Friday, May 31, 2013

Running Couple: Training with the a Reluctant Runner

Well, the husband and I have finally fished his third half marathon and now he is Half Fanatic #4235. This means that I should be working on my marathon training while the hubs continues his half marathon training since my very first road marathon and both of us will be doing half marathons in July 21 in Idaho. We'll be visiting my mother in law and staying with her since both the races are about 30 minutes away from her house.

10K in Albuquerque back in 2011 when he was training.
The Color Run 2013 had not been hardly training.

Now, the hubs while finishing his first 3 half marathons was not well trained. He had trained and run shorter runs 5K and 10K back in 2011 but since then he's only done  The Color Run this year and he walked for most of it. For months he knew that these was coming and he chose to sleep in more times than not and when he did "train" it mostly consisted of a 3-5 mile walk on the treadmill. His longest outdoor runs were about 3 miles up until about 2 weeks prior to the Oklahoma City Half Marathon. At that point, about 2 weeks out, I wanted to see how far he would get on at 12 mile run and he actually gave up at mile 6.5. I was really worried that he wouldn't finish so I never got too far ahead so that I go back an push him if he did give up. I only had to push him a little and by the time the last mile happened we were both slow for me due to cramping while he was complaining about his knees. He finished so that was good, but he was pretty much dying the next day. I think it was then that he realized that he had to actually train.

OKC Half Marathon, his first road race/2nd half marathon.
I really think he would finish due to poor training.

His second road half, he had done the Bataan Memorial Death March as his first,  wasn't much better. Again his knees began bothering him and he slowed down much more that he did at the previous race. I finally got tired of waiting for him to catch up with me that I let him get about 2 blocks before me so that I could get a longer interval in. We both ended up walking the last 5K due to his knees and my accursed cramping at mile 10. I've offered to tape him up but he's refused because he would have to shave his legs.

So, for him to train I have to be awake and either going on my runs in the dark/barely light (see next paragraph) or chasing him out the door. He's always been one of those guys who wants to do everything with me, I on the other hand am usually a very independent sort who likes to go on adventures by myself. He's gotten particularly worse about being a bit glued to me since he retired. I know that I told him I'd train with him, but I didn't realize that he was quite a bit slower than I am! That's saying a lot because I am slow. So, what I do now is wake him up and make sure he's out of bed before I go run or leave early come back home when he's supposed to be awake getting ready just to make sure that he is doing so then return to my run sometimes running a few miles with him. That's really not very convenient since my longer runs take me miles away from home. Instead I end up doing loops until it's time to ensure that he's awake. This helps a little because sometimes he wants to do a run and actually gets up other times it's like trying to wake up a 10 year old. I even told him that he needs to wake up on his own because I won't always be around such as when I'm gone to a race. His training when I'm gone is hit and miss.

Right now in the late spring/early summer it's not bad because he only works 2 days a week and is out of school, but when school is in session he has to run when it's barely light or still dark. I, on the other hand, have to run during the day due to medical almost non-existent Vitamin D level. I don't know why I have that problem considering that I take a multivitamin with double the recommended dose of Vitamin D and the amount of dairy I digest but I have to run during daylight most of the time.

I've started telling him how many miles he has to run and even give him the routes since I now have short runs of 8+ miles (aside from "rest" days when I do a mile for the Runners World Streak Challenge). Once he is able to meet my short runs, I'll let him start running with me until he gets to 10 or 11 miles then he's on his own to continue training. I on the other hand need to step up my game so that I can be on track to finish my marathon training by mid-July. I do wish he'd start using his MotoACTV so that we can track the actual mileage and get other stats to see how he's doing, but so far he hasn't used it (he's had it for probably 5-6 months).

So for now, we'll stay with what we're doing and hope for the best for him. Myself, I'm finally back up to 12 mile long runs and short runs of 6-10 miles. Hopefully, I'll be ready to go by July.

Have you trained with someone who was slower than you or who just didn't seem to have the drive to train? Or who just didn't seem to have the necessary commitment? What did you do? I'm looking for ways to motivate him but at the same time my training cannot be sidetracked trying to get him where he needs to be. Help!


  1. I typically mix in my easy runs with people who sometimes just want to give running a try. Dump the watch and just enjoy the running with friends. Trying to influence them might make them dislike it. Some of my runs end up being social even if that means slowing down a lot more than needed, but hey recovery runs are just that, help with recovery.

    1. Thanks for commenting Christopher! I do run with a local club and that is a very social thing, but when running with the husband it's a different story. Now he's trying a bit more than before he got is membership to HF but it's because I've already scheduled races for myself and he had decide to run them now as well.

      It's just I don't see him trying to go past his comfort zone when I run with him. I've taken to running two a days just to work on upping my mileage and work a little on speed (right now I'm all about finishing after being off training from May of last year to about March of this year due to a severe depression). I appreciate the fact that he wants to run, but he won't do the training unless I tell him exactly what to do. It's a bit exasperating when you live, eat and sleep with a runner who you sometimes feel has his heart in it. Thanks again for commenting! :D

  2. Hi Beth, found your post through Fitness Friday Linkup. It sounds like you're getting some great mileage in even though you feel like you're providing motivation for two. Keep up the good work - and don't give up on your running buddy yet! ;)

    1. Hi Brave! I try to get as much mileage as possible, but I also want to make sure that the husband is able to up his mileage since I'll be running some fulls the same time he's doing halfs. The last 2 HMs we did together, I wasn't even pacing really, I was just there to make sure he kept moving. I want to encourage him, but at the same time I feel like he's lacking the motivation. I'll keep at it and hopefully he'll catch on soon! lol! Thanks for commenting! :D

  3. Congrats on your husband making the half fanatics! I had a friend once who kept saying she wanted to run a half marathon. Long story short. She was so excited to do it and tell people about it, but not willing to put the effort in to train properly. That experience taught me, people have to want it themselves, sometimes you have to let them figure it out. When they do, they'll do all it takes and love the sport. It took my friend years, but she finally trained properly and loves running now, but she had to discover that on her own:) Good luck!

    1. Hi RBP! Your story is very much like what I'm going through now. My husband grew up a country boy and did a lot of running. Even the first 10 or so years we were married he kept pretty active. Now after nearly 30 years together I'm the one moving and he's just kind of following slowly. I'm hoping something sparks for him...he was the one who wanted to do Bataan short course then go for HF but I'm just waiting for that certain something to click so I don't feel like I'm pushing or doing the work. Thanks for sharing and commenting! :D