be a much less chance of one of us feeling resentful – In the sense of  “They are off having fun with their running pals while I am here with the kids“.

We already know we will rotate – and we have many successful running couples with children to show us the way when it is our turn. I have seen many couples go the other way, where only one is a runner – I really would love to hear input from them – What works, what doesn’t, why is it that way, how do you handle this, am I making up issues in my mind that don’t actually exist in real life?

Running is like church to us – I see some couples that do well while one goes to church and the other does not – Or one goes to Catholic Church while the other is Jewish – I just think it’s a heck of a lot easier on your life if both believe and go to the same place – We go to trail church together on a weekly basis and worship with our friends – I wouldn’t trade that for anything.


I guess in the long run – I can’t really see myself not being with a runner. Running has been something that I have loved since I was young – I ran track and cross country. I ran in college. I ran when things were great and when they were awful. It’s a fantastic feeling to be around someone who gets that – Someone who feels the same trails I feel, and is given the same benefits from running that I am given.

For me. No… For us this works, and we see it as way easier this way. We both see the value in what we do. Life is an adventure, and adventures are meant to be shared – I don’t want to experience the world while the love of my life sits at home on the couch – That wouldn’t work for us.

Today Sheila and I will get out of work – Change  clothes- Then hit the trails together for a little trail time. Running together through all of our trials just as we do through its’ joys.


The couple that runs together stays together


2 responses to “Is it easier to date a fellow runner or a non-runner?‏

  1. I think you can make it work either way, and I think plenty of successful couples have different interests that they pursue exclusively of the other person. In our case, Eric plays poker. I go to book club. Eric golfs. I have dinner with my girlfriends. We trade off on kid care, and there isn’t resentment because he gets his time and I get mine, along with getting our time, together, with both each other and our family. It all balances out.

    Running the way you guys do it seems to be much more of a commitment than a monthly book club meeting or weekly tee time. I can see there being lots of time apart and alone if only one of you partook in that hobby to the extent that you do. At that point, I guess you’d need to prioritize and make a decision between your running schedule and time with your partner. So in the case of such an intensive, time-consuming hobby (or maybe it’s even worth calling it a lifestyle), it seems better to have both partners on board. But for more casual, less formal interests, I think it’s fine, healthy, and completely doable to have separate pursuits. When I was running (though I didn’t consider myself a runner), it was a half hour or so in the morning and then done. It was fine to do it alone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s