I have just come off an awesome weekend of training with one of my Team MaccaX members Craig who came down from the Gold Coast. Craig is about to race Challenge Roth in Germany and has had a less than ideal build up. He came down to do some decent volume and I am happy to report that I managed to deliver. I noticed that over the 4 days he was with me I was much more motivated to not only train but to train well. Wether you are training for a race or a fun run or even just trying to lose some weight I realised it is easier to do it with someone else.
Something many people who seem to struggle with is maintaining motivation. The day-to-day motivation to keep training and dieting can be hard, especially when flying solo. I know that when I was going through my weight-loss I would not have been able to maintain my change of diet if my wife didn't eat the same food as well. Even now, I rely on Dez to help me remember what I should eat and how much of it. Having a partner in crime can be an incredibly effective way to ensure you reach your goals.
Triathlon is a sport where you need to train solo sometimes, it is an individual sport, you can't draft on the bike. That doesn't mean though that there aren't advantages to training with someone else. On Friday I went out for a ride with Craig and another friend, Brett Murray. I am a stronger cyclist than both of them so we were able to do some above threshold work where I would ride at a decent pace which I could maintain while they would sit in behind me and ride at a pace they would normally struggle with. While the pace was ok for me, there were some hills or turns where I had to dig deep a little to maintain the pace. Having them behind me forced me to go hard. I got a decent workout from it and so did they.
It isn't just about performance though. I was pretty cooked on Monday morning and not too keen on doing too much. But having Craig here and knowing he had Roth coming up meant that I was motivated to not only train, but to complete three sessions. A swim, bike and a run. By having someone to train with or commit to a goal with you become accountable to that person like I was with Craig. It can also be fun. By training with someone else the time can go faster and you are able to complete your sessions without the mental drain you experience sometimes on a long, lonely session.
The accountability is important. One of my friends, Andy has signed up for his first triathlon in October. I am going to help him get to the finish line. I gave him my word that he will finish the race and I intend to come good on my promise. I am sure that if he signed up and tried to tackle the race himself he would get to the finish line (he is a tough, stubborn guy) but by having me there with him I will be able to make sure he gets there in a better position than if he was solo. I think he would have even more success if another friend of ours agreed to compete too. The motivation can come from friendly competition.
By committing to something with friends, or others we are making ourselves vulnerable. This isn't always easy for some people. No one likes to show weakness. But by placing faith in another, by asking someone for help, by having someone beside you, you will have a better time. If you manage to have more success or enjoy yourself while you are doing it you will probably be more successful in the long run too. So if you are someone who struggles for motivation or enjoys a cheat meal a little too often. Find a partner in crime.
I stand by my belief that success ultimately comes down to the individual, it is their journey and they are the one who has to do the work. However, why not do the work with someone crazy enough to join you?
So find a friend, join a team and remember to TRI!
**I want to dedicate this week's post to my Grandma who passed away this week at the age of 90