5 Tips for Finding the PERFECT Running Partner

For those runners who like running with a buddy  . . . you know how hard it can be to find the right running partner.

They are either too slow, too fast, not motivated enough, TOO motivated . . . or you just don’t get along.

I have always enjoyed running alone but Sandi kinda thrives on running with a partner.  When we first started dating we began to run together  . . . but this presented a big challange for us.

I was running an 18 minute 5k and Sandi was running over 30 minutes.    We had to get creative about running together and eventually more creative to help Sandi find running partners that were a perfect fit.

5 Surefire Places to Find a Running Partner

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  1. Meetup.com: Yes Yes . . . I know it sounds like a place for singles to meet and hang out, but Meetup is actually far different than that.  It is a place for people to post conferences, get together, and social gatherings for individuals with similar interests. Using this tool I was able to find over a dozen running or triathlon groups within 10 miles of my house.  There is a simple search function on the site and once you find a group you are interested in it is easy to learn more details about the group or to learn about upcoming meetings or runs.
  2. Facebook: Midst 374 invitations to play Candy Crush, and updates about all your friends babies . . . Facebook can actually be a productivity tool as well believe it or not.  With Facebook you can easily find out who of your local friends are runners . . . you can post on your page that you are looking for a running buddy and within no time you will have a partner.  You can also find virtual running groups where you can post your workouts and find motivation from your buddies.   BY using the search box and simply typing in “Running Group” you will be able to find events, groups, pages, and more that will guide you in the right direction.Screenshot-2014-07-07-16.32.26-e1404768953401
  3. Running Clubs:  RRCA or Road Runners Clubs of America is the top resource for finding a local running club near you.  Simply go to their site here click on your state and viola you will have a nice list of various running clubs in your area.  Generally these groups have free events you can attend to meet other runners and find a few that are about your pace.  Once you have a nice little buddy or group that run your pace you can plan training runs with them aside form the running group.  Its a great way to find a partner and friends that share your love for running.Screenshot-2014-07-07-16.38.31-e1404769455306
  4. Mans Best Friend: yes, a dog can be the perfect running partner . . . they won’t complain, they will always be ready on time, weather won’t stop them from going . . . and they will love you for taking them.  You don’t even need a HUGE dog to do this.  We had a little 10 pound yorkie a few years ago that was able to outrun me in a 5k.  With a bit of practice if a small lazy dog can enjoy running with you.  Researchers from University of Michigan found that on average dog owners are nearly twice as active and healthy as non dog owners: “Nearly half of dog walkers exercised an average of 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. By comparison, only about a third of those without dogs got that much regular exercise”. New York Times
  5. The Track: Most towns have a High School or Middle school track with a nice field, track, and bleachers to do your workout on.  The benefit of running on a track is that running partners of different skill and speed levels can workout together.  We have a FREE GUIDE to Bleacher Workouts that you can download HERE

Finding a Track to Run On 

While it is hard to find a complete and accurate list of all school that have a track open to the public . . this tool here is great for finding local schools.  You an then either drive by or call them to determine if their track is open for use.

Likewise you can make a phone call to your local school district and ask if or when school tracks are open for use.

High School Finder

Screenshot-2014-07-07-17.15.12-e1404771557312They do “ask” for a lot of information on this tool but if you just put in Zip Code and distance you will get a result.

A huge benefit to track workouts is that you will generally find several other people out there running on the track each night.  Makes a great way to build accountability, friendships as you meet local runners, and a chance to find a running partner.

3 Benefits to Running with a Partner

Motivation:

In a recent study at the University of Santa Clara, researchers found that:

Exercising with someone more fit than oneself could promote a higher intensity workout,  participants gravitate towards the exercise behaviors of those around them. Even when all participants, regardless of experimental conditions, were instructed to exercise at a moderate level and keep their pulse rates within a particular range, they mimic the exercise behavior of their exercise partner.  -Journal of Social Sciences

 

 

So if you are wanting to AMP up your workouts . . find someone who is at an intensity and commitment level above yours.  This individual will lift your behavior and aid in elevating your workouts as you mimic their intensity.

Entertainment:

I don’t generally like working out with others . . . but when I do it is primarily for entertainment purposes.  Having a partner is a great way to break up the mundane miles and hours of running.   Even just jogging with your kids can help with this.

Every now and then it is good to get out of your own head and just talk with a friend.

Accountability:

Being open with another individual (friend, family, child) can help to create accountability.  Letting someone else know about your goals and asking for them to follow up will get you out the door on slow days.

Conclusion

By following these simple tips you will find yourself a workout partner in no time.  Do you have a partner that keeps you going? How did you find your workout buddy?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credits:  Thang Nuyguen, sangudo
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