The Benefits of Solo Training vs Group Training
When I think about training for anything, which could include academically, athletically, professionally, or spiritually, I have noticed that in order to see true benefits there are things a person must do individually and in a group setting. As an individual, there are some habits that you have to form to increase your performance. Having a solid run group that you are able to train with, holds you accountable and pushes you to be your best is golden.
Ok, so how many of you have had that person who works out with you and encourages, motivates, and guides you into doing another rep, lap, or session? That is what my run group does. Although most of our communication is by virtual means, we still make sure everyone is encouraged and logs some form of exercise.
At the peak of our running group, pre-Covid-19, there would be anywhere from 4-10 people up at 5 o’clock in the morning running 3-4 miles. During this time I noticed my pace increased and my performance was top notch. There was never any pressure for all of us to perform the same, but there was always constructive criticism.
Think About It…
When you are competing in a 5k, 10k, or a marathon, there is a pacer or someone you follow during the run. This person usually helps you to keep a steady pace and meet or exceed your personal goals. Having a pacer may allow you to take the responsibility of monitoring your time and pace off of yourself. Although, lagging behind at some point in the race may cause you to have feelings of anxiety. If you meet or exceed your goal, I am sure excitement and feelings of accomplishment will definitely overshadow your previous feelings of anxiety.
Every year there is a 10k event that my family participates in in Charleston, SC. My father will finish the race way ahead of everyone else, but he runs back to each individual in the family and encourages them to keep pushing. Is it aggravating? Of course! But, we always finish strong. And even when it is hard to lift your leg to run, you power through it.
I am an advocate for having a good run group. In my opinion, the benefits outweigh the negatives. Being a part of a run group comes with the following benefits of having someone to:
- Assess your form
- Motivate you
- Hold you accountable
- Help set goals
- Keep you safe
- Share information and tips with
I know having a run group can come with having feelings of guilt when you are unable to meet with them because life comes up. But, the right run group will be supportive and waiting for you when you are ready to put your run shoes back on. And please remember not to run at night by yourself. Thanks!
As individuals, there are many things that we must do alone in life. Having a group to support, motivate, and challