You Can Be My Wingman – The Benefits Of Running With A Friend

Running is all about personal taste. Some prefer solo missions. For others, especially those low in confidence or a little self-conscious, it takes two to train.

There are plenty of upsides to having a running buddy. Here are the top Virtual Runner reasons for turning training into a social occasion!

Stay safe

When I’m training, I love to explore, and running routes can take you all kinds of places, be it busy streets, quiet canal towpaths or picturesque parks.

Going it alone, especially during the dark winter nights, is not the smartest move. One of the main benefits of running with a friend is the fact that you’ll simply have a safer training session.

Personal emergency service

Injury niggles can affect anyone at any time. Having a wingman to help get you back home can be priceless.

It’s harder to back out

Let’s face it, we’ve all felt demotivated after a long, stressful day at work and plumped for slippers and the sofa instead of trainers and a planned run. This is all too easy when the weather outside is too hot, too cold, or you’re too tired.

But it’s much harder to back out when you’ve arranged to exercise with a friend. Nobody likes a no-show!

Killing two birds with one stone

Life is so hectic sometimes that fitting in exercise and seeing your friends can prove problematic. So why not make your sessions social and combine socialising with fitness?

You’ll be less likely to quit

Taking a breather during a particularly hard run is absolutely normal. Sometimes the going just gets too tough. But we can also be guilty of stopping because we’re just lacking motivation.

It’s times like this when a little encouragement from a running buddy can help keep those legs moving. A bit of healthy competition – not wanting to be the first one to quit – can also spur you both on.

If you are running solo, our post on improving mental strength when running has some top tips to keep you motivated!

Shared goal

If you and a friend have signed up for a running challenge, maybe even a Virtual Runner event, helping each other reach that goal, by training together and comparing notes along the way, can be mutually beneficial. You’ll always have someone to talk to, whether it’s about training and technique or boasting about your PB!

Set ground rules

In an ideal world, you’ll find a running buddy who is at a similar ability level to you. Either way, before you set off, it’s advisable to discuss your preferred way of exercising.

Make sure you confirm the route, pace and etiquette. For example, is it okay to chat or would you prefer the silent treatment? Is listening to music okay? Discussing such matters can make your sessions run so much smoother. Small things can become big irritants when you’re hot and bothered!

Fancy a canine companion instead? Have a look at our guide to running with dogs, or head over to our blog for plenty more running hints and tips!