Is It A Guy Thing??

me and my girlfriend run together (we use a running plan & are members of running club) we only started running in January so I could lose weight (she was slim already) . I tend to want to try and better my self and beat my times etc. but my girlfriend is happy as long as she finishes (even a parkrun which she knows she can finish because we do a 10 mile long run on Sundays)


so my questions is it a guy thing that I want to push my self and see what my body can do in terms of speed and distance I have ambitions to run ultras in the future but not sure how that will work out when my training partner/fiance has no interest in stupid ideas like ultras.


or is it just me being a bit of a sadist


  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    I don't think it's a 'guy thing'.  Some people just like to push themselves, others don't.

    There are plenty of women who do ultras, want to improve their PBs, etc.

    You might have to do your ultras alone!

  • i wont mind that the event in its self is short compared to the weeks of training their the bit i struggle to do by my self the putting my trainers on straight after work sometimes gives me cause for a kick up the bum only another person ready and rearing to go can do but on the day I'm sur adrenaline will take over

  • You can't rely on someone else for your motivation to run - you have to do that yourself - you'll need to conquer that if you are going to do marathon training!. And no, I don't think it is a guy thing.

  • I should add its not needed every day it them once a month days where you dont feel up for it but once you get going you relise running was the cure and you feel alive for the rest of the evening.

  • No it isn't just a "guy thing" but there does seem to be a bigger issue here: you seem have been bitten by the bug and want to go further/faster while your girfriend doesn't.

    Therefore the two of you will have to figure out how your new interest fits into both your lives because yours is likely to take up quite a lot of your time. 

    Some other halves have other interests of their own and don't mind. Others can become jealous and resentful, so do make sure that you make time for her even if she isn't joining in - and don't pressure her to join in unless she wants to.

  • Me and my wife are definitely poles apart when it comes to pushing ourselves - I'm ultra competitive, she's not.

    Highlighted recently when she did her first parkrun. I ran at my own speed then went back to run the last lap with her as a warm down. She was running nicely and with my daughter. As we neared the end of the 5k she was hardly even breathing and there was a woman just in front of us who was really struggling. I whispered come on we can pass her. My wife's response was to slow down a little bit and whispered to me 'oh that wouldn't be nice, it looks like she has spent a lot of money on her running gear'

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    Well I'm not particularly competitive, not inclined to push myself much, but in the finishing straight I'll pass whoever I can!

  • thanks screamapillar i guess it is something we will have 2 come to an aggreement on.


    and skinny that sounds really nice I love it when i see a whole family at a parkrun but i would have been in your camp from first impresssions i would be thinking finish strong and try and beat the person infront but it seems you wife is selfless and hopefully the good deed of not being competative helped the other woman and also made your wife happy as well so everyone is a winner

  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    Of course, it's a massive generalisation - but I think it is a 'guy' thing (to a point).

    Surely, if you looked at a hundred random women and a hundred random men, you'd expect to find more men than women who feel like you.

  • agree that its individual but geberally more men than women seem to have that drive.........

    i find it hard to go out on my own and to motivate sometime my hubby will run a few miles with me and then as I'm out i will cary on and do the long run by myself.....I am fine when out but find it ahrd to motivate myself.....

    with you and your partner then the running club is the great option as you can both run with diferent groups and both get what you want from the sesion

  • the running club is good for us we do both run in the same group as all the other groups just go out on a long runs of varing lengths but the group we are in the focus group alternate from long runs to speed work off road running/ hils so we feel will benefit our running better

  • I think that's a massive generalisation and it's more of an individual thing. I'm always wanting to beat my PBs and even if my fiance and I are having a nice slow run together I'll go flat out in the last 100m to try and beat him.

  • Why don't you go out running together and when you reach home you take off for another 30 - 45 mins on your own to train at your pace while she hits the shower? (unless the running is a warmup for soapy shower fun afterwards..)

  • I don't think it's necessarily a guy thing. My wife an I both run and we're both competative, though though Mrs D did hang up her trainers for the duration of last winter.  She oftern points our that although my times may be quicker than her's, her WAVA scores are slightly higher.

    At our club the ladies team is stronger than the mens and I wouldn't dare doubt their spirit. However, based on completely unscientific consideration of my friends and aquaintances I would say that a greater proportion of men take part in competative sports.  Women seem to prefer gym and other excercise for its own sake.

    I suspect that if you get more serious with your running then your training needs will diverge and you will need to learn to motivate yourself.

    Mr D and I have two young chidren to look after so it's rare that we get the opportunity to run together, but we do occasionally leave the kids with grandparents and go out together.  We find that trail runs work better for us as there is less difference between our respective paces on trails than with road running.


  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Just a personality issue. My wife tried running for a few weeks about 20 years ago, didn't like it so packed it in. She hasn't come close to exerting herself ever since

    A sofa, a TV, a glass of milk and a biscuit and she's happy.

    I meanwhile currently crank out 12 miles most mornings starting at 5:30am. 

  • I've got a vague recollection of a comparison* between male and female world records for the marathon and average male and female finishing times for the marathon. The conclusion was that men tend to take it more seriously than women.


    * might have been Hal Higdon's book Marathon.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    It may have something to do with a higher percentage of males that play competitive sport (both at school and in their 20's)

    I've played various sports at a competitive level since the age of about 10 so it's always in the mindset to do what you can to be the best you can.

    Oddly enough outside of sport I'm not that competitive at all.
  • Don't think that has anything to do with it, it's simply that men generally have a higher VO2 max and larger heart than the women so physically are able to go faster for longer. Not about competitiveness, as said above that's individual, and I don't believe you can say athletes like Jess Ennis, Paula Radcliffe or Chrissie Wellington aren't competitive. If you'd ever seen Chrissie racing you would know she's fighting as hard as she can not only to win by as large a margin as she can but also to beat as many of her male competitors as possible. My OH and I are both very competitive but I normally cannot beat him at any sport (not for want of trying).

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I didn't say that no women are competitive I just said a lower percentage. (in my personal experience)
  • i didnt mean im more competative than she is because if she is racing me she wil put in 110% to beat me it is just she is content with what she does currently and doesnt see any need to go further which I can understand. as all of us who get off of our sofa are doing much more than most but I personally just want to go further and faster to find my limits.

  • wasting.....thats not competitivnes........thats just your priorities to challenge yourself at the moment.she might have different challemges......


    and i agree that people who have played team sports tend to be more competitive in general......and as more men than women do that then there is a link in numbers.....

  • I've played rugby for 22 years and one of my best friends is our coach. We played rugby together since I was 17 ( he's a couple years younger than me but we played in the under 19's squad). He also coaches the girls team and the university team. 

    Now no disrespect to the ladies but this is what he said between the difference between the mens and the girls teams. The girls listen so much better and are far easier to coach than the mens team. But when it came to aggression and sheer physicality the winning competetive edge was with the men. There were the few exceptions. A few girls we would never want to piss off. But as a collective that's what he said.

    He still prefers coaching the girls because they actually listen to what he's saying. where as we just piss about too much

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