Pros and Cons of having a running buddy plus 5 tips to make training together, better.
I run alone. Headphones in, tunes cranked up, world shut out. So when my husband wanted to start running with me I was torn.
On one hand, it was sweet that he wanted to share an activity that was important to me. He saw it as something we could do together. Instead of tagging along to races with me and sitting around for hours (I was doing long distance trail runs at the time) he wanted to be part of it. I admired that and wanted to encourage him to run and keep running.
“Sounds good, babe,” is probably what I said but inside I definitely groooooaned. In fact, on our first run together made the comment,
“You’re an angry runner.”
And it’s true. I am. It’s part of my self motivation. I’m a mean coach. Workin’ on it 😉
We’d run on our own during the week because of schedules and kids, but on the weekend we’d drive to a nice trail somewhere and have our weekly #rundate complete with hashtag and selfie (instagram or it didn’t happen, amiright??)
I still like to do most of my running alone, but I’ve learned that there are benefits to having a running buddy.
- Pro – Conversation
When you’re training for long distances even your favourite playlist can get old. Conversation can help pass the time.
I’m not sure about you, but Mike and I have had a few..er..arguments on long runs. I guess it doesn’t help that we’ve already established that I’m an angry runner. It usually begins by him doing something kind like rubbing my back when he sees me struggling, me gritting my teeth and demanding that he stop patronizing me, and the rest of the run is spent with us running a safe several meters apart. ha!
- Pro – Motivation
Ok, so we’ve established that maybe if you’re running with your significant other that “motivational speeches” may not be appreciated. But if you’re with a friend or a running group, sharing tips and coaching each other can be very beneficial.
Be careful not to talk down or belittle someone. If you’re finding this happens a lot, perhaps you’re not well suited running buddies.
- Pro – Safety
I’m not into fear-mongering, and I’m definitely guilty of going out for a solo run in the dark. You’ve heard the stories, though. Runners – women in particular – can be easy targets. It’s dark, you’ve got headphones in, no one else is around… Running with a buddy (especially if your buddy is your big hunky hubby) makes you a less likely target.
You’re a strong badass female and don’t get to show off the moves you learned in your self defense class? I dunno guys, I don’t think there is a con to staying safe!
- Pro – Accountability
It’s easy to get busy, feel too tired, or just not be in the mood to go for a run. If someone is standing at the corner waiting for you, though, you’re more likely to go anyway.
Things come up and maybe the time you set isn’t working out for you today, but someone is counting on you! Your run schedule is less flexible when you’re coordinating for two (or more) people’s schedules.
- Pro – Performance
Having a partner helps you keep pace. You’re less likely to drag your feet and phone it in on days you’re not feeling it, or worse– quit early. You can also play some games to challenge you and keep it interesting like Fast/Slows where one person holds pace while the other person sprints ahead and then switch.
If you’re not evenly matched with your running buddy one of you ends up running too slow for your training goals, or on the flip side, overdoing it and getting burnt out or injured.
So what say you, fellow runners? Running buddies all the way or Soloists for the win??