How to be a good running buddy

I was wondering what to write about in my latest blog post, and my running friend Sam and I were chatting about something on our 18k run at the weekend, and I decided I would write my post today about it – how to be a good running buddy.

There are lots of posts out there about the benefits of having a running buddy and running with people but none saying how to be a good one…so that’s my post for today.

I have not always been a good running buddy and I think I could still do better – but in training for my half marathon coming up this weekend, I have been running with a number of people, and it has taught me to look at my training differently when not running on my own. It is very easy to be caught up in your own training but when you decide to run with someone else it isn’t just about you.

Running with friends

Be supportive

When you are running with someone else be mindful that it isn’t just you running especially if it is just the two of you. Stick by your partner and whoever is the slowest – run at their pace – simple as that.

I used to run with a friend who simply couldn’t run side by side of me – she had to be ever so slightly in front of me at all times, and it actually made me quite depressed and not confident in my running after a while.

I am quite used to running alone and realised last year when I ran the River Run and the Bridge to Brisbane that actually I wasn’t that good at running with other people so I have been working on it. I ran a lot of my longer runs for the Gold Coast Marathon training however with my lovely friend Karen and then this year have been with my friend Sam, and I am fine 1:1 but any more than that and I struggle.

running buddies
Karen and I training for the Gold Coast Marathon last year – lots of laughs and giggles along the way

If there are more than two of you then sure stretch your legs and trot off if you need to but I feel from a  safety point of view and a social point of view if there are just two of you then run together whether it is too slow for you or not. In a longer run that speed isn’t too much of an issue as often it is about time on legs anyway.

Running can be a time to let off steam and chat about things especially on a long run when you might have 2 hours to chat.

Don’t zone out

I used to be the worst at this.

I would show up to a group run and then plug my headphones in and ignore everyone and concentrate on my own run. I don’t do this now as I figure I should have run on my own if that’s what i intended to do.

If you are running with someone else don’t be ignorant – be social and interact with them. There is plenty of time to plug into your headphones when training alone – or you could just plug in at the end when pushing on to the end – but it really doesn’t create the right impression when running with someone – unless you are both plugging in of course….

Show up

When running with someone else remember if you don’t feel like running- tough – if you decide you don’t want to run at the last minute you are letting your friend down and potentially ruining their run as well as yours, and often if someone is running with someone it’s because they need the motivation.

Of course if you are sick it can’t be helped – but try and give as much notice as you can.

running buddies
My lovely friend Sam and I after our 18k run at the weekend. I don’t think I would have run if I was running alone!

Be on time 

Try and be as on time as you can. I used to run with a larger group when I first moved to Brisbane and I didn’t have my driving licence so used to cycle to meet everyone before running, and I was always the one that was late or very close to being late and I know it probably really grated on people that had bothered to get there early. So I figure if you really want to keep your running friends happy and respectful of you – be on time nor even better – be early!


Have fun and work hard 🙂

I find when running with someone else it always motivates me to work harder but I also enjoy the company, and often it is the only time I get to catch up with my friends so make the most of your runs with friends and enjoy it 🙂

Anyway these are my thoughts on being a good running buddy. If you have any other tips feel free to share!

Have a great week !


2 thoughts on “How to be a good running buddy

Add yours

  1. Hi Zoe,
    I think you are spot on with a lot of your points. I also run with my friends to save us going out for dinners or for coffee and cake, so we saving the calories (and money) and get some fitness while catching up. I get a bit frustrated with the slower pace sometimes, but like you said, you are still getting the km’s in. I also find that I’m focussing less on how far we have gone or the aches and pains, as the conversation seems to make the time fly. I do love running on my own to just space out and clear my head, but running with a friend can also be a great social thing to do together!

    1. Hi Sarah. I remember when I used to always get left behind when running with friends and I vowed never to do that to anyone else as I knew how badly it made me feel. I figure if you’ve made the decision to run with someone you have to run with them not without them 🙂 enjoy your running and being social 🙂

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