running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running, Resolute Running Training Center
Running

How to Choose a Running Partner

We runners tend to obsess over details. Shoes, clothing, socks, watches, fuel, routes. Everything is carefully researched, tested, analyzed, then either kept or discarded.

But what about one of the most important decisions of all—your running partner? You spend a good chunk of your week with these fellow crazies, but do you enjoy their company? Honestly? Are they helping you improve as a runner, or do you spend the miles wanting to push them into a ditch?

There’s no Match.com for running partners. You have to go old-school to find your buddy—lace up your shoes, log some miles, then evaluate your chemistry.

And if the run sucked? Ditch their ass! Seriously. Running is supposed to be fun, and if your group or partner is dragging you down, call it quits. Life’s too short for annoying runs. I’ve sped up, slowed down, even hidden in a bush pretending to pee to get away from people I dislike running with. True story.

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
Or just run with your dog – he won’t piss you off

Choosing a running partner or group is a very serious task. Find someone who can:

Keep a constant stream of chatter for hours on end…

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
There are not enough miles in our training plans to exhaust all of our conversations and jokes

…but can also be perfectly comfortable in silence

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
Sometimes the trails do the talking

Scrape you off “The Wall” when you inevitably hit one, and you can do the same for them

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
15 into our 22-miler, it got cold and started to rain. So we did some inversions.

Tell you to “Suck it up, Buttercup” when you’re being whiny

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
There is no crying in trail running

See you at your best and share in your feelings of accomplishment without wanting to beat your PR

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
Every runner needs a cheerleader

See you at your worst and not be scared away

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
Though this one’s the hubs, so legally he can’t be scared away

Endure miles and miles together without choking each other with a Gu packet or quesadilla

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
Girl talk, with a side of 15 miles

Tolerate your smells and sounds and squishy shoes and snot and love you anyway

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
One person in this photo has the squishiest shoes ever

Push the pace until you get angry, then accept a thank you for making you stronger

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
Or don’t punch you when you say, “Hey let’s jump into a snow pile!” and then splits a lip

Drag you out of bed at the ass-crack of dawn because you don’t want to leave them hanging

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
What 4:30 a.m. looks like

Take a million selfies/running shots with you and not get too annoyed

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
Christmas Eve selfie with some decorations…on a mailbox…

Ask you to carry animal bones without hesitation

running buddy, how to choose a running partner or group, best friends running
This was a post I found on the Trail and Ultra Running FB group, and how I will now evaluate all of my running partners. Will you do whatever I ask, including carry animals? No? There’s the door, pal.

The beauty of running is that the road or trail strips away all demographics—age, occupation, income level, political beliefs—and leaves just a shared passion for the sport.

You can’t explain why you mesh with some runners, and others you don’t. It’s just running chemistry. But once you find that one partner or group that makes every mile magical, that makes you laugh when you want to sit down and puke, hold onto them for dear life. They’re good people.

Do you have a running partner or group that you adore? What makes them so special?

2 Comments

  • Al DiMicco

    Everybody wants to run with me because I make them feel so fast. Then they don’t want to run with me because I whine so much. Guess a good running partner has a happy middle. Good post Tanya

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