It’s true: everything is better with a buddy.
There was a time when I regularly went to classes at the gym, and that was the closest I’ve come to a team sport. I tend to exercise on my own — content with my solo runs or a bike ride at whatever pace moves me. But when I decided to train for the Women’s Running San Diego Half Marathon on Feb. 22, I started running with a coworker.
Our weeks of training together have given us an appreciation for each other and how different things would be if we were on our own. Here’s a top-10 list of what makes our coupling complete:
10. A partner keeps you accountable. When one of us isn’t in the mood to run, the other can be the motivator.
9. We can talk through our fueling and running plans and have the benefit of two fridges and two brains.
8. We are remarkably matched when it comes to pacing, but we’ve also found that we can push each other to get faster together.
7. When it’s strength-training day, we can take turns coming up with a new way to make our thighs burn.
6. I can fart and she can burp and we both know it’s OK.
5. Neither of us has to face the coyote on the trail alone. And we’ve both enjoyed afternoon hot-air balloons on the horizon and dusk bunnies darting across our path.
4. We don’t have to worry so much about safety if we get a late start and have to run in the dark.
3. We can split a package of Clif Shot Bloks, which serves two.
2. When I forgot my shoes, I could borrow a pair. Of course it helps if your partner wears the same size!
1. We can share a goal on race day—either to celebrate accomplishing or commiserate with the only other person who will totally understand.
If you can find a running partner like Bridget, I highly recommend it!
Tips for Weirdos Like You and Me
We all have our own issues. Perhaps one of these applies to you…
Chews with bad texture? Many problems with food come down to how it feels in your mouth. If some chews gross you out, perhaps a gummy version will feel better to your teeth. The strong fruity flavors of Movit energy gummies in citrus or berry may even find you pretending you’re eating gummy bears.
Garlic phobic? Spread the word to all of your vampire buddies, shallots are a great substitute and you won’t stink so much.
Gluten-free? Most naturally gluten-free foods are slower-releasing carbohydrates than their bready brethren, so fuel up earlier if you’re eating oatmeal as opposed to a bagel before a run.
Share your tips and nutrition queries with me in the comments below or on Twitter @nickiontherun, and I might use them in the blog or in Competitor magazine.