In honor of Valentine's Day, here are five great running workouts that you can do with your running partner of choice. Run them as fast or as slowly as you want; you've already won simply by having someone to share the experience with
But before we begin...
Quick Running Partner Advice
Running with someone else is just that; a run. Don't feel pressure to do anything but run. It's helpful to set some expectations around average pace and distance for that specific workout. Otherwise don't place too many constraints around the session as it can really take the fun out of the workout. And don't forget that you can have as many different running friends as you like; you could have speedy partner, one for recovery days, and even one for your longer runs. The sky is the limit.
Top Partner Run Workouts
#1 -- Triple Fast Slow
A variation on a fartlek (aka speed play) run, in this session runners take turns implementing three speed surges at the pace and duration of their choice, recovering as much as needed. After these three repeats, the other runner has the chance to take the lead.
Tip: Start with one set each and build up to three as your fitness improves.
#2 -- Adventure Run
A personal favorite, this run involves one runner plotting out a brand new route and then acting as the tour guide leading the other(s). Use an online mapping tool and a GPS device to avoid getting utterly lost; but note that even diverting just a few blocks off your normal route can be sufficiently different.
Tip: This is a perfect substitute for a regularly scheduled long run, especially when your training is becoming monotonous.
#3 -- Snap-The-Whip
Similar to the Triple Fast Slow run in #1 above, only in this version you are attempting to "drop" the other runner. You can do this with a quick burst of speed, by picking a really big hill, or perhaps using sustained tempo. The latter one is usually more effective at the end.
As stated before, it's good to set some ground rules such as a good warm up and a set time for each person to lead and enough time for your both to recover. Enjoy!
Tip: The leader should stop their work interval when the other person has "snapped" instead of building up a 1/4 of 1/2 gap.