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Written By Jessica Lam - June 10 2022
As cheesy as it is, teamwork does make the dream work. I wholeheartedly believe in and can attest to this, especially when it comes to running. This past winter, alongside a couple of friends, I trained for my first marathon in well over two years (thanks, COVID-19!). These are friends I have met through running and are whom I call my “dream team”. We have trained through many races together over the years yet have never run the same marathon. Thus, this training cycle was different because, for once, we would be training for the same goal.
Here are three reasons why I’m a huge advocate for the power of training with friends.
We all have days and nights when you need to lace up for a run, but just don’t want to. This past Vancouver winter was cold, wet, snowy, and icy. I can recall many instances where I would have preferred to stay under a blanket, and I’m sure my partners felt the same. Nevertheless, we laced up and got through some of the wintriest conditions we have ever run in together. The power of knowing people are relying on you to show up is motivation enough to get out that door.
There will be days in training when runs don’t go your way and you rather quit. Training is a process; there is always a push and a pull. Some days you’ll feel great and be the one pushing your partners; other days you’ll be the one getting pulled along. Marathoning is a cycle of give and take, and the support of others provides the strength and encouragement to keep going on the days when you’re ready to wave the white flag and give up.
Marathon training is a long, arduous grind; it takes weeks to build the fitness needed for race day. The journey is not only rewarding but incredibly inspiring. The progress, strength and grit achieved while moving through the cycle are incomparable. Training with partners allows you to celebrate these accomplishments with others and be inspired by each other’s journeys along the way.
Aside from the above, there is a bonus reason to train with friends: FUN!
Training for a marathon is no easy task-it requires a lot of time, focus, and energy, and you’ll likely need to say goodbye to having a social life at some point. When that happens, your training partners become your social life. The many miles and hours spent running together provide ample time to share stories and laughs while building a deeper connection. And when you each cross that finish line, the celebration is even sweeter as you were able to share the journey from start to finish.