There are more ways than ever before to find a training partner.
Of course, you can ask at your own gym. The people who run the desk may know of someone who’s looking to pair up, or might be open to it; they may also have a bulletin board you could post a notice on, or a Facebook page where you could post a request.
But, thankfully, there are some higher-tech ways to do your scouting, and none of them involve Craigslist. (I gave Craigslist a shot, but the search for “activity partners” and “running” served up the results “longest-running poker game in New York” and “how to tango your way out of depression.” Maybe next week.)
Here are three training-matchup sites I tried, and what I learned.
Pros: Free; slick interface; addicting.
Cons: Didn’t score as many matches as I had hoped; still don’t know how to pronounce “Bvddy.”
My experience: This is considered the “Tinder for athletes,” but it felt weird swiping left or right to meet other dudes. In my sporty-pictured profile, I wrote, “Mainly looking for tennis partners, but I’m down for whatever,” then realized it might sound like I’m, well, down for whatever. (I quickly edited.) When I landed on someone, it was awkward to message him, but I finally matched with a person who looked promising. I asked, “Hey, Shawn! Up for a run?” A few minutes later... “Hey, I’m in! When do you usually go?”
For more info, check out bvddy.com.
Pros: Free; it’s nearly a lock that your city will have a group for whatever floats your boat, including boat floating.
Cons: Not as flashy as the newer apps.
My experience: Many ways to find a tennis buddy: beginners tennis mixers on Sunday afternoon. Intermediate tennis mixers on Friday nights. Social tennis. Competitive tennis. Kids’ tennis. Senior tennis. I attended a “tennis social” where a dozen people in their 20s and 30s smacked balls into the net, missed their serves, and accidentally whacked balls over the chain-linked fence—perfect, just my speed. Instantly, I had new tennis buddies—mission accomplished.
For more info, check out meetup.com.
Pros: Free; people are cool; has a singles vibe.
Cons: Activities mostly focused on running and calisthenics, so you can’t really “do your own thing”; only available in select cities.
My experience: In the freezing cold, in the purple glow of predawn, people began hugging. It was my first time, so they huddled around me and gave me a hearty welcome. They asked my relationship status. “Single.” They gave a holler. After nine minutes of sprints, pushups, and monkey climbers, I was shattered. I’d found a training partner—100 of them!
For more info, check out november-project.com.