Hearts Racing

Running can build and strengthen relationships.

Sometimes, finding the right running mate is the key to a happy union. (outdoornation.org )

When it comes to running, it goes without saying that the sport can do wonders to your physique and overall health and wellness. But what you perhaps don’t know is that it can do even more for couples whose idea of a perfect date is less of “long walks on the beach” and more “finishing a 10k marathon.”

Get Happy Together

Those who run know this well: running makes you happy. And this is because of a spike in endorphin-levels in the brain, happy hormones that are released in reaction to the pain and discomfort your body feels as you run and sweat it out. Now imagine being extra happy, and sharing the experience with your significant other.

“Celebrating accomplishments together can increase the bond in a relationship,” says award-winning dating and relationship expert Caroline Brealey. “(It) makes you feel like a team, creating an overall feeling of wellbeing and happiness within your relationship.” This means that each race you finish together is another step into forming a stronger relationship.

Shared Goals

Let’s say that you both share the same new year’s resolution of getting fit. By running together, you’re also running towards the same goal—and by doing so, you can support each other more easily because you both know what the other is going through. In fact, what with all the news, updates, and tips you’ll be sharing with each other, it’ll almost be like you’re speaking some sort of secret language only you two can fully understand, leading to a bond that’s bound to bring you even closer together.



Noy and Amale Jopson complement each other so well, they’ve grown a family that’s united in its love of sport.(sandravicenta.blogspot.com)

Noy and Amale Jopson are known in the local running scene for being triathletes-to-beat, as well as a husband-and-wife power team. In an article published in the January-March 2012 issue of Runner’s World, the couple share that they actually met at a college fun run, and have been running marathons together since then. Though they tend to fight sometimes, as all normal couples do, they credit the strength of their relationship to the support they have for each other’s goals. Noy remembers how Amale helped him train for the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii: “We would be doing most of our long runs together. It just gelled, because we were doing it at her goal race pace, which happens to be my goal race pace when I’m doing a marathon in an Ironman. We’d do our key speed works, long intervals, and long runs together before Kona so it was just perfect.”

Right now, Noy and Amale have grown a shared goal into a shared passion with their kids. In 2010, Amale ran the 3k Looney Tunes race with her then-baby Rafa, while Mikele, who was then five years old, kept pace. They continue to run together as a family around their village.

Find Some Quality Time

Between training and races, running can tend to take up quite a lot of your personal time. Instead of scrambling to find time when you’re not tired or resting to spend with your loved one, why not use running as a means to be together? Running leisurely with someone also allows you to take your mind off the fatigue, especially when you use the time to enjoy conversations and company away from the hustle and bustle of life.

For Yong and Donna Cruz-Larrazabal, running has actually helped to bring them closer together, thanks to the quality time the sport allows them to share. (pinoygigs.com)

In the early years of opthalmologist Yong Larrazabal and former actress Donna Cruz-Larrazabal’s marriage, running was a one-sided thing. “Running was taking so much of his time. I couldn’t understand why he liked it so much. Each time he joined marathons I’d either get bored waiting or worry that something bad might happen to him,” shared Donna, laughing, as she recounted in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer back in 2011. Yong then responds, “Since she started running, she’s no longer moody and short-tempered. We now get to share long conversations on running. In fact, she’s the one who can’t stop talking about running now.”

At the end of the day, it’s shared emotions, respect, and understanding that help couples fall and stay in love. But sometimes a little push too, like running, can help relationships go a long, long way.

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