One piece of running advice that you see quite a lot is to run with a buddy. There’s a good reason for that — running with others is fantastic. Many find that they run harder, skip fewer workouts, and have a more positive experience overall when they train with a friend (or a group of friends).
And while a lot of new runners agree that it seems like a fine idea, it can be challenging to actually make it happen. Here are some tips on running with a buddy.
Find one. The biggest reason people say they don’t run with a buddy is that they don’t have a suitable partner. Sometimes this can be a challenge, but keep your eyes open for opportunities wherever you go. Ask around at work. Cruise your social networks, even throwing up an occasional “who wants to go for a run tomorrow morning” post. If all else fails, sign up for a race. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and get a solid idea of their ability levels. Running clubs are also a great resource if you have any in your area.
Meet in the middle. While sometimes it’s nice to hang out and be friendly, a lot of us don’t have time for a lot of socializing and puttering around when we’re trying to squeeze in a workout — partner or not. If you’re looking to keep things efficient, meet your running partner outside at your running destination (parking lot, street corner, trail head, etc.) and start your workout from there.
Match pace (more or less). Yes, you want to run with someone who is in the same ballpark when it comes to fitness level. But that doesn’t mean you need someone who is pegged right at the same pace as you. Interval training is ideal for slightly-imbalanced running partnerships. Push hard when you are On and close whatever gap is created by adjusting speeds during the Off intervals.
Do more than run. Having a training partner means you’ll also have someone to keep things fun and interesting during more mundane activities, like stretching. Cooling down and stretching out with a partner after a hard workout is relaxing, satisfying, and will make you less tempted to blow it off in favor of other things. Also consider grabbing a post-workout meal or snack together, extending the benefits of your shared healthy habits even further.
How about you? Any running partners out there with tips to share?