There was a time when nearly all of my runs were solo runs, and I “hated” running with other people. Really, I just wasn’t comfortable enough to run with anyone else. I thought I was too slow and too out of shape to be a good running partner, so I never even tried. After being a runner for nearly 7 years, I still do the majority of my runs solo or with the dog, but in the last two years, I have learned how motivating and fun it is to run with a friend and even with a group.
These are my top 4 reasons to run with friends.
Picture this, it’s a cold, gray, and rainy Sunday morning. You have a 10+ mile run planned and you have no desire to drag yourself out of bed. You only do because you’ve scheduled to run with your training partner at 8am. The entire time you’re getting ready to go, you’re hoping that she calls you to cancel, but she doesn’t. When you get to the trailhead, it’s raining just enough that you know you’ll be soaked by the time you finish the run. Your training partner shows up and you get moving. You both joke about hoping the other called to cancel that morning. The run goes faster than you expected even though the sun stays hidden and you really are soaked by the time you get back to the car, you finished your run and it ended up being a pretty good day.
2. Great Conversation
Lots of miles, lots of hours, lots of conversations. All those crazy thoughts you have on a solo run now have a sounding board, grat advice, and feedback. You get the added bonus of looking less like a crazy person because you no longer have to talk to yourself to keep entertained. Nothing is off-limits in a long run conversation and what’s discussed on the run, stays on the run. ‘Nuff said. :)
3. Motivation and Mental Toughness
On those days when you need an extra push, you get it. A running partner or training group can bolster your mental toughness. They can support that all important mental will to keep you going or get you through a rough patch.
“You have to want it, you have to plan for it, you have to fit it into a busy day, you have to be mentally tough, you have to use others to help you. The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.”
4. Getting You Over the Hump
Whether it’s a little friendly competition or running with a group that goes a little faster or a little farther, social running can help you take your running to the next level when you’re finding it tough to do it on your own.
This week, all of my runs, except today, will be with friends. I know I will always enjoy my solo runs, but it is a great treat to mix it up!
What do you like about running with others?
9 x 200m hill repeats @ 5K pace (solo)
- 1:01.3 (9:03 min/mile)
- 56.9 (8:43 min/mile)
- 55.4 (8:19 min/mile)
- 54.4 (8:17 min/mile)
- 54.2 (8:20 min/mile)
- 56.3 (8:45 min/mile)
- 52.9 (7:49 min/mile)
- 53.9 (7:56 min/mile)
- 54.8 (8:28 min/mile)