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Compete for Success: Partner Up

Compete for Success: Partner Up

Michael Heydt, B.S.

So, Fantasy Fitness was a great success here at FT among all of our trainers and clients.  Even clients who did not participate were rooting and cheering on!  A lot of great results coming in for post program fitness assessments (which reminds me, schedule your assessment the next time you are in!).  Doing a program like this, whether it's a dud or successful, always gets me thinking.  The power of competition is a magical thing.  Trainers competing against trainers, clients competing against other clients from another team, and clients even competing with their own teammates!  The power of competition is a magical thing (Yes I purposely put that in twice).  This reminded me of something that happened almost two months ago while training for a 5k.  

 

I run a decent amount, but I do not particularly do it just for cardiovascular benefits.  Running, for me, is my psychologist appointment.  It’s my 30 minutes to 1 hour of “me” time to ponder about what is going on in my life, my job, my family, my lawn (these leaves are killing me).  So, in early September, my brother-in-law & I decided we would go camping with a group of friends at a place known as “the farm”.  On this particular weekend, there is always a Pumpkin Run 5k in the town outside of the grounds.  So we started training to run in the 5K.  In my mind, being “Mr. Fitness” to everyone in my/my wife’s family, and the fact that I actually enjoy running 5 miles instead of a 5K(3.1mi)...this was going to be mere “extra cardio”.  What I realized about four weeks in of running three to four 5Ks per week was that, I wasn’t as in-shape as I thought I was.  You see, my brother-in-law is what I call a “fast start” runner.  He starts out at a generally fast pace, and then settles in about halfway through to a slightly slower pace than he started, until the run is over.  I, on the other hand am a “closer”.  I run a moderate pace to start, and then pick the pace up a little over halfway through, with a strong finish.  Running with someone else who has a different strategy/pattern than you are used to will definitely challenge even the most in shape of runners.  By the end of the four or five weeks, my first mile was down by about a minute and a half, and my middle mile was down about the same.  Because I usually have gas in the tank at the midway point, this forced my body to adapt and my last mile would end up being about the same-somewhere around 8 minutes :30 seconds. And because I still had gas in the tank, I forced him to run faster toward the end of our runs.  I had never religiously recorded my 5k times before this, but I know that I’d usually run (for fun) around 30-32 minutes for a 5k.  Our best recorded time of this whole venture was 25:56.  This was way better than I had been doing, and most likely the best time I have ever run a 5K in.

 

The power of competition is a magical thing.

 

Partnering up can truly have a great benefit to your fitness results.  Whether you are challenging yourself against other participants in a Pack class, working with a trainer who gets you out of your comfort zone, or just flat out jumping on a treadmill next to someone who is running at 9 miles per hour.  Compete with them.  Know that if you get on that treadmill and can only run for 5 minutes at 9 miles per hour, the next time you are going to do it for 6, and eventually...you WILL catch them.

 

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