12 Ideal Qualities To Look For In A Running Buddy/Partner

Having the determination to start a running program can itself be a tedious first step. Simply starting a new routine can be a major life change from your normal activities. As you progress through your new way of treating your body, you may face struggles and a lack of motivation. That is where a running buddy can help. So what is a running buddy (partner)?

A running buddy can assist you throughout your journey of ups and downs while keeping you on track to reach your workout goals. Running buddies can be complimentary by helping you achieve more than you would be running alone.

If you have reached the stage where you are thinking about getting a running buddy, whether it be for the social aspect of the experience, or to find someone with similar goals, there are characteristics to look for so that you and your buddy get the most out of working with each other.

Essential Qualities of a Running Buddy

Anyone can go running with you on your path, but do they match up with you not only physically, but provide other benefits such as improving your mentality? We will take a look at some of the things to look for to assure yourself you are getting a great running buddy.

Your Running Buddy Should Motivate You

We all have those days where we just don’t want to work out, let alone get out of bed in the morning. Your running buddy should be right there at those times, on you to make sure you continue with your planned runs. A running buddy will be there to assure you that you can get through the hard times and emerge successfully.

They Will Hold You Accountable

When you make plans by yourself to go running at a certain time, those plans are easy to cancel. When you make plans with a running buddy, you are committed to someone to show up.

Having the realization that you are not only responsible for your own workout but also can affect another’s routine by bailing out on running plans holds you accountable to follow through with your running routine.

They Should Match Your Physical Level

Someone that is falling behind your pace is only going to make you slow down, and the result is an inadequate workout.  Having someone on the same level as you is great for a social run, but you need to look at what you are truly getting out of your run if you want to be serious about improving.

Having someone who is a better runner than you will allow you to fall behind at times, push you harder, and give you an image of what kind of runner you strive to be.


Related: What Is LSR In Running? Can It Improve My Running?

They Will Have Great Awareness

A good running buddy will not just be someone who runs faster than you and pushes you to play catch up. They will be aware of your limits and know how far they can push you. They know when too much is too much, or even when they see they

are taking it easy on you. They give you the right amount of push to gradually take you to higher goals.

They Should be Well Educated

You want someone who has been running for a few years. They should know common problems you may face when starting your running routine. Someone who is educated in areas such as what workout routine is proper with running, common injuries, and proper running form is a great asset to have for a buddy.

You Should Click Socially

Having a drill sergeant as a running buddy may seem like the ideal way to get in shape fast and progress quicker to your running goals, but it may result in an unenjoyable experience.

You want someone that you can feel open enough with to discuss not only what your goals for running are but to feel open enough to provide constructive criticism on things that are working and things that aren’t on your runs.

They Keep Your Mind Focused

This is also why you need to click with your running buddy on a social level. When running, a big part of being able to push yourself is working past the pain and fatigue experienced on the run.

With conversation and the distraction of a running buddy, your body distracts itself and can ignore the negative effects the run may be having on you. You and your running buddy definitely need to know how to chat it up.

Related: 15 Tips On How To Improve Your Mental Strength When Running

They Have Similar Goals

You and your running buddy should be pushing for similar goals, which always include faster runs, longer distances, and overall strength throughout the run. Your running buddy should not only push you but you should push them also.

Related: 8 Tips To Help New Runners Run Faster Without Injury

They Provide Competition

There is nothing like a run with a buddy where you are competing for the best time. It pushes you both to the next level and gives you a chance to see where you are at when you are pushed your hardest. When alone you have no one to compete with and no runners to chase.

They Are Safe

A buddy is good to have anywhere you go, especially running. Trouble can arise depending on the route you take and the time of day you run. When you have a buddy, especially one that knows safety procedures, you are protected in the case something goes wrong, such as an injury.

Related: How To Run Safely At Night

They Will Introduce You to New Running Buddies

Running often is a social sport. There are running clubs and groups that go on outings to meet new people that have the same interests. These groups often run together with a set goal so all members can participate, no matter what level they are at.

Related: What is a running club? How can it benefit my running?

They Will Be Excited to Work With You

When you find a running buddy, nothing could be more perfect than finding someone who is looking for one too. You both should be excited to be able to share the experience of running. Not only for the benefits of the run but the relationship you form between the two of you.


When you find a great running buddy, many positive experiences happen as a result. Your runs become better, more fulfilling, and you get a chance to form new relationships. It becomes much more than just pushing yourself harder to improve your running. You have a chance to bond through a common goal and accomplish something together with another individual that forms a true connection.

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Coach Scott's Credentials:
  • Published Author
  • RRCA Certified Running Coach (Level 2)
  • RRCA Certified Youth Running Coach
  • NASM CPT (Certified Personal Trainer).
  • NASM CNC (Certified Nutrition Coach)
  • NASM WLS (Weight Loss Specialist)
  • ACE SFC (Stretching and Flexibility Coach)
  • ACE GFI (Group Fitness Instructor)
He has published over 20 books including, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury-free race finishers. He recently completed his 22nd half marathon race. 

 To sign up for a FREE half marathon training schedule, log sheet, and pace predictor CLICK HERE.

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12 Ideal Qualities To Look For In A Running Buddy/Partner

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