Tip One: Keep the right company.
As an ongoing series I reference “Leadville for Scratch” by Dougald MacDonald with my own insight into the world of ultramarathoning.
In his article the author advises to keep the right company or to run with people of your own ability. Author’s motivation for the tip is motivation. It can be demoralizing to run with people who are leaving you in the dust constantly as stated in the article.
I haven’t had a running partner in 8 years or so. There are definitely days when I could have used some butt kickin’ motivation.
I remember one running partner I had. Steve lived next door; right next door how convenient is that. We both lived at home and he was training for Ironman Canada. His motivation was always a little more than mine so that was great. His pace was similar to mine albeit maybe he was a little bit faster. After Ironman he kind of stopped training for a little while and I eventually moved out. Good times while it lasted. I wonder what ever happened to Steve? Maybe I'll Facebook him? That was the one of the last training partners I had.
The last training partner I had was Mike. We were both training for our first marathons and we did our long runs together. I truly struggled with Mike because he was incredibly fast for a newbie. I think he place third in his age group or something like that in his first marathon. It was truly impressive. His time was 2:45 or something and mine was like 3:57. So you can imagine our training runs his easy pace was my marathon race pace. That was my lesson in demoralizing.
Since then my training partners have always been dogs. When you get up to run at 5 am its not easy to rally and takers on a 7 miler. Koda however is always willing to go. His tail starts wagging as soon as the Timex Ironman alarm goes off. It drives my wife nuts if I take more than a minute to roll out of bed because tails are whacking the walls and little Miniature Schnauzer is pawing the bed. I’m amused, my wife . . . not so much!
I think if I had the opportunity to run with a group or even a partner I don’t think I would. Taking my dog for runs is motivation enough and besides he always lets my set the pace.
Keep the Right Company. Yep! I got this one down.