Before your other half signs up for a marathon (or something that requires a long training period), you both need to sit down and talk about it.
I know a lot of people sign up and don’t think twice about it. But from experience I think if one of you is going to be committing to training seriously for a marathon, you both need to be on board and be realistic about what it entails for one of you to be ready for achieving the race you want.
Firstly: Get your calendar out and make sure that you have no conflicting plans with the days surrounding the marathon. There is no point in committing to doing a marathon when you have an event the day before or day of, or something else of significance happening around that time. You main focus will be the race, you don’t need added pressure.
If the runner is going to be taking this seriously, there could be implications onyour current lifestyle that you need to talk about:-
- Change of routine – will the runner will be up earlier in the mornings to get their run in? Or doing it after work? What way will they be running on weekends? What impact will all this have on your routine? I personally get up earlier with Gary on weekdays and go on into work while he goes to the gym to run, and at weekends he sneaks off bright and early and leaves me to have a lie in.
- The Long Run Days – There are the long runs of training (generally 15 to 20 miles) which impact a lot more hours in the day. The actual few hours of running, then the general laziness of not wanting to move outside the home for the rest of the day – you cant blame them for it, but it can be infuriating when your crazy to go somewhere or need help with something!
- Social Life Impacts – Some people give up alcohol for their training period, which can put a dampener on things if you were a pair of pub-goers. Or if your like Gary, you tolerance to alcohol will be dramatically reduced and you wont be fit for many nights out. Also going out to eat, maybe they will have changed their diet, and wont want to be chomping down on greasy food from some of your favorite restaurants. There is also the side of things that when you do have a late night out, the runner will not want to stay out late due to wanting to get up the next day for training runs or races.
- Sleeping/Napping – This was one of the things that I did not see coming. My husband was a man who from the day I first met him slept in on Saturday mornings until at least 11am and even if he was awake prior to that time, refused to vacate his bed. Now he frequently gets up at 5, 6 or 7am to go out on his long training runs. Who is this person! So this is something that may impact some couples especially if the person staying in bed is a light sleeper. Naps also become a staple if said runner has been up early, ran 15+ miles and now needs a recharge just to make it through the day. At the beginning of our journey, I resented these early mornings and naps as I felt I couldn’t make plans with Gary to do anything as I knew he would be shattered in the afternoon or evening. Now we have worked out how to plan around these things, could you do the same?
- Housework/Chores – Yes this seems like a silly point to be making, but the person who is not doing any running will be the one picking up the slack on this end of things. Could you both stick to a plan if you divided up the work?
Money is a big thing if you would need to talk about, there are a few different money related categories to think about:-
- Cost of Marathon Itself – This can be a large or small amount depending on what marathon you will be taking part in. Marathon entries can range from $50 to $250.
- Training Costs – This may only apply to some of you, but a lot of people just running classes to help them in their training. Some people run organised races to get used to the crowds and set up of events. There are also training plans available online that runners use to keep them on track of what mileage they should be running in the weeks and months coming up to the marathon. All of these things usually have some costs attributed to them. So they are important not to forget when thinking about overall costs.
- Marathon Location – if your marathon is not local, you will need to talk about travelling costs.Whether its money to juice up your car, a bus or a plane ticket; the travelling costs add up between these extra transfers and food on the go. Also possible accommodation costs may need to be factored in if you are going to be staying overnight.
- Materials – This is a minor thing, but between training clothes and sneakers, these are things that some people go through more than others. In my house there is always a turn around of new sneakers, shorts, socks, and compressing gear.
Some of my points you may be reading and thinking “Well duuuh Frances”, but there are some you won’t think about and will pop up along the way. The key in this whole training period is to communicate. If you feel something is bothering you, tell your partner. You may think your normal life and routine wont change, but it will and its OK to have a teething period until you can make a routine and lifestyle that you are both happy with.
Let me know below if there is anything you have come across that I have not mentioned in this list, that you think is a big thing that needs to be addressed between a couple before one of you signs up for a race.
Frances! (The Muffin)