Running Buddies

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Good morning! 😎

I started my day with a delicious batch of creamy Oats In A Jar. I’m not going to lie, I get really excited when we finish a jar of nut butter in our house.

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In the mix:

  • Rolled oats
  • Soy milk
  • Chopped dates
  • Pecans
  • Chia seeds 
  • Extra peanut butter

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With breakfast, I also drank a glass of iced coffee with soy milk and a big bottle of water. I’m trying to drink more water, so starting as soon as I wake up gets my day off on the right foot.

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When I ran the Black Cat 10 Miler with Monica and Chandra on Sunday, we talked about sticking together for the entire race, but we ended up just doing our own thing because each of us had different goals for race day.

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I ran with Monica for the first few miles of the race. She carried me along at a much faster pace than I would typically start a race, which probably helped me achieve my goal that day.

When we approached a big hill on the course around Mile 3, I just couldn’t keep up with her anymore. Monica looked back to see if she should slow down to run with me, but I gave her a quick wave to tell her to keep trucking along at her faster pace. I didn’t want to slow her down!

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The three of us finished the race at different times, and I don’t think any of us felt badly about not running together. We ran the best race we could that day and crossed the finish line, which was really all that mattered to us. However, I know some runners who train with others, who would probably get upset if they were left in the dust by their running buddy on race day.

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Question of the Day

Do you stick with your running buddies during races? What is the protocol for not ruffling feathers or hurting anyone’s feelings if you want to split up?

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104 Comments

  1. i agree with mostly everyone else. I just think that it needs to be discussed beforehand of the intention of the race. If it is a fun race no pressure then sticking together shouldn’t be a problem. If the race is for time, I personally would not want to hold a runner back if I am slower and if I were faster I wouldn’t want to be held back either. I jus think communication is key so both running partners benefit.

  2. This was the topic of my run this morning! I think before you start any race with a friend, you need to talk it out so you have a gameplan for what you’ll do if shit goes wrong. Some races, depending on your goal, you may be fine sticking together through thick and thin…Other races, not so much. If I was shooting for my A Goal, I don’t think I could run with a friend.

  3. I usually sorta do what you did. If my partner speeds up and looks back I give them the thumbs up, their good to go. I don’t want to hold anyone back! When I do run with partners this is pretty mutual. We agree that you never know if you are going to have a good or bad race, and we don’t want to affect the others race! In the end it is still fun to talk about how our individual races went and what we thought of the course ect.

  4. I had OIAJ yesterday:)
    I’ve one run race entirely with a friend and she helped me stay at a quick pace. For my first half marathon we split up because I was able to go a little faster. I think it just depends on your goals for the race!

  5. My running group has a rule (for runs and races) for everyone to go at their own pace. We all start together and wait for each other at the end, but we basically race alone. If I finish first, I’ll run back and then run in with my friends, but I don’t slow down for them.

  6. I was hoping to run a Thanksgiving 10K with my cousins but we got separated in the crowd at the start. We all ran our own race and were fine with it. (It helps that I finished first, though!) My husband and I have run races together, side by side, but he’s slowing down to be with me. He’s very courteous about it and is very encouraging. On the other side, for “A” races, we know going in that we are there to do our own thing.

  7. I never wait for an empty jar anymore!!

    Sometimes Ill smear nut butter in the bottom of an emtpy jar or cup.

    Tastes even better since you get to control the amount of nut butter in it 😉

  8. Depending on who I am running with I try to stick with my running partners as long as possible in races but if they give me the go-ahead to speed up and leave them, I usually take it. Once I get into a good stride, I just want to go…if I hold myself back it seems to make me more tired…I have a race coming up in two weeks with two girls I have never raced with before. I’ve done a 7mile run with one of them before but I have to admit its the first time I am nervous about running a race with other people. I don’t want to leave them on our first real outing together…or hold them back…ekkk!

  9. I’m trying to drink more water too (> 64 oz per day). I made a commitment to doing this for four weeks straight and today is my very last day! It was hard at first, but really has become a ‘habit’ now. I look forward to keeping it up 🙂

      1. Definitely! I would say that the #1 difference is a decrease in my cravings (especially for Diet Coke, sugar-free chewing gum and late night snacks). I think I was mistaking thirst for hunger at times. Today is the last day of this 4-wk commitment (although I plan to keep it up), so I plan on writing a full report of the experience after work. It should be up tonight.

        1. I drink about this amount of water, sometimes more, each day and have noticed the same change (though my vice is afternoon snacks, during those last two hours of work each day). I used to be a major diet coke fiend but I don’t really crave it that often anymore. I also notice I drink much less caffeine in general and eat much less.

