This morning I went for a run with a friend of mine from undergrad. She and I weren’t super close at that time, but we stayed in touch through Facebook and things like that. After a while, we both came to realize that we share a passion for a running. So we have started to run together; this was the second run together this month. And just like that, my opinion on running alongside other people has transitioned.
I am typically a solo runner. I run an occasional 5k with my dad, but that is about the only person that I have been able to tolerate running with. I used to run with different girlfriends of mine, who were typically beginners and just trying it out as a method for weight loss. But for me, since running is so much more than a weight loss scheme, running with people like that tends to make me anxious. I don’t like to focus too much on how fast or far I’m going. I just like to run. And people looking for quick results often refer to their speed and distance, and then complain the whole time because of how tired they are or how much pain they are in. So, about 6 months ago, I swore off running with anyone. I decided that this is my thing, and I enjoy doing it on my own. I enjoy the freedom of running and spending that time with my own thoughts.
This is not the case with this particular running buddy. It turned out to be such a fantastic joy to run alongside someone who is just as excited to be out running as I am. She and I were able to fall into a comfortable synced pace together and just enjoy the run while we caught up on each other’s lives.
So, now I am learning that sometimes things that I declare about what I like and don’t like should be re-tested. Every time I think I love a route, I quickly become bored of it. This is why running blogs and magazines encourage us to switch things up frequently. This means running different routes, different paces, different altitudes – and even switching to different cross-training workouts, stretch days, and rest days. It means switching the music you listen to, different shoes and running gear, or the way you hydrate and refuel to try different things (not recommended for race days). And it also means switching who you run with. I will still keep most of my runs for just myself – but why not run with a friend once a week for some variety?
So, do you mix it up? Do you like to run solo or with friends? How do you bring variety to your routine and stop boredom?