Cheerleaders, Hardasses, Devil's Advocates...


By Susan Lacke (triathlete.com)


The right tribe will make you a better athlete.

It’s widely known that the same stimulus will always yield the same results—that is, if you always run the same pace, in the same shoes, on the same course, you’ll eventually stop improving as a runner. You’ll plateau—or worse, get into a rut. That’s why so many training plans advocate for mixing things up with speed work, hill repeats, and training tools.

The same is true for your training buddies—though there’s something to be said for a long, quiet ride or a character-building solo run, it’s well-documented that training with others make us step up our game in ways we wouldn’t necessarily do when working out alone. This phenomenon is known in academic-speak as “social facilitation,” or performing better in the presence of others; You probably know it as “throwing down,” “talking shit,” or “I’ll-be-damned-if-I-get-dropped-today.”  ...


To get the most out of the social facilitation effect, you want an arsenal of training buddies, each one designed to bring out the best in you. Like a triathlete carefully selects the right running shoe for the workout or pulls a mountain bike out for a different kind of challenge, so too should training buddies be called upon to play the role they serve best.


The 5 Training Buddies Every Triathlete Needs


The Cheerleader
Sometimes, you just need a pep talk. The cheerleader knows not only what you need to hear, but how to speak your language. Some athletes get revved up with a speech of the “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” variety; others roll their eyes at such contrived B.S., but they do perk up when they hear there’s beer at the finish line. Your cheerleader knows exactly what will get you going.  READ MORE

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