No matter what you are training for, there is always an opportunity for you to decide if you want to train alone or with a group. Depending on the activity, your fitness level and your goals, adding some group training might be a great advantage to you. Here are some reasons to consider adding group workouts to your training program:
- Social and Fun – Working out with a group makes it more of a social event and it can be much more fun. Sure, the actual workout itself might not be social, but in most cases, there will be some lingering around after the workout or even going out for a bite to eat together that makes for some great friendships and lots of funny or motivating stories. Some of the best friendships are made through working out together.
- Consistency – Knowing there is a group that meets at a certain day at a certain time for a scheduled workout helps keep you on track. You aren’t going to want to miss that workout when you know all your friends are getting out there and putting the time in.
- Accountability – When you’re following a training program with a group of people, everyone knows what the workout plan is. If you miss a workout or two, your group is going to start asking questions – “Hey, where were you last week?” These people, whom you’ve developed friendships with, will even reach out to you during the week to help keep you on track.
- Support – As athletes, we all go through highs, lows and everything in between. Not every workout is going to be the best one ever. Having other athletes with you who have been through the ups and downs can help walk you through it and encourage you when things get tough.
- Knowledge – One of the best things you can do is to surround yourself with people who have achieved the goals you are looking to achieve. Want to complete a marathon? Hang out with marathon runners. Want to finish your first 5K? Join a local running group. Looking to qualify for Kona? Find others who have done it and start listening to them. There is so much you can learn from others. Ask questions; listen to the stories and experiences; it will help you from making mistakes that others have made.
- Alleviate Boredom – Whether it’s a long swim, bike or run – long workouts alone can be very boring! Even if you aren’t talking with your training group, everyone is going through the workout together. Sometimes, no words need to be said; just having someone there along with you for the ride can be enough to keep you from turning around and going home.
- Push Yourself! – No matter what workout you do, chances are that when you are with a group of your peers, you are going to push harder than you would if you were alone. There is something about a group watching and participating that brings out the best in us. It could be competition, it could be that you don’t want to be the last one, it could be that you just don’t want to let your group down, but having others with you during the workout pushes you to be the best version of yourself.
If you are looking to train for an event or race this year and would like some suggestions on which groups you can connect with to help take your training to another level, please reach out to me: Contact Coach MJ. Let’s make 2017 your best year yet!