With the Royal Wedding in mind, we've turned our attention to how running can lead to romance. It's well proven that couples that have similar interests are more likely to stay together in the long term, and what better than a shared passion for running?
Join a running club
Forget tinder, if it’s running romance you’re after just join a running club. There are roughly 1,400 running clubs across the UK so there's bound to be one close to you. The social side of many clubs is just as important as the running.
Make a bit of effort with your kit – turning up in that old freebie race t-shirt and tatty shorts isn’t a great idea. Obviously we’d recommend Iffley Road kit for gents!
We recommend using England Athletics Clubfinder to find your local club.
Those who train together, stay together
Once you're in a relationship, running together needs a little planning if things are to stay harmonious especially if you have different speeds or fitness levels.
Our top tips are:
- Embrace the long run. Many runners are guilty of running their long runs too quickly – time on feet is what’s important. So the long run is the perfect opportunity to run together at a relaxed pace you’re both perfectly comfortable with.
- Enjoy speedwork. Such sessions are perfect for mixed speed couples. For example try a fartlek session where you really work the fast sections at your own pace and regroup during the recovery sections. At the track the equivalent is “paarlauf “, a continuous relay. One person runs their 400m lap while the other rests then swap round. Runbundle have a good description of this, and other sessions for mixed speed couples/groups.
- Take turns on race day. Rather than always entering the same races take turns at racing supporting.
There’s also plenty of great advice for running couples in our earlier Running and Relationships blog by Iffley Road ambassador Steve Skinner.
And if you fancy a race with a wedding theme there are a number to choose from...
The Wedding Day 7k in Bushy Park
This race is a popular classic. First run on 29 July 1981 to celebrate the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales it is still held on the last Friday in July in the evening. Entries for this year’s race are now open here.
The Wife Carrying Race
Arguably less PC is the annual Wife Carrying Race, which takes place near Dorking, Surrey each April. Either member of the couple can be the “wife” but must weigh over 50 kilos (or make up the difference in a rucksack). Organisers claim wife-carrying in the UK originated in 793 AD, when Viking raiders rampaging on England’s North East coast carried off any unwilling local women.
The Tandem Triathlon
For a real power play head to Bishops Castle, Shropshire in June for the Tandem Triathlon. One of you swims, the other runs and the cycle together on your tandem. Buying a tandem together is a pretty big step in a relationship so this isn’t a race for anyone with commitment issues!
Returning to Windsor and the setting for the recent Royal Wedding, did you know that Windsor Castle was also the starting point of the first official 26.2 mile marathon held in the 1908 London Olympics?