Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Marriage Matters: Getting In Shape

In September, I stepped up my half-marathon training and my husband started running again.  We both quickly realized that his four or five miles runs were as hard on him as my ten and eleven mile runs.  This is a problem because in the past, he's been able to run 4-5 miles with very little training and no problems (yeah, I know, I'm jealous too.)  I thought that the fact he rides his bike to work and goes rock-climbing regularly would be enough to keep him in shape - but the reality is that those daily bike rides amount to maybe 3 miles of riding, and with our crazy schedules these days, his rock-climbing went from regular to occasional.  We stopped going on long weekend bike rides when we got back from our trip to Wales, for which we had done the long weekend bike rides as training.

So we've started working out together.  I use the term pretty loosely.  But for the past month or so, we wake up at the same time (which means I'm getting up a half-hour earlier than I used to) and go into the office/gym together, where one of us uses the treadmill and the other person does weights, or we both do a workout video, or I do a workout video and he lifts weights.  It's been going pretty well, although we are often considerably tired and hard to get out of bed.  Sometimes we oversleep and skip the workout.  But overall, it's a better routine for both of us.  One thing I have realized is that nobody ever taught Mark the proper form for squats or lunges, so I'm really glad we started working out together and I can make sure he doesn't hurt himself.

We've also started running together.  Not actually running together, but when I go for a run, my husband also goes for a run.  We had a somewhat successful run in Michigan in which we stayed near each other most of the time, otherwise we just leave the house at the same time and run along the same general path.  Since I'm training for my first marathon, my runs are typically longer.  As winter sets in, it's too dark in the mornings to run outside, and soon it will be too cold in the morning and too dark in the evening, so we are struggling to come up with creative solutions.  I can run later in the morning, once the sun is up, but I think Mark is going to be stuck on the treadmill through the winter.

Our semi-together workouts have got me thinking that it would be nice if we had a way to workout that actually involved us working out together, besides going for walks.  I've been thinking of setting up some kind of circuit that involves some kind of partner drills, but the only ones I can think of involve a medicine ball, which we don't have, and pose the possibility of significant risk to the wall.  I've considered moving our Wii Fit upstairs to the gym-office so that we can do Wii boxing against each other, but I don't know how well that would work out for us.  Are there any other good games we could check out?  (We don't have a Wii fit and I don't want one.)

It feels good to be getting back in shape together, and it feels even better to have somebody who motivates me and pushes me to get up and work out.  We could look at this as working out together will help us live longer and have a better life together, but I prefer to think of it as a way to spend time together and enjoy each other's company and try new things together.


  1. It can be kind of intense, but I think looking into CrossFit workouts might actually work for you guys because you could scale them to suit each other's current levels and time it so that one isn't a lot farther ahead than the other.

  2. I was going to suggest the same thing as KWu. You don't need a ton of space, and it's very scalable. If you had some extra money for a membership, it seems like there are many CrossFit gyms around you in Baltimore.

  3. My husband and I did Insanity together and LOVED it. I mean...we hated it. But then later we loved it. And it's the best my legs have ever looked in my life since hitting puberty. We both love cardio and strength-training and it really addresses both.