Image Credit: http://cdn.runnow.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/running-buddies-631x421.jpg
Every runner has a pal who gets on his or her nerves every now and then. If you don’t know anyone like that, chances are that you are the annoying running friend (just kidding!). There are many reasons why you should have a running partner. For instance, when your friend is around, you would probably feel more embarrassed to give up mid-run to grab an ever-tempting meal of McWings paired with a sinful cup of Coke. On the other hand, a partner’s annoying running behaviour can be a huge turn-off. For your friends’ sake, you might want to run through this checklist before your next buddy run.
Small talk now and then is great for breaking the silence and getting to know one another better. However, you’ll be hard pressed to find a partner who truly wants to hear all about the soap opera-like dramas of your life for the entirety of a workout. Besides coming across as a little self-absorbed, you might interfere with your partner’s concentration, not to mention your own breathing rhythm.
“1, 2, 3! 3, 2, 1! Too Much Cheering Is Not Fun!”
While a benefit of a partnership is mutual encouragement, going overboard with the motivational messages is annoying. When at the peak of the run, your partner might want to preserve every ounce of energy to focus on not collapsing from exertion. Too much encouragement might also give the impression that you find the physical performance of your partner inadequate. Conversely, if you find that you have never given a word of encouragement to your partner, there’s no harm adding “let’s keep this up” or “we can get through this” to your running dictionary.
Unless you bear in mind to practice the behaviour of a good running buddy, the only running companions you might have to settle for are your mobile phone and earphones.
Give and Take
The point about having a running partner is to run together, which means agreeing on a track to run and a pace to maintain. So what if your preferred route is the same one as the eye candy of your neighbourhood? Your partner might have his or her preferences as well. Also, if you tend to outpace your partner, you might want to be more conscious of this, or at least make sure he or she is alright with this. Constantly making your friends feel lacking in stamina can discourage them from wanting to jog with you.
You Snooze, You Lose… Your Friend’s Patience
Just as the early bird catches the worm, the late running buddy catches the wrath of his irate partner. Especially when runs are scheduled early in the morning, you should be as punctual as possible. After all, your friend had (probably) prematurely ended his dream about partying in the exotic Bahamas just to be on time for you. You might consider resolving some possible attachment issues with your bed (it’s warm and cosy, who can blame you?) with some tips and tricks to get yourself out of bed in the morning.
Consistency is Key
You must be thinking that this heading refers to making the perfect, smoothest chocolate mousse, right? As true as that is, consistency here means being committed to regular buddy runs, instead of training intermittently. “Hot and Cold” should be a Katy Perry song you run to, instead of a way to conduct your fitness regime. As fitness has to be consistently maintained, runners expect their partners to share the same commitment level as themselves.
When the ‘Kiasu’ Spirit Dampens the Spirit
While friendly competition can be healthy, we shouldn’t obsess ourselves with it. Being ‘kiasu’ has its well-deserved spots in vying for the best warm-up spots and marathon starting positions, but it should be kept mostly out of your friendship. Constantly trying to outpace your friends might make them feel defensive. After all, there isn’t exactly a prize for besting your pal in every run, unless you consider sour glances thrown your way as a reward.
Unless you bear in mind the practices and behaviour of a good running buddy, the only running companions you might have to settle for are your mobile phone and earphones. Even if you’ve given up on running with another human being, I’m sure doing the same with companions of the canine variety would require the same (if not more) attentiveness and consideration as well.
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