Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned runner, you may find different reasons why you would enjoy having a running partner or multiple partners. This article will go through the advantages & disadvantages of having a running partner, what to look for in a partner, and how to find a running partner.
Running with a partner is safer especially at nighttime. It offers some relief/strength for any criminal type encounters, which is becoming more of a concern for women. In the article, “Run Safe” of the 6th issue 2019 of Runner’s World magazine, a survey was conducted by the team that showed 84% of the women had been harassed at some point while running.
Also running with someone is important because it offers help from any unpredictable circumstances, to include injuries. Having someone by your side to get help can be important, especially when running isolated trails or locations.
If you are apt to decide to not go for a run because you don’t feel like it, a running partner can help with this. Motivation is a key attribute to look for in a partner, but you need to understand that they are looking for you to reciprocate. If you make your running dates a regular scheduled activity, the likelihood of one person forgetting as an excuse can be eliminated. Then when that message comes to tell you, ‘something came up,’ you can lay on the guilt to ensure it won’t happen again. It is really and important give and take relationship.
Every runner has their own style and likes when it comes to running. As long are you are both willing to mix it up and alternate preferences, the monotony of your normal runs will break and you may even enjoy the different challenge to your routine. A partner can introduce you to trail running if you run the roads or road running if you run the trails. If you run long distances a partner can introduce you to speed or interval training, for example.
It may take some time to find the right mix of a person that complements your running style. This can be in terms of length, speed, environment and challenges, to name a few. This will need to be determined prior to going out on the search for a partner.
What to Look For
Single, Few or Group:
Determine if you are looking for a few friends that will run with you or a group to run together. This will be determined by your preference and how much of your weekly workout routine includes running. Also, having multiple partners with different running speeds, will allow you to cater your slow and fast runs given the person you run with.
Terrain and Environment:
Most people have a preference to running on the roads or on trails. Unless there can be a complete compromise, it may be challenging trying to maintain accountability when you are dreading a run. This is the same for the extreme weather climates; some people won’t run in extreme heat/cold conditions or inclement condition, which could leave relationship one-sided.
Before talking with people about partnering, you should understand how often, what time, and what length you want to run. If one person is over committed in life, it can lead to an unhealthy partnership for both people.
Running/Training Pace & Goals:
Knowing this will be important when having conversations. As stated above you can have multiple partners for varying training methods, but that information will need to be presented upfront from both people.
How to Find
You can easily spot some runners at a gym (Hint: they will be on the treadmills). Socializing while at the gym is a good opportunity to not only find those runners (or friends of runners), but learn about their running styles to see if you are compatible before going on the first partnered run.
Register for a Race:
If you goal is a 10K race, then look for races that offer training groups for that desired distance on their website. Most websites will publish the participant list and if the race is local, you might likely find an acquaintance of yours that is already signed up. Additionally, just sign up for the race; it will be an opportunity to meet people and you can chat with the people that finish around the same time as you. These will be perfect people to train with for future races.
Find a local Running Club:
Many cities have a group that will meet and run, generally in the early mornings, evenings after work, or weekends. Go to a few meet-ups and determine if this is something you would like to use as a way to run with other people.
Search on Social Media:
Make a post to all your friends asking for people in your area to go running. You may be surprised to find there are more people who use running in their workout routines than you initially thought. You could also start a group and invite people to join and they will invite their friends; you could end up with your own running club
How to Start
Most people may find that their best option is to start out running with a group of people, which will help in finding people that are compatible through conversation and physical ability. Try the option that sounds most comfortable to you and will likely give you the outcome you are looking for. If you are unsure, I would give each method a try; see what comes of it. You may find your needs are to run in a group once a week, with two different partners on two different days of the week, and a run by yourself another day. You may also find that running alone is actually the best option for you.
Please leave your comments below and let’s see what other ideas are out there about running with partners.