Many of us find it hard to stay motivated to stay on track with our training plan. We know we need to, but it’s hard to hold yourself accountable.

Call on a friend or a neighbor. That’s right, grab a buddy! Who knows, maybe that person needs you for the very same reason.

The benefits of a training partner are endless. Here are six valid reasons:

  1. You’ll be more motivated.
    It’s one thing to cancel plans with yourself – it’s another to cancel on a friend who’s counting on you. You’re much more likely to meet your friend for a planned workout session after dinner compared to the tentative plans you made with yourself after lunch to workout. It only takes three or four weeks to get into a habit and you won’t even think about canceling on your friend after that!
  2. Partners make great alarm clocks.
    If you’ve always wanted to do more morning runs, find a morning person to run with. Added benefits: you’ll be better acclimated to those a.m. races once you’ve done some a.m. training; and your workouts will be done and out of the way – you’ll have the whole day to yourself!
  3. Your workouts can be more fun.
    Everyone knows training for a triathlon or marathon isn’t the most exciting way to spend your time. But with a partner, you won’t even think about how hard your workouts are. Your partner can be the perfect pick-me-up if you’re bored with your workouts or just life in general.
  4. You’ll always have a spotter.
    When it comes to strength training day, you will always have a spotter if you have a dedicated training partner. You will never again have to count your own reps or approach a stranger and ask him to spot you. Your spotter will also keep an eye on your form as well as help you push through to the 11th, 12th, and 13th rep when you didn’t think you could make it past 10.
  5. Partner training is safer.
    Training with a partner is safer. Especially for women and during nighttime running, you’re much less likely to come across trouble if you have someone with you. Again, having someone you trust as a spotter (rather than a stranger) is much safer; and having a partner that can help troubleshoot your running form will help save you from pulled muscles, and other injuries.
  6. You’ll work out harder.
    Whenever you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be greater than when you’re alone. You will both push each other and odds are, you’ll both want to quit around the same time – but you’ll go a little longer if your friend is pushing through.

When you are looking for a training partner, here are some qualities to look for:

  • Be sure you share the same goals: This is very important. Find someone on the same level of fitness that you are trying to achieve and who has the same passion and drive. If you want to be the best you can be, then you need to find someone who wants the same and then some.
  • Share Suggestions and Opinions: Remember you guys are training partners, not a one-person team. Your training can really benefit when each of you shares different training routines and strategies, when combined can lead to a creative and awesome workout.
  • Honest and Critical: You want your training partner to be honest and give you constructive criticism when needed and vice versa. At times it might be humbling, but it is what you may need to hear to kick your training up a notch or to make any necessary changes to your program.
  • Provide Friendly Competition: This will help you and your partner get the most benefit from each other. Whether it be who can lift more, run faster, or hit 5% body fat the quickest. Friendly competition brings out the best in an athlete.
  • Dependable: This is the most important quality! You want your partner to be there on time, ready to go, all the time!

Consider getting yourself a training partner if you don’t have one. You will be helping out yourself and someone else with the motivation, determination and accountability to achieve the goals that you set out for.

Are you looking for an accountability partner?  Do you need help training for your first triathlon? Contact me today.  I can help connect you with a training partner or I can help get you on the right track to achieve your triathlon goals!

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MJ Gasik started competing in the sport of triathlon in 2003 and has completed 12 Ironman distance races including the World Championships in Kona, HI. MJ is a USAT Certified Coach, Ironman U Certified Coach, USMS Level 4 Certified Coach and is the founder and owner of Tri Right Coaching. MJ has coached hundreds of athletes from beginners through elite to personal bests in distances from sprint through Ironman.

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