Last night unbeknown to me my husband decided not to set the alarm for my usual 5am wake up to get me to to the gym, and I woke at 6am! I didn’t have enough time to get to the gym and get back so I was not very happy. He has done this one time before when he decided that I should have a lie in instead of going to the gym…OK you say – Zoe you should be in charge of setting your own alarm and too bad you didn’t, but my issue here is my husband isn’t a runner, he isn’t really much of an exerciser at the moment, in fact he recently let his gym membership lapse. Many years ago we tried running together and I would jog with him and then say ‘ok I’m just going to stretch my legs’ and would sprint off and he didn’t like that and gradually stopped running. Now it is impossible to get him running!
The thing is however I love running and exercise. I have made certain sacrifices in my running, such as agreeing not to run anymore full marathons (he says I get too grumpy!) and to rest on Sundays and to be fair he is a good supporter at races. I would love it if he was a runner too but I have come to accept he is not.
So in my experience, what are the best ways to keep your spouse onside when they are not a runner and you are….:
Be appreciative of their hobbies too
My husband has certain things he likes to do that I don’t really jump up and down about but I try and be supportive so that we are being fair to one another. I mean I get up at 5am 6 days a week and he doesn’t bat an eyelid – I reckon he is pretty tolerant!
Don’t complain you are tired all the time! Make time for them as well as running!
When I used to run full marathons, the last 5-6 weeks of training used to exhaust me when I was doing 20 mile (approx 32k) runs on a saturday and then a 10 miler (18k approx) on the sunday – I would just want to eat, drink and sleep when I had finished and my husband who had patiently waited for me to finish training would be disappointed that I had no energy or time for him. So, now I am used to the early mornings and I sometimes have a power nap on a saturday after my run but other than that the whole weekend is with him and if I am tired I don’t complain – after all it’s self inflicted! I also have my rest day on a sunday so we lie in a little (until 7/8am).
Get them to come along to races and see you in action
Your spouse may have no idea what it is that you do when you go and run, and so to get them to come along and watch you in a race might be the best thing you can do! My husband comes along and watches and supports me, and takes photos of me in most of my races and he is always the first person to say well done, to get me a drink and to cuddle me and that’s all I need. He may not be a runner but he is my support team and number one fan!
Learn to sacrifice your running once in a while and rest
My husband is a lot more relaxed with my running now he knows I know how to rest and when to stop. I used to push through and insist on ploughing on regardless of whether I had had enough sleep or was well enough to train and he was never very happy about that. But now I am not running marathons and tend to do shorter distances I am a lot more relaxed about my training as I know I can run the distances and I know my body is strong and can handle most sessions – it just might be slower sometimes and that doesn’t bother me so much anymore. He used to get very upset and annoyed when I would push myself to the limit and then get really sick.
Be responsible for your own alarm clock!
As I learned this morning if I want to run and get up very early then I cannot always rely on my husband and take it for granted that he will seriously want to set the alarm for 5am. I need to DO IT MYSELF!
Which reminds me….. I need to go and set my alarm