As my training continues to become more and more time consuming I’ve noticed that the training itself can be a great stress reliever, but also very lonely and alienating at times. Whether it’s swimming with your head underwater for an hour, or heading out for a 4-hour bike ride it can be difficult to spend that much time with just your own thoughts to keep you company.
I would consider myself an extrovert, meaning that I’m outgoing and I thrive in social situations. So whenever possible I try to coordinate as many workouts as possible with friends to keep me company. Not only does it make the time pass by faster, but I actually really enjoy the workout and it doesn’t even feel like “work.” Plus, for morning workouts I’m much more likely to get myself out of bed if someone else is relying on meeting me.
Balancing three sports in addition to all other life activities is difficult enough. Then trying to work around another person’s training schedule can be near impossible. But, with some planning and communication I think it can be done. Here are my ideas for the upcoming spring and summer to help battle the training blues and avoid loneliness.
- For longer runs, find a friend who enjoys biking leisurely and have them ride alongside you to keep you company.
- Join a local triathlon club (Rochester Tri Club or the Bluff Busters in La Crosse are the closest to Winona) and get to know the members. There’s likely to be someone that is training for similar events and swims, bikes and/or runs at a similar pace to you.
- Find local swim groups, group bike rides and running clubs. In Winona, there’s the Masters swim group that has already started open-water swims this spring. I usually join them when the water is above 60 degrees. Brone’s bike shop has Tuesday night time-trials and Thursday night group rides all summer long that begin in May.
- For your friends who bike at a less intense level as you, have them join you for recovery bike rides.
- For your friends who bike at a higher level than you, ask to join them so that you can push yourself harder and faster.
- Track workouts are perfect social situations for a group of runners that run at different paces. You all stay within the same area, and when lapping each other you can shout out words of encouragement.
- Something new I’m going to try this spring… Taking advantage of the local library and checking out audiobooks to use while training. These will hopefully come in handy when I train alone and have no one else to keep me company. I’m going to beat back boredom with a stick!
Let’s hear from you! Do you have a training partner? Training group? When training alone, how do you prevent boredom?