Fabulous February: Run With Someone Faster Than You

Today’s Tip may seem intimidating, but it’s actually pretty cool. I was going to call it “Speed Dating” … as in, you’re dating the faster speed (and not the person) … but I thought that might be a little creepy.

So here’s how it goes. Find someone that runs faster than you, but that runs at the same time as you. Plan a route that has some overlap with their route. To avoid being creepy about this, make sure they know what you’re planning.

Then, time your run so that there is a time, or a series of segments, where you’re running together. And when you do that, you run with them at their pace for 30 seconds, a quarter mile, whatever seems to work out for you. This way, they aren’t feeling guilty about dropping you after a short distance, and you aren’t trying to hang on for longer than you should be. There’s no right or wrong way to do this – have fun with it!

Here’s one way to make it work:

The blue line is the route the slower runner runs, while the faster runner runs yellow. This works well because the faster runner can push their speed on their dog-legs or in trying to catch back up to their friend. The idea is not that the faster runner runs three sides of a block while the slower runs one side; but that the faster runner purposefully puts themselves behind and will naturally catch up. When they do, the slower runner matches their speed for a block (or whatever they want).

Here’s another way:

On any route, start by running together to warm up and then let the faster runner take off. The slower runner keeps with them for a pre-determined distance and then slows for a recovery while the faster runner keeps going for a half-mile (or so) and then turns around and runs back to their buddy. Repeat until you’ve got the mileage you want. Bonus: If you do this method and then both sign up for a race together, the faster runner can run back on the course after finishing and help their friend have a strong finish.

About Kelly Barten (1151 Articles)
I started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because I felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. I also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support LOCAL race organizers. I'm a Creighton Bluejay (undergrad) and an Oregon Duck (Sports Marketing MBA), and I live in Tigard with my husband and two kids. My "real job" is working for an incredibly awesome math textbook company doing marketing and production.
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