When I signed up for my half marathon clinic at my local running room, I had no idea that the most important thing I would get out of the clinic would be a running buddy.
I’ve always enjoyed solo runs. It’s a chance for me to decompress, plug into my music, and lose myself in the cadence of my footfall. Only one problem; as much as I love these solo runs, I sometimes lack the ability to haul my butt out of the house and onto the streets. This is where having a running buddy has really pushed me.
I started chatting with Sarah in the second week of the clinic, and we bonded right away. We started planning runs outside of the clinic, and next thing you know, we were having post-run drinks at Starbucks and discussing important life decisions. Today, I drove over to her place, only to be foiled by my Vibrams’ complete unsuitability to icy conditions. I bailed; Sarah kept going, faithfully running the hills, only to puke and have her elbow clipped by a bad driver (in that order).
I like having a running buddy who pushes herself.
Although I still enjoy the solo run and gym workouts, where I can set my own pace and tune out the rest of the world through meditation in motion, having a workout buddy has proven to be an unexpected asset. She corrects my running form, and my pace reminds her not to overexert herself during the warmup. Even when we aren’t running together, we’ll send a text when we’ve done a particularly tough workout or run that we are proud of. The constant dialogue ensures we both stay on schedule to accomplish our goals.
So don’t be surprised if Sarah makes an appearance either as a character in a post or as a guest writer.
If you want to start your New Years Fitness off with a bang, I suggest finding a workout buddy. Signing up for a clinic at a local running or fitness store can get the ball rolling, though it’s often luck that dictates if you’ll meet someone you can team up with. Any kind of fitness oriented social situation is a great place to get chatting; yoga studios, group exercise classes, social runs. My previous university workout buddy and I used to go to spin class together after we finished our shifts at Lululemon.
Failing that, setting up an accountability web is another surefire way of making sure you adhere to your fitness goals. For example, tell three close friends about your fitness goals. Then, send daily reports, like below:
Marianne Daily Fitness Report
Crunches: 3 sets of 20
Plank: 2 sets of 1 minute
Wide Grip Pull Ups: 2 sets of 55lbs (counterweight on machine)
And so on. My boyfriend did this with five or six people, and found it very effective. The point is that you are much more likely to hit the gym or the trails when you have people who are counting on you to do so. The idea of gym-induced pain pales in comparison to letting a friend down.
Tomorrow morning, I am meeting my cousin at 6:15am to hit the gym. I’ve never worked out with her before, but the fact that she’ll be waiting for me tomorrow morning means that there’s no way I can hit the snooze button. It’s weight lifting time! Luckily, the early evenings makes me feel pretty sluggish, so going to bed at 9:30 tonight sounds heavenly.
How do you stay motivated to keep working out?