Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 281 - Hooking up

One of the most challenging aspects of running is facing the blahs.

We all have days when we want to do nothing. Or at least not do what we're supposed to do.

But, if you're training for big race, or, heaven forbid, running every day, somehow, you still gotta lace 'em up.

The best way to fight those blahs, is to have someone to run with. And really, a big part of the running lifestyle is the social aspect... running with others.

A running buddy, first and foremost, helps to pass the time - swapping stories, or just talking about shopping lists, is a nice break from listening to one's own thoughts.

A running buddy will get your butt to the run - no one wants to be the one who stands up their running buddy.

A running buddy will drag you through a bad run - sharing the misery is, ironically, uplifting.

A running buddy will urge you on when you feel like quitting, and walk with you when you can't go another step.

Today, my running buddy, unknowingly, upgraded my run.

If I'd been on my own, I'd have taken a slow, short run on the trails. Easy, peasey. Too easy. After two super-light days, I needed something better. But the blahs were weighing me down.

Luckily, my buddy pretty much insisted we run "The Neighborhoods", a 4+ mile loop on streets.

And run it we did. We chatted the first mile, and then we took off. First he pulled the pace up, then me, then him again. It felt great.

Because I had a running buddy, a forgetful "rubber stamp" run was replaced by a damn good workout.

Hook up with some running buddies. Find a couple that are a little faster than you, a couple that are a little slower, and a couple that have good stories to tell.

"But Doug, where am I going to find these running buddies?"

Good question!

Join a local running club. They are full of runners of all paces. To find running clubs, call your local running store. If you don't have a local running store, use the internet and find one.

Another great place to find running buddies is at races. Toward the end of a race, or at the finish, look around at who's near you. These are your pace peers. Find a friendly face and say "Hey, nice race! I'm [your-name-here]." Odds are they're looking for a good running buddy, too.

And even if you aren't a runner, whatever your thing is, build a support group of buddies. You'll have more fun, and improve faster.

Good running,
Doug

Numbers: 4.4 miles on streets