THE OLD WAY Your running-club buddies were your closest friends, because you only had the time and energy for work and running.
THE NEW WAY Many of us still train with clubs and groups, but for others our running companions are the likes of Alex Turner or Beyoncé (well, sort of). And we discuss training and results on Twitter or Facebook with friends we may never meet in real life.
THE BEST WAY Running with music, podcasts or audiobooks as your only companion is fine most of the time. So is plugging into a running community online. Sometimes, though, it’s good to make an effort to run with another person or a group (and leave your music behind). The miles will go by faster and more enjoyably, and you may even pick up the pace while barely noticing. ‘In hard workouts a companion can be both a distraction to take your mind off the effort and a pacer to get you through it,’ says sports psychologist Steve Portenga. It’s also a great way to cement a friendship.