A pack of wolves is always stronger than the lone wolf. Even if you love to be alone, I highly encourage you to venture out of your comfort zone and find running buddies.
I’ll be real. I come across as a social person, but I am a borderline introvert. I do not see friends on a regular basis. Side-by-side is my favorite social time.
I have made some of my deepest and lasting friendships with running buddies.
I have mentioned and will continue to be mentioning running partners in articles because it is a staple in my running. It brings me so much joy to have running mean more than the exercise, and friendship is one of the takeaways I hold most dear.
So how do you find a running buddy? Meeting people is definitely intimidating. Here are a few ideas:
- Small talk with your neighbors.
- A local running store. Mine is SheActive Boutique in Rockford, MI.
- Any other group situation you are part of: Gyms, educational or professional environments, community service activities, exercise classes, church, and the list goes on.
- At road races. You know they are all runners, so talk to people who finish around you.
- Friends of friends. Grow your circles by meeting your friends’ other running buddies.
There are people we already know who could be a running partner too, like FAMILY! How about friends who we’ve never run with? Let’s pick up the phone and be intentional.
Many people have expressed with me a concern about being intimidated by those who run a faster pace. Put it out there. If you make it a casual invitation, there will be no hurt feelings and weirdness. Also, running a variety of paces during a given week is beneficial, so don’t assume someone who usually finishes ahead or behind you wouldn’t be a great training partner. I suggest having running partners who run both faster and slower mileage pace than you to round out your training.
Here is a list of considerations if you are not used to running with others:
- If a pace is too fast for you, vocalize it.
- Discuss days, times, and places to meet.
- Don’t rush the pace because you are excited to run with a new person.
- Get to know your new training partner. This is a budding friendship and should be grown.
- One-stepping your training partner will turn your run into a race, so be careful to run side-by-side and not in front of your new training buddy.
- If a car is coming on the road or there is traffic coming on the trail, go single file.
- I recommend planning only one run at a time your first few meetings. This allows for one or the other to back out if it doesn’t work out. There is more pressure if you decide every Monday at 5pm for eternity. Ha!
(I have not done all of the above perfectly. That is why I am posting from my experience!)
Comment below with more suggestions. My next post will be about running groups. Good luck!
Live life. Run.