Running with a Partner
I can speak personally about benefitting from running with a partner. Last week, I had to run solo and my workouts were about half as intense as they usually are, regardless of how much I willed myself to run faster. It became apparent that a partner helps keep you going, and encourages you to push yourself harder just by being with you. So, I did a little research on exactly how to share this tip with some technical advice. Try these two tips, inspired by some words of wisdom from Jeff Galloway, to help your partner, and yourself, get the best workouts possible day after day.
Remember to keep tabs on each other...
1. Divide your workout.
If you are going to run for 30-40 minutes, divide your workout into 5 minute intervals (always do a 5-10 minute warm-up and cool-down). Play the leader for the first interval, setting a solid, consistant pace. Your partner will play the follower and act as a coach, offering bits of advice, inspiring words, or just feedback on the run. Walk or jog for 1-3 minutes as you switch roles, then repeat. This will give you drive to keep up a solid, challenging pace when you are the leader, and when you are the follower will help your partner not to slow down!
2. Keep pace.
To make sure you do not speed up your first miles too much and not have enough energy to finish strong at the end of your workout, keep tabs on your distance to measure your pace. Either wear a GPS device, run on well-marked paths, or on a track. As you run, announce the time every quarter mile or so, and have your partner adjust the time if you are running too fast or too slow.
Remember to keep tabs on each other, and decide when you are going to stop for a water or walk break. If you are having a really good day and feel speedy but your partner is not, encourage him or her just a bit; but, remember that some days are better than others and you may need to slow down a bit to stay with your partner. He or she will do the same for you when you are having a mediocre day on his/her good day. Also, make it clear whenever you are going to turn left or right so that you don't waste energy bumping into each other and creating tension (or bruised elbows!). Enjoy a stretch together afterwards, and many miles together in the future.