Not-Quite-Your-Pace Running Friends

My new friend is fast. Like, she runs a marathon a full half an hour faster than me. That’s over a minute per mile faster. Ridiculous. She also runs practically naked, which is hilarious since even when I do take off my shirt, Rosebud has her own running outfit. We are quite a pair.

I am not fast, but I DO have fun!

Anyway, we’re both training for the same marathon, and we still somehow manage to do some of our runs together. Full disclosure: she fully slows down for me instead of me ramping it up for her. That’s usually the way it works. I am so grateful for her company on my runs. Sometimes when I’m running, I get down on myself for feeling so out of shape and slow and it sucks. But having a friend there to chat with leaves no time at all for a pity party.

It’s my party and I’ll drool if I want to.

I decided to pay it forward and help another friend out who is struggling with getting runs in these days. And guess what? It’s kinda fun. Yes, it’s hard to run slower but I am able to run for longer and not be wiped out the next day. Totally in the vein that we talked about yesterday. I’m basically on my way to being Kara Goucher.

That is a lie. This is Kara Goucher and she is awesome. (Image shamelessly stolen from Michele @ nycrunningmama.com. To be fair, she said I could use it, like, 5 months ago. Thanks, Michele!)

Here’s the thing, because your runs don’t all have to be balls-out hard runs, running with a slower running friend can be a really great way to catch up with them, encourage them to get out the door, and (selfishly) get some extra miles. Here’s how I make the most of my buddy runs:

  • Run a few harder miles before or after
  • Run 2.5 down to the East River track, race 1-2 miles on the track while they jog around, run 2.5 miles home with my buddy
  • Join them for a run on a cross-training day when I’ve just lifted or otherwise fatigued my muscles

It’s actually really fun. I didn’t realize how having someone there with me when I’m struggling to get back into things can keep me going. I guess I never had that problem before. You learn something new every day!

Do you run with friends? Are they faster or slower than you? Have you embraced the easy buddy run mentality or are you and all-out kinda runner? Speaking of running, I ought to get going…

Now go out and run!

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3 thoughts on “Not-Quite-Your-Pace Running Friends

  1. I usually run with people who are around the same pace as me. This weekend I had a long run and enlisted a slower friend to join me for miles 6-9 of a 12 miler. Even though I had to slow down, it was great to have company and the truth is that I was supposed to be slowing down anyway… it’s a LONG SLOW RUN. 🙂

  2. So glad you used that picture!!!

    For years I had a hard time running with friends b/c I hated to slow down. I think it was immaturity on my end. But, I’ve learned some ways around it – one of the best ways was to make the run with them my 2nd run of the day…that way, I already got in the workout that I wanted to do and don’t need to feel like I need to run a certain pace. Just getting the mileage in important – and I’m happy the whole run then =)

    Great post, Abby!!!! Good luck with your 2 new running buddies!

  3. I prefer to run alone, but occasionally I’ll run with someone as a way having some variety. My bf will run with me if he needs to do a slow run and I need to do a fast one or if I need him to pace me. I run with a few friends when I want a slow social run, rather than one where I have a goal in mind.

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