Hi guys. As you start to think about your next race you'll need to address the training that you do beforehand to make sure you're in the best possible shape. You may be looking to run with other people and perhaps even join a training group in your local area. This week I will talk about the pros and cons of running with somebody, or taking the plunge and joining a running group/athletics club.
Without doubt there is a huge benefit in running with someone else. Not only does it provide you with more motivation to actually get out the door, but you will also be able to train harder than usual. You might be tempted to run a little bit slower every now and then, I mean after all, no one is going to know, right? This is where training with someone else really helps. You'll be surprised how much easier running will feel when you have someone to run with. When you're starting to struggle during a training session you'll want to stay with your group and not get dropped, which means mentally you can push harder and make sure you are training to your optimum.
Having someone there to bounce ideas off about training and racing will also prove invaluable. If you join a running group there is bound to be someone there who has done a race you're thinking of doing, or had an injury or niggle that is similar to yours! Generally a lot of the running groups will have a coach setting the groups runs and making sure there is structure to the training.
Again, following a set training plan and really getting stuck in with the group will do wonders for your running. Running is often seen as a very individual sport but there are plenty of people who work behind the scenes to ensure athletes reach their full potential. Joining a group will instantly give you access to a host of information, physio recommendations, race plans and above all people to train with.
With that said, there is a fine line however between pushing yourself too hard in training and training at the correct level. I am a big believer in running how you feel. If you’re tired, there is no point pushing yourself in training as this is only going to make things worse. You have to really know your body and recognise the difference between working hard, and being tired in a good way as opposed to digging a hole and not being able to train the following days.
When you first start training with a group, it might be a good idea to only train with them once or twice a week. So perhaps just join them for the main workouts of the week. For the rest of the time just run on your own and go at the pace you want to go, as it is all too easy to run faster on your easier days when someone is telling you to do so.
Be sensible and listen to your body. If you are training with a group and find yourself really struggling, then slow down! Don't let your pride get the better of you, everyone gets tired and another day it will be someone else’s turn. I would strongly recommend joining or group or finding people to run with because you'll get fitter and have fun doing it. Good luck and log those miles with the group! See you next time.
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