If You Want to Go Far, Go Together: The Power of Partner Training

It might seem a little passé to be writing about New Year’s resolutions now, given that we’re well into February. But there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that if you want go beyond simply setting goals and actually stick to your aims until you achieve them, you cannot fly solo. As the old African proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 

This doesn’t just extend to journeys, but also to athletic performance. Yes, it might be the Kyle Rudolphs of the world who catch the playoff game-winning touchdown passes, the Jrue Holidays hitting the game-winning shots, and the Alex Honnolds and Jimmy Chins climbing the sheer granite walls, but every high performer – even those in seemingly individual pursuits – has a support team behind and beside them. 

This theme of partnership is particularly pertinent given that Valentine’s Day is somehow already upon us. For some athletes, like Ben and Sarah True and Kirstin and Tim Ritchie, the person they share their life with is also someone who can further their athletic goals. For others, it’s their training partners and teammates who help them fulfill their potential. To give you a rare insider’s view of the group dynamics behind elite performance, we turned to some of our Momentous Ambassadors:  

“My training partner and I rarely run a mile together and yet without her support I cannot train. She holds me accountable to a healthy nutrition plan. She makes sure I sleep well. She listens to my complaints and empowers my ambitions. She’s there for me when I am down and out and is the first to cheer for me when I’m on top. We have seen the other at our worst and yet continue to bring out our best. She is my partner in training and in life. She is my wife!”

— Tim Ritchie, Professional Runner and 2020 Olympic Hopeful

“My training partners were my CrossFit Games teammates. We sweated, lifted, chilled, and recovered together. We relied on one another to succeed, so it was necessary to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses on the field. They pushed me to go past my own limitations again and again. I progressed the most from those experiences. It wasn’t always rewarding, and it was rarely comfortable, but I learned a lot. I grew a lot as an athlete and a person. For that, I am forever grateful.”

— Kassandra Hobart, CrossFit Games Athlete and Nutrition Coach

“The training partner that most impacted my athletic journey was my Nordic skiing teammate during college. While we were affectionately known as the Bickersons due to our consistent bickering, rabble-rousing, and one-upmanship, we fed off each other’s energy and passion for the sport to get the most out of each other.  Together, we were able to push more out ourselves through our competitive spirit and friendly rivalry than either of us could alone. Best of all, we were able to turn the most strenuous workout into an enjoyable game, keeping the hard work fun.”

— Ben True, Professional Runner and American Record Holder

“For three years, I had the privilege of being humbled and pushed to be a better CrossFit athlete and human every day. My training group was known as the Squat Mafia Ladies. We all played collegiate athletics and we all found that special, irreplaceable bond of locker room silliness after a hard day of training with each other. We were there for every significant milestone professionally and personally in each other’s lives, through marriages and breakups, and career milestones and setbacks. I don’t know where I’d be in this life without this group of strong women helping me chase excellence.”

— Dr. Allison Brager, Neuroscientist and CrossFit Games Athlete

“Before my first Ironman, I reached out to a former training partner, Alicia Kaye. She was the resource I needed: open, giving with her time and information. I felt that I could ask any question and she’d respond without judgment. As much as I valued her as a training partner, her willingness to serve as a mentor was even more valuable. I’ll be forever indebted to Alicia for her insight, her empathy, and for reminding me of the importance of community in sport.”

— Sarah True, 2x Olympic Triathlete and Ironman

“The training partner that has impacted my life the most is a fellow NFL player. He and I, along with a group of other players, pushed each other daily. Whether it was in the weight room, out on the field, or critiquing each other’s new ideas about training, dieting, etc., we inspired growth in each other. And for that, I am forever grateful.”

— Corey Linsley, NFL Center for the Green Bay Packers

“Training partners have been absolute lifelines for me. I’ve had multiple training partners who mean so much. From the training partner who strung me along through one of my biggest breakthrough workouts (4 x 2 miles), to the training partner who I ran almost all workouts with leading up to the Boston Marathon in 2016, to the partner I can always count on for easy, talkative, carefree miles, and, of course, the partner I met on the starting line of the Philly Marathon in 2010 (we ran 21 miles together, then later reconnected after the race on Facebook). Running has created some incredible bonds among so many important women to me, and I am so thankful!”

— Mary Johnson, Running Coach and Owner of Lift Run Perform

“My training partners and I use the gym as our boardroom! We brainstorm between sets on how to grow our business, all while finding ways to work together. It’s fun and exciting. We workshop while we workout. We go equally as hard in the training as we do the conversations! Its created a fierce brotherhood.”

— Dolvett Quince, NBC’s Biggest Loser Trainer and Entrepreneur

“For years, my training partner was my boatmate. She and I had a successful career together because we were the ying to each other’s yang. She was quiet, I was loud. She was powerful and steady, I was ferocious and spicy. We learned from each other, fought through tough moments, and built confidence together. It was a training relationship that turned into a lifelong friendship!”

— Sara Hendershot, Olympic Rower and Momentous Director of Marketing

“My training partner for several years was my colleague and mentor. He challenged me physically, mentally, and spiritually day in and day out while we built a program side by side. He showed me how much more one can give not only in training, but in life. He exemplified how a leader should act and lead from the heart. We leaned on one another during the successful times and through the turbulent times. Providing the extra energy and push that was needed. I will always be indebted to the ultimate warrior!”

— Tony Dieppa, Assistant Director of Coaching at TCBoost Sports Performance

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