Triathlon training can at times be long and tedious, but training with someone makes even the most gruelling workouts more fun. A good training buddy will push you when you want to give up and support you when you feel like no one else understands what you’re putting yourself through. They can be the motivation to head out the door for an evening run or the reason you get out of bed before dawn for masters swim practice. What makes a training partner a good fit for you? Here are 10 things to look for when choosing one.
If your training partner isn’t as committed towards their goals as you are, you’re going to end up feeling frustrated. Choose a training partner who has the same attitude about training as you do so that neither of you ends up feeling like they’re letting the other down simply because of different levels of commitment.
As much as you may meet a great potential training partner who lives a little far away, the best partnership will work when you live or train near each other. It makes it that much easier to coordinate meeting spots.
What time of day you prefer to work out? Before deciding to train with someone, be sure that you have schedules that allow for similar training times. Realistically, it’s not easy to change your entire schedule around so it’s best to find someone who is already free around the same hours as you.
4) Similar ability
While it’s always a good idea to train with people who will challenge you, it’s important to choose a training partner who has similar abilities so that you can comfortably stick together on a workout. If you’re both equally challenged by the end of the workout you’ll feel more fulfilled and confident in your overall training.
Can you trust that your training partner will always show up? If you have a race coming up and have a specific training plan for the week, you need to know that if your partner says they’re going to be there to train with you, they will be. There’s nothing wrong with rescheduling once in a while, but if it happens regularly you’ll be missing out on valuable training experiences that you can’t always replicate solo.
6) Race goals
While it’s not necessary to train with someone who is planning to race the same event as you, it may be helpful and motivating for some. If you and your training partner both commit to the same race, you’ll not only have someone going through the same experiences as you in the months prior. You’ll also have a familiar face out on the course on race day to help remind you that “you CAN do it!”
Does your training partner have other groups or buddies that they train with? If so, you’ll instantly expand your triathlon network — this is something all triathletes should aim to do. The more people you meet, the more you’ll learn about the sport and the more you’ll develop as an individual triathlete!
8) New perspectives
Training with someone new means you’ll get a look into someone else’s approaches to accomplishing the same goal. What do they tell themselves when they need an extra push? How do they deal with a missed workout? Sharing ideas will make you both stronger and maybe help you solve some problems you didn’t have the answer to before.
9) They bring you up
A training partner should be just that — someone who sticks with you. Do you constantly feel competition with the person you’re training with? While some friendly competition might be motivating for some, you should feel supported and empowered by your training partner, not urged to be better than them. Training partnerships fail when one person is made to feel inadequate by the other. Choose a partner who makes you feel better, not worse.
A training partner who inspires you with their attitude will make you get more out of your triathlon journey. Someone who brings a negative attitude to workouts will have an affect on your own performance, even if you don’t realize it at first. Look for a partner who is open-minded, makes light of difficult situations and makes your training session upbeat and fun.