running buddy

For some, running is a solitary endeavor. Most people, though, can benefit from a running buddy. The running buddy can be another person or a four-legged friend.

For those who run as a form of cardiovascular exercise, having a running buddy can give you the extra motivation to lace up your shoes and hit the pavement on days when you’re not feeling up to it. Studies show that those who exercise with a partner or group are more likely to stick with it long term.

One reason you will be less apt to quit is because, with someone counting on you, you will treat your running appointment more like an obligation, as opposed to the first thing to fall from your calendar when your schedule becomes busy. Another benefit of having a running buddy is that company (with someone you like being around) makes time go by quicker.

When choosing a running partner, consider your relative abilities. If you’re just starting out, don’t pick a seasoned marathoner, and vice versa. You should choose someone who is about the same level as you. Choosing someone slightly more experienced or faster could give you more motivation to improve. Just be careful not to overstrain or overtrain yourself for competition’s sake. If you don’t know anyone who runs, you may want to look online for fitness matchmakers or for a local running club.

Running with a dog

If a dog is your choice of a running buddy, be sure that you have the time and desire to care for the dog in all aspects. Also be aware that different breeds have different running capacities. A “working” breed like a boxer or akita is going to have the most energy and stamina to keep up on runs, but they probably can’t run for more than a few miles at a time.

Before you start running with your dog, consider its health, build, and breed. Older dogs are more likely to have joint problems that will slow them down and make running uncomfortable. Dogs with short legs like Dachshunds and Pekingese may not be able to keep up with human size strides (and pacing). Larger breeds like golden retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis. Chihuahuas, bulldogs, and pugs are not good running partners because running may cause too much exertion. They tend to have narrow nostrils which makes breathing difficult during extended periods of running.