The Rules of the Run

RunningFriends585I rarely run alone these days. I have a weekly group run on Thursdays (which always ends with a beer or two), and I have several friends who join me on my long runs on the weekends. And, perhaps most exciting of all, my husband has started joining me on most of my shorter runs during the week, and even stays right around my preferred pace…for the most part. All of this has made training for my upcoming half marathon a lot more fun.

But, it’s also gotten me thinking about the different rules my friends and I have for running together. Not sure what I mean? Let me explain.

On Thursday nights, we always try to pair up, and now that it’s dark before we even begin, we try to make sure anyone without their own light is running with someone who does have a light. We’ve got a wide range of paces, and yes, pairing up means that sometimes people have to speed up or slow down a little, but it makes for a fun, social run, and it’s easy for new people to join the group. Plus, it’s safe. I’m all for safety.

Personally, I’m a no-drop runner. If I’m running with somebody, I will not leave them. You want to walk or need a quick stretch? Cool, I’m game. If I have a run on my training schedule that I absolutely have to run at a certain pace, I’ll either go by myself or ask someone faster than me to join me. The fact of the matter is, it’s generally more important to me to enjoy the company of a friend than to shave a minute or two off of a training run.

My friend Sarah introduced a new rule to me this weekend. She does a good bit of trail running, and the group she runs with follows the rule that, if you trip and fall on the trail, you owe anybody who saw you a beer. I thought this was a great rule until I ate a good bit of dirt on today’s run—out of a 10-mile run, I covered about 7 feet of trail. I’ll give you two guesses as to where I fell, but you’ll only need one. Fortunately, nobody but a squirrel saw it, and squirrels don’t drink beer.

Of course, now I’m thinking about other fun rules I can come up with. Like, first person to spot wildlife gets a Gatorade? I don’t know, but I’m definitely working on it.

Do you run with other people? And, if so, what kind of rules do you follow? —Kristen

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  1. Wish my running partners were like you! I run in a group of 3 most often, and the other 2 are much faster than me – I’m trying to lose weight and am considerably heavier than either of them are so I’m just slower due to more bulk to move, and they’ve also both been regular runners in the past while I never have. I like hanging out with them very much, and they never make me feel bad about being slower, and I have found it’s really, really important for me to have workout partners in order for me to actually go exercise…but they leave me in the dust on every run. I can’t lie, it’s a little disheartening. But I don’t have anyone else in town to run with – my husband has legs 15 miles long so his pace is always way faster than mine (which is why we stopped running together – it was frustrating for both of us), and I don’t have other friends who run whose schedules mesh with mine. 🙁

  2. @jen_alluisi — Do you live in an area with a track club or a running club? It might help you to meet other people who run at various speeds. Another possibility is to try doing some track workouts, which make it easy to be in the same place, same time, running different paces but still being in the same general vicinity. I love that you’ve found workout buddies, though! That’s an awesome start!

  3. Thanks for teaching me some basics. Wish you good luck for your half marathon. I would like to see you a winner 🙂

  4. Frank says:

    @jen_alluisi keep on running girl, it took me over a year to consistently do 3 miles and my group would drop me 3/4 of the way through (Kristen, I like ur no drop rule !!!) and it was so discouraging and it was hot as hell, but I stuck w/it and little by little I started to keep up w/them. And then as it cooled off and I get better and braver I started to go longer and before I knew it I was leaving them in the dust and I ran a 10k on Thanksgiving and am training for a 15k and a 1/2!!! And I still love to run w/them but since they are catching up to my distance I run w/them for a recovery run…go figure…..???!!!

  5. Ivori says:

    No, I run by myself on my treadmill in front of the T.V.

    I used to walk with my sisters, but most days they did not want to walk and, for me, once you start walking / running with people, doing it by yourself sucks.

  6. kitty says:

    I was running with 2 frieds at 5 am—so early because they have kids to tend to when they get home..so it was a real challenge to get up over an hour before I needed to if I was going to the gym–but I loved the motivation. But we do live in the midwest–so it is going to snow sooner or later…

    We would always stay together–even though I was the slower one of the bunch since it was dark out–I would be the middle person and one of girls would be on the same side of me. One of the girls fell one morning–we did stop and hold up for each other…

    I do like the beer rule on a trial—that is a fun idea..

    I have started running on the treadmill indoors (and sleeping an hour later) but do miss the motivation.. I am so ready for spring to get here..

  7. andie says:

    My running partner and I also have a silent pact that we will never leave eachother. Due to our competitive nature we do push each other though and if someone is having an off-day the other acts as a great motivator.

    Love the idea of adding fun incentives. Although, being known as the clumsy one I feel like I’d be owing an awful lot of beers….

    Great post!


  8. I run with my girls and I LOVE IT. We have several rules of engagement that we have refined over time.