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Tips to Finding the Right Running Buddy for You

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Pace Yourself

One of the most common mistakes in choosing a running partner -- which often ends in overtraining and risking injury -- is running with someone who is on a significantly higher performance level than you, or who turns every run into a race.

"If one runner is a lot stronger, that person will always be pushing the pace," Benadum says. "The weaker runner won't magically rise to the level of the stronger runner just by trying to keep up all the time. Your running performance is improved by training for the right amount of time at different levels of intensity. Too much of one or the other will have adverse effects."

Not sure if your partner is pushing you too hard? Invest in a heart rate monitor like the Garmin Forerunner 410 ($249, garmin.com). It allows you to gauge how hard your body is working, regardless of what you think your level of exertion is. It also tracks time, miles, and calories burned by uploading data onto your computer after a run, so you can track your weekly progress.

 
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