For every triathlete there's often a supportive spouse or partner with less ambitious fitness goals waiting at the finish line. Believe it or not, it's possible for endurance junkies, in the midst of training, and their athletically-challenged loved ones to exercise together.
Whether you're an uber-athlete or a mildly athletic couch potato, here are some tips for making your group fitness outings fun, challenging and effective.
How to Survive a Day With an Uber Athlete
Tip No. 1: Be Up Front About Your Limits and Expectations.
Have a brief conversation with your uber-athlete partner about expectations, limits and even your insecurities before embarking on a morning ride or run. In short, keep it positive but realistic, and make sure you're on the same page.
Uber-athletes can get caught up in the idea of inspiring others to get active. That enthusiasm can quickly spin out of control and suddenly you're being coached and regaled with their numerous athletic achievements.
So a friendly reminder that this outing isn't aimed at recreating one of their grueling training sessions can avoid frustration down the line. The outing should be about two people heading out for a few hours on the bike or on the trail for fun. Records will not be broken.
Tip No. 2: Stop Worrying About Holding Them Back
Your endurance junkie loved one is riding or running with you because they want to. As long as you've been up front about the outing, stop worrying about your pace.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't push it a little bit. Uber-athletes can be great sources of motivation and will probably push you harder than if you were on a solo ride or run. But keep it in perspective and leave those insecurities at home.
Tip No. 3: Consider Meeting Them Half Way
If the idea is to make these outings more frequent, keep your endurance athlete's schedule in mind. If they take a long ride every Saturday morning as part of their endurance training, make plans for them to swing back by the house or a meeting place in the last section of their ride. A tired endurance athlete and a fresh, energetic fitness rookie is the perfect match.