Coach’s Corner: The Couple Who Connects on the Run

By: Amy Begley, Atlanta Track Club Coach

Published: February 6, 2017


In today’s world, it can be hard to carve out time to run. But with a little planning, commitment and creativity, you can make your training time something special that you will never want to miss.


Life for Shelly and Mark Anderson got even busier in February 2015 when their son Dean was born. Later that same year, Shelly wanted to start running again in an effort to get back in shape after her pregnancy. She signed up for a training program with the goal of running a half marathon again, and her husband, who had never run more than a 10K, joined her. They even hired a babysitter so that both of them could attend the weekly long run practice.


What Shelly and Mark didn’t realize was that the training program would become so much more than a way to be active. The program’s long runs became their weekly date. The Andersons put in their miles and then head to brunch before returning home to little Dean. In addition to allowing them to do something good for their mental and physical health, they say this “date” also gives them time to focus on each other.


The Andersons are now in the middle of their fourth training program, this time training for the Publix Georgia Half Marathon in Atlanta on March 19, which they also ran in 2016. Shelly says it has been fun for them to help each other reach their individual running goals, and both her and Mark have set a new personal best at every distance since they started running together. They’re even passing their love of running on to Dean, who completed a 50m dash at an Atlanta Track Club event last fall at just 19 months old.


So if you are struggling to make time to run, take a lesson from the Andersons: turn your run into a can’t-miss event. Whether your runs are a weekly catch-up with a friend or some much-needed alone time, make sure your miles always have a place in your life.