Training buddies are the shit

Last year I moved to a small town to be with my partner and his kiddos. It has taken some time to settle in and I’m still not completely there. However, I’m starting to get to know people, and I’m noticing and enjoying the perks of small-town life more than I used to. Training has been a big issue for me since moving for lots of reasons. One of those reasons is lack of training buddies.

A few weeks ago I thought that I might be able to start a little running group, or at least a walking group. I thought of a friend of mine (and former bike coach) who started a beginner women’s mountain bike group so that she could find more women to bike with. I took that idea and thought I’d try it out. It was at a bbq at a neighbours house that I asked a couple of the women there if they were interested in walking and/or running. They were!

We were all friends on Facebook so I created a “secret” group and invited the 3 of them to join it. We decided to walk on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning. I assumed that because they all have small children that they would want to go early, but apparently their kids sleep in. It must be a small-town thing. Anyway, we decided on a time that isn’t as early as I would like, but could work with.

Training buddy pro: will get your butt out of bed
Training buddy con: you have to be flexible with schedule to make it work for everyone

The first day, of course, the weather decided to be rainy and cold. Two of the gals declined. One said she would come. I was impressed with her – she wore a backpack with her baby in it. He was great and enjoyed the ride despite the wind in his face. The next time we went out it was the two of us again. I told the others that I wouldn’t give up on them.

Last week we had three on on day and then on Thursday it was two of us again. That morning it was pouring rain earlier in the morning and we had two drop out (one woman has actually said that she likely wouldn’t make it at all, but we keep her in the loop anyway). I thought about bailing, but remembered that we had said RAIN OR SHINE. I posted on our little FB group that I was going and asked if I had company. The other gal almost bailed too, but saw my post and said she’d come. We hammered out a great walk and the weather was actually really nice with the sun peaking out from the clouds. I was proud of us for getting it done, even with the extra resistance from the mud on our shoes.

Consistency has been my major issue with training and just having these days of walking has created me being consistent the rest of the time. I have biked with two different people over the last two weeks and I’ve gone swimming twice. I am sitting here pretty proud of myself, actually. Any reader of this blog knows that I’ve said this before and I’ve tried to be consistent and have made great promises to myself that “this time I’m going to stick with it,” etc, etc. So I’ll make the vague and non-committal promise that:

I’m going to do the best that I can to be consistent.

Here is Joe Friel’s 5 Fundamentals of Training – consistency is the key to all of it.

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