Running alongside someone may make the time go by faster…

But it won’t make you any faster, new research from South Africa and the UK reveals.

Although the runners in the study thought their performance improved in the presence of another athlete their speed, pacing and heart rate didn’t significantly change.

“Your pacing strategy is so hardwired that it’s not easily altered by something external, like a running partner,” says study author Dr Alan St Clair Gibson.

A running buddy could, however, provide you with a psychological edge: he or she may make your workout, whether during training or a race, seem less mentally taxing, says St Clair Gibson.