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Ultra-runnners here, how do you manage your personal relationships (gf/wife/partner) given how much time you need to train on trails?

My ex took up professional running about 6-7y ago, about same time as we met. I’ve dated him for 5y. As his running dreams and career took off, our relationship dwindled. I supported him throughout, he strung me along. He promised me a lot and as his goals changed, dreams increased, I realised that I’ve to keep my expectations low and there came a point, I stopped expecting anything. Not even a stable life. But I don’t understand his goals anymore. He’s a fast runner, barely has any sponsors. He’s famous in my country and in Asia but is it any excuse for treating me crappily? Is it any excuse for him to take me for granted or tell me to become equally famous to progress in relationship? (He wants me to win a Nobel prize to be taken seriously and prove I’m a “gf/wife material”)

We met when we were commoners and now, after he ran the UTMB in 2018, he lost all that humility. He treats me like I’m a nothing. Do you have a partner who isn’t a professional runner? If so, how do you manage a decent relationship in spite of the number of hours you put in practicing/training?

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9 Comments

  1. > My ex …

    Well, he’s your ex, so apparently you solved that problem already. Try to date guys who aren’t ultra-runners. Getting that running high is like being an addict. And anything that takes away a lot of time from the relationship is obviously bad for the relationship.

  2. Im not professional runner, but do run marathons and suchs. It is a bit tough to find time when working full time and being in a relationship, but I manage to usually adjust so I can stay in shape enough. I encourage my gf to do hobbies and spend time with friends so we both have something going on outside the relationship and we both get our “me time”. Overall my running is way down the list of things that could cause tension.

  3. >He’s a fast runner, barely has any sponsors. He’s famous in my country and in Asia but is it any excuse for treating me crappily?

    This is definetly less of a runner problem and more of a him problem. If he was working a blue collar job that took up a ton of time, he should still set aside time for you. If you’ve come to expect nothing, you should tell him. Tell him that he needs to try and slide in some time with you, even if its a weekly date night or something. Its not unreasonable to ask for some time if you feel like he has been neglecting your relationship.

    >become equally famous to progress in relationship?

    This is a dick move, outright. He is letting his ego get the better of him, and i bet you he will regret that later in life. But you are under no obligation to gain social power in order to be with him. If he can’t love you for you, despite you not being famous, then he doesn’t deserve you. I personally would suggest talking with him, this behavior isn’t healthy for you and your relationship. You deserve someone who doesn’t just take you for granted.

  4. >Is it any excuse for him to take me for granted or tell me to become equally famous to progress in relationship? (He wants me to win a Nobel prize to be taken seriously and prove I’m a “gf/wife material”)

    His claim to fame is having ran the UTMB and he wants you to have a nobel prize? This guy is completely out of his mind. A nobel prize is a much more difficult and valuable thing to attain, by a huge margin… Anyway, that’s besides the point.

    Your ex is an idiot. This has very little to do with his running – there’s probably plenty of ultra-runners out there who are decent people grounded in reality. Good riddance, time for you to move on instead of obsessing about this finished relationship. I know, easier said than done – but time heals all wounds.

  5. Running, like most sports, can be a great activity that promotes fitness and well-being. But unless you are super elite and can actually get paid real money (you said your ex didn’t make much cash), then it is just a hobby that should stop short of an obsession. If you aren’t making money and don’t have a real shot at the Olympics, you gotta dial it back after your late 20s.

  6. Anytime one person in a relationship is training for something serious/competitive there will be issues with spending time together. Especially if there’s any travel involved.

    But usually people aren’t assholes about it and try to spend more time together in their offseason, if there is one.

    Your ex just sounds like a narcissist so I don’t think that’s the norm for ultra runners.

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