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5 Ways to be a Better Running Buddy

Want to be a better buddy? Follow these five friend commandments.

CHOOSE WISELY.
Picking a running buddy is kind of like picking a roommate. Your best friend may not be the best fit, and you need to make sure your goals align. Find someone with whom you can communicate openly and count on in any situation.

SHOW UP ON TIME.
One of the biggest perks of having a running buddy is the extra motivation to get out the door. And one of the quickest ways to turn off your buddy is to keep her waiting. On the other hand, be understanding. Everyone misses a run from time to time.

WHAT’S SAID ON THE ROAD STAYS ON THE ROAD.
“People have that vulnerability on a run that they don’t have anywhere else,” says running coach Jess Underhill. “Your buddy should know that she can talk to you in confidence.”

KEEP IT POSITIVE.
We’ve all had those days when nothing seems to go right and you need a good venting session, but don’t make it a habit. “You need to make sure you’re not always the person complaining,” says performance psychologist Barbara Walker, Ph.D. “Find positive topics to focus on.”

IF IT’S NOT WORKING OUT, MOVE ON.
We all know breakups are hard. But if your running buddy relationship is no longer what you want- maybe you’re seeking a faster partner or someone less serious- you need to let them know. “Confront it head on,” Underhill recommends. “Runners are usually really understanding of each other’s needs, and they won’t take it personally.”