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.
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!
Friends keep you fresh.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!