Fitness: Date night running

Normally when I think of the words “Date Night”, my mind conjures up images of a romantic meal, a walk by the river or a late night movie. On 3rd June it was #NationalRunningDay so, rather than doing one of the above, Rob and I took the chance of an evening run together around Ely.

It was the first time we’d run together for 11 years. It was such a treat!  Our route took us past Ely Cathedral, down the High Street to the riverside, through two parks and back home. I have to say that it really does help to have a picturesque route, although it does involve a 300 metre segment through Cherry Hill with a 16 metre incline. This is no boast! The climb nearly finishes me, so that particular route limits the distance I can run overall.

My longest run this year is just 4.5k: a long way off the Race for Life 10k with six weeks to go. Next week I’m avoiding hills (not that difficult in the Fens!) to see if my distance improves. If it doesn’t, I might start to panic . . .

Two things I realised while running with a partner: it’s not so easy to run without listening to music; and I am no good at sticking to my own pace.


A friend recently told me that you’re not supposed to listen to music when you’re running in an event, which does make sense: you might not hear important safety announcements, traffic, etc. In my experience if I don’t listen to music or watch the TV screen on a gym treadmill, running any distance feels a lot further and a lot harder. With music – which is one of my great loves in life – I can switch off and barely notice the tiredness setting in.

Running with Rob was a totally different experience as we could chat – as parents of small children, this is a luxury – and keep each other going through the tough bits. However, I will look forward to playing my music next time. If nothing else it’ll block out the sound of my breathing, which I find quite distracting!


I’ve been told that yoga breathing is a runner’s friend, so that’s what I’ve been attempting to do. Although, to be honest I have no idea if I’m doing it right!

I’m going to have a proper look into yoga and rhythmic breathing, and it’ll be the subject of a future post.


It has to be said, these days I’m a pretty slow runner. I guess with continued training this might improve, but at the moment I’m working up to completing the 10k – the time is immaterial.

I’ve dabbled with a few apps such as Couch to 10k, Race for Life 10k (Kiqplan) and MapMyRun, but I’ve settled on Strava. It tracks your route, and also gives you lots of detail about your run and saves information about your past runs, so that you can track your progress.

The most useful information I gained from this run was that I knocked a minute off my average time for the first kilometre. The reason? I know Rob can run a lot, lot faster than me so, despite him saying he’d stick to my pace, I subconsciously sped up. Fortunately, I realised and slowed down, but I’m worried I’m going to do this during the Race for Life and run out of puff.

Do you have any tips for learning your pace and sticking it to it when running with others?

I loved everything about our Date Night run and it is something we’ll try to do more often. We’re even contemplating a family run with youngest in his buggy and eldest on his bike. We’ll see. 🙂

With six weeks to go until the Cambridge Race for Life I really need to knuckle down and work on increasing my distance quite quickly. I’ll let you know how I get on. In the meantime, if you have advice about yoga breathing or running pace, or perhaps you’re training for an event too, please do leave a comment below. 🙂

Bye for now!

Emma heart pink slender

3 thoughts on “Fitness: Date night running

  1. Olivia says:

    I have to admit I’m feeling slightly worried about the 10k too! I need to try going to a run with someone though, it sounds like a great bonding and motivation tool.

    There’s an app I started off with called ‘headspace’ which really helped me with breathing from within and I find it so helpful to focus on this when running. Xx

    Olivia –


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