Running is often perceived as an individual sport, offering a time for peace, solitude and communion with one’s body but running alone can sometimes be boring. Finding a running buddy is a simple and perfect solution for killing your boredom and might be more advantageous than you think – performance and health wise.
A great way to stick to your running schedule is to have someone join you. Having a running buddy ensures that both of you are accountable to each other – you can’t easily bail out on your running routine at the last minute, knowing that someone is depending on you.
Those who run with a partner or group are more likely to stick with a long-term running routine than those who run alone. At the Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, researchers surveyed a group of married couples that joined health clubs together and found that those who worked out separately had a 43 per cent dropout rate over a course of a year as compared to 6.3 per cent who exercised together.
Studies have shown that running with a partner or group increases your motivation, which often results in an improvement in speed and performance. Thomas Plante, PhD and Professor in Psychology at Santa Clara University, conducted a study that showed how test subjects get motivated to perform better and faster when they run with someone slightly faster.
It’s safer to run in pairs or groups too. A regular running buddy would be aware of your health conditions, fitness levels and running abilities. Should you show discomfort or other distress symptoms, your running buddy will be there for you.