The Lone Runner
Running is typically thought of as a solitary endeavor but we are here to tell you that having a Runner Buddy is awesome! They get us out on dark, cold, rainy days; they push our pace or slow us when we need to hold back; they hold us accountable when the couch or bed is calling; they make many miles easier.
Plus, you finally have someone who won’t glaze over when you talk about runner stuff.
To have a great, lasting runner-buddy relationship, it’s a good idea to set some expectations and guidelines. We thought we’d give you a list of runner-buddy etiquette tips we’ve learned over the years. Please add your own thoughts in the comments!
1. Set a schedule to help you stay consistent and avoid confusion. If you say you’ll run every Wednesday at 5 AM and meet up for the Sunday long slow distance run, your expectations are set, the time is blocked off, and knowing the other person is waiting will motivate you to stay on schedule. Once the schedule is set, stick to it, as best you can. Which leads us to…
2. Establish back-out parameters. Life happens, of course. While any runner buddy will understand that an emergency trumps everything, you may want to establish a cancellation policy for everything else. How much notice do you have to give? Is there a penalty (who buys the post-run coffee next time)?
3. Stick to the plan. When you agree to do an “easy six,” know what that means: 8-minute miles? 10-minute miles? Know before you begin, then stick to it. Unless…
4. You’re OK with not. It really depends on the relationship you’ve established. If one of you is feeling her oats today and the other isn’t, do you ditch the plan and run separately? Or are you a together-come-what-may duo? As long as you both agree, it’s easier to avoid resentment.
5. Have the headphone talk. Some runners choose to buddy up for the social benefits, so if you’re a devoted headphone runner, be sure your buddy is OK with that.
6. Some details you may establish as you go:
You’ve made it to the starting line! If you’ve been training together for a particular event, you definitely want to have a conversation about race day expectations. Be sure you know…
If you have a runner buddy story to share, please do! We’d love to know what happened and how you worked it out (or didn’t). Let us learn from your experiences.