As tough as this can be to imagine, running is not everyone’s favorite sport. This group can include the people closest to us, such as a significant other. Even if your partner has no plans to run a single step, they probably still want to cheer when you do. However, many are not sure of the best way to support us during our training cycles. If you have a partner who wants to champion your running, but doesn’t know how, you can show them this list.
Ask and Listen
Make an effort to check in with your partner on their progress. Do you necessarily understand or care about every split in their 400-meter interval workout or the elevation profile of their long run? Probably not. But asking about their training is quite easy. Showing that you support their goals with this one simple action goes a long way.
Respect Their Schedule
Races start early. Long runs can be tiring. No runner should ask their partner to put their life on hold—that’s unreasonable. But if your significant other wants to turn in early or wake up before dawn, respect that. Don’t prevent a good night’s sleep before a big race by making plans or staying out late. If they are getting their run or race done early, it’s likely so they can spend the rest of the day with you.
Make A Plan
When training for a distance race, long runs and workouts can take up a significant amount of time. Scheduling runs around other life commitments can be difficult, especially if there are kids that need to be cared for. Talking about expectations and priorities before these longer runs really helps to avoid any stress and hard feelings. Most of all, avoid guilting your runner for their time away. Everyone has different ways to better themselves. Some of us just need a 20-miler to do so.
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Have Post-Long Run Food Ready
After running double digit miles, the last thing any runner wants to do is worry about making or finding food. They want it NOW. The best thing a doting significant other can do is have a meal waiting when their runner returns from their long run. Another alternative is to plan for your runner to end at their favorite eatery. Just pack a change of clothes and a towel for them. Even if they can’t eat immediately following a long run, having something like chocolate milk, water, and coffee ready is much appreciated.
Assemble A Pre-Race Gift Basket
This nice gesture also shows that you have paid attention to what they have needed during their training. It doesn’t have to be big to be thoughtful. Include their preferred fuel, an anti-chafe stick, new pairs of their favorite socks, extra safety pins, a hat or sunglasses and sunscreen. Basically think of anything they will need on race day. If you want to go the extra mile (pun intended), make sure they are always stocked with their favorite fuel during their entire training cycle.
Create A Race Day Spectating Plan
Look at the course map well ahead of time to see where you can cheer. The more places you can get to, the better. Inform your runner approximately where you will be so they can look for you. Then make sure you’re at your cheering spot at the right time. Sign up for any tracking updates or make sure you know your SO’s goal time. Bonus points for homemade signs and cowbells.
Don’t Forget To Celebrate
Whether it’s a 5K or a marathon, finishing a goal race is cause for celebration. Make sure you have something planned to after their race. It doesn’t have to be a huge party—although that’s always fun. It could be a scheduled massage or a date. Think of something to celebrate your partner’s hard work and dedication. It can also acknowledge how your support and teamwork helped them along the way.
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