Running with a friend is great. No question. But there are still so many people out there, running alone. Thousands turned out all over the world on May 4, 2014 to run through the night, through the day, in spring and in autumn, in the blistering heat and the pouring rain – the conditions the runners experienced on that day were vastly different, but one consistent that spread across the countries was the smiles.
Why limit that pleasure to just a couple of times a year? Grab a friend and go for a run!
Here are the top five ways you can make running with a friend make your day.
1. Push Each Other Out The Door. It’s not always easy to bounce out of the door for a run, especially before or after a stressful day. Having a date with a mate will force you to do it – letting yourself down is one thing, but you can’t let your friends down. Right? Get it in the diary and you’re half way there.
2. Perfect Chance For A Chat. Podcasts and music can take you only so far. In chatting, you can share your joys and air your woes; you can chuckle at each other’s stories and memories. It’s cathartic, and you’ll feel much better from doing it outside, running, rather than hunched up in a bar or coffee house guzzling alcohol or caffeine. Your body will thank you.
3. Spice Up Your Life. If you run the same two or three tracks, it can get pretty monotonous. Join up with a friend – or friends – and get to see places you never even knew existed. You might see parts of your town you knew nothing about, or places you wouldn’t dream of going alone because, let’s face it, it’s safer to run with someone else.
4. Chemical Brothers And Sisters. The hormones released when you run are a great pick-me-up, and they do your brain and your body the world of good. Add the hormones you get from being around people – oxytocin and arginine vasopressin -- and your body will thank you: your stress levels reduce, your heart gets healthier and you heal quicker.
5. Pick Up The Pace. It’s way too easy to stick your headphones on and plod away believing you’re doing yourself good. Changing your pace and pushing yourself to run a bit faster is all to the good. Once a week, run with a friend who is a bit faster than you and give yourself a bit of a challenge. Bring the pace down and meet up with someone slower for a chat while giving your body a steadier workout. Both are important. It’s all good.
Shortly before the Wings for Life Run 2014, I had a life-changing accident. My 5th cervical vertebra was broken, and my spinal cord was injured. My wife and friends ran for me while I was in hospital. This was incredibly touching for me. In 2015, I will participate in the Wings for Life Run as well. I will not be able any more to run half marathon distances, as I used to do, but I will go and rejoice at every metre. ~ Thomas Bauer, Lower Austria