Background: I have started running regularly with a partner who has a smaller stride than I do. Because there is only so much time in the day, my partner-running workouts have replaced my normal solo-running workout. The partner-running workouts are something I would like to continue with for multiple reasons beyond fitness goals.

Problem: My partner-running workouts last the same duration as my normal running workout (~50 mins), but because I am matching my running partner's pace, I am not getting my heart rate up into my target training zones as I would when running on my own.

Question: I have heard tips of exaggerating motion (e.g. high knees) to increase the effort / heart rate, but I do not want to regularly practice poor form (practice makes permanent) since this is something I have started doing every other day. Is there anything else I can do to improve my own cardio benefit while running with a partner that does not require poor form?

  • How about your partner biking while you run?
    – xCodeZone
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 1:59
  • You could run circles around your partner :-).
    – Enivid
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 17:55

4 Answers 4


Consider wearing a weight vest. To maintain a given pace with additional weight, your power output must increase, so your cardiovascular efficiency must improve. This has the unfortunate side-effect of increasing the stress on your body, especially your joints.

  • Maybe dragging a tire would hurt less, but both would be disagreeable to me if I was the partner :)
    – Jason
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 1:09

You will be surprised the benefits you will gain by running slower - you'll be exclusively working your aerobic system. Unless these partner-runs are replacing any hard workouts (tempos, intervals, etc.), then you may end up doing yourself more good than you realise - on the basis that easy running provides a good base.


Do what one of my running partners does with me. Run alongside me until you feel the need to "stretch it out" and then go sprint ahead for a bit. Then return back and run alongside. In some cases you can get close to running 1.5 times the distance (as logged by our fitness trackers).


You can also try running backwards or sideways, as this requires more energy.

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