I am not one to usually choose to run with someone. I enjoy it, don’t get me wrong. It actually is an efficient way to “catch up” with individuals, or bond with individuals, while getting another task done (running). However, I usually stray away from choosing a running partner, because I enjoy being able to control my own pace. I enjoy starting slow, then picking up the pace. I enjoy the days when I feel great, that I can charge up hills, and the days I feel lousy, that I can crawl up the hills.
For some, it is beneficial to have someone to train with. It helps, because it makes you more accountable. It pushes you. On the days you may feel like going slow, your training partner, may feel great, and may run faster than you had anticipated. It makes the miles fly by, because you have company. You have someone to drudge through the tough miles with.
I’ve been training for years by myself. When I was in high school, I became more serious about my running in the 11th grade. My school was not well known for running, so I had no training partners during the winter. Those that were good runners, typically played a winter sport, like basketball. During college, my Summers consisted of the same thing. By this point, most of my friends didn’t run anymore. Or, if they did, they ran much less mileage than I did, or at a much slower pace.
I think due to the fact that I have had so many years of solo training, I have just adapted to this type of training, and it is what I am comfortable with. I have been fortunate in that I am able to for the most part push myself when needed. This is all within reason. There are certain workouts I just can’t get myself to do. There are certain paces I can’t even dream of running. However, as I have learned, I have determined workouts that work for me. I have found a running schedule that I can mentally motivate myself to do. I have been successful at improving my race times. I have been able to get myself back into shape after forced breaks in running multiple times. I think what I’ve got is working, and the most important aspect of my training is that I really enjoy it. I enjoy lacing up my shoes every day and going for a run. I enjoy the days when I want to push myself, even though it is hard.
One thing, however, that I DO need a training partner for, is those little things. Abdominal exercises are extremely important for running. Your “abs” are your core, and equally may be called the core of running. You use these muscles to lift your legs, to drive your legs forward, to maintain upright posture, etc. If I do not do my ab exercises immediately after a run, I typically forget or become too “busy” to remember to do them. I have found that my ab partner in crime, my boyfriend has truly been instrumental in helping me do these on an almost daily basis. Sometimes I tell him that I am not doing the ab exercises because I do not feel like it. However, when he gets down on the floor and begins his exercises, I become convinced. Power through actions! I am very grateful for him, and for my “ab training partner”. From this aspect of training, I can truly say that have that training partner really is an asset. You just have to figure out how they work into your own routine.
Do you have a training partner? If so, do you train together every day?