Everyone wants to find the silver bullet for success in tasks they take on, and the couch to 5K program is no different. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula or golden rule you can follow to ensure victory. With that said, there’s one trick you can use to boost your chances greatly, and that’s to recruit a training buddy or group to do the couch potato to 5K program with you.

Why should you want to train with a friend? The main reason is the motivation and peer pressure. We all know that if we have a job that no-one knows about except ourselves how easy it can be to make excuses, and find a way to delay or put off doing that job. However, if we have a friend who we’ve made plans for to do that job with, we’re a lot more motivated to do it. The Couch Potato to 5K program is the same way. If you have a friend doing the program with you, you won’t want to disappoint them and miss runs, as it will feel like you have let them down. On the flip-side, if you’re having a down day, that friend can motivate you and talk you into doing the workout, thus ensuring you stay on track and successfully complete the program!

There are a couple of different types of training buddies you can find. The most common is to find a friend who is at the same fitness level as you and who will be doing the whole couch to 5K program with you. You’ll be able to run at the same pace, chat about your progress & obstacles, and keep each other motivated. You could also try to recruit a more seasoned runner to do the program with you. They will have an easier time during the runs, but they had to start at the same place you were at one point, so they’ll remember what these runs felt like and can relate with you. An additional bonus is that they can possibly give you tips on your form and other useful advice they’ve picked up running over the years. A third option is to organize a whole group to do the program. Perhaps a few of your co-workers want to join in and do the couch potato to 5k program? Great! Pick a consistent schedule (Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays after work? Or during lunch even?) and get out there and do it! This has the added bonus that even if one person in your group is sick or out on vacation, the rest of your group will still be there to go run with!

Before you get too excited, having a training buddy won’t guarantee success. Based on past participants in the couch to 5K program though, it will definitely increase your odds! A little friendly peer pressure is a powerful tool. Not only that, but having someone to run with, as well as to discuss your progress in the program, can make it a lot more fun and enjoyable.

Good luck!

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