By Professional Triathlete, Lauren Goss
Often times I get asked if I have a training group or if I train alone. I recommend to anyone just getting into endurance sport to always try and find a group to train with. During college I always rode with the cycling team until I got dropped. Every week I would go back and try to hang on a little more each time. Eventually, I was able to learn how to stick with them for the entire ride and I also learned some valuable cycling tips. Once you get a little more serious about racing and have individual workouts you have to do then I advise doing those workouts alone. I see athletes who have very specific workouts go too hard because they are trying to keep up with the friends they invited to the session. I train with heart rate and I keep in my zones no matter what everyone else is doing during my specific sessions. However, on easy sessions I will gladly join a group and socialize.
Working out with a group also allows you to stay up to date with the latest trends. This can range from certain foods/juices to the best post-workout stretch. For example, some athletes aren’t familiar with the performance enhancing benefits of beet juice, so I have shared my favorite beet juice – Beet Performer – with some of my training partners. Beet Performer is a pre-workout juice that helps deliver oxygen to muscles during activity, reducing both fatigue and inflammation. New products and practices are always emerging and it can be hard to keep on top of all the latest trends on your own.
Training with a group though does not necessarily mean doing the actual session with the group. I pretty much start all of my sessions with the Boulder Coaching athletes. We all warm up together and do the pre workout pick-ups together. Once the main set begins, we all do the individual workouts we have and end up splitting up. I will say it is motivating though to see athletes of all levels just as excited to train as I am. I train with a wide variety of people across all levels. I think it is healthy to interact with others who are not so competitive and remember why we all do sport—for the love of it. I encourage everyone to train with a PRO every once in a while to learn some tips and just to interact and enjoy the company. Happy training!