5 Things to Look For in a Training Partner

Were you less inclined to run during Polar Vortex 2? Feel like you might be losing some fitness because of the harsh winter?

Well I’ve got some tips for identifying a great training partner who can help get you out of this rut. As a regular runner over the last 15 years, I’ve been fortunate to have many solid training partners. Some consistent qualities in all of them are as follows:


1. Common Interests

Look to train with folks who share similar interests to yours. Obviously, you should both like being physically active, and having things in common will help pass the time during runs, weight sessions or bike rides. You may find yourself spending time with this person aside from running and exercise, which is great! It helps strengthen that bond and brings you closer as a team.

2. A Friendly Push

If at all possible, find a partner who is faster than you. It may be slightly intimidating to try and match the pace of someone who’s more experienced and/or fitter than you, but you won’t improve if you aren’t pushed. A former coach of mine was adamant that we run the best competition possible because if we weren’t, we were wasting our time.

3. Sync Schedules

You’ll need to have a training partner who is available to exercise on similar days and times. This doesn’t need to be every day, or even every other day. I’ve had training partners I met for workouts as infrequently as once a week. But there needs to be some sort of regular cadence to your workouts. Otherwise, the training partnership isn’t likely to last long or be fruitful for either of you.

4. Similar Goals

Our 2013 Winter Warrior, K8!

Your training partner should have goals that are similar to yours. If you’re attempting to complete your first marathon and your training partner is looking to complete his/her first 5K, he/she is not going to be able to hang with you for very much of your training. Identifying a handful of races you can both work toward is helpful in establishing a training framework.

5. Positive Outlook

You’re much more likely to maintain a regular schedule (tip #3), enjoy yourself (tip #1) and accomplish your goals (tip #4) if you and your training partner have positive outlooks on running, and life for that matter. Train with someone who is more likely to be upbeat and positive than someone who is not. The sport of running in particular is filled with ups and downs, and it’s overcoming those downs – sometimes with the help of a training partner – that matters most.

Need a training partner? Come out to one of our free, weekly runs!

 5 Things to Look For in a Training Partner - by Christina

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