"Studies have shown that athletes perform better together than alone. Find a running buddy—or a few—and you'll get faster while having more fun. "
Certainly these Murlough AC members respendent in their Fastrax vests seem to be enjoying themselves on their beach run. The email newsletter was timely as I was just reviewing the 2011 times I had recorded for my near weekly 2 RESRUN as I call it, (the ever popular trail circuit around Yorkshire Water's Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs) run properly for the first time
this year yesterday.
It's amazing but interesting how times vary for runs we run frequently. Interesting in that records serve as good feedback for current levels of fitness;particularly useful when building up as I am at this stage. Times for this 6.5 mile undulating circuit are generally around 61/62; around 60 minutes on a good day.But the fastest clocking came when I was joined on the run by Sally M. and Jan from Ilkley Hrs...57.17!
The pace picked up similarly today covering a flat 6 mile road run. Opened up with an 8.44 mile, accelerated to 8.22 but for most of the 3rd mile I had the company of a friend cycling. Despite maintaining the chat for the mile, my "paced" mile showed acceleration further to 7.52.
As I turned back and he cycled on, I spotted another runner in front and inevitably just had to chase him. The pace was maintained sub 8. But once he had peeled off and the pace dipped to 8.06 and 8.15 for the last mile. So 49.20 for the run.
Still running ahead of where I was in week 7 last year; but probably over 50 minutes if I had run the whole 6 miles solo.
Runners World suggest that running with company keeps us "more focussed" and "less distracted by pain". All well and good if your running mate shares your running aims and you are of a similar ability.
There is no way I would have run that 34.58 Salford 10k at the age of 50 in 1999 if I hadn't shared months of hard with a young Bingley H. lady I was assisting at the time. Some good track sessions and some good long runs as well. Similar relationships have been enjoyed since and have been mutually beneficial. Problem now though is finding someone as slow as me who trains late morning!
Mind you if your partner is aiming, say, for the 3 Peaks and you are working towards a spring marathon you might both have to compromise or go your separate ways, for your long run at least.
I would say that over the last 49 years the greater part of my running has been self motivated and
run solo. But certainly there is s tremendous advantage is banging out track reps ,working shoulder to shoulder with a like minded partner or group.
On the other hand, I wander just how many runners went to their club last night, joined in a session which they had not planned for and weren't prepared for and ended up injured. Quite as few , no doubt.
Meanwhile, all being well, I'll maintain my weekly solo track sessions and hope that I can at least match the efforts of 2011. I suspect most readers are members of a club and regularly training hard shoulder to shoulder with club mates but if not perhaps finding a running partner or joining a club might be just the boost your running needs in 2012.