Race Day Etiquette: Friends and Training Partners
Running races comes with many unpredictable obstacles, whether it's an inaccurate weather report or an unexpected cramp, but how do you cope with the social etiquette of running with your training buddies or friends on race day? Do you forfeit your target time for the sake of a running partner?
Whilst sport is often an amazing way to socialize, running (and in particular competitive running) is a hugely individual sport. Personal focus is required, from concentrating on your breathing to your ideal stride length, running with a partner can be harder than alone!
Here are some pros and cons to running with a partner.
Reasons to race with training buddies:
- If you have been consistently training together, you will be able to set a pace for each other - this helps you avoid sprinting out the blocks at the beginning of the race
- You can support each other if you are struggling
Reasons to not to race together:
- Running at someone else's pace can be massively distracting
- You can risk injury if you push yourself to match a fitter runner's speed
- You may find yourself running slower than your ideal race pace to accommodate a slower runner
How to approach race day plan with your running partner:
There were many different reasons people gave for wanting to run alone on race day but it was made very clear that the easiest way to avoid causing offence is through COMMUNICATION!!
- Discuss your ideal race time with your training partner - if you're aiming to run different times then this is the opportune moment to discuss not running together on the day
- If you find you run better with your partner, check with them that they feel the same way - don't be offended if they want to run their own race
- Agree a meet up point at the end of the race where you can warm down together and go for a celebratory meal
Remember that races are there to be enjoyed and running the same race as a friend is a great way to spend time together - perhaps you won't run the race together but the build up, training and post-race recovery are all experiences worth sharing with a friend.
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