Having a running partner can be one of the most important things in your running life. This person will always be there for you from early morning or late afternoon runs, you support each other through the ups and downs of being a runner.
A good running partner could be an acquaintance, close friend, or someone your dating or spouse. I will say that if you run with a significant other, you better both be on the same page as runners or you will quickly start to see the cracks in your relationship. Once married, my Ex and I could not or would not work out together because we were two completely different people. I liked getting up early, running trails, and pushing through thick and thin as she was way more lax on effort. Not her fault, it was just not a match.
If you are looking, there are a couple of things to be on the lookout since you could be with them for the long run…(pun intended).
*When your partner falls on a run is it game over or do they dust themselves off and keep going? If they get up and continue, that is a person you know will be there in tough times. I’ve had partners with blood running down their legs, but they always continued to run and finish.
*When prepping for a run, do they have an exact plan of time, pace, distance, or is it more open? Example: Let’s go do 5-7 today! Or, is it a well planned and executed run with pace miles, etc? For me…the openness of being flexible is a big deal. Stressing out only makes things tenser. Think fun and run.
*Good running partners push each other at the right times. If you know each other well enough, you will know when to encourage, push, fall back, or take it easy. It’s important that you both are on the same page and able to read each other physically and mentally.
*Your partner can be your running therapist. While on long runs, there is nothing better than chatting about life, talking about relationships, discussing parenting, or work advice. That time with your partner is sometimes the best part of a day because you can just run and talk freely resulting in feelings of mental positivity.
*When nature calls…does that ruin the run or does your partner deal with it and then continue? Yeah..this can be gross, from using porta-potties, strange bathrooms or even the woods, it happens to everyone. As runners, we know we have to do what we gotta do sometimes and not be grossed out with the other person. If your partner can’t handle this situation, you may want to find someone else. Runners gotta do what they gotta do!
*Are bruises and scars a sign of pride or embarrassment? You know where I am going on this one. Falls, trips, getting hit by a car all happen! If your partner is afraid to talk about or show those scars etc., then maybe you need to find someone different. Falling is part of running and these bumps and bruises should rarely cancel your running schedule.
*A great partner never leaves their wingman! You stick together through the good and bad. You always are encouraging, motivating, and even providing safety, depending on where you are running. At times your partner might tell you to go ahead and that’s cool. But you don’t ever leave them behind. Waiting at points or even circling back should be a protocol for runners.
*Having coffee after a run? Enjoying the process is much better than driving each other into the ground. I know there are exceptions, maybe you are training for a race. But being flexible is a must. At the end of a good run, you should grab a cup, sit and recover building your relationship for next time.
*Last but not least, a good friend told me having a running partner with a good booty to chase never hurts either! Hey, you never know…you might be running with someone that could become a permanent running and life partner!
Go out, find that partner and I promise your running will improve along with enjoying the workout.