Couch to 5K
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How do I politely ask my running partner to slow down?

We are on week 7 for about the 3rd week running - haven't told her that though. I have the podcast running she doesn't. On my own I am much slower and managed 28mins on tuesday, but this morning with her, I bearly made 25 mins. I don't want to give up running with her because she motivates me, but I also want to progress and not feel despondent like I am today.

5 Replies

Hi mausimouse,

This is a really difficult one because it would seem that your running partner is running at a pace that is achievable for her but not for you. If she is running the C25K for the first time and not as a "coaching partner" for you, obviously she wants to stick to the best pace she can manage and equally obviously so do you!

She is not "motivating" you right now; however I hate to say it; but it is not going to motivate her either if she is having to slow down to match your pace. She won't be able to feel other than that you are holding her back from achieving her best if every run is at your pace..

If you are both well in the spirit of compromise, I think you may have to talk to her and explain what you have written here. It could be that you could agree to try and do one run at her pace, and the next one at yours...or if that just isn't going to work, you could agree to find other running partners, or go out on your own.

It's an issue that has come up here a few times and it's not easily resolved unless you have good lines of communication with your running partner...good luck!



I suggest that you come clean. Admit you are not managing to keep up (will make her feel good about her running ability!). And suggest that you do the warm up walks together, run at your own pace and meet up at the end to compare notes, have a coffee or whatever. If you're running at close to your ability you won't really be able to chat anyway while you run. She may even be relieved to be able to zoom off by herself without feeling she is abandoning you.

Mind you I just banned my OH from coming with me as it was just too demoralising by half!

Good luck :-)


I wouldn't be surprised if she has already noticed that your finding it tough to keep pace but maybe doesn't want to be the one to say anything and risk hurting your feelings. If that is the case, she might well be relieved if you open up an honest chat about how things are going.

I agree with pingle. I'm sure you can come to some sort of an arrangement to warm up together and meet up at the end for coffee. Hope you manage to sort something out

Sarah x.


You can't continue like this or you will end up getting injured. Just tell her straight out that you're struggling at the current pace, but want to continue running and suggest a compromise, and I would certainly second what pingle has said about warming up together, then meeting up at the end. Best solution for both of you :)


This is were lone runners have no problems. Anyway some wise person came up with this solution many months ago and its really quite simple if you are doing loops in the park. Warm up together then you both run off in the opposite direction, it means that at some stage in the loop you will pass one another so your still together but not running together. You can then meet up for the cool down 5 minutes. It also means you have a safety check on one another too as you will cross paths at some stage. I really liked this idea its so simple, sensible and safe.


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