by Tom O'Grady
The saying goes, “Those who sweat together stay together.” In that case it’s probably wise to plan a run date for Valentine’s Day this year.
What exactly is a run date? That will depend on the individual couple but the general idea is that you plan a running adventure together. The date can simply be the run or a combination of the run and some other complimentary activity. Some activities that can nicely compliment a run are – coffee, a drink, dinner, a movie. If you feel like putting in the effort the run date could be the entire evening – meet for your run, grab a bite to eat for dinner, and then catch a movie. That would mean you get to build an appetite, enjoy a great meal, and then relax!
If you plan to stay local for your running date it’ll be important to meet at a place where the conditions will be conducive to running. The snow, ice, and cold temperatures can make it difficult to find a safe location. If the idea of running in the cold in the capital region does not feel appealing, then it’s possible you could plan a “run-cation” together. A weekend getaway to warmer weather where you can train together may be the perfect way to motivate you and your partner and make it through the winter. Perhaps the conditions would make it appropriate to plan an evening of cross training as well – skiing, snowshoeing, or some other snow/ice activity that boosts your cardiovascular fitness.
The reasons why run dates or “sweating together” are so beneficial to relationship health are plentiful. Planning a run date takes some extra effort so you are creating a deeper emotional bond. Running together also allows you to share in your fitness efforts and achievements. This creates the perfect opportunity to compliment your partner and provide positive feedback to each other. It’s possible during your run date you can share your goals for the upcoming year. Additionally, as long as you both enjoy running, a run date allows you to both enjoy your time together while engaging in a mutual interest.
Run dates can be tough if individuals have different running capabilities or enjoy different types of runs (i/e trail versus road running). Remember, a relationship is about compromise so a run date can also allow you to see running from your partner’s point of view. If there are capability differences a run date may allow one person to get a workout in while another gets an easier effort in. If one person is more adventurous a run date may allow someone who traditionally runs on roads to make a much needed change and exercise some of their unused ancillary muscles.
Finally, February is heart health month. So, in addition to investing in your metaphorical heart with a run date on Valentine’s Day - you’ll also be investing, as a couple, into your mutual physical well-being.
Reviewer Tom O’Grady is a successful runner, coach, writer and college professor with a joint appointment at NYSDOH/UAlbany School of Public Health. Click on his picture to read all that he has written for the Pace Setter-and it is a lot! Thank you Tom!