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The Pros and Cons of Running Buddies

By Beth Risdon, 02/13/17, 3:30PM EST

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Looking to expand your circle of one? Read on for all the info.

Having a partner to run with can be a gift and a curse. Sure, you have companionship and someone to watch your back when you pee. But a running buddy can also be a thorn in your side. Here are some advantages and drawbacks to having a workout partner:

The Pros
 

  1. When you run with a buddy, conversation can distract you. You forget how much you hate to run or how tired you are.
     
  2. A regular running partner can hold you accountable. On days when you might have otherwise stayed under the covers with Cheetos, their motivation can get you out the door.
     
  3. Someone is always around to keep watch when you squat. An ideal running partner will always have a small stash of tissues in their pocket.
     
  4. If you pick a partner who is faster than you, you might get faster too.
     
  5. If you pick someone slower than you, you can always feel superior.
     
  6. Running buddies can show you new running routes you didn’t know existed.
     
  7. If a wild animal is about to attack, you can always push your buddy in front of the animal and run the other way. Use them as bait.
     
  8. Running forces people to be themselves through and through. Over time, you will get to know each other’s strengths, quirks, fears and goals. The running buddy bond is incredibly strong.

The Cons
 

  1. Much like being married, if you run with someone, you always have to take their feelings and desires into account. This can be exhausting.
     
  2. If you’ve been running with someone for years and then get tired of them, you will have to devise a break-up strategy. It might be good to start with “It’s not you, it’s me…” or you can just grab your running buddy in the crotch. They probably won’t return.
     
  3. Between all kinds of bodily fluids and embarrassing sounds, runners can be gross. If you have a running buddy, chances are you will become profoundly aware of their pooping routines, how often they fart and their menstrual cycles. TMI for sure.
     
  4. When choosing a partner, you need to be careful. Beware of the whiners, the pessimists, the one-uppers and the over-sharers (see above about TMI).
     
  5. What happens on the run doesn’t always stay on the run. Be prepared that your running buddy might expose your deepest secrets or most extreme embarrassing moments to others.

One last bit of advice: If you really want a running partner but don’t want to deal with the annoying disadvantages, get a dog (even though they fart and poop outside like any other partner).

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