I usually run by myself. I love the quiet time with my thoughts. I love being able to get lost in the miles. I love putting my favorite song on repeat for 2 miles straight—yes, I do that. I do really enjoy running alone.
But, on race day I like having a friend. We don’t have to run the race together, but I like driving to a race with someone familiar. It helps calm my nerves to get lost in conversation. I like having a partner in crime to help me track down the starting line (and porta potties)!
I recently ran two races with my favorite running buddy, Sarah. We ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago and then the Revel City Marathon this past weekend. Each race was a completely difference experience but we had fun at each because we are good about communicating our expectations to each other.
Running a race with a friend can be super fun! But it can also be stressful if you guys run at different paces and/or have different goals. So, here are some tips on how to RACE with a friend (and make sure they’re still your friend at the end).
5 Tips for Racing with a Friend
- Share your goals. Are you here to PR? Are you here just to finish? Each of you should discuss what your main goals are for the race. Be supportive of one another.
- Agree to separate. If one of you is having a super great or super hard race—agree that it is okay to run separately. You don’t want your friend to feel like they are ditching you or vice versa. No hard feelings; run the race you have in you today.
- Communicate your race strategy. Are you someone who likes to run with a pace group? Likes to run solo with headphones? Always stops to walk at aid stations? Make sure your friend knows these things so it’s not a surprise at mile 3.
- Have a meet up plan for the end. Try to keep race day as stress free as possible by planning out where you’ll meet at the end.
- Have FUN! Unless this is the Olympics, it’s probably you and your friend’s hobby. You should enjoy it. Take pictures. Have a few laughs. Eat some good food after. High Five!