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  • Writer's pictureStephen O'Sullivan

How did Train Pack come to be

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

Why does the Train Pack Running App exist?

OK, I've put this off long enough (a procrastinating runner? no way!?) - I'm going to write the first Train Pack blog post. What better place to start than the beginning. A meaty existential question - why are we here? In this case, why does the Train Pack App exist? What is Train Pack? Is it a running app or is it a cycling app (I'll answer that one first - it is both)?

Screenshot of Stephen O'Sullivan, founder of Train Pack, showing a Garmin run

Let's go right back to the start. I'm a distance runner and I like to talk. I especially like to talk while I run. I find this works best when I have somebody to run with. Otherwise the conversations can be brief (although sometimes, at my pace, I can hold a relatively long conversation with a static passerby before I go out of earshot).

I recently moved county (a nomadic Kerryman - moved from Dublin to Tipperary) and left all my running buddies behind me. I'm not overly sociable outside of running, running is definitely the place I feel most comfortable having the chats and banter. I did a lot of solo running, I like to do long miles, about 90-100 each week, so I ended up on my own a lot. The rare times I had some company I noticed the miles just flew by, at lower perceived effort & exertion. They made me remember how nice it is to have company on runs. I also realised how hard it is to train solo, all the time. It just gets to you. Great article here on Flat Feet with some other reasons to train in a group.

So find people to run with.

Easy for you (or me) to say! Every runner has their own schedule, training plan, training focus, target distances & target paces. Some people like having company on some runs and not on others. Unless there is somebody that has the same goal, in the same period and has a similar work / family schedule, it is hard to find a training partner most of the time. Even within running clubs it is exceptionally hard to find people to work with on the weekday easy (or not so easy) runs. Like ships passing in the night I'd sometimes see somebody running against me at a similar pace and we might join forces (and curse that we didn't run together from the start). Worse again I'd see a mate on Strava that ran the same distance and pace that I just covered, at the same time, both of us running solo. Argh!!!

I was on a long rainy drudge of a run and thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if there was an app where you could post up your planned runs, share a link to the run with your mates across WhatsApp or FaceBook (or good old email) and then you'd have a pack of other people to train with.

We need a one-stop-shop where runners can broadcast their planned runs and share them with anyone that might be interested in joining. A searchable menu of joinable runs.

So the idea for Train Pack was born. Over another ten rainy 'drudge runs', I meditated on it some more and said fek it, I'm going to build it!

What did I know about building a running app? Absolutely nothing! I know a lot more now. A lot of info that I won't bore anybody with but the one thing I did learn is that you really (REALLY) need to believe in what you are building and you must want it. It costs a lot of time and money (roughly ten times what you'd expect).

As I write this blog we are almost ready for 'Live' launch of the Train Pack app. It is exciting and petrifying. I really wanted a running app that can be used to find company on long runs and to help myself and others to find training partners. And that is what we have created with Train Pack. I am very happy & proud of what the team has built. At the end of the day, when I am plagued with doubt I ask myself - is this something I will use to share my runs and find company? The answer is a massive YES.

Train Pack running app logo - the best running app in 2022 to find people to train with near you

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