I have been running for 34 years and coaching for half that time. As both an athlete and coach my goals have always been related to running fast. This focus on fast has generally made where I run secondary to getting in the training, and I have found a training partner to be far more valuable to achieving my goals than nice places to run. I’m not suggesting people not run in pretty places just that pretty is no match for good conversation and punctuality before dawn.
Here in Phoenix there are all sorts of good places to run, but the smiles on the faces in these pictures isn’t a result of the scenery, but the company, so the best advice I could give someone looking to improve their running is to find a training partner or even better a training group.
In an ideal group you’ll have partners faster and slower than you to balance out the hard and easy days. You’ll also have partners with similar and different opinions to keep the conversation flowing. There is nothing like a friendly debate to help the miles fly by on a Sunday morning.
One more perk of training partners is having someone who understands your crazy running concerns. Good race or bad, runners like to do a play by play after key workouts and a running partner is a great way to save your significant other some wear and tear. Training partners can help you mourn a poor performance or bad weather or ideally celebrate a great workout or PR. If you haven’t run with someone lately, or ever, I would encourage you to give it a try. Best of luck reaching your running goals.