Having a running partner is a fantastic way to make your running life interesting. As the name suggests, a ‘running partner’ is someone you run with.
Your partner in crime, the Ying to your yang, the Robin to your Batman, the Rodney to your Delboy, the Sandy to your Danny. the other half of your double act.
A running partner is a buddy who will meet you at 6 a.m. as the sun comes up and put in a few miles with you before work. They might motivate you, help you improve, be someone you trust and someone who sticks by you.
The ideal running partner won’t let you down under any circumstances. They’ll be loyal, run by your side, and help you in your quest for living a more fulfilled running life.
Why should you have a running partner?
Like anything we do in life, there’s always a reason behind our actions. We won’t do something for the sake of it, we need evidence it’s a good decision to make and it’ll be in our best interest. If you need convincing to get a running partner, you’ve come to the right place.
Without further ado, here are 8 great reasons to run with a partner
1. Increased motivation
If you’re someone who struggles with motivating yourself, a running partner might just be what you need.
Though running is one of the most enjoyable activities you can do, it’s easy to procrastinate and not get around to running. When you can’t muster up the motivation to get out of bed early on a cold and dark morning, having someone to meet will do wonders for you.
It doesn’t matter if you feel like running or not, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get up and go for your run if someone is depending on you to meet them.
Why is having a running partner so motivational?
We’ve all experienced the disappointment of being let down by someone who didn’t meet us at the designated place and time. Whether it was a date, a meal with your spouse, a meeting with a co-worker or a rehearsal with your band, being let down is not nice.
For this reason, we hate letting people down and will honour commitments we have made whether we’re in the mood or not.
If you’re someone who struggles to motivate yourself to get into your sneakers and go, having a running partner to meet will be powerful motivation for you. Don’t let them down.
2. Developing a relationship
Sometimes, we run with a partner to develop a relationship.
Maybe you’re running partner is a spouse or a romantic partner. Perhaps you’re running with your daughter or son as a means of getting to know them better. You could even be running with a friend, a boss, or a co-worker. It could be anybody.
Running with others is a great way to develop a relationship because you’re overcoming a challenge with the other person.
Think about it. When you go to a restaurant or watch a movie, it’s fun and relaxing but there is no common goal you and the people you’re doing the activity with have to achieve.
When you run with someone, you both have the goal of running a specific distance with the other person. It can be difficult, and there’s challenge, but helping each the overcome it is all part of developing the relationship.
Also, running can be the special activity you and your running partner do to strengthen your bond. Perhaps you find it difficult to talk to your partner outside of running due to different interests. Maybe you like football, and your partner likes rock bands or makeup. Maybe your interests are so conflicting you don’t have much to talk or bond about.
This can be awkward, particularly if this person is a family member like a son or daughter in law.
Becoming running partners can give you a fantastic platform to create and develop a relationship. Family meals and parties don’t have to be awkward ever again. Phew!
Having a running partner can help you develop relationships with important people in your life. One fantastic reason to get a running partner.
To find out more about the how running can improve your relationships, check out the blog post here:
3. Desire to improve
When you’re running with someone else, you can help each other to improve. Ideally, you want to select a running partner who is slightly quicker than you and has better form. That way, you’ll be pushed to speed up and improve your running style and technique.
Not only that, a decent running partner will give you words of encouragement and push you to challenge yourself. Likewise, you can do the same with your running partner. Use each other to your benefit, become a better runner with a partner.
Want proof running partners work?
Think of Olympic athletes, like The Brownlee Brothers. Alistair and Jonny Brownlee compete in the triathlon and have won gold, silver and bronze medals at the Olympic games.
When training in their running, swimming and cycling disciplines, they train alongside each other. They report in interviews that they encourage and spur each other on, pushing themselves to achieve more as a duo.
Arguably, there partnered approach to their training means they’re constantly pushing each other further which is why they’ve been so successful in their event.
Get a running partner and improve your speed and form. You’ll notice the difference in no time.
4. Make sure you wake up early
If you’re like most people (me included), you probably struggle with waking up when the alarm goes off.
You go to bed later than you should, set the alarm for 6 with good intentions, then find yourself in a war with your alarm clock. You constantly press snooze and fight the urge to get up. There’s nothing urgent to get up for anyway, right?
Having a running partner to meet early in the morning will change all of that. Suddenly, there’ll be a concrete reason to get up for. Someone to meet and not let down. A running partner to keep your commitment too. Getting up suddenly becomes easier than you thought. No more battles with your alarm clock. Hooray!
The life-changing benefits of early starts
Getting up early in the morning is associated with a higher quality of life, it’s no secret. Richard Branson gets up at 5:45 am to exercise and eat an early breakfast before work. Gary Vaynerchuk (YouTube personality and CEO of Vayner media) gets up at 6 am every day.
