Almost three years ago, I put out a plea for a running buddy.
At that time, I had been running most of my runs solo but was feeling like I needed some company to push my pace a bit but for also safety reasons on my zero dark thirty runs.
As luck would have it, since then I have been blessed with multiple running buddies. We’ve laughed, sweated and had a great time getting to know each other. It’s amazing how much you can learn about someone while out on a run. I not only found new running buddies, I found genuine friends.
I was running the best of both worlds – a mix of solo and partner runs each week was just what I needed
But then one friend moved away. And another one got pregnant. And then I got injured and couldn’t run for months. And then another one moved away.
I lost all of my reliable running friends!
So I’m making the plea again. I’m back on the market.
I am currently looking for a new running buddy.
Other qualifications must be that I don’t have to drive more than 10 minutes to meet up during the week. Longer distances are ok for weekend runs. Ideally, the qualified candidate will be within a short running distance from my house (makes meeting up even easier if I don’t have to get in the car beforehand).
Finding the right running buddy is tough. Based on what I wrote above it’s like applying for a new job or going on a blind date. Two very scary things!
There is a way to find a running buddy that is just right for you. For me, there are three main factors I look at to see if the relationship will work: pace, time and consistency.
Know your pace. You don’t want to partner with someone who’ll slow you down or make every workout seem like a speed workout. And don’t try to fake your pace either. The truth will come out sooner or later. Especially if you get injured because of it.
Know when you can run. If you put out what time works best for you, you’re more likely to find a match. Don’t say that you may be able to run in the mornings when you have never run before 5 p.m. in your life. Now is not the time to test the early morning running waters. Do that BEFORE you make a date!
Know you will stick with it. I’m committed to running. I’m going to do it no matter what. I don’t want someone who will be inconsistent. I’m not saying we have to meet every single week (although that would be ideal). I just want someone who is reliable and is just as committed to running as I am. It’s not cool to leave me hanging when we’ve got a run date planned.
Where should you look for a running buddy?
Group runs put on by your local running store or running groups are a fantastic place to start. In fact, that’s where I’ve found the majority of my running buddies. There’s always someone (for the most part) there who will be a good pace for you. Most stores and groups also have social media sites where you can post about looking for a buddy.
If you are training for a certain race or distance, it’s a great way to find like minded runners. I signed up for my first marathon because my running buddy at the time was training for it. If I was going to be running more miles with her, why not? I also found a buddy who was training for Boston at the same time as me. Our paces and schedules matched so we did the majority of our long runs together which worked out perfectly during the winter from hell!
So the search is on! Hopefully I’ll have runner’s luck again in finding the right running buddy for me.
Do you run solo, partner or a pack?