I’ve been running for years now. I love to run but I never started out loving it. In triathlon it’s my worst of the three sports. I’ve had to grow into loving it the way I do. But just know, my relationship with running is sometimes a love/hate relationship. However… I improve the most when I run with a running partner… and these improvements aren’t just with running either.
Accountability. Running with a partner gives me someone to be accountable to. When I’m home, my running partner is Randy Elrod. It’s hard to sleep in when I know Randy is meeting me for a run.
You can set goals for a specific race, which will help you get into and weekly schedule. Randy and I do this and it makes a huge difference in how we run during the week and on the weekend. The best part is you have someone to do this with. It’s amazing what running with a friend will do for your friendship.
I would say some of the deepest conversations and best brainstorming ideas Randy and I have had happened during a run.
Consistency. Because Randy and I set goals for our running, it forces us to set a weekly training schedule that works with our lives. For us, we run three times a week. Generally, we run 6 miles on Tuesday and Thursday then a longer run on Saturday or Sunday. Right now our long runs sit around 12-13 miles.But here’s the real benefit of that kind of consistency… it’s not about the miles, it’s about the progression of discipline that starts to form and becomes part of daily life. With that kind of consistency, I am able to look at other parts of my life I want to make improvements in and take a stab at it… Because I know if I set my mind to it, make a plan and discipline myself to stick with it, then I will have a real chance of making the improvements I want to make.
Improvement. When it comes to the actual physical activity of running. If you are consistent and accountable to running with a partner, you will push each other to slowly get faster and stronger. When this happens you will take steps to get a little leaner and you will get in much better shape over time. Randy and I are running faster now than we ever have in all the time we have been running together. Why? Accountability to be consistent with our running habits and eating habits.
One of the biggest benefits I’ve gained from going through all of this you ask? I’m a much more confident person which made a huge impact on my life.
Let’s face it… There are a lot of times in my life where I am much better if I’m able to share the experience with someone else. A training partner (running, cycling or swimming), travel buddy, loved one… whatever you want to call that other person.
Life is too short to do it alone and the benefits of having a running partner outweigh the benefits of running to just run.