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The Buddy System

I tend to have to schedule my workouts during the week, which means I sweat it out alone (or with my trainer). But the weekends are when I get to meet up with my workout buddies. It takes a lot to drag me out of bed on the weekends (let’s be honest, I have to have a serious commitment to get out of bed no matter what day it is), but knowing that I made plans and am meeting someone makes all the difference.

My current workout buddy system looks like this.

Saturday morning spin class with Christina (CM) and a Sunday longish run with Kristin (KB). The truth is if either of them are out of town one of those things just doesn’t happen. For example, last weekend Christina was at a mini-ironman with her boyfriend so I didn’t go spinning. I did, however, go for a run in the pouring rain with Kristin, because I made a commitment to her.

Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to working out with a friend:

  1. DO call if you’re going to be late: CM & I saved seats for each other depending on who gets there first. KB and I tend to text each other when we are leaving the house to get an approximation of when to arrive.
  2. DON’T bring your headphones: This is more for running than my spin class, but before I started running with KB even if I was with friends, I was half plugged in to my music. Now, I look forward to our chat sessions while we run.
  3. DO keep a pace you’re both comfortable with: Again, more for running, but one of the things that makes KB such a great partner is that we seem to be in sync with our pace. When we were at the ZoomRun Annapolis half last month it was a mutual decision to drop down. Kinda made that decision more OK.
  4. DON’T be a conversation hog: With KB it during the workout, and CM after with our ritual coffee/tea break. We are really good about running down both of our weeks events and talking through whatever we want.
  5. DON’T call your friend to persuade her to do something instead of the workout (talking shopping or boozey brunch): The name of the game is accountability and motivation. Don’t forget it.

Some other tips for your running partner:

  1. DO take turns choosing the route: KB and I live close to each other, but usually one or both of us has to drive to our running routes. We tend to choose the route before and take turns mapping it out.
  2. DO sign up for races together: Training for a race helps keep you motivated. Right now, KB is training for what I am now going to affectionately call the “wedding race.”
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