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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?

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