Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Running Buddies Part II - Finding the "sole" mate

Yeah buddy. Oh. Maybe not the best running buddies...
photo credit
So last week I missed my running buddies Kerry and Nicole and I had to do 10 miles on my own. It was fine - I made it and it wasn't even all that awful, though the time didn't fly like it does when I'm running with the girls.

In addition to a more social time, there definitely is a more secure feeling in having a partner by your side to help in case of trouble.

Anyway, lately there has been a ton of talk about running buddies amongst my friends and lots of questions so I did some digging and thinking and here are some things to consider if you're in the market for a running buddy:

  1. What am I looking for? First figure out what type of running pal you are looking for. Someone to run with you every morning? Someone who is going to encourage you to run faster? Someone who also runs with a baby stroller? A beginner? A marathoner-in-training? For me, I like running with others for my medium and long runs and keeping my shorter runs to myself to focus on speed. I decided that twice a week to meet up with my buddies for med/long runs.
  2. Who am I looking for? Take some time to honestly gauge your pace. You'll want to find someone who runs about the same pace (give or take) and who has the flexibility to speed up a bit or slow down a bit - I think this is kind of important. If you're a 9 min per mile person, running with a 9'20 or 9'30 might be fine but running with a 12'00 wouldn't be ideal for your training. You also will need to find someone who is on the same page as you schedule wise. Early mornings? Evenings? Sunday long runs only? 
  3. Help wanted. The first question I get asked is "how do you find a running buddy?" Well, it takes creativity but I would start by posting something on Facebook and letting all your friends know that you're looking for.  Join a local running club (I found one of my running buds at Moms In Motion) or even drop in at your local running store and let them know your needs. You might hop on The Runner's World or Daily Mile forums and post something. However, always heed caution when meeting someone you don't know and I would approach that angle more tentatively. If you know of a running duo already, don't be shy, ask if you can crash the party.
  4. Give it a run. Like any relationship, it won't always work out and it might not click on the first try. I recommend giving it 2 -3 running dates to see if it works out. If not, don't feel obligated to keep running with the person, move on and try again.
Yes, with all to consider, it can be challenging to find "the one" but it's not impossible and in my opinion - totally worth it.

Do you have a running buddy? What other advice would you give to someone seeking a running partner?

Did you notice my new blog banner? It took me forever on photo shop and while I'm not winning any graphic arts awards, I'm pretty pleased with it!


PS: Still time to reserve a DVD copy of the From Fat To Finish Line film and do a good thing by supporting us in the process!

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