The Casual Runner

Runner Love (& Tips to Keep It Running)

Runner Love (& Tips to Keep It Running)


Happy Valentine’s Day!

(Updated: February 14, 2017)


Full disclaimer: I am probably the last person to give out dating advice. As any of my friends would tell you, I am currently dating WAY out of my league. But, since Valentine’s Day is this week, the Team decided it would be a good idea for me to pen an article sharing some thoughts about, and advice for, runners dating other runners. So here goes!


Yes, dating your running buddy means that you will get talked into being a little bit silly at times.

But first you should read what Jake and Jennifer had to say on the subject, they really had some great insight to share. You can read it now, its ok, I’ll wait. Did you read it yet? See, I told you those two are really good. Now, onto my attempt to impart some wisdom…

Common Interests

The best part about dating a runner is that you know, from the get go, that you have a shared common interest, and its a big one. This means that you can build your schedules around training, and your “social calendar” can be easily filled with group training runs and runcations to your favorite race destinations.

Common Support

We’ve all heard the comments on social media…“Is running all you talk about?” Ok, no, its not, but running is a big part of our lives. When you are in a relationship with a fellow Casual Runner, you know what your S.O. (“significant other”) is going through and the challenges your S.O. faces in training and racing, so you are in a position to provide whatever support your S.O. needs.


Your shared love of running can be infectious to those around you – even your photo-bombing nephews who want to show off their own SMOs.

This also means that your S.O. is likewise in a good position to return the favor and support you when you decide to go out and log a long run rather than washing the windows or cleaning the gutters. (Your S.O. should also support you when you are so tired after the long run that you plop down on the couch to play a few games of Madden or Tsum Tsum, right? Maybe I’m pushing my luck here…).

Common Nutrition Needs

When you are in a relationship, you share a lot of meals. It is difficult to plan meals or select restaurants when you have wildly different diets and food choices. It is even worse when your S.O. eats like they are still in college and constantly surrounds you with the temptation of food that tastes oh-so-amazing but is oh-so-bad for you.

When you are dating a Casual Runner, if you sync your training and racing schedules, you can find more commonality of nutrition needs, and in turn, you can remove some of that temptation. The bonus? Whether your goal is weight loss, toning, maintenance, or going for a P.R., you can support one another in making the right choices when it comes to food.

Your love of running can spill over into other common interests as well.

This is not to say that dating a runner is always hunky dory. You will have some decisions – and compromises! – to make when you both get afflicted with the dreaded runger after a great race or training run!

Training Schedules

You may be a morning runner while your S.O. is an evening runner. While it is always nice to be able to train together (and thus be able to spend time together), sometimes you have to admit that it is ok for you to train separately so that you can each do so when the timing is optimal for one another.

Speaking of Spending Time Together

When you and your S.O. train together, you have a lot of time where it is just the two of you, and the rest of the world does not matter. This is a great opportunity to talk about, really, anything, while you are enjoying some time together outdoors.


Don’t let anything come between you two…except adorable costumed characters at races.

Pacing Problems

In an ideal world, our splits would mirror those of our S.O., but the reality is that its not likely to happen. One could run a faster pace, one could prefer intervals, one could run negative splits while the other is Speedy Gonzalez out of the gates. The key is to figure out what each person’s preferred pacing is and going from there.

It is not likely that the slower runner can speed up to pace the faster runner and stay there, so the obligation really is on the faster partner to slow his or her pace to match that of their S.O. Slowing a training pace for some training runs is a nice thing to do so you can spend more time together (see above). However, I do believe that, when it comes to race day, Casual Runners should run their own race.


Run your own races and then meet up at the finish to celebrate together.

This means running at a pace that you are comfortable with and that will give you a result of which you will be happy. So…yeah, again, be honest with one another. While it would be great to start and finish a race together, if that is not in both runners’ race plan, be honest and allow your S.O. to run his or her preferred race. The best part about your S.O. finishing before you? You know your biggest fan will be waiting at the finish line to cheer you on.

Laundry Problems

We runners dirty a LOT of laundry. When your S.O. goes through just as many clothes as you do, then you have a training partner and a laundry partner, which means you can work together to split the burden and ensure an ample supply of clean running clothes for one another. Yes, there IS always a silver lining in Casual Running!

Shared Accomplishment. 

While your non-running friends will support you, they may not appreciate just what it took for your to log all those training miles, to wake up so very early on weekends, to toe the line at a race, and then run your best on any given day. Fortunately, when you are dating a fellow Casual Runner, you know that your S.O. truly knows what it took for you to achieve your goals and dreams, and you will appreciate your S.O.’s support that much more because of it.


Hopefully your Casual Running relationship will have a happily ever after.

Good Health! 

The best part about dating a Casual Runner is that you know your S.O. is committed to a healthy lifestyle, and healthy lifestyles mean your S.O. will likely live a longer, more active life…in turn meaning that you and your S.O. get to spend more happy years together.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, be thankful that you are lucky enough to be dating a fellow Casual Runner!

Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!





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