"This is probably going to be the most time that we've been together continually," Knight tells PEOPLE about spending more than three weeks traveling with Rodriguez on the 26th installment of the CBS reality competition show. "I don't know if I am looking forward to that much time together with him. It's going to be interesting."
In fact, since meeting through a mutual friend in 2008 (when Knight was in Los Angeles working on the NKOTB reunion album and tour), the couple have come to relish their time apart.
"He travels a lot, so I say it's more like we've been together for three years rather than six," says Rodriguez. "I think that space has been good for us. I think every couple need space or you can get on each other's nerves. Then we come back together and it is awesome."
This doesn't mean Knight, 46, thinks he and Rodriguez, 41, will do poorly on The Race.
"I'm the nervous one, and he's the calm one," Knight says. "It certainly helps to have a calm one. I'm always, like, 'We gotta go! We gotta go!' but he's always calm and has the patience to make sure we're not just running down the street and find out two miles down the road that we are going the wrong way."
Plus, they've even been practicing: "We've been doing little fake things [at home] in New York," says Knight. "He'll go to one side of the street, I'll go to the corner and we'll see who can get a taxi faster."
Rodriguez is also confident that he and Knight have what it takes to finish first.
"We have a good understanding of each other. We try to avoid conflict," he says. "If there is a situation, we're not going to yell at each other. We're going to help each other through it."
Here's a list of the competition Knight and Rodriguez will face on the Race, including five pairs of singles matched up by the show for the ultimate blind date:
Monty Brinton / CBS
Aly Dudek, 24, an Olympic athlete from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who won bronze in short track speed skating at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Steven Langton, 31, an Olympic athlete from Boston who won two bronze medals for bobsledding at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Length of relationship: Dating 7 months.
Dating Team 2
Jeff Magee, 57, an airline pilot from McCall, Idaho.
Lyda Grawn, 49, a flight attendant from Scottsdale, Arizona.
Length of relationship: Known each other for 20 years, dating for 4 years.
Dating Team 3
Lebya Simpson, 25, a medical support assistant from Tuskegee, Alabama.
C.J. Harris, 26, an IT technician from Tuskegee, Alabama. (Not to be confused with American Idol constant C.J. Harris, 23, from Jasper, Alabama.)
Length of relationship: Known each other for 15 years, dating for 10 years.
Dating Team 4
Matt Cucolo, 30, a hairstylist from Scarsdale, New York.
Ashley Gordon, 28, also a hairstylist from Scarsdale, New York.
Length of relationship: Known each other for 10 years, dating for 3 years.
Dating Team 5
Rochelle Nevedal, 29, a contract engineer from Kalkaska, Michigan.
Michael Dombrowski, 26, a truck stop manager and pro wrestling promoter from Traverse City, Michigan.
Length of relationship: Dating 2 years.
Blind Date Couple 1
Hayley Keel, 28, a registered nurse from St. Petersburg, Florida.
Blair Townsend, 31, a navy physician from Jacksonville, Florida.
Blind Date Couple 2
Jackie Ibarra, 27, a professional dancer from Las Vegas.
Jeffrey Weldon, 26, an account executive from Tampa, Florida.
Blind Date Couple 3
Laura Pierson, 29, a talent booker from Los Angeles.
Tyler Adams, 26, a mobile app developer from Santa Monica, California.
Blind Date Couple 4
Jenny Wu, 32, a blogger and lawyer from Los Angeles.
Jelani Roy, 32, a lawyer from New York City.
Blind Date Couple 5
Bergen Olsen, 23, a human resources project manager from Sunnyvale, California.
Kurt Jordan Belcher, 24, a pageant consultant from Butler, Kentucky.
The 26th season of The Amazing Race will kick off Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS before moving to its regularly scheduled time (Fridays, 8 p.m. ET) on Feb. 27.