Getting up early means you’re able to get the most important stuff done before the main portion of the day begins. This means you’re able to get ahead and focus on the little details rather than spending most of your day working yourself into the ground. A running partner can help you achieve this.
When you get a running partner, make a point of syncing your schedule for early morning runs before the day begins. Not only is running in the morning great for setting up your metabolism and kick-starting your day with high energy, it also means you’ll be wide awake and ready to go.
Thanks to having a running buddy to meet, you now have an extra hour or two to get things done. It could be anything. Writing a thousand words of your novel, paying a bill, practising the piano, walking your kids to school, and so on.
Enjoy the extra time you have in the morning thanks to having a running partner to get up early for and run with.
For more information on early morning runs, check out the blog post here:
5. Exploring new routes
Running with a partner will help you discover new areas, explore, and get in touch with your inner adventurer. The locations you run in will be more diverse, and you’ll have new places to explore on your travels.
Though you have a mental bank of good routes and cool locations to run in, running with a partner will double the possible locations you can run in. For example, a running partner might know a nice village nearby your hometown to run to.
They could recommend you travel to a beach or scenic woodland, or even that you try conditioning yourselves with a challenging hill that not many people know about. You have great places to run, and so will a running partner. Get a running partner to explore new places.
Why, though, is running in new places important?
We’ve all heard the saying ‘variety is the spice of life.’ You don’t need me, or anyone else, to tell you that it’s completely true.
Ever listened to a song you loved a hundred times, only to find you grew tired of it? What about the ex-favourite food you became unimpressed with after having it too many times? Or that nightclub you went to, too often and became disillusioned with how ‘cool’ it was? These are all examples of when we get bored with things and seek something else to fill the hole and excite us.
Because we’re human beings, and not robot automatons, we get bored of things. We desire new things to do and new places to see.
Therefore, having a running partner to explore new places with can make your running life more exciting and interesting. Particularly after a dull period of running the same route, time and time again.
For more information on exploring and adventure in running, check out the blog post here:
The motivation for winning, putting forth the effort, improving one’s performance, performing well, and being better than another person, are all factors of competition.
Having a running partner means there’ll always be a bit of friendly competition between you.
Competition to run the fastest, travel the furthest, have the best form, and so on. Having some competition can motivate you, and your running partner, to seriously up your game and become better and harder working runners.
Not only that, the competition will increase the enjoyment and thrill you get out of running.
Hang on, is the word ‘competition’ really necessary?
You might think competition sounds aggressive, and that you’re only going for a casual run with a friend.
Why would there be any need for the word ‘competition’ to come into it? That’s a good point.
However, think of all the great achievements in history that were possible thanks to competition.
- Apple and Samsung are tech giants who have always been in massive competition with each other. The competition which fuelled innovated and creativity, with the invention of new products.
- The famous romantic era piano composers Frederic Chopin and Franz List allegedly produced some of their best pieces after being in fierce competition to outdo each other.
- Think about the heart-stopping competition between English athletes Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett during the 1980 Moscow Olympics?
Make no mistake, competition has led to some fantastic moments in history. Having a bit of friendly competition with your running partner can make things interesting and push you to achieve greatness in your running life.
Trying to beat each other in speed, distance travelled and form, are all great examples of when you could compete. Remember to keep things light and have a bit of banter from time to time.
There’s no need to get too competitive you risk damaging your relationship! You’re running partners for a reason, to add value to each other’s running life.
Get a running partner and awaken your inner competitor today.
7. Improved safety
Though most people don’t have safety on their mind when they go for a run, it’s an important consideration to make. Don’t worry, thinking about safety won’t make you ‘square’ or ‘uncool’, it just means you’re doing your due diligence.
Whilst running is incredibly enjoyable, it can unfortunately sometimes go wrong.
Imagine you’re feeling adventurous, and you decide to go for a solo trail run in your local woodland. It begins a fun challenge, but a hidden rock suddenly trips you over and you’re unable to move your leg. You have your phone on you, but it’s difficult to tell where you are. Being alone, you panic and start to get extremely scared.
Alternatively, imagine you’re running in the dark when you suddenly get attacked by someone looking to steal your phone and other valuables. A scary thought, but unfortunately it can happen. Being solo makes this scenario much more likely to occur. Not to scare you or anything!
Having a running partner can make you safer
Though unlikely, situations like these can and do happen.
Running with a partner can make the situations safer. In the scenario where you injure yourself in the woods, a running partner can look after you and direct the paramedics, keeping you calm and secure.
In the scenario of running in the dark, your chances of being attacked and mugged are greatly reduced when you’re no longer solo.
