Official MBT Australia Online Store (English) Official MBT AU Online Store |
Please note that all orders will take up to 1 week for confirmation | Free Shipping for orders above AU$180.

Couple who exercise together stays together?

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 3:17:00 pm Australia/Sydney

For several years now, the Nike+ Running app has been an essential download and companion for millions of people trying to keep fit and improve their health. It's got between 10 million and 50 million installs on Google Play, and I'd bet on it being even more successful on iOS. Not forgetting Fitbit, another gadget that revoluntionize running. 

The leaders in this market are companies manufacturing wearable devices for monitoring and tracking personal fitness levels; the gadgets typically operate in concert with phone or computer applications that provide analytics, encouragement and social media or gaming components.

I guess this is how #couplegoals begins...

Until the beginning of 2017 I had been a light runner, plodding about four miles a week at a leisurely pace. But inspired by friends on Facebook, I committed to the 12-month challenge and took part in my first half marathon in May, followed by a triathlon in September. My fitter, stronger other half, who runs two miles every weekday before 6am and lugs huge pieces of wood around at his cabinet-making workshop, has been eagerly tracking my training. So much so that earlier in the year we decided it would be a great idea to go for a run together one afternoon, while our boys were being entertained by grandparents.

The simple but golden rule, which we had somehow erased from our memories, was that we should never go running together. Ever. Through the haze of children, work and washing, we had forgotten about our two previous attempts, which had ended in disaster. Despite being together for 17 years, we are one of those annoying couples who never argue – but this was the exception.

And so history repeated itself. Halfway around our silent four-mile route, I blurted out: “You can talk to me, you know!” Taken aback, Mark explained that on our previous running attempt I had specifically asked him to stop talking as I was too out of breath to respond and had found it demoralising that he could run and speak and I could not. “Well, I am better at running now,” I retorted. “Can’t you tell?” So, Mark started chatting about how his legs were hurting because he wasn’t used to running at my (slow) pace and perhaps I should try to mix some sprinting and jogging to increase my lung capacity. To make things worse, at the final stretch, Mark hollered: “Come on, sprint – you can do it!” which I took as the highest form of condescension, and slowed to a shuffling trot in protest.

By the time we reached home I was fuming, accusing him of treating me like his training guinea pig, and of a complete inability to understand my level of fitness. “You just don’t get it,” I screamed. He laughed, bemused at why I was so angry at his “encouragement”. Subsequently, we agreed never to run together, although that doesn’t stop Mark from giving me tips – even though he has never run long distance before.

It all raises the question: why does running turn into a battleground for otherwise placid couples?

Nor is it solely men “slowing down” for their partners – it can be the reverse. My colleague Richard Wilson, 44, told me he was delighted when his wife offered to help him train for the Great North Run, but within seconds he was asking her to slow down. “She kept powering off and we were having little bickering rows. I was being stroppy saying, ‘You’re not even doing the race this year.’ I was playing catchup all the time. She would run to the top of a hill before me and make jokes as I huffed and puffed up. But I had no breath to respond to her jibes.”

But the best story I have heard is of my husband’s friend – a personal trainer with a £50,000 purpose-built gym in his home. To his amazement, his wife announced the other day that she wanted to get fit again and was thinking of joining a gym. Exercise and marriage, clearly, don’t always mix well. 

And yet as I reflect on the recent completion of my 2017 resolution, I feel that maybe, just maybe, I should have another go at running amicably with my partner. Perhaps that can be the 2018 challenge.


Story from

Posted in News By


Keep up with the Movement

Be the first to know about holiday specials!

You will received a 10% 1st time buyer voucher code from us

*Discount only applicable on regular priced items above $200.
By signing up you accept our Terms and Conditions including Privacy Policy.