Two’s company, three’s a party!  Do you find yourself getting bored while training? Has the motivation spark dwindled of late? You may need to spice things up in your training. Rekindle your love of running – find a training buddy!

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One of the most encouraging aspects of running is the supportive community! I can guarantee there are others in your neighborhood who could benefit from group running! Running with a friend, or club, provides several benefits that cannot be experienced alone! Let’s look into how a run buddy may help you reach that next level in your training:

Social Aspect:

Conversation can really make the miles fly by – chat it up! Discuss your upcoming races, inquire about their kids, talk about your life goals, debate global politics, share your bucket list, etc.

Safety:

You are much less likely to encounter trouble when in the company of others. Running with friends provides a sort of safety barrier. If you are apprehensive about running alone and dread having to go, a buddy is a great option.  Strength in numbers!

New Routes:

Do you find yourself retracing your steps, day-after-day? A run companion could bring a new direction to your training plan. Exchange notes, or routes rather, and plot a new course together! Be adventurous!

Consistency:

Are you one to make excuses?  You wouldn’t want to disappoint a friend, leave them high-&-dry to run alone in the dark, would you?  Be held accountable by making a group plan. Consistency is needed to ensure you reach your target. Commit to your goals and your run buddy; show up! Enough said!

Performance:

A little friendly competition never hurt anyone; it may motivate you to run faster.  Studies have shown that those who run alone are too easy on themselves.

Motivation:

Knowing you are going to have a friend to meet up with for your run will not only hold you accountable, but may boost your motivation to follow through.  People mimic those they associate most closely to, and spending time regularly with likeminded, motivated people, will likely boost your enthusiasm too! Full-time, solo runners have no one to encourage them when their ambition wavers. A run buddy will give you that extra kick in the butt when you need it most!

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There are so many benefits of having a run companion! Studies show that people usually can run faster and farther in the company of others. I have definitely experienced this myself. I have an established distance where I get bored and unmotivated to keep going.  For me, that marker is 4 miles, so I always make sure Jason can run with me on my long days. It really makes the time fly-by and make it feel effortless! PLUS, he knows all the routes around here since he grew up in the town we live in! Having support when it gets tough is HUGE!! You don’t have to run with someone for each run, but I do encourage you to mix it up, run with someone at least once per week, and see if it makes a positive difference in your running!

Editor: Jason Quarford

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