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RRCA Director of Coaching Education Randy Accetta on the Benefits of Training Partners

Almost everyone loves running with other people, but when it comes to training there" eb8 ��s a saying that workouts can be social, convenient, or good for racing - but not all three. Multiple studies have demonstrated that runners experience an increase in motivation when training with another person or people, but that increase in motivation - often accompanied by an increase in speed - can depend on who the other person is, how fast they are, and even what they"�re wearing. "�People unconsciously gravitate towards the behavior of those around them, even if you"�re not aware of that,' said Thomas Plante, a PhD and professor in psychology at Santa Clara University. The only problem is that sometimes you don"�t want to be imitating the behavior of those around you. Plante has conducted a number of studies showing that when test subjects run or bike next to someone slightly faster they"�re motivated to bike or run faster themselves. He also conducted a test where subjects ran next to a girl, who was wearing make-up, jewelry and fancy clothes, then had other subjects run next to the same girl, who was running the same speed, but looked far less pulled-together and wore a baggy sweatshirt. People were much more motivated running next to the un-made-up girl, because they didn"�t feel intimidated. "�Who you exercise with matters,' said Plante. That"�s why many top women will recruit husbands or male friends to do their workouts and runners will often convince a faster friend to commit to ushering them towards an important goal. "�Find a wingman,' said Randy Accetta, who coaches a long-time running group in Arizona and is the Director of Coaching Education for the Road Runners Club of America. "�The loneliness of the distance runner is great and solitude is important, but having someone there counting on you to show up helps.' Read the full story on

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