Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Do You Have Running Buddies Or Do You Go Solo?

I will be the first one to admit that I often run solo. Usually my schedule doesn't mesh well with others, so I am forced to forge my own path, but in a perfect world I would love to have a permanent running buddy or two to share the dream with. I was always a team sport girl. In high school I played varsity volleyball and basketball and in college I was on the women's basketball team. I thrive off the challenge of competition and working together. I love how teammates push you to be better. There is no better feeling. 

Photo of me before a solo run {solo run selfie}

In the beginning I loved running solo, but now, I think I would prefer to run with others more frequently. In 2013 I lead the Athleta Run Club in Roseville and loved it. After my husband and I moved I lost that connection with the girls I ran with. It has also become much harder to race in our new location. The city is so small that to attend any races I usually have to drive 2-3 hours. Always traveling for races can be a strain on the racing budget. As much as I love racing and the people that I meet at races, if I could choose, I would pick running buddies that push me living in the same area any day. Our living situation isn't permanent and we will most likely have the opportunity to move in the next two years, but the interim is hard for me. 

Enough about my running journey. What this post is suppose to do is help you realize the importance of varying your training by adding a great team and what to look for in that team. A great team will motivate and inspire you in even the coldest, dreariest weather and push you to your best running. 

So, what do I look for when I want to get a running partner or team? 

  • Chemistry - I have to be able to mesh with that person. We have to be able to talk while running or just run in silence, but it all has to be comfortable. 
  • Faster runner - not everyone I run with needs to be faster, but in order to get better I need to have at least one runner that will push me and my intensity. I need someone I can chase and that will help me chase my time goals. 
  • Schedule - Yes, you have to be able to run with me at least a few times a week. I have had a few running partners that continually say no and eventually I will just quit asking. I can't make someone show up to run with me. 
  • Respect - We both need to respect each other and each other's goals. If you are training for a PR in a half marathon I am going to be your number one fan and supporter. I hope you'll do the same for me. 
  • Someone who loves to take running photos - Seriously, I want to be able to document my running journey and the friends I've made along the way. So get ready to take some selfie's with me!
  • Goal Setter - We all need to train for something. Even if your goal is simply to maintain fitness. I want to know about it so I can support you and we can both have a reason to show up to train. I'm all about goals. 
These are the things I look for and want to see in my running partners. They may not be your top priorities. We all have our own things we are looking for, but you have to have certain characteristics Whatever you do, when picking a running group make sure it is right for you! If you love going solo - more power to you! Do you have any great characteristics I should add to my list? Let me know!