Who do you train with? Or do you train by yourself? This past weekend, I was supposed to ride 50 miles with my boyfriend, Dustin. Dustin was riding 100 that morning with one of his fellow Ironman Florida competitors and I was meeting them for the second half… I think I stuck with them for about 5 miles and then they were off. At first I thought, “what the hell was the point of me coming out to ride with Dustin?” I knew it was going to happen (them taking off) but still, it would have been nice… then it hit me, I’m improving. Fact of the matter is, last time I rode with them, I couldn’t even stay up with them for a mile before they took off.
Then I started thinking (I had 45+ miles on my own, plenty of time to think), how many beginner multi-sport athletes get discouraged because they are training with fellow triathletes that have just been within the sport longer? There is something to be said for training with folks at your level and then ones whom are more advanced. When I train with someone around my level, I find myself pushing myself harder because lets face it, I’m a competitor and I like to prove myself… as better. When I’m training with Dustin, someone who has been at this for a couple years, I find myself again, pushing myself harder but for different reasons. His bike is STRONG and when I ride with him, I tend to hold him back which I don’t want to do. This week, on the way out on the levee, I found myself only a couple minutes behind the soon to be Ironman finishers… I felt like I accomplished something. This being said, there’s still a lot of work to be done!