Friday Five: Reasons to Workout with a Buddy!

Today I’m linking up with Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up for What. dc_linkupI’m talking about Five reasons to workout with a buddy! Now, if any of you know me, you probably know that I typically work out by myself. That is true, and occasionally it is beneficial to workout by myself. However, I’ve been reminded in the last couple weeks how awesome AND beneficial it is to have a workout buddy from time to time!

1) Companionship

Working out for 15-20 hours a week completely by yourself can get a little lonely! Now, I’m an introvert, and I LOVE being by myself. Seriously, a perfect day for me involves staying at home by myself and doing whatever I want without worrying about anyone else. :) Selfish, I know… However, even an introvert needs companionship, and it’s great to have a buddy to talk to and just spend time with while working out! 406051_719615354314_88456927_n

2) Motivation

When I’m tired on a swim, bike, or run, my natural tendency is to slow down or cut the workout short. However, when I’m doing the workout with someone else, I am automatically motivated to push myself to complete the workout strong! It’s that competitive nature in me I guess. Yesterday, I was doing a “race effort” bike ride with a friend of mine who is a MUCH better biker than I. Typically, I have difficulty keeping my power up high enough during my race effort intervals, but I didn’t have any trouble at all when I was biking with my friend! She even let me lead so I wouldn’t feel like I had to keep up with her, but it was still enough motivation to push hard till the finish!

3) Improvement

It’s a known fact, if you run, bike, or swim with someone who is faster than you, you will eventually get faster. Or they’ll eventually slow down I guess!  Really though, if you train with someone who is going to beat you if you don’t get faster, you will improve faster than if you were training on your own. It’s very difficult to get faster while training by yourself. I saw my biggest improvements in my run the summer/fall when I was doing workouts with my friend Kelly. At the beginning of the summer she was literally leaving me in the dust, but by fall, I was giving her a run for her money!

4) Commiseration

I looked it up, commiseration IS a word. :) Sometimes when you’re struggling on a workout or long event, it’s just really nice having someone beside you who is hurting just as much as you are. This isn’t a huge one for me, but sometimes it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels like my legs are going to explode. :) My sister really used to be this way. When we were training for our first marathon, on our long runs, she would always ask my younger sister and I to tell her every ache and pain we had so that she would feel better about her pain. :)

Seriously, if I'd had someone with me on this run to commiserate with, it wouldn't have been NEARLY as miserable!

Seriously, if I’d had someone with me on this run to commiserate with, it wouldn’t have been NEARLY as miserable!

5) Safety

I speak of this specifically with swimming, but theirs safety in numbers in any sport. Especially if you’re in an unsafe neighborhood, or an unknown area, it’s good to have a buddy. Two sets of eyes are better than one. With swimming though, it’s very dangerous to go by yourself, especially if you are not a confident swimmer. There have been a few occasions when I’ve had to swim in open water by myself, and I was very careful to swim close enough to shore that I could touch. You just never know what could happen. When you have a buddy though, you can keep an eye on each other even if you aren’t swimming exactly WITH each other. It also just gives you more assurance when you know there’s someone out there with you who will at least call 911 if you drown. :)

My friend Kelly and I before her first open water swim!

My friend Kelly and I before her first open water swim!

Do you prefer to workout alone or with a buddy?

Tell me why!

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