  10. I think just lining up at the start line with your buddy is motivating enough. After that, I def. wouldn’t want to hinder their race by making them stick to me. I’m a slow runner so I totally understand 🙂

  11. I don’t run, so I don’t have race buddies… but I am looking forward to finishing our peanut butter jar so I can try these oats! I have been so curious about them!! 🙂

  12. I love running with other people, especially if they’re faster than me because it pushes me outside of my comfort zone. I’ve signed up to do races with friends a lot in the past and usually we will start together but everyone splits up somewhere along the way. I’m never mad if someone wants to go faster than me, and I hope the same is true when I want to go faster than my friends. The best part is food and drinks at the end anyway! 🙂

  13. I think you just have to communicate it beforehand. I’m running a half with a friend in two weeks and I have no time goals so I plan to stick with her unless she is having a better run than me and needs to go ahead. Either way it will be fine!

  14. I love running races with my best friend. She and I keep about the same pace so it works really well. Sometimes one of us will have a better day than the other though. When that happens we don’t hold each other back and we just say go ahead. Even if I’m suffering, it’s great to see my best friend have an awesome run!

  15. I ran a half marathon with my friend recently, and while we signed up for the race together, we didn’t train together and were really at different paces (mine a little faster than hers). We compromised for most of the race, I running a little slower than planned and her running a little faster than planned, for us to stay together, but at 10 miles or so she needed to take a walking break, so she told me I could go on and I did. I think running buddies need to compromise with each other, and not be selfish about it if they’re going to run together… OR just agree that they’re going to do their own thing for the race.

  16. my little sister left me in her dust during our half marathon! she trained harder than me and so i expected it. i’m proud of her for what she did and proud of myself – never thought i’d be able to run one before!

  17. The only racing buddy I have is my sanity and sometimes I think it leaves me during a race. Ha! just kidding! I don’t think it’s bad to separate during a race, you have to really consider everyone’s individuality. Some runs you just have an “off” day and I wouldn’t want to hold anyone back because of that. I would really hate to leave someone behind but if I have a particular goal in mind I really want to shoot for the gold! Overall, I say go for it! Separation is no biggie.

  18. Great post about a topic that can be kind of touchy! My regular running buddies always meet up at a location and “run together separately”. We all start off together, run at our own pace, and then wait at the end for everyone to finish. Anytime someone new asks me to run with them, I fill them in on how I run. It’s a different story if we’re looking to pace off of one another, but for those ordinary training runs, running together separately works best for me (and my running pals).

  19. When the weather is crappy (torrential rains!) we stick together….nobody is getting a PR in those conditions. When we have normal conditions we seperate along the way in friendly fashion…a wave and “see you at the end!”

  20. I prefer to run my races by myself, but I actually have had great interactions with complete strangers during particularily hard races. Last summer, I encouraged a girl to run the last 1/4 of a 10k with me and let her smoke me to the finish line. I wasn’t offended. She needed the encouragement!

  21. I don’t like running with people, so if I have friends running a race with me I typically make it clear that we can part ways during the course.

  22. If I know that a friend and I run at different paces I will make sure that we’re on the same page about running at different speeds before the race begins. If races weren’t so expensive, I would be happy running at a slower pace, but the great expense always makes me feel like I need to PR.

  23. I think it’s just best to talk about it beforehand so everyone is on the same page. If people know you’re going to be splitting up, they can prepare mentally. There would be nothing worse than thinking you’ll be together the whole time and then having your motivating factor run off!

    But we always always always wait at the end for each other!

  24. My running buddy and I trained together, so we know we operate at the same pace… but nothing can predict race day. So, whenever we are in a race together, we try to stay together. But, if either us of slip behind, the other knows to go on ahead. No pressure!

  25. I have only run races with my sister, we have a protocol that we start out together, and then whoever is feeling good just GOES! No one gets offended, we even have this rule during normal runs together…we will stay together the first half and then same thing.

    No reason to hold yourself back (or get offended if the other person doesn’t), races are about RACING! 🙂

  26. I stick with my race buddy but we train together so I feel like that’s different! If you are meeting up to run and have trained solo for the race I think it’s smart to go at your own paces.

  27. I am a loner when it comes to running. That’s the time that I like to think and reflect about everything that’s going on; both big and small. If I know someone that’s in a race, I don’t even like to stand by them at the starting line. I don’t want to think about how fast they are going or trying to keep up with them. That would be too much pressure!

  28. i think running buddies are great if you both are at the same level.. having someone else there with you helps motivate you. but if you are different levels it’s really not fair for either person.

    congrats on your book as well tina!!! i can’t wait to read it!

