Is it good to have a running buddy?

[00:00:00] For some reason, it seems to be controversial, at least with some people, and I don’t know why. Running with a buddy. But I can tell you I stopped running with the buddy and there were a lot of things that happen. I ran with people for a considerable number of years, eight to 10 years, and then I’ve had the last basically 10 years of just hard training on my own. So today I want to tell you about the things that happened when I stopped running with the buddy.

[00:00:36] Welcome to the show I call Runner’s High, I’m Jesse Funk if you like running, you like to know about running, talk about running, learn about running, then you should subscribe. There’s a button somewhere over here. I don’t know. It’s in, it’s in virtual and you see it. It’s red, it’s over there. Hit Subscribe. Stick around new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday.

[00:00:56] So running with the buddy is for, like I mentioned some reason, controversial, I don’t know, some people don’t like it. Some people do like it, but I stopped doing it about a decade ago, and the reason is largely pragmatic. I spent eight, eight, nine years running with teams in school. From the time I was eighth grade to the end of college, I ran at what is now a Division Two school, so I had people around, but not really top flight. And so then I went on and I wanted to compete post-collegiately. I didn’t want to give up the things that I really enjoyed, which was competing, and I went on to try to become a professional triathlete.

[00:01:41] So if you don’t have the channel before, you probably never heard me mention that I got to hang out with cool people as part of this thing that USA Triathlon does because the collegiate recruitment program, it’s part of their pipeline to try to develop new pros and eventually win Olympic gold. And it was at the time run by former world number one Barb Lindquist. You’ll you’ll hear me mention Barb a lot of times on the channel, and it is not to brag because I always like to clarify that I was more a hanger on with a group rather than like a golden ticket invitation handed out. I kind of figured out how to weasel my way in at the time.

[00:02:20] But I talk about Barb because she’s such a wonderful person and she offers a lot of advice and I like to keep her name out there as an appreciation, my appreciation for her and the things that she did for me. So well, I was talking to Barb about making this adjustment when I stopped running with other people. She said this is an adjustment that everybody goes through and there is this kind of depression that everybody kind of goes through. And it’s not always, you know, when you want to stay like a classical clinical type depression, it’s not that it is a new mode and method of operation. I did all my workouts.

[00:02:59] I didn’t miss workouts because I didn’t have buddies anymore. But there’s some kind of energy you miss when you don’t have friends around anymore. And Barb mentioned, this happens with everybody. It isn’t. You wasn’t unique to me. It happened to her when she finished swimming at Stanford. It happened to pretty much everybody else in the group who were all pursuing, you know, professional careers and triathlon or subsequent other careers and triathlon, and we just didn’t have the time to run with other people.

[00:03:31] So maybe this is you and you haven’t ran with people because we’ve been in a pandemic for the last couple of years. And now as we’re moving towards the endemic stage you’re thinking about, maybe I should run with a buddy again. There are obviously pros and cons what are the cons being that, you know, not being able to have your own, you know, mode and method of operation. But there are a lot of pros as well. And one of those pros, as I kind of mentioned, is that energy, right? There’s something about having somebody around that, you know, just gives you a little more pep in your step. But at least it does to me. Maybe not for everybody.

[00:04:14] And I can say this for sure, because I had a friend come in town recently, one of the friends I met doing triathlon. So we live in different cities. It’s not like we get to train all the time, but I’ll see him, you know, I used to be we’d see each other multiple times a year as we were racing and competing and then pandemic I haven’t seen him in couple of years. He came in town. We went out for a run so I could do his sweat test. If you don’t know what I’m talking about. We can talk about the sweat test later or you go to Solpri.com/shop.

[00:04:42] So we went out for a run about an hour. Some hard sections in there kind of tour tour around so he can see houses because he loves houses and there’s something. Lighter about the run, there’s a lot of levity to the run because I had somebody there with me, it wasn’t just me out on another training run focusing on myself. There is an ebb and flow that’s a very big positive. It’s something that I missed because I stopped running with buddies over time, largely out of necessity.

[00:05:15] So if you feel like that, if you feel like “Men and I just I, I need something, I feel heavy.” Maybe it’s not physically heavy because sometimes you feel that when you’re when you’re fatigued, but you have this mental weight. If you have a friend that you can run with and you haven’t run with in a while, give them a call. Just making an easy run, even if they haven’t been running like my buddy, do something that’s easy for them, help them be incorporated into your workout schedule. There’s something nice about it, but there is a drawback that I just kind of touched on a little bit.

