Guest Post – The Best Running Accessory: A Running Buddy

Hello And Her Little Dog Too readers!  It’s Beck from Beck On The Run.  While Leslie’s away, she’s given me the perfect opportunity to hijack her blog and chat with you about my favorite thing – running!  Leslie and I met back in August during the Healthy Living Summit.  We only ran together once, but one run bonded us as “real life” friends!

Running with someone has a powerful, lasting effect.  Today, I’d love to share my reasons for running with a buddy.

The miles fly by.

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In June, I began training for my first marathon.  As I wrote out that training plan, I shook, fearing the days of 14, 16, 20 mile runs.  Yikes! 

As the distances crept up, I found ways to complete these runs with people by my side.  They made every run exciting and suddenly, three hours of running was done!

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Friends keep you fresh.

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Not every runner is interested in running a marathon or even a half-marathon.  That’s OK!  Running is a very individual sport.  Just as much as running long distances with friends is helpful, arranging for a friend to run part of a long run with you is just as great.  Their fresh legs add some energy to the run, making it fun again.

Share the sweet feeling of victory.

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When training for a new event, you will reach exciting milestones all the time.  Accomplishing a new distance or speed on your own feels great, but anti-climactic.  Sharing experiences with another person makes them feel so real.  One of my most memorable running moments came a few weeks ago when I ran ten miles with my mom.  At fifty-two years old (be proud, Mom!) she did it!  Together, we celebrated at mile ten.

Spread inspiration and motivation.

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I didn’t start running because I had dreams of becoming a runner.  I started running because I saw other people running – namely, my aunt and uncle – and they were having fun.  Eventually, they invited me to join them.  I never pass up a good time…so we ran!  Before we knew it, our family was crossing the finish line at a half-marathon.

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Throughout training, we supported and encouraged each other.  Nobody wanted to be the one to back down on a cold morning or a busy evening.  We held each other accountable and we motivated each other in times of doubt.  Together, we made our half-marathon dreams come true.

Challenge yourself and others.

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Runners are like snowflakes.  Each one is unique.  It would be rare to find a group of identical runners.  I’d argue, impossible.  On any given day, one runner will feel like a superhero, while another feels like her own worst enemy.  That’s the beauty of the group.  Other runners can challenge your pace, push you to new distances, or teach you that walking breaks are OK.  Not all runs are races.  When I run with speedy friends, I worry that I cannot keep up, but I always end up learning that I am capable of more than I think.  Running with others teaches us to strong, patient, and flexible.

Make new friends.  

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Running with new people is scary.  You may worry that you are too slow or too sweaty.  You may worry that you will need to stop.  I urge you not to worry.  The bond between running buddies cannot be broken.  Your running buddy will stand by you during your most vulnerable moments– unplanned pit stops, snot rockets, spit balls, side stitches, muscle cramps.  I find, in those moments, I appreciate my running buddies most.

Most importantly…

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Have fun! 

I have days when I enjoy a solitary, stress-relieving workout, but most days, I LOVE having my buddies by my side.  A combination of socializing and sweating?  What could be better??

So tell me…

Do you use the buddy system or are you a solo artist?


Share your tips for a harmonious running buddy relationship!

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7 Comments

  • Reply Danielle December 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Running Buddies! I started running again last year when I was trying to lose weight. Another girl that I teach with was running, too, but we never ran together until school was out for the summer. We rounded up several other girls that we teach with and formed our own little running group. It's fabulous because we run early mornings during the summer and go run hills at a park near our school after the kiddos are gone. Sometimes it's nice to head out on a solo run just to relax but I push myself a little harder when I have my running buddies with me.

  • Reply ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR December 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    This seriously makes me miss my running buddy back where I used to live in Texas 🙁 We move around too much now to forge that kind of relationship. I guess I'll have to live vicariously through other runner's blogs when they talk about their buddies. Thanks for a great post today! I'm going to go check out your blog now 🙂

    Nellie
    http://midlifecruiser.blogspot.com
    (36 year old fulltime RVer living la vida loca with a cute-butt husband and a stink-butt dog!)

  • Reply kate December 14, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I have the same connections with people I practice yoga with. Its amazing how easy you can connect with people who have similar interests!

  • Reply Lizzy December 14, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Huge fan of the buddy system… I even tried to convince Leslie to run with me in NY… but different corrals didn't help that : (
    Hopefully we can run together in Hyannis Beck!

  • Reply Lauren December 15, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Love this Becky!! I "grew up" as a runner running with buddies, and then went for a long time where I was mostly going solo. But in recent years, doing things like the relays and running with friends has made me realize just how much I miss the support system of other runners! I love that about running — it can be amazing time alone that helps you think, or a fun way to catch up with a friend.

  • Reply patty O December 15, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I'm a walker and I definitely love walking with a buddy. I have 3 buddies that I try and rotate. It's so much fun to walk at our fast pace and catch up with each other's life and as you say the time just flies by! Buddies make all the difference in my daily workouts!

  • Reply Heather December 15, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I love running and gym buddies! Sometimes it's hard to find people who "want" to work at 5 a.m. when I have to, though. 🙂 But I also enjoy a tough, solo workout. I probably get a little better workout b/c I talk to much when I work out w/ my friends. Running solo is really tough for me. I probably need to work on that…but there's nothing like having someone to talk to while you run! I love it!

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