Don’t get us wrong, sometimes you just can’t beat the convenience and solitude of running alone. Just lace up a pair and head out the door whenever you have a free moment for some uninterrupted zen. But there are many benefits to training with a partner, to help you get as much as you can out of your workouts. Here are a few of the reasons we like to buddy up when it comes to training.
While we love the ease of getting a run in when we’re going solo, skipping a workout is even easier. When the weather gets blustery, or when the time change leaves you in am darkness, it’s very enticing to just hit snooze and catch a little more shuteye. Having a running partner will hold both of you accountable to your workouts, so that you can develop a consistent habit and get the most out of your training.
Having someone to talk to can help pass the time on a long run, or on a particularly grueling run. A running partner will help you power through when the going gets tough. If you’re a busy student, you can multi-task by studying on the run with a running partner from your major. Problem solving or discussing material from class while you run will help you get through your run, and your classes.
There’s some truth to the old adage ‘there’s safety in numbers.’ If something unexpected happens while you’re on your run, it’s nice to have a running partner with you who can help you navigate the situation. Even if you opt not to run with a partner, it’s a good idea to let someone know where you’ll be running and roughly when you expect to be back.
Do you run with a training partner? What benefits have you reaped from shared workouts?
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?