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How To: Find a Running Partner

December 19th, 2012

A running partner can bump up the fun factor and the safety quotient.

Those long miles by your lonesome can work wonders for the body and soul, but buddying up can help you stay motivated and train consistently. Some folks are fortunate enough to have a good friend or family member who’s right in sync with their pace and distance. If you’re not so lucky and you’re struggling to find a good running buddy, here are a few tips to connect with a running partner.

Assess Your Goals

Before you try to find a running partner, make sure you know exactly what you want out of teaming up. Think about your own training goals, and answer the following questions:

  • What distance are you training for?
  • How much mileage do you plan to log each week with a partner?
  • What will be your pace when running with a partner?

A running partner who’s too fast for you may result in you getting left in the dust, or worse, injured. Conversely, you might not get the training you’re looking for if you reduce your own intensity or distance to match your partner. It’s important to look for a running partner who has goals and abilities comparable to your own, so that the training is beneficial for both of you.

Think Over the Logistics

Simple things like when and where can be big factors in finding a good training buddy. What time during the day do you typically run? How far would you be willing to travel to meet up with a running partner? Keep these things in mind when looking for a running partner. As important as it is to be flexible, inconveniencing yourself to train with a partner won’t do wonders to keep you motivated.

Find the Right Partner

So you know what you’re looking for in a prospective running partner. Now, where do you look?

  • Joining a local running group or club can be a great place to start when it comes to finding someone to run with. You’ll meet a variety of runners in your area, so you can match up with the person whose goals, training and ability best match your own. Check out the Road Runners Club of America to find a group near you.
  • If there’s no running club in your area, start one! You can gather a group of like-minded people from your community using a networking site like Meet Up.
  • If that special someone in your life happens also to be a runner, you may not have to look far for a training partner. Try going on a few runs with your significant other to see how it works out for the two of you. It’s possible that running together will not only increase motivation, but also add new joys to your relationship.

What other strategies have you used to find a great running partner?

Alice Running Sport , , ,

  • E.T.Cook

    I haven’t tried this yet, but it may be worth a shot: Strava creates comparative segments from your runs, and pits you against others that have run that same segment. Look on the segment leader-board for other people that are in your pace group and send them a message directly. Not only do you know they’re local, but you can weed out people who are too slow or too fast for you.

  • Taro

    @E.T.Cook

    Excellent point. Though Strava hasn’t yet seemed to catch on among runners as it has in the cycling world (at least here in Central California), it and other online communities are a great way to meet new running partners and rivals in your area, while adding a fun and competitive aspect to your training. Just be careful not to hurt yourself hunting KOM’s.

  • CJ

    Strava and MapMyRun both have this feature of tracking people over a specific path. Never thought of using it to find a running partner before. Good application. Unfortunately, I too have not found many runners who use either in my town of 250,000 people.