6 Best Things About Running With Your Friends
Written by Leana Lai. Leana is a 2019 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon Ambassador and avid runner. You can learn more from her on Instagram at @lerunssf
When I originally started running it was something I kept for myself. It was my quality time with my thoughts and a way to relieve any stress I had gathered from the day. While I still sometimes enjoy a nice solo run, I could never have foreseen all the positive benefits of running with your friends.
Here is 6 reasons why it is better to run with friends:
1. Quality time to catch up and enjoy each others’ company
I’m lucky enough to have quite a few friends now who run and enjoy a nice little tour through the city streets on a cool weeknight or beautiful weekend morning. A lot of them I don’t see on a regular basis, so an excuse to combine a training run with some catch up time is perfect. We’re all so busy with work, family obligations, travel, and other hobbies, it’s an efficient use of time for both of us! Also, for a lot of people, physical activity can help stimulate your thoughts — another reason why running is a great way to unwind from the day.
2. Someone to nerd out with about everything running
How many times are you able to talk about that awkward chafing going on? How you’re trying to test out new nutrition because a certain product sits uneasy with your stomach after mile 5? Or how to avoid those mid-race port-a-potty visits? Unless you’re with another runner, those opportunities are probably very rare. However to us runners, these are things that matter. We like to get opinions from other runners who may have more experience or an insightful take on the subject. Plus, we all love to talk about things we’re passionate about and running is no different.
3. Someone to give you that extra push to go faster or that motivation to keep going when you just want to quit
As much as I want to believe us runners LOVE running, sometimes it’s a challenge. However, that’s what is so great about running with a friend. They can challenge us to go faster than we ever thought we could go. Don’t have that fast friend? Running clubs are also great for this reason. There’s always a variety of pace groups (officially or unofficially) and you can choose to either cruise with your comfort pace group or you can push yourself to keep up with those speed demons. Are you struggling to get yourself to go farther than a certain distance? Runner friends are also great for this. They can help you to push through those mental and physical boundaries. Also runner friends typically know the best way to motivate you, whether it’s food bribes or words of encouragement.
4. Accountability, a reason to “keep showing up”
One of the problems with working out in general is that it’s difficult to get started. Sometimes the most difficult part is putting on your running shoes or waking up early in the morning to get in that run before work. Even seasoned runners can fall into a rut where they just don’t feel like running. Sometimes those breaks are needed, but sometimes we just need another reason to “keep showing up.” Having a friend to run with means having an accountability partner you won’t want to let down by not showing up for your scheduled run.
5. The miles go by faster!
There are days when I look at my training plan and just cringe at the sight of a long 20 miler. Lucky for me, I have met so many running friends through RUN365 that I can just look at that weekend’s meeting place and distance and deduct that from my total mileage. It makes that week’s long run that more enjoyable when I know I only have to endure X number of miles on my own. Don’t have an established training group? I’ve seen many runners put out an open invitation for their friends to join them for their long runs. Social media is a great outlet for that.
6. A way to broaden your circle of friends and meet more of the running community
If anyone told me two years ago that I would be surrounded by a community of runners who inspire me on a daily basis, I wouldn’t have believed them. I started small by going to a local running store’s fun run by myself on a random Tuesday evening after work. From there, I met other individuals who also attended other weekly fun runs. I started seeing the same familiar faces who later became my friends. We run together throughout the week, we enjoy rest days together, we share race knowledge with each other, and we push each other to go for our goals.