“The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The next best time is today.”
There were days I used to be really organized. I was on the ball with everything. I would look ahead and plan for things that were coming. Back in the day, I used to do those things. How I fondly remember those days.
And then I had children.
National Workout Buddy Day – Ahem, Belated
Okay, I should give myself more credit. I’m still pretty organized and on the ball; still a planner and work ahead on things. I mean, I started planning my oldest son’s Valentines Day box in late January. I have all my youngest son’s milk organized and portioned out days in advance. I schedule all their appointments and get them on the calendar…I’m starting to see a pattern.
Yep, it’s all about them now. While I do make time for myself and my husband, it’s definitely not the same.
Take my blog in general, even this entry, for example. I no longer blog every Sunday morning. I no longer plan ahead to have series of posts or clever real-world tie-ins. Like today, I’m here to talk about workout buddies and, as I write this, I just missed National Workout Buddy Day.
But there’s a saying out there, the one I used to kick off this blog. Sure it would have been better to talk about workout buddies ahead of the national day but the next best time is now. So let’s talk about workout buddies – specifically, running buddies.
Run Solo or With a Running Buddy
Do you have a workout buddy? Do you like to run with others, just one or a big group? Or do you find you run better alone?
There are plenty of runners who are very strict and loyal to their method of running. They always run solo. They must run with their training group for long runs. They only run with their dog on non-speed work days.
While some swear that running is only fun with friends, others believe if you’re going to do it right, you have to do it alone. So what should you do? What is the best way to run – solo or with others?
There’s No Wrong Way to Run
Introverts and extroverts, rejoice. The answer is, there is no answer – at least, no right or wrong answer. The best way to run is the best way that works for you. And it doesn’t always have to be the same.
Think about it, there are plenty of different ways to run. That’s one of the things I most love about the sport. Depending on the day and what works best for you, there are different ways to do the “same” workout, aka, get in a run.
You can run fast or slow. Run a short distance or long run. Run outside or on the treadmill.
Same goes for a running partner. You can hit the pavement with a friend – human or furry. You can find a local running group – for weekday runs or just long runs. You can join a pace group on race day – and stick with it the whole way or break away if the mood strikes.
That’s the best part of all, you don’t have to be locked into your choice. You can do whatever works for you at the time.
A Mix of Running Buddies
When I first began running, I did all my long runs with a friend. We were training towards a common goal and were absolutely essential to keeping each other on track and positive.
When I started training for my first marathon, I did all my long runs with my former boyfriend. He was faster than me so a great pacer, plus he was experienced to help me with things like route planning and mid-run fuel.
When my dog, Burton, was old enough to start running, he became my go-to running buddy, whether I was going two miles or ten. On a related note, here’s an older post about the pros and cons of running with dogs.
Then my goals became bigger and I opted to run alone. In addition to being able to selfishly focus on just me, I found I loved the peace and solitude that came with running alone (and I’m a headphones-free runner so it quite literally is just me out there).
I still love the peace and “me” time of solo runs. But in recent years, I have also come back to a love of running with others.
I became a pacer and love running in groups. I wrote a blog awhile back about why to run with a pacer and why not to run with a pacer. I became a mother and love taking my son with me in the stroller. And I became less concerned with my time and distance and more concerned with just running to run. I’ve run with a friend for her first marathon, my aunt when she wanted to place top 10 in the local 5k, and my cousin and I just signed up for our next race together.
Yet, I still crave those solo days, the ones where it’s just me. Sometimes that means I’m outside, taking in the peace of my quiet neighborhood. Other days that means I’m on the treadmill, rewatching New Girl and trying not to faceplant whenever Winston says something hilarious.
The point is, run with others, run solo, it doesn’t matter – all that matters is the run. However you do it, however it works best for you, keep on running.
Runners, now it’s your turn to share. Do you prefer to run solo or with others? Does it depend on if it’s a weekday run, long run, or race day? The comments are all yours so please share.
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