Running together! How sports partners keep you running

Published in Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 2022

First-time participants in the Dutch “Seven Hills Run” demonstrate significantly greater success when they run together with sports partners during their event preparation!

Using unique three-wave, individual-level panel data of more than 800 runners of the ABS project (“Always Stay Active”), we show that runners who run together train more frequently per week, and their likelihood of actually appearing at the event’s starting line substantially increases. Remarkably, these findings even apply to highly intrinsically motivated runners, whom one would expect to require no external motivation. In conclusion, the social dimension of running proves to be invaluable, as it contributes to consistency and goal achievement.

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Franken, R., Bekhuis, H., and Tolsma, J. (2023). Running Together: How Sports Partners Keep You Running. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living.