Two’s Company Three is Allowed

When I first started running I only ever ran by myself, in part because nobody I knew ran but also I was scared that I would embarrass myself or slow others down.

Bit by bit I have turned this right around and I can often be found running with others. I frequently run with Don the back runner from my running club. I have run races with two of my sisters recently and have started numerous races with friends who have lost me a little into the run.

But you know I also run with complete strangers too.

A few months back I went along to a new social run in the Olympic Park to find it was only me and one other guy. I was a little apprehensive at first, but we did a very leisurely 5 miles or so and it didn’t feel strange at all.

Today I met two more strangers at Victoria Station at 7.45 for a planned 20 mile training run.

We are all part of the fantastic running community Run Mummy Run but other than the odd bit of social media communication we had never met, and more important than that we have completely different running goals and experiences.

One lady has recently run her first half, and one lady did 10 marathons in 10 days and is also on a mission to run 100 marathons.

But we found a pace we were all comfortable with and simply got on with the 4 laps of Hyde Park we had agreed to.

It was lovely. Nice weather. A near empty park (well it was for the first lap at least) and GREAT company, it didn’t feel awkward at all.

During a toilet break at lap 3 I literally had a wobble when I came over a bit faint, but the ladies were great and waited for me to take on a gel and refill my water bottle.

I knew lap 4 was not for me. I was getting bad pains in my hip and it was nearing midday, so I decided to call it a day and make my way home. I thought perhaps I would run the 6/7 miles home but the weather had changed and I wasn’t sure if I would make it. So instead I ran to Westminster tube, adding another mile or so to the 17/18 I had already done.

I forgot to switch my Garmin back on after a toilet break so I have no accurate record of the distance I covered but I don’t care. I set out to do 20 and it was something close to that.

I thoroughly enjoyed my run today and that was because of the company. Running with others, especially on long training runs makes so much sense. So don’t ever let your fear of bring too slow or even not being able to cover the distance hold you back.

Even if you running companions are faster than you there are always ways round it, like running loops, or the faster runners running to a point and then coming back to you every now and again.

For long training runs though speed is not the focal point, it is simply about time on your feet, and who wants to spend 4 or 5 hours out running on their own?

Thanks ladies

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