1 You’ll run faster
Running with someone who is faster or a similar speed to you and you’ll find yourself picking up the pace. Even the least competitive of people will start to get into race mode and start pushing themselves to go that little bit faster. Last week I went out for a lunchtime run with a colleague who has similar PB times to me. When I was struggling to keep up I figured he’d been training hard while I’d been away and was now too quick for me. Turns out, much to both our surprises, we’d been flying through 4 miles in around 7:30 min/mile pace. Subconsciously we’d got competitive and gone out faster than either of us intended.
2 You’ll run slower
It’s not all about going out fast, sometimes you’ll need to slow that pace down for recovery runs or long slow runs. Running with someone slower than you or with someone who is running further than you can help you take your foot off the gas and relax. On Sunday I joined Sporty Girl who was running 20 miles. I only needed to do about 12 but wanted to take it slow. As she was running much further than me I knew the pace would be about right.
3 You’ll stick to your run
Plan to run with another person and you’re more likely to stick to your arrangements. Knowing that a friend is waiting at the bus stop warming up waiting for you to start that run you agreed to do with them makes it much harder to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. Even when it’s raining.
4 Chat and the miles will fly by
The aforementioned run with Sporty Girl seemed to be over before I’d even got my trainers on. Catching up on gossip and generally having a good old chin wag does that. So much so that I ended up running 15 miles instead of the planned 12. And chatting as you go ensures you keep your pace ‘conversational’ – perfect for long runs.
5 Misery loves company
You’ve run for miles. Your legs hurt, your feet hurt and you’re unsure where the sweat on your t-shirt ends and the tears begin. You run past endless people picnicking in the park, enjoying the warm weather and drinking a glass of wine. You hate every single one of them because they’re having fun lounging in what, for you isn’t a park but an amphitheatre of pain. But next to you is one person who knows how you feel. They to have staggered through miles of pain and are questioning why they’re doing it. You’re in this together. Doesn’t that make it feel a bit better?