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Accountability Partners & Working Out

January 12, 2013

During my training in 2009 for my first half marathon I was having a tough time sticking to my training schedule. It’s not that I didn’t understand the importance of running the mileage each week or getting in my long runs. I had a hard time because I wasn’t keeping track of my mileage and I was just running a few miles here and a few miles there, sometimes before work and sometimes after. It wasn’t until a coworker asked me to meet up with her in the morning before work that I started actually following the half marathon training schedule — and what I learned wasn’t rocked science but that sticking to a running plan made the long runs easier.

I got what I needed, an accountability partner.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, rain or shine, at 6:30AM she would be there at the Pro Club waiting for me to go on a 3-6 mile run. Some days we would run slow and chat about everything from A to Z. Other days we would pick up the pace and run at our target race pace.  By the end of the summer we were running at a faster pace and able to main a conversation. It was awesome and I was stoked that training with her helped me get my half marathon time under the 2 hour mark. However, what mattered the most is that 2-3 days a week there we were, running together and building a friendship.

I was very fortunate on our move here to Medford to meet another amazing group of ladies. This group of runners meets four mornings a week to run between 4-7 miles. Keeping to my previous schedule I meet with them on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to go for a shorter pre-work run and then on Saturday mornings we run and grab coffee.  It’s great because they hold me accountable for showing up… and they call me when I don’t. On Tuesday when verifying our meeting time and location I got the message “We’ll be waiting for you at 6:15. Be There!” I had been debating cancelling because I wasn’t feeling well but the push from them is what I needed to set my alarm for 5:45 am, and get my rear out of bed to go for a 5 mile run.

<h2>Work-out Accountability Partners</h2>

So why do I recommend you have a work-out accountability partner? Because they’ll call you on the B.S. and even when you feel less then stellar they’ll keep you going. Here are the top 6 reasons I think having a running accountability partner or group will make you a better runner:

    1. Encouragement: They will be there to encourage you and push you to keep when things get tough. 
    2. Mentorship: They will be there to coach and mentor you. You can bounce ideas off of them and get their advice.
    3. Accomplishments: They will share in your accomplishments, and help push you to do more!
    4. Accountable: They will ask you about and help hold you accountable to your goals. Did you say your goal is to go running three times this week… they can meet you there and run with you.
    5. Relationship: They are someone you can build a relationship and friendship with. Someone you can be completely honest with and they can be honest with you.
    6. Increase Productivity: They’ll make you more productive. Having someone to stay accountable to can make you achieve more than you would believe. Maybe it’s running a half marathon or a full marathon together. Maybe it’s as simple as cross-training and hitting the gym along with running. Even if it’s just chatting while running it’s going to help you be a better runner.

Have you had an accountability partner to help you improve your running and keep you on track for your work outs?

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