Posted by: rundadrun | January 29, 2010

Running with a partner, or solving the world’s problems 1 mile at a time.

For most of my running career I have been a solitary runner. I truly enjoy the peace that I get in heading out the door and enjoying the time alone. There are many times that I will actually go out with a set of questions that I spend the time discussing with myself. This needs to be done silently if you want to avoid the neighbors beginning to question your sanity.  There are some days when I just go out and run with nothing on my mind at all and I just spend the time enjoying the beautiful gift of being outside and running.

That being said, there are times when I really need to have a partner to share the miles with.  I have been blessed with several friends who are also somewhat nuts when it comes to running.  This has been great when I need someone to go and help me get through a 20 miler during a marathon training schedule, or just need some company for a 4 miler.  It makes a HUGE difference to have someone with you to share the miles.

Here are a few reasons for this:

  1. Accountability: It is much easier to blow off a run if you are the only one who will affected. When you have to call your buddy at 6:30AM and tell him you can’t make it, you think twice about making that call.  It has kept me from blowing off many runs.
  2. Company: It is said that “misery loves company”. This is never more true than when you are running. There are some of my long runs that never would have gotten done if not for having someone there to share the misery with. The opposite is also true. It is a great feeling to have someone there to share the fact that you just ran however many miles you just ran. The friendships I have with the guys that I have teamed up with have been solidified by the time we spent together running. Also, it is a great time to get to really know someone.
  3. Safety: There is safety in numbers. Sadly, the world can be a dangerous place. This is true when you are driving a car or running along the side of the road. I have run alone, far from any phone, and it can be a little scary. I know that I have female friends who would not dream of going out to the local running trail without someone to go with them. Just having  someone with you can be a major deterrent to a bad guy, whether you are a man or a woman.  If you have ever run into any physical illness problems while running, having a partner who can go for help is a good thing.
  4. Competition: This is not meant in the “I must win” sense of the word. I know that I have become a better runner when I have a partner to play off of. Whether it is someone a little slower than me who helps keep my “inner cheetah” in check, or someone a little quicker who pulls me along at a better clip. This makes the workouts more fun. I will say that you want to find someone who is within a minute or two per mile of your pace so you can find a happy medium.
  5. It’s just fun!

So, whether it is a group run with your local running club, or a long run with a buddy, give up your solo career once in a while and get the band back together. I know that it has made my running much more enjoyable.

Happy running,

Rundad

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Responses

  1. I completely agree. Although I cherish my alone runs, it can be very nice having a buddy do a couple miles along!

    • Thanks for the comment. I appreciate you checking out the blog. Feel free to come back anytime.

  2. Right-O! Over the last several years I have got a terriffic training partner and this has been one of the biggest blessings in my life especially as we have been building up our endurence base, chasing down ultras and our first IM comming this June. It makes you look forward to running with a buddy but also makes the solo workouts that much more enjoyable when you can mix it up during the week. Its so much more than putting in the miles togeather, its doing life togeather, the conversations on the 2 – 4 hour workouts get pretty theroputic.
    Steve-O

    • Steve-O,
      I know that I never would have finished some of my 20 milers without the help of a partner. I agree that it makes the solo runs even better. Thanks for the comment and come back any time.
      Rundad


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