Girl gang. Running buddies. Training partners. Whatever you call them, your running buddies are an essential part to any runner’s training both mentally and physically. They help keep you accountable on core, help pace during workouts, and keep you motivated on long runs. Running has always been known as this sort of “individualistic” sport where you solemnly run on trails reflecting about life but there are times when you really just need those fellow runners to keep your training fun and challenging. Here are just a few reasons why training partners are so necessary:
Reason #1- Long Runs aren’t so boring: Long runs, or any easy runs for that matter are always better with teammates. The constant conversation helps the miles flow by and the pace stays consistent. Have you ever had that feeling of “I just don’t want to go for a run?” Well when you have friends who can endure that pain with you and keep you accountable, the 6 mile run doesn’t seem so bad.
Reason #2- Cheer Squad and Constant Supporters: You can always count on your running buddies cheering the loudest at races or keeping you motivated during a tough workout. Even just a “you can do this” makes a huge difference in someone’s mental state. During the Track season on a particularly hot and rough workout, even a simple nod from one of my teammates reinforced that mentality that we are all grinding and working hard together. When you’re injured, no one will understand the heartbreak more than your fellow runners.
Reason #3- Tempos as a Team: I honestly don’t understand how someone can run a tempo by themselves?! That is so hard. Whenever I do a tempo by myself I have to hit the treadmill in order to ensure that I am keeping consistent pacing. Without it, my pace is all over the board. But, when you are running a tempo with others (of the same speed) then you are pushed and forced to go the required speed and not drop off or speed up. Especially when you are close with your tempo teammates, it’s easy to say “c’mon we’re going too fast” or “maybe let’s pick it up” to keep the tempo sustainable and rewarding.
Reason #4- Free Therapy: Whenever emotions are piling up, the greatest thing for me to do is go on a run with someone and talk about it. Something about running makes the words tumble out and an easy run instantly becomes a share session with all of my teammates. It is a healthy way to get that aggression and anxiety out, and afterwards you feel amazing.
Reason #5- Your Teammates are your best friends: I love my team, and all the girls I run with are so awesome! They are supportive, nice, and such great people to run with after a long day at school. Even after the run is over, you know that those teammates will stick by your side in any situation.
Moral of the story is, get yourself some running buddies! They make a big difference when you run and are your friends for life. Plus, who else are you going to go to post-run brunch with?!