Almost everyone who runs has had great training partners at some point in their life. Perhaps when you were younger you had several on your junior high or high school cross country team. These were your best friends. You talked about family, school, work, and everything going on in your life. The camaraderie in this group got you out of bed for early morning practices, encouraged you when your running or personal life was not going so well, and motivated you to work harder for the good of the team.
As the school years pass great training partners are harder to find. Our schedules become harder to coordinate, our goals and abilities are not in line with each others', and we just do not meet that many new runners. Think back to a time when you had a great training partner. Why did this person come to mind? Were they the best runner you knew? The all-American track star in college? No, for me the best training partners are not necessarily the fastest runners or the most accomplished. They are easy to talk to, and just good people. They made running fun. What keeps us running together are the conversations we have while running. We talk about what our kids said that was so hilarious, and what made us proud. We talk about our wives, family, and work. Everything except running! These guys know more about me than most of my family and life-long friends know.
Right now I am lucky to have a great training partner. He and I have run together since junior high school. We became great friends through high school and kept in touch in college. Both of us ended up living in Austin where we still get together on weekends for long runs. I am also lucky to have a great network of friends and family to compete with. The guys pictured above are some of the most competitive I have ever known and motivate me each day to improve myself.
Thanks guys. You're the best. Run Hard.