I have to comment on this subject.
Training partners can be great; I’ll give you that. When my friend JT comes out and decides to run with me, it kind of gets me going and gets my adrenaline going. The thing is, he only runs with me on tempo days because he is a running back and I’m a 400 runner. Otherwise, training partners can be great.
On the other hand, training partners can be detrimental. I’m not going to put down anyone, especially on this board, but sometimes training partners can be a nuissance. If they aren’t on the same level as you regarding intensity, desire, and willpower, then they are just the first part of an asset.
I, personally, love training alone. Call me weird, call me strange, call me whatever, but I love training alone. There is no one around me to hold me back. I go all out 100% on hard days, and know how to hold back on tempo days. A lot of times training partners can be too competitive and ruin the focus of a practice session. Or, they can whine, moan, groan, get you out of focus, and even ruin rest times which destroy workouts.
Training alone is a rush, in some ways. People out there staring at you when you are going 100% on a workout and watching you fly is actually pretty cool. I love it. People come up to me all the time and ask what college I run for (obviously thinking I’m fast ) and when I tell them that I have 1 year left of HS their jaws drop. That “tickles my fancy”, if you will. People automatically assume that college kids are hard workers and HS kids are lazy, and then they see me out there and are amazed.
I don’t care what people think anymore. I’ve learned to do that. Other people’s opinions, especially complete strangers’, mean jack to me because they are unimportant in my life. They have no bearing on what I say, do, act, or whatever. I think that is a big thing that keeps people from being so determined, is that they are worried of what other people think about them or say about them. I don’t care. Say what you will, but I’m the one who’s busting mine to kick yours, you know what I’m saying?
Finally, training alone helps you better prepare for races, in a sense. Of course you don’t learn/strengthen that mentality to pick it up when someone’s ahead of you, but you learn that no one else matters and you are your only judge.
That is the number one key to being successful in my opinion, in track and field. You can’t go out worrying about others, you are your own enemy and you are the only one you need to impress. That’s why my signature used to say “The only competition is the clock”. Because that is so true. If you go out every race and only worry about beating your PB every time, then wins will come. Of course you are going to try to win the race, but if you keep the thought in your mind that your only goal is to run faster than what you did last time, it will all fall into place.
I fell into the trap of worrying what others think when someone commented on that sig and I changed it…well, now it’s back. And (name), kiss my tooshie because I know what it means and it is a metaphor, and if you don’t get it, it’s on you, but it is one of the truest statements you’ll ever hear.
Just my 10 cents (probably closer to a dollar).