I had made a note a few weeks ago to talk about running buddies and accountability here on the blog, but I hadn’t figured out how to say what I wanted to say yet. Then, just the other day, a friend and I were chatting about training, running, and schedules. She’s doing Pixie Dust with me in May. I mentioned that I’d started going to another friend’s classes (who is ALSO doing Pixie Dust with us) early Thursday mornings (practically dark:thirty).
“How do you get up that early? That’s amazing!” she wrote.
“Because I tell her I’m going to be there, haha,” I replied.
“So you have to be there. Got it. Accountability.”
As I told her in follow up, “Yesterday’s morning run with myself? My headphones have no accountability.”
There are many reasons I love group exercise and many reasons group exercise WORKS for people. One of those reasons is the accountability factor. I can’t even tell you how many articles I’ve read over the years that say “find a gym buddy” or “find a running buddy” or “group exercise works because PEOPLE” – the evidence doesn’t lie. And in particular, I love Les Mills because it is ONE TRIBE. Together. For a fitter plan.
As you go to classes week after week, you make friends and then you expect that other person to be there week after week WITH you. Those friends push you to SHOW UP and then they push you to PUT IN THE WORK (especially if they know you were out way too late the night before because they
enjoy seeing you suffer know that isn’t an excuse).
You don’t have that when you’re running solo. You don’t get the fist bump or the high five. You don’t have the person expecting you to be there. It’s easy enough to blow off your headphones. They won’t judge you, remind you, or be let down. I might feel judged by my planner that says “you said you were going to do this” and often times you can probably motivate yourself because “I said I was going to do this.” Just not always… (especially when it’s maybe not your favorite thing).
Cue the running buddy. It’s one of the (many) reasons I did Team In Training for my first endurance event. Friends. Team. Coaches. People that hold you accountable and provide commiseration & camaraderie. Running buddies get you up the hill or through the last mile or up before the sun. Running buddies cheer your successes and understand your frustrations. Even if you aren’t running WITH that buddy, they know your training plan because they’re doing it too. They check in. You check in.
I’ve found that camaraderie in multiple runDisney groups on facebook (“everyone is training, I should really be training…”) and on Instagram (“look, she did four miles, I could do four miles”), but the best camaraderie is in person. I’m so glad I have a few friends that are doing Pixie Dust with me and hopefully we can mesh our schedules to at least get those long runs started together. I’m so glad I have another friend that is
forcing encouraging me to do hill repeats with her and having me come to because she knows the goals I’ve set (and I know the goals she has too!).
And in a way, I have all of you out there. I may not always know who is reading, but that someone might check in and see how it’s going… that someone is my buddy too.