How to Find a Running Partner

Many people find that they cannot start a training schedule without someone to work out with or they get started and then aren't motivated enough to continue.  If you are one of the above personalities, you need a running partner. The question is how do you go about finding a running partner who is compatible with you. Start by evaluating your running style and note your answers to a few questions that are important to you.

1. When can you run? Find a regular time that is fairly consistent three to four days during the week. Mornings are really the best time. Unexpected things can happen during the day that will alter the running schedule. So, you may need to make sacrifices to fit in your run.

2. What is your training pace? Do a few runs on your own and make note of your pace. It may fluctuate a little, but look at your average pace over a few runs.

3. Are you running for a goal? This will help you determine what training schedule you will run. If you are a beginner and the goal is just to finish, you should look for a novice running schedule. If you want to qualify for the Boston Marathon, your partner should know this before you start.

If you don't know anyone who runs, try joining a running club. An excellent group to start with is a charitable organization. For example, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society runs at many recognized marathons and raises thousand of dollars for leukemia research. Groups like this will have regular running times or at least do their long runs together. The other benefit is that these groups often have more "average" runners, people who are doing a good thing to raise money for a charitable cause and not as much of a focus on competition. This is an excellent opportunity to meet fellow runners and build a friendship that will last long after you raise your pledge money.

Happy running!

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Topeka Running Fitness Examiner Melinda Rangel is a high school teacher and running enthusiast.

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