What is the most important quality you look for in a running partner?

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Scott & Don

After listening to our latest discussion with Carilyn Johnson, we wondered what the Nation would say is the most valuable quality they look for in a running partner?


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  • Someone who is GGG– good, game and giving. To elaborate: they have to really enjoy the same kind of running I do (long, trail); be flexible or willing to shake things up (timing, distance, location); and be helpful and loyal (making/bringing along my favorite treats). Having similar outside interests, a similar speed, and great stories to tell are also important.

    Yes, this person exists, but I’m not going to tell you her name because she’s MY running partner.

  • Willingness to explore new trails, keeping it fun, enjoy good beer and conversation afterwards….Hey that’s my wife!

  • I like running with people who are reliable, do what they say they’re going to do, and keep a positive mental attitude. When doing social running, the unspoken rule is that earbuds are off limits. This makes me think of something: Anyone else notice that when you strike up a conversation with someone during a race, it becomes harder and harder to leave them behind the longer you know them?

  • I run solo while listening to Trail Runner Nation podcasts, so I guess Don, Scott, and Faith are my running partners. However, I have to say that the footsteps at the end of each podcast freak me out on occasion…they’re at EXACTLY the sound level of reality for me.

    • This. I really prefer to be alone anyway, but bringing the podcast along is like having some virtual buddies chatting away. The footsteps have made me jump a few times as well. Freaky.

  • Now, I must comment on the girls smelling better because I’m in 100% agreeance.

    I would argue that girls just naturally smell better. It must be their hair care products, skin care products, whatever! It smellls better than us. Everytime I get ‘chicked’ and the smell is aromatic, I think of Don and Scott. 🙂

  • I like running with people who have true, honest fun. They have fun in intensity and pushing hard and they have fun when there’s a rest break or a slow section. They know how to have a laugh, a good story to tell, and have interesting lives and experiences. They know when the run isn’t about them, and might be about someone else in the group who wants to overcome a hurdle and achieve a goal.

    Those who are too intense emotionally, too this gear is best that gear sucks, too your stride is weird her technique is lame, and too “yea but . ..” this or that and they can stay home.

  • I have a challenging work schedule so these days I do most of my runs alone. I have in the past run with running buddies. We all have different personalities, needs, goals etc so I don’t think there’s a one-size fits all list of criteria for what makes a good running buddy. For me, it comes down to knowing my running buddy is dependable, a good conversationalist who knows when to shut up and suck it up, positive and fairly level headed under stress, and someone who is equally happy to lead and being led.

  • Loyalty.
    What is said on the trail has to stay on the trail.
    Out there is where we figure out life’s problems.

  • The TMI threshold eventually becomes damn high for a longterm running partner. I think we’ve both thrown up, passed gas, taken a #1 &/or #2 break, and have talked about crazy personal stuff during our training runs and races. So I guess having a high TMI threshold is the quality that I’ve grown to appreciate most in a running partner.

  • Someone who knows when to speak and when to reman silent. Someone who likes running in the snow in the nigth just with the moon glow. Someone who’s okay when I tell him 5km fast 1 km slow…we’ll just do 5 repeats…
    And guess what? I have found that guy

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