The national average is 15 days...!! That’s the average time it takes before people become bored and give up on their newly found healthy regime. Whether it is training, swimming, running, cutting back on the sugary stuff, whatever it may be after this period the statistics say some people give up. It could be for a number of reasons, boredom, not enjoying it, not getting the results expected. A great way to stop yourself from giving up on your new regime is to find a training buddy.
What is a training buddy?
Most people think of a training buddy as someone that you actually train with, but this isn’t always the case. A true training buddy is anyone who is committed to your journey to the same degree (sometimes even greater) than you are. This could be a running partner but it could also be a family member, a trainer, your twitter followers, or a website forum buddy. Many people think their training buddy should be fitter or more experienced than them, but I argue that it can be even more fulfilling to mentor someone who you can help out.
The best training buddies:
• Need you just as much as you need them
• Are reliable
• Always encouraging
• There for support when you need it
• Tell you to harden up when you are wimping out (in a caring way of course!)
• Assist you with programming and advice
• Competitive but in a healthy, sportsman-like way
• Hold you accountable for your sessions
• Make workouts much more enjoyable
How to get the most out of each other:
Woody Allen once summed it up saying “eighty percent of success is showing up.” For exercise this is also true. One of the biggest benefits of your training buddy is committing to your training sessions. If you tell someone you are going to do it, then you really have to do it. Whether they are physically with you or not, if you’ve committed to your sessions that week, you don’t want to let them down. Besides commitment training buddies should also;
• Hold each other accountable for training sessions
• Phone/email/text after each training session. Not only will you try harder knowing you are relaying your workout, but it will inspire them to get up and do the same.
• Send motivating/educational material over when you stumble across it.• Don’t let injuries/illnesses affect the relationship; you can still assist each other, like cycling alongside if you can’t run.
• Be training for the same or a similar event or goal.
How to find your training buddy
If you belong to a gym or a running group you are already halfway there. I am sure many of the people you chat to at the various times you’re in the gym would make perfect training buddies. Start by swapping email addresses or phone numbers, drop them a line a few days before a session to see if they are coming, send them some interesting running info such as websites or articles. If you both sign up for a similar event, get busy getting involved in each other’s training. Before you know it, you have ‘buddied-up’ and are well on the way to receiving the benefits that follow. Fitness level, age, gender, all that jazz can be thrown out the window. Are you both keen? Do you get on well? Who cares if you aren’t actually running together, you can still support each other! Twitter is a great medium for this. If your taking part in an event start and follow people who are doing the same or the event itself and from that will come support post your facebook status as ‘ looking for a training buddy etc’
For other tips and advice direct your fitness/nutrition based questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.