[00:05:54] And that drawback is flexibility of scheduling, right? So this is something that stops happening or when I stopped running with a buddy. This is something that happened and that was my schedule was free to be whatever I wanted it to be. I didn’t have to wait for other people to come and be done with work to go work out. I’ve been invited over the years to work out with some of the other people in town as I kind of competed when I was competing in triathlons, typically finishing in the top five, but most of the local races. And those are the same guys I see all the time in all the races here in town.

[00:06:32] You know, I had a couple of invitations to work out with them, but they maintain more traditional jobs. Whereas I run Solpri, I’m an entrepreneur, so I’m much more flexible and hectic day often, and I’d like to get my workouts done in the morning. So usually I work a little bit. I go work out at nine o’clock ish, depending on the day, and then I’m done before lunch. Whereas many of them, especially when we were doing two days, they’d get up. They’d do their first workout at 4 a.m. and they do their second workout at six or seven o’clock in the evening. As much as I love running with buddy. It just was not conducive to my family, life and my schedule.

[00:07:15] So it’s a very big positive that you get when you’re not running with other people. And that’s the entire flexibility of your own schedule. Maybe you maintain a regular work schedule like those friends I have here in town and you still want to go work out in the middle of the day over your lunch break? Well, that’s up to you. You don’t necessarily have to have somebody come meet you to do a run or whatever workout is that you want to do over your matching lunch breaks. Now and now they’re stuck in traffic, and it didn’t just it becomes more of a logistical nightmare. So that was one positive thing that happened when I stopped running with a buddy.

[00:07:55] Another positive thing was that my self-pacing got better. Now I’m actually known for pacing as far as like my collegiate team. Always very, very good at that. But my ability to self pace dialed in just a little bit more when I was not focused on what other people are doing, I only focused on my own pace. The downside of that being that, it’s really preferable to get to that place where you’re focusing solely on what you are doing or me in this case, but also with other people around, because what happens in a race, you go to a race and sometimes people go out too fast and you need to go out slower or some people to go out too slow and you need to go out faster.

[00:08:48] And sometimes it can be distracting, you get these like nervous energy. Oh, am I going out too fast? Oh I’m not going fast enough. When if you’re focused on that internal sense of pacing that it’s not a problem if you spend all your time by yourself, it’s hard to remember what that’s like, what that feeling is like to have other people around and let the kind of presence of them go. Well, you focus inward.

[00:09:18] So although my internal pacing increased in, I dialed in even better than I had before. I think I lost some of the sense of being able to pace with other people doing their own thing and having the ability to let somebody go and then reel them back in over time. Some of those skills, because I’ve practiced them over so many years now, 20 plus years of racing, they are completely lost, but they’re not quite as sharp as they used to be. Just like the first time you get back on a bicycle, maybe you’re handling isn’t quite as good as it was. You can still ride a bicycle, but you’re not quite as sharp as you used to be. And that’s a skill, just like anything else.

[00:10:03] So that’s kind of the sum of what happened when I stopped running with a buddy nearly 10 years ago now. I went through a bit of a funk, no pun intended. You know where I got out of it and I figured out my own groove and my own motivation, and I figured out my bag of whys, something I talk about in another video. I’m sure somewhere on this channel the needs for your motivation.

[00:10:28] But I also missed the energy of having my friends around. So if you find yourself in a place where you need a little bit of social connection, especially right now, is we’re moving towards that kind of endemic stage. I can’t tell you what you believe to be a good line of demarcation for safety as far as COVID’s concerned, because I’m not a virologist, but if you make that determination for yourself, then you should find somebody to go hang out with to get that run in. So that’s good. You’re getting physical exercise in and getting a little bit of social aspect in. There’s some energy there. We’re social creatures.

[00:11:12] So doing things by yourself all the time. If you don’t get that social aspect somewhere else, it can be a great place to incorporate it in a run. But it doesn’t have to be all the time because I mentioned flexibility is nice and doing things when you want to do them. It’s nice, too. It’s a nice part about being an adult. You kind of decide your own schedule for the greater, greater part of your life.

[00:11:35] So do you have any questions for me about running, about training, about mentality, anything? Leave them in the comments below. I’d love to do a video for you in the future. I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.

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