  29. I’ll be running with my friend Laura in June, I don’t ever really run with people, but if she starts to fall behind I’ll run with her. I’m not running for a certain time, I’m just running for the fun of running 🙂

  30. I always say that I like to stick with my running partner, but the truth is… I am a solo runner.
    I don’t really like running with someone. I like to be free to pace myself and not feel the pressure of having to slow down or speed up based on the other persons speed.
    For example, I run with a work buddy who is much faster than me and whenever we run together I feel like I am going to die!
    I also run with my step-sister-in-law who is slower, but she can go really long distances (she has ran 2 marathons). She paces herself better, but sometimes I feel like she is going TOO slow…
    She is good about letting me do my thing though.
    My work buddy likes to talk and run, and I really dont like to do that.

  31. My first marathon I ran by myself (and totally PRed–under 4 hrs!!) but the second marathon I ran with my sister and we had a total blast. It was a bit slower, but I was doing it for the experience of running with family and threw all time goals out the window….she did say I helped her get HER PR, though 🙂

  32. I usually run alone because I’m really slow, but sometimes my hubby will take it easy and/or warm up with me. I enjoy running alone because it’s ME time, and I get to focus on connecting with myself and the earth moving beneath me 🙂

  33. I love running with a buddy because talking passes the time much better than music! I also like having someone to encourage me when I feel like I can’t run anymore. When it comes to races, it depends on the goal of both runners. I agree it is important to know ahead of time each individual runner’s goal and go into the race knowing that you may start together and finish separate.

    I know I would never want to hold somebody back if they wanted to pick up the pace 🙂

  34. When I first started training with my two running buddies (we try to do all our long runs together, although one of us has become extra flakey and doesn’t even let us know when she’s not going to show up,) we realized right away we were all at different levels of fitness and speed. So, after the first couple of runs, attempting to stay together, we all just agreed to run at our own paces. Agreeing on that up front ensured that none of us would feel like we were holding anyone back, or that we had to hold ourselves back in order to achieve our own personal goals. I’m totally fine being the slowest in the group, I just like knowing my buddies are out there doing the runs/races with me 🙂

  35. luckily my running buddy is very encouraging and wants me to race ahead! she likes to take many walking intervals, and i like to run most of the time, so it worked out until I just couldn’t resist any longer!

  36. I love training with friends, but on race day i like doing my own thing. We all have good days and bad when it comes to running. I don’t want to slow anyone down but also, if i’m having a great race day, I want to be able to run at my pace! It has taken me awhile not to feel bad about separating from my running buddies 🙂

  37. training with friends is great!! and on those runs we usually discuss our plans for upcoming races–depending on goals and fitness levels it just depends. if i want to run on my own i say ‘i am running my own race”. other races like when i ran with a friend as elvis or ran with a different friend who was pregnant and i was coming back from an injury we determined we would stick together for the whole race and we did! just be open and honest.

  38. I’m training with a running buddy, and we’re planning on running our first half marathon together this month. It’s 13.1 miles and no iPods are allowed, so my expectation is that we will run most of the race together. But as we get closer to the end, if she has more in her, I’ll definitely encourage her to go ahead and finish strong!

  39. I love training with friends and running races with friends, but sometimes it is tough to keep consistent paces, and you never know when you or a friend are going to have an “off” running day! I’ve had many races where I’ve waved friends off to go ahead or had friends wave me off. Everyone wants to do their best on race day, and any true friend would want you to do your best as well!

  40. Hi! This is my first time commenting on your blog, just found it! Lovin’ it so far!

    I normally start out w/ my running buddy in a race, but usually she will tell me to go ahead. We have finished quite a few races together, but there have been times when I’ve gone ahead. We trained for a half-mary together and during the actual race she was really struggling. She kept telling me to go ahead and I told her, “We trained together, we are going to cross the finish line together.” She told me later that if I hadn’t of stayed with her she would have walked off the course. I’m glad we finished together and I don’t regret the decision one bit.

  41. Sometimes there are those “fun runs” where nobody really cares about their time and we stick together (read: we stopped when there was a house in the neighborhood with beer in their driveway), but for most races we run together if we can, but I don’t think anyone in our group has ever gotten upset about leaving each other behind–we all want each other to do their best!

  42. I think it depends on the race, and the buddy. I’m still new to running (well – new again hehe) and haven’t raced yet. I’ve entered my first in May. My sister is entering it too and I”m still not 100% sure about how we’ll play it. I think we should be fairly evenly paced so may not be an issue. But I don’t want to hold her back if I’m slower – and if I’m quicker it’d be nice to see what kind of time I can do. If it’s a definite fun run then I think you’d stick with your buddy all the way. If there is even the slightest possibility of aiming for a good time on either buddies part though I think you have to let ’em at it. I figure it’s not as though I’ll be running completely on my own anyway – it is the middle of a race after all 🙂

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