How important are training partners?

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Training partners can be very helpful as it can help provide extra motivation and accountibility.  

I will say that there are several people who enjoy training by themselves.  For all the motivation, encouragement, accountability and community that a partner provides training by yourself can also be a blessing.  I have found that I am around people all the time, can train hard and be motivated by myself so training by myself can be my time to myself and also a great release.

I really think it comes down to the person, some people do better with a partner and others do better without one.

Training partners can offer encouragement, companionship, will power, and a positive influence on your fitness motivation. I have seen training partners working together as a well-oiled machine, effective and efficient during their workouts and achieving their goals. I also have seen training partners that were highly ineffective and inefficient. They seem more interesting in visiting with each other and those around them than actually working out. Usually their left with breaking much of a sweat, so be sure to select partners that share your commitment to fitness training, rather being a social butterfly.

Working out with friends or family members can be beneficial because it provides accountability, a sense of support and a social outlet. All of these things lends themselves to higher exercise adherence. However, make sure your friends and family members are aware of your fitness goals and share the same desires as you.  While it's great to hit the gym floor with someone else, if your friend only wants to spend time conversing, it may deter you from reaching yoru goals.  Communicate what you want to accomplish from your workout sessions so that you both can get the most out of your exercise session.
My best training days are when I had the perfect partner.  A training partner can be the missing link to a more successful exercise program, if you have the right partner.  A training partner will keep things fun, hold you accountable and motivate you to go to the next level.  I went through four training partners before I found the perfect one.  I did benefit from each previous training partner but nothing like when I found the partner that could match me and help me excel in my goals as well as I helped him excel in his.  If you are not having fun while being challenged with your current partner, don't hesitate to try someone else.   Sometimes a training partner that is not a relative or friend is better.  It is all trial and error until you find the perfect training partner.
Choosing the right training partner is a tricky task. While we often enjoy the company of others while on a long ride, or run- sometimes that other person can derail us from our own training goals. Racing up every steep hill, pushing the pace by running or riding one step out in front and sprinting to every sign can be excellent on hard days- and detrimental on recovery days. If your training partner is not on the same page as you, they may be hurting, rather than helping you reach your fitness goals. There is comfort in numbers, particularly on days when you do not want to get out of bed or off of the couch- and your training partner drags you out- but if that same partner has their own agenda for the ride or run that day- they may have to do their own thing- because the most important thing is that you follow your own plan. Rest days, recovery days and killer intervals are all essential components of a successful training program. Don’t let your training partner convince you otherwise, that you don’t really need a day off on the last warm day of the year- you do need it. Enjoy the day in other ways- go for a walk, read a book in a park, but on rest days- rest, on easy days- ride easy and on interval days let your partner push you- push each other- that is why you have one another.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.