|Frank at the River to Sea relay last year|
getting ready for his first leg
1. It's a motivator to do the run in the first place.
2. You get to catch up with your friend.
3. The time goes by a lot quicker.
4. It's a welcome change from the usual routine.
5. You can push each other during the run.
Unfortunately, there can also be some things to watch for. Especially if your friend happens to be faster than you. Here are the things to be aware of:
1. Since you are catching up and thus talking the whole time, what may be an easy pace can becomes quite hard when you are talking the whole time.
2. What is easy for your friend, may not be easy for you. So you shouldn't be planning on an easy day of running and should adjust accordingly.
3. Some friends are more competitive than others. Some friends have a way of bringing out the competitive side of you as well. What may have started with a moderate pace may end in a much faster tempo by the end of the run. You might be thinking, "It's OK, I'm just going to pick it up a bit", but before you know it you are pushing pretty hard on your easy day. Part of you says, "Just slow down and let your friend go.", but then another part says "What's wrong with you, this isn't that fast, enough with the excuses, pick it up!" The run ends with your heart pounding like it was a race and you wonder what just happened to your easy day?
In the end though, it's of course totally worth it and there is no question that the pros out weigh the cons. Perhaps what I need most of all is an adjustment of my expectations and relaxing a bit and not being such a control freak when it comes to my pace and my routine.
There is one last thing I'd like to say about Frank. He mentioned that he also started a running streak, conveniently one day before me so he has always run one more day than me in a row. Of course that won't be true if he ever misses a day and I don't. Just putting that out there. I'm not being competitive, just stating some facts :)