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11 Miles Instead of 10 - What Running With Others Can Do!

Posted Mar 03 2009 2:20pm

Today I set out to do 10 miles at a 9:30 or so pace.

I did the first loop around our development, which is 3.5, and then a ways up the street saw the girls that I sometimes run with in the early morning hours. They had their dogs and were going to do 8 miles, so we decided to do the second loop together, for a total of 7.

After the second loop, the one lady, a marathon junkie, says, “Let’ s do just one more!” I was already going to do a third to make the run 10 (walking the last half mile) but off we went and a bit later we had 11 miles under our collective belts.

It was a lot of fun, I have to say. I’ve said before I’m not much of a run with people runner; I’m more a solo wanderer. But talking and laughing makes it go so much faster.

My time was a bit slower - one girl was recovering from the flu and we were averaging about 10:30, which was kind of slower than I had considered going since I want to actually improve my time for the next long race - but I felt like in all it was only 6 minutes slower total and the talking and laughing was well worth it.

Knee is a little tender tonight, I’m sure because I increased my mileage by 3 instead of the 2 I had wanted to do (actually the 1.5), but I think I’ll recover ok. I’ll make sure to do some foam rolling tonight.

Do you run solo or with someone? This is what i realized today:

Sometimes it is good to change it up. The benefits of having a running partner or group:

  1. It can keep you more accountable. I don’t have issues NOT running; I have issues running too much. I love it and want to do it daily but need rest days. However, running with them made me go further than i had planned, and i think when I increase mileage again the same will be true.
  2. It passes time. It really, really does. I can only think so much about what the day or my job has in store. At some point I have thought all my troubles and worries out and I am ready for something ELSE. Normally that is my music, but it was nice having someone to talk to today.
  3. It can make you push faster or further. Running with someone else does require some skill, particularly if that person is faster or goes farther than you. You might have to ask them to slow a little, or you might be the one pushing them to go faster or further. But if you use it to your advantage, it can work for you: Today I did it a little more slowly but I went a mile further.
  4. It can make you hold back. Yep, it can make you hold back when you need to, like before a big race, or before a big day. You might always want to push, push, push, but by running with someone slower it may make you slow down and take a good ‘rest’ run day, thereby reducing injuries.

So if you are running solo and considering finding a partner, even if for only a few runs a week, do it! I suggest finding someone who is pretty close to you pace-wise so most of your runs will be on target. I’d hate to be the slowpoke BUT if you want to go faster than someone else it can be tough holding back when they do.

And always remember that if you aren’t running the same pace that day you can break apart at some point and then meet again. I hear the running group around here follows this pattern, starting off together and then breaking apart to run solo before meeting up for a few beers after finishing the run.

Now, that’s not a bad plan at all!

Happy weekend running, warriors!

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