Running with a buddy can boost the benefits of the pastime no end and our community are well rehearsed at partnering up before stepping out. In the run up to Valentine's Day, we asked our social media community to tell us who they enjoy running with and why and share snaps of their favourite running spots.
SHARE THE PASSION: BRING OTHERS ALONG FOR THE RIDE
Bring everyone along for the journey and spread the love.
Running is my passion, I’ve always had a devotion to it and sharing passion is always something I urge, be it running or something else. I decided that my hometown of Lyon was calling out for a running community with a difference.
I am now in charge of the Lyon Running Crew that was founded in 2011. The club is a community of urban runners and enthusiasts who all share the same excitement for travelling around the city and discovering its landscapes.
The people of the Lyon Running Crew are whom I love running with; I meet men and women from all walks of life and we build relationship and share a lot through sport. It’s great getting people who are not obliged to be there and who are not there to compete (although some healthy competition always helps us on our routes); everyone is there through the friendships and appreciation of one another which is what makes running so great.
Obviously, the Lyon Running Crew specialises in running through the streets and parks of the city and I love discovering these landscapes. However, my favourite place to run is in Annecy because the landscape is so beautiful and peaceful. I love getting out with friends for company.
Running with partners makes running so much more enjoyable and I love the relationships I have built with all of the runners in the crew.
BUY INTO THEIR LOVE: LATER IS BETTER THAN NEVER
No matter how late you start, it’s getting started that matters.
Having been a runner all my life, I started running on cinder tracks as a boy and made it through the ranks, representing England in Junior European Championships. When I had to make a decision between my two loves, running and football. I decided to pursue a football career rather than sticking to the running, the training and crippling nerves before races made it a slightly easier decision to choose the team sport over running.
During a stumbling football career, which was stumped by injuries, I met my now wife through friends, a keen netball player herself. As real life took over, we both drifted away from the sports however I always loved running and carried on, all be it at a more leisurely pace than when I was a boy.
After completing the London and Paris marathon, my wife was inspired to don her running shoes at the age of 50. Having never been a runner, she caught the bug quickly and soon bought into the technical benefits of having the right gear and soon got her hands on some Odlo base layers; she claimed that if she looked and felt good, she’d run better!
Now a month into her new hobby, we often get out together for a run at our favourite spot along the Leas in Folkestone. The route looks out across The Channel and on the rare good weather days, you can catch a glimpse of France on the horizon. By running together, we help push one another to keep improving with every run; my wife has almost doubled the distance that she originally started at in just a month. I love running with my wife and enjoy the high quality of time we spend together when we are out and about rather than just rattling about the house. It’s also really rewarding to see her getting involved in something that’s always been a major part of my life and to see her enjoying it more and more is great. She is planning to join a ladies-only running club, the Blister Sisters, once she gets more confident.
PUSH EACH OTHER: FIND FRIENDS AMONGST RIVALS
Find your partner through your mutual love of competing.
I picked up running in 2010 and it has been my favourite sport since. I began competing in the national championships after only three years of running after spending time with a coach in Utrecht. Recently, I decided to start a new chapter and headed to Amsterdam to join a new running team and began the ambassadorship with Odlo. Being a new member to the team and having Odlo on board, I was even hungrier than before to get better results.
In our interval and long distance training sessions, my standard has dramatically improved. Running with my new friends gives me the energy to crush my previous personal bests; in December, I slashed my 15K time by more than a minute. This is why I love running with my friends as our competitiveness makes us all improve, plus it is much more fun than running alone.
I have two friends who I enjoy running with the most, @jorinkamps and @timmibolink. Jorin and I compete against one another at the Dutch National Championships in the 3000-metre steeplechase every year, so training with Jorin helps us both recognise the pace we need to be setting and we challenge each other to be better than before. Tim lives nearby so joins us on training runs, which is great. When the three of us are together, we have great fun, we are always making fun of each other and we definitely keep one another on our toes, both with our running and our joking around.
I prefer the long distance runs, especially around the Dutch national training centre, Papendal. It’s an inspiring place and has some great routes through the heatherland. Nearer to my home, I run in the forest at Lage vuursche, the home of our previous Queen.
Our social media community have showed us how running with a partner can add multiple dimensions to your running career. So in the build-up to Valentine’s Day, find your partner and get your trainers on.