Running can be tough – between maintaining motivation and holding yourself accountable for getting in those training runs, it may be helpful to find a running partner. Doing it alone may sound better (especially if you’re an introvert like me), but in the long-run (pun intended), there will be days where you’ll wish you had someone to push you through those 5 AM workouts. If you’re ready to find a fellow psycho willing to wake up at stupid-o-clock to get in those miles and strength training, read on!
Join A Club
Get on the Google Machine and find a local running club! Searching through Fit2Run may be a helpful resource, too, or through other local running supply stores. Sure, you may not be ready to dedicate an entire morning each week to running with a bunch of other high-energy people (I get it – sometimes you need a break) and that’s okay. You don’t always have to show up to run with everyone every week. Maybe some members live near you. That may be a great way to still run with someone during the week without totally committing to social-overload.
Find Local Races
Many local races are hosted by running clubs, which means there will be many representatives there for said club. If they have a tent, swing by for information on how you can get involved! Or, if you’d rather avoid running clubs, make friends with people in the corrals. Maybe you’ll find someone around your pace open to finding a running partner, too.
Embrace Your Stalker Neighbors
I found my running partner – or, she found me – this way. While training for my marathon, she would come in from her HIIT class and see me running. Eventually, she stopped me (in her car) and asked me about my training. Two weeks later, she followed me after my run (on foot) and asked me for my number. Well, now we run at least four times a week together and strength train, too.
I do not recommend just talking to random people in vehicles. Stranger danger is a real thing and I am now attending refresher courses with the local kindergarten classes so I, too, can be stranger-danger-savvy.
Brainwash Your Friends and Family
This one is easy. Pretend you love running and the endorphins that come with the workout and people will think you have discovered the next-best drug. (Especially if you rave about the fact you can eat tons of sweets and snacks to maintain energy levels.) They will chase that high and, before they know it, they will also be addicted. Boom. Instant running partners you already know quite well.
All jokes aside, I want to make sure this is clear: While it’s amazing having a running partner (or even multiple running friends!), it’s important to focus on your own training and pacing. Sometimes your paces may not line up – make sure that you’re still able to keep your easy days easy and your hard days hard. You may need to feel things out with your fellow running friends before you truly feel your partnership is a good match. Always prioritize your safety, health, and training.