Most days I fit my workout in whenever I can, so I tend to sweat it out alone. But I love the days when I can meet up with my running buddy and we hit the trail together — I run a lot longer when chatting it up with a friend. There are definitely some dos and dont's when it comes to running with another friend, so keep these in mind the next time you head out with a partner.
- DO call if you're going to be late: It's hard enough to find an hour in your busy schedules that you're both free, so when you do, make every effort to show up on time. If you're running late, be sure to text or call to let her know — you don't want to keep her waiting, or worse, worrying that something is wrong.
- DON'T bring your headphones: Unless you both prefer listening to your personal tunes and not conversing, save the headphones for when you're running solo. Or if you both want to listen to the same running playlist, put your iPhone on speaker so you can enjoy the music but still hear each other.
Keep reading for more dos and dont's when it comes to running with a fitness buddy.
- DO keep a pace you're both comfortable with: Depending on your height, running experience, and energy level, your pace may differ drastically from your partner's. If you sense that your buddy is struggling to keep up, slow it down a bit. Likewise, if your friend is a speed racer, don't be shy about asking if she can take it down a notch.
- DON'T be a conversation hog: Talking and running is hard work, so to give your lungs a break (as well as your partner's ears), try to keep the conversation equal.
- DO take turns choosing the route: Before I started running with my neighbor, I only ran on flat woods trails, so I'm grateful that my partner encouraged me to tackle hills in our neighborhood. Every time we head out, we alternate leading the run. It keeps the workout exciting, and mixing up your route and terrain also challenges your muscles, making you a stronger, faster runner.
- DON'T invite someone else along unless you ask your partner first: She'll probably be psyched to have someone else join the efforts, but it's respectful to ask in advance in case your partner thinks three's a crowd.
- DO suggest new running workouts: Aside from motivating each other to run regularly, you also want to improve your technique and endurance. Do this by throwing in some interval training, negative splits, hill work, and tempo runs.
- DON'T call your friend to persuade her to go out to Sunday brunch instead of running the eight-miler you had planned: We all have days when we don't feel like lacing up our sneaks, but that's what our running partners are for. Be the motivation your partner is counting on, and she'll get you back the next time you need a kick in your running shorts.
- DO sign up for races together: What better way to keep up with your regular running routine than to train for a race, and doing it together will make it easier and more likely to happen. And the best part is once you cross the finish line, you'll have someone to hug and celebrate with.