One form of cardio I actually enjoy is running. It gets me outside, I can get a solid workout in just 30 minutes, and I get to run with friends. But what do you do when you're faster (or slower) than your running buddy?
Let's say you're the faster friend. You're not going to get much of a workout if you slow down to their pace. And they're not going to enjoy running if they're sprinting the whole time to keep up with you.
So here are a few possible solutions to your speed dilemma.
If you have access to a bike, take turns riding it! One person rides, one runs, and then you switch. You don't have to do even distances, one person can run a mile, and the other a half-mile. It's up to you!
2. Add A Weighted Vest
Adding a weighted vest to the faster runner is a good way to slow them down. This allows you to run together, while making the faster person work harder! BUT I wouldn't recommend this for longer distances since the extra weight adds stress to the joints and knees.
3. Set Up An Interval Timer
Set up an interval timer for 2 minutes or so. The faster person has to do some kind of extra exercise every time the timer goes off. It could be 10 burpees, 15 air squats, or 20 jumping jacks depending on the terrain. The slower person keeps running, so the faster has to sprint to keep up.
4. The Faster One Runs First
When in doubt, tire yourself out! Have the faster person go for a run first so they're tired when your run together starts. For example, there's a park about 2 miles from my house. I'll run there while my girlfriend drives. She stretches and warms up before I get there, and my 2 mile run tires me out a bit. That way when we run together, I can go her pace.
5. Give Them A Head Start
If you have a predetermined finish line, give the slower person a head start. Let's say it's a 2-mile loop; you run 8-minute miles, and they run 10-minute miles. Give them a 4 minute head start, so theoretically you should be finishing the loop at the same time. It's a fun way to "race" each other!
6. Communicate The Plan
Figure out your game plan before the run starts. That way you're both on the same page, and nobody's feelings get hurt. You could be running backward to tire yourself out and make it harder, but the slower person could interpret that as you showing off.
Remember, we're here to get fit and have fun. Every workout doesn't have to be an all-out effort, sometimes it's nice to slow down and just enjoy each others company on a lovely run.
Happy running, and don't forget to look both ways before crossing the street!