As the old saying goes, there really is ‘strength in numbers.’ Get a running partner and make yourself safer on your runs. You won’t regret it.
8. Introduction to new social circles
Think of all the people you’ve met through a friend or a family member.
At one point you were strangers, before a mutual acquaintance said, ‘let me introduce you to…’ and the rest is history. Some of the best friendships start that way. Sometimes, it might even lead to incredibly important relationships like getting married or becoming lifelong friends!
Having a running partner can do wonders for your social life. Runners are a diverse and friendly bunch who like to stay in touch with each other. Though you’ll probably have a decent network of running buddies, your running buddy will have their own social circle both in their running world and their personal life.
Perhaps they know a group of runners at parkrun, or maybe they’re part of a running club. Maybe your running buddy invites you to join the community running club where you meet all the members and get invited to their monthly meal and casual drink.
Not only is having a running partner more sociable between the two of you, you can also expand the sociability of your running life by meeting their friends and introducing your partner to your friends.
9. Follow a training plan with someone else
It can be a bit daunting to embark on a training plan as a soloist.
Maybe you have a marathon or half marathon on the horizon, and you’ve decided to embark on a hefty training and nutrition plan which spans a few months. Without someone to follow the plan with and discuss any progress or challenges faced, it’s easy to fall off the training plan bandwagon.
Think about it. Book club members feel motivated to read each week allocated chapters because they know everyone else in the group will read the chapter. At the weekly club meeting, they’ll have others to discuss their thoughts and struggles with the chapter. Runners are no different!
If you follow a training plan, it’s better to have someone following it with you. Making that someone your training partner is a recipe for success. Not only will you be motivated to put the work in, show up and run when the plan dictates (because your partner will be doing the same), you’ll have someone to discuss your struggles and voice any thoughts you’re having on your progress.
Not only will your partner listen and empathise with your struggles and progress, they’ll also be on hand to make suggestions to help you. It sounds silly, but sometimes all we need is a decent suggestion from a trusted source (a running partner) to make effective amendments to our training plan regime.
Get a running partner to follow a training plan with. It’s incredibly powerful motivation, and the results can be powerful.
10. Appreciate the beauty of sounds in the environment
When you’re a solo runner, it’s tempting to block out all the sounds from the environment with a podcast or favourite album. Most of us are guilty of sticking the headphones in and disregarding the sounds from the outside world.
However, running with a partner change all of that. Unless you’re not interested in your running partner and decide to listen to headphones (bit rude), you’ll be forced to go without the headphones. Suddenly, you’ll hear everything outside you were once blocking out with music and podcasts.
It’s surprising to many runners, but there are loads to appreciate and enjoy within the sounds of the environment. Think of all the lovely sounds you can hear when running with a partner. The chirping of the birds, rustling of the grasshoppers, the gentle swaying of a river as it travels downstream to the sea.
All these elegant and natural sounds are beautiful, and often go unheard by runners because they listen to whatever’s on their headphones.
However, running with a partner encourages you to take the headphones out and have some conversation. In between conversation, you’ll hear all these wonderful sounds and appreciate the beauty of sounds in the environment.
This is a relatively simple yet powerful reason to run with a partner. Runners often report feeling calmer and more relaxed after hearing the natural sounds of the environment after their run.
I’m not saying you should go cold turkey on the podcasts and music. That’d be crazy, we all need some in-ear entertainment from time to time.
However, it’s incredibly beneficial to take out the headphones occasionally and enjoy what mother nature has to offer for the ears.
11. Have more fun
Human beings are social animals and derive great joy from being with others. Think about situations in your life that were made fun with others being present.
Being at work, studying at school, being in a band, hanging out downtown, watching a movie, travelling in a new country.
All of these are activities we love doing more when we’re accompanied by people we like and can have a laugh with. Being serious is okay from time to time, but it’s incredibly important to have some fun and not to take life too seriously occasionally.
Think of all the fun memories you can create with a running partner which will be funny inthe moment, and even more hilarious when you recall the events.
Though not recommended, some go running with a nasty hangover. It’s not a good state to be in but it happens all the time. If you’re solo, it can be very punishing to run with a stinking hangover.
If you’re with a trusted running partner, you can both find some humour in the situation. Maybe your other running half mocks and makes fun of you in a playful way. It’ll be light-hearted and hilarious banter.
Increase the fun on your runs, take yourself less seriously and smile. Get a running partner.
If you have a running partner and want to get them a gift, or even run with them in fancy dress, check out the following blog posts:
- 30 Great Fancy Dress Ideas For Runners
- 30 Great Gift Ideas For Runners
- Top 5 Men’s Running Shoes For 2018