5 Benefits of a Running Buddy

I am in a running rut.

I’m not excited about running anymore. I ended up in a lot of pain a few weeks ago when the tightness in my piriformis turned out to be a lot more extensive and problematic than I thought at first. No that that pain has gone away, I’ve been avoiding long runs because I don’t want to hurt again. Even the excitement of thinking about my half-marathon outfit didn’t get me fired up again the way I hoped it would.

I know that not going on long runs is counterproductive. I know that I am too close to race day now to not be of track with my training. And, yet, I just can’t seem to find the motivation.

That’s it. That’s the truth. I said I would always be honest in these blog posts, so I’m keeping it real with you.

The question is how am I going to get myself out of this rut? I really don’t know. And when do I do when I don’t know an answer? I research like crazy, of course.

I read more articles and lists about how to get yourself excited to run again this weekend then I care to think about, but one tip was really consistent, showing up in piece after piece: run with a buddy.

This isn’t a thing I’ve done much, if at all. But, since everyone on the Internet seemed to be suggesting it, I figured I’d read up on why. Here are five of the many reasons that I found (the ones that sounded like they might be the most helpful if you’re in a rut):

1. A running buddy makes a long run seem shorter. If you’re having a good conversation, you don’t have to focus so much on watching as the miles tick away little by little. You’ll have gone farther than you think by the time you remember to check your distance again.

2. You’re less likely to blow off a running date with a buddy than a running date with yourself. I’m way more likely to keep working at my desk and not going on a run on my own than I am to blow off a session with JK. I’m sure the same standard applies here. It can feel okay to talk yourself out of that run today, but it isn’t okay to inconvenience someone else!

3. Encouragement when the going gets tough! There is a point in every single long run when I have a serious debate with myself about whether or not I am just going to stop before I reach my intended distance. It’d be a whole lot easier to win this debate if I had someone else along, also suffering, but reminding me that, actually, I can keep putting one foot in front of the other even if a tiny part of me is unhelpfully suggesting that I am absolutely, no question going to die. Nothing like a little teamwork!

4. If you’re afraid of injuring yourself, a running buddy might be able to troubleshoot your form. If there is something strange about your stride that is causing this ache or that pain? Someone else is way more likely to see it than you are. And then you can ask someone in the know how you should fix it.

5. A running buddy can inspire you to get up for those early runs. I’ll be honest, I just put this one in here for giggles. Maybe this tip will work for some of you guys, but anyone who knows me knows that the only thing that is getting me up for an early run is the Disney Princess Half-Marathon (which begins at, what I feel, is a truly inhumane hour – 6:30am). Seriously, zombie serial killers could be outside my bedroom door waiting to chase me down for motivation, and I would tell them to come back at nine.

However, I’m not going to get to that 6:30am race start time if I don’t get back on track with my training! So, I guess it is time to find a running buddy, eh?

Countdown to Half-Marathon: 33 days.
Mood: A bit discouraged, really!
Longest Distance Run: 8 miles. Still 🙁
Number of Workouts Last Week: 2 (1 strength, 1 running)
Goal for This Week: Get out of this rut and find a buddy!

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 Jennifer Packard
Jennifer Packard

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