If you’ve started seeing someone and they’ve mentioned that they are into trail running, you may be the one to run for the hills! Of course, you may not be yet aware of what this entails but, if you’ve been dating a trail runner for a while, you may be nodding your head in appreciation as you read this. For those of you that have partners that support your sport and encourage it, all power to you. For those of you that are regularly greeted with raised eyebrows or glazed eyes mid conversation, you will identify with much of this.

Dating a trail runner has many positives including the fact that they will be strong both mentally and physically, physically fit with great endurance, and have a love of the great outdoors, plus they will know many great ‘off the beaten-track’ walks. There are however, many other things that you are going to have to get used to. We take a look at the truth about dating a trail runner and what you can expect:

A Holiday is a Runcation

Rest assured if you are dating someone that is into the sport, if you’ve booked a holiday or a trip away, they will be no doubt be scoping out the local area to see what kind of off road running opportunities are available. Planning routes, how much running they can get in, which trail running shoes they should pack etc. If you’re not a runner, be prepared to spend some time alone on your holiday! 

Romantic Walks are Recces

You may be enjoying a romantic walk in the countryside but its highly likely that your significant other is working out a new route in their head. It’s either an intentional walk to plan a route or they have realised that this would make a beautiful spot for their next run! This does have it’s benefits if you want to enjoy the great outdoors away from the crowds as trail runners tend to know many fabulous beauty spots.

Get Used to Them Being Off Exploring 

If you are dating a trail runner that partakes in ultra marathons, you are going to have to get used to them not being around. Sunday morning long runs tend to take anywhere between 2-4 hours and you can forget Saturday nights out. Bed early and no drinking! Sunday nights are usually spent complaining about how tired they are, how their back hurts and their feet are sore while the consume their own body weight in chocolate, biscuits, crisp and anything else that they can find. Welcome to the weekend of an ultra runner. Of course, you may have your own hobbies and this may well suit you.

Sunday’s Are for Church! 

We don’t mean church in the literal sense. To trail runners, the trails are church. Sunday mornings, bright and early, they will ignore your best encouragements to stay in bed and have a lie in. They will be up and out the door. In fact, they may be back before you even wake up or you could be waiting until lunchtime before they re-emerge. 

It’s Not Very Sexy

Ok, so they may have a good set of abs, a toned pair of legs but trail running is not the sexiest pastime. When they aren’t dressed in their running gear, it’s likely that they are wearing recovery leggings or the most comfortable clothes they can find. Toenails are often black or missing, their feet are likely always slightly dirty looking where the mud becomes ingrained and they are carrying all manner of chafe scars. You will also be constantly surrounded by laundry which consists of a cycle of running shorts, t-shirts, sports bras etc. That said, it may be the kind of thing that you find attractive.

Trainers are Filthy and Often Smelly! 

how to clean trail shoes

Trail running shoes are destined to become muddy! Combine this with cow and sheep muck and the fact that they are almost wet and they can often become smelly too. In fact, it’s not unusual for trail shoes to be resigned to the garage.

You Will Have to Rescue Them

There will be times when that phone call comes in to go and collect them. It could be that they have got 10 miles into a 20 mile trail run and decided that they can’t go any further today. They may have picked up an injury and need you to rescue them. You may be asked to meet them out on the trails with a vital bit of kit or be asked to create for them at their next adventure.

They Only Talk About Running! 

It’s true! We have to confess. We love talking about running! Where we’ve been, what we saw, the wildlife we saw, what happened to our friends today etc. You’ll also hear about all their running friends and what they have been up to. “So and so ran 30 miles with 5,000 feet of elevation today”, like you are supposed to know what that means! You will hear technical terms – elevation, pace, technical descents blah blah blah… just nod and smile and humour us! 

There is only one thing worse than a runner talking to you about running and that’s when they have their friends over and they all start talking about running. Worst still is when you arrange a night out and they all talk about running!

They Spend all Their Money on Running 

Running is an expensive hobby! You would think that just getting out there and putting one foot in front of another would be enough but no! There are the following things to spend money on:

  • Trail running shoes – at least two pairs
  • Road shoes – because there will be times when you run in the flat 
  • GPS running watch – the more features the better 
  • Shorts, T-shirt’s etc 
  • Sports bra
  • Races 
  • Travel to races
  • More races 
  • Lotions and potions 
  • Free Time Means More Time to Run 

While you may consider a free morning a good time to go out for breakfast, they will be working out how many miles they can get in. Don’t take it personally, try and see the good points to the fact that you are with someone dedicated to their training and goals. 

Christmas and Birthday Gifts

You’ve seen the list above! Well, these are the kind of things that they will want for Christmas and birthdays. And, if there is no running gear in their stocking, you best beware. Runners love trail running gear. When asked what you bought your girlfriend/boyfriend for Christmas, you may be greeted with some concerned looks if you say ‘two pairs of trainers’!

The Solution

There is one solution. You’ve heard the saying “if you can’t beat them, join them”, right? Well, you could do worse! If you haven’t given trail running a try yet, we highly recommend it. Word of warning though – it can be addictive.

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