What Makes A Good Running Buddy

A Running buddy is someone we run with, who helps motivate, pushes us, and helps us become better runners. Generally, good running buddies will become great friends.

What Makes A Good Running Buddy

  1. To be a good running buddy, my running buddy will need certain qualities to match, as my running buddy. I will look at each of these qualities in more detail later.

    • Supportive, not competitive
    • Non-judgemental
    • Good for a chat
    • Reliable
    • A little faster than you
    • Willing to be flexible
    • Positive Influence
    • Compatible training days and times
    • Honesty
    • Have your best interests at heart
    • Good motivator
    • Knowledgeable about running
    • Social Interaction

Supportive, Not Competitive

Our running buddy must support us and not out to beat us on every run. Don’t get me wrong, a little competition between running buddies is good, but it needs to be beneficial to both. If one person is always getting their butt kicked by their running buddy, it may result in the runner losing confidence in themselves.


Our running buddy needs to be non-judgemental of our running habits. For example, some runners may need to jump the wall for a toilet break during their training runs, and others will be spitting and snotting the whole way through the run. These habits are generally socially unacceptable apart from runners during a run when the runners take no notice.

Good For A Chat

This is one of the most important things when choosing a running buddy; your running buddy must continuously chit-chat to make the time and the miles go by faster. You have to be willing to chat about anything when out running from the person’s darkest experiences to the current state of the world.


This is also very important for a running buddy. If you arrange to meet someone at a particular time and location, you expect them to turn up no matter the weather. If your running buddy isn’t reliable, it won’t work. I know life happens at times, and for a genuine reason; a person may cancel last minute, but they will contact you before you leave your house. However, when a person doesn’t turn up, it also can affect your safety, as the time of day you chose might have been because you were running with someone else.

A Little Faster Than You

It is good for you if your running buddy is a little faster than you, but it isn’t good for your running buddy. Generally, when someone you train with is a little quicker than you, it will make you a faster runner in the long term as you will be running a little bit outside your comfort zone regularly to keep up.

Willing To Be Flexible

Both parties must be flexible. For example, one buddy may want to run a long distance, and the other may only want to run about half that distance; they both must be willing to change their ideal distance and meet somewhere in the middle; the same applies to the location.

Positive Influence

What makes a good running buddy

Your running buddy must have a positive influence on you as a runner. For example, a good buddy will encourage you and highlight all the good things we did in a training session. On the other hand, we need to avoid running buddies with a negative influence as they will bring negative thoughts into our heads about running and will only discuss everything negative about running.

Compatible Training Days And Times

Training buddies need to agree on set days and times for running. When we can pick our days and times and stick with them, it frees people up to do other things on different days of the week, whereas if you are changing days and times every week, it makes it harder to plan running and the rest of your life.


You need a running buddy who is honest with you, telling you they are struggling or wanting to push the session harder. A running partnership only works for both parties where both people are honest. Everybody has days where they feel great and other days where they feel crap.

Have Your Best Interests At Heart

When running with your buddy, you need to consider how they are feeling and what kind of a day they had, as this will affect their running mentality on that given day—having somebody who knows you well and whether you respond to tough love or gentle encouragement can be crucial in getting you through those runs where your body and mind aren’t cooperating.

Good Motivator

It is great when your running buddy is a good motivator as it makes you feel much better about your running, and the long run will be over before you know it. Your running buddy should be right there when you don’t feel like going for a run to make sure you continue with your planned runs, as we all lose our love for running at various times. A running buddy will be there to assure you that you can get through the hard times and emerge successfully.

Knowledgeable About Running

It is great when your running buddy has a few years of knowledge about running. Someone who knows all areas, such as what workout routine is proper with running, common injuries and exercises to help relieve them, knowing when it is time to take a break and let a niggle heal, and good running form is a great asset to have for a buddy.

Social Interaction

For a running buddy to work correctly, you need to become good friends and have a social relationship outside of running, whether just visiting each other’s houses or going for a coffee. As a result, we will get to know each other better and have a much stronger running buddy relationship.

Final Thoughts

I hope you now have a much better understanding of the qualities needed in a running buddy. I have listed 13 Qualities and explained each in more detail so that you will know what you are looking for in a running buddy. If you have any doubts about whether to get a running buddy or not, look at the benefits of a running buddy.

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