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Tips for Training for and Running a Race With a Running Partner

How to Avoid Problems When Running With Buddies

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Updated January 21, 2014

Training and running with a partner can help improve your running motivation and even boost your race performance. But it’s important to talk about and carefully plan your training and race goals with your partner. Here are some tips for having a successful experience training and racing with a running partner.

First talk about your goals.

If you both hope to run all or most of your training runs and the race together, you should have similar goals. Whether your goal is to simply complete the race or run a specific time, you should talk about goals beforehand, so you’re both starting out on the same page.

Agree on a training plan.

Once you have a target race and a goal, choose a training plan that works for you both. 


5K Training Plans
10K Training Plans
Half marathon Training Plans
Full marathon Training Plans

Discuss "what if" scenarios.

Talk about what you'll do if one of you gets injured during the training period. Does the other person still run the race, or defer to next year when you can run together? Do you pick another race that you can do when you’re both healthy?

Decide how much you'll train together.

Discuss the training plan and decide how realistic it is for you to get together for runs. Maybe you'll decide to run 2-3 runs per week with each other, or just do your long runs together.

Establish ground rules.

It's good to set up rules, such as whether or not you can listen to music while running with each other. Are you always going to stay together during runs and races? Or will one person go ahead if the other person is not feeling it? If you're running with a very close friend or family member and you're worried about potential conflicts, you may want to set up rules such as no criticizing, no blaming, or ignoring.

More: Tips for Running With Your Significant Other

Be willing to make adjustments during the training and the race itself.

Once you get into your training, you may find that you need to make changes to your initial training and race goals. Make sure your goals still match up and, if they don’t, discuss what kind of changes you’ll make to your training and race plans.

More: How to Leave a Running Partner During a Race

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