Maybe you’re the type that enjoys the absolute beauty in your trail run, the sweet sound of the river you run by, or even love the distractions you get from the busy city- all of this is a’okay. I mean, why fix what isn’t broken, right?
Over my short career of running so far, I have these moments myself too. Something about being alone and running of my stress from school is like coming up for a breath of fresh air. As I kept running though, I discovered that when I run with someone, it’s even better.
I’m the type that still thinks I’m invincible and that I can do everything by myself, and on the occasion, I enjoy all the time to myself. In the beginning when I started running, a lot of it was on my own, and with no knowledge really. As time progressed, I kind of learned that just because I think I can do everything by myself, doesn’t mean I have to. So what did I do? I started running with Seth, who became my partner in crime.
After training with him more, I have seen my motivation rise and have experienced my body being pushed to its maximum ability at this stage of my running. Nothing becomes more motivating than someone who has you leading the trail and is breathing on your neck… So here are my top 3 reasons why running with someone is, indeed, always better.
1. They push you- to the limits you didn’t even know existed.
Whether it be your coach running with you, your friend, or the girl you picked as a pacer in your first race….there is nothing more motivating than having that person right there riding your tail. It’s something that is referred to as “social facilitation”. You are more willing to compete at your best, power through all your runs and speed workouts. Inevitably, you are more willing to hang on until you make it to the end. This past weekend, my goal was 10 miles for my long run, to train back up for my half in December. While on that trail and knowing Seth was inches behind me pushing to the end, I had no option but to feel the adrenaline to keep my feet going, despite my aching quads (I’m still sore today from that run…thanks Seth).
2. You feel compelled to run more.
Now I mean this in the way of inspiration and competition. You know those hard days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed? Or maybe more relatable for students- when you don’t have time because you have that huge exam tomorrow? Sometimes you have to remember than an hour set aside isn’t a bad thing. In fact, you may even retain more information with frequent study breaks! In addition, running with someone can light a fire in you that lasts all week. You feel compelled to keep that fire going, so you put more miles on those favorite shoes of yours. All until it dies out and your running partner is there to light it right back up for you.
3. Your true potential is revealed.
Anyone else modest or second guess themselves? Yeah, me too. The best part about it all is that your running partner believes in you- even if you don’t. They will always remind you what you are capable of and calm your nerves on race day. They believe you can hit that extra mile today, or that you can reach that PR you’ve been dreaming of.
My running partner makes me want to do that much more. Running with someone will always light a fire inside you- whether that be the competition in you, or the side of you that needs a little motivation and inspiration. Running with someone is beneficial to both parties, the slower runner and the faster runner have flaws, and the flaws are diminished with each other and the positives shine through. Many running groups exist in all communities, and if there is not one in yours, I’m sure there are runners up for creating one with you- runners waiting to light your fire.