I don't expect anyone to ride with me at 3 in the morning. I can't talk to anyone while I am swimming. There's little to talk about when I am on the track for intervals (and little air in my lungs to talk with.) I suppose that triathlon is a solitary sport, especially when you are a competitor in your age group or division. I have friends with whom I can ride, run and swim, but our levels of training are so different, I either end up cheating myself out of a solid workout, or they cheat themselves. So I train alone.
So how do you do it? What motivates, what distracts, what encourages during the more difficult parts of a workout?
I have an MP3 player with a pretty fun playlist, but I don't feel safe riding with the MP3 player, so I use it for runs only. While on the bike, I am obsessed with my cyclocomputer. When I need extra encouragement, I look at that little face staring up at me and see if I can't make it give me some numbers that I can be proud of: Average pace: 25 mph, Cadence: 99 rpm, Maximum pace: 40 mph.
Some of these numbers I see more often than others, but when I hit a new high, I am glad I have my own little "witness" to keep urging me on.
What works for you? I'm interested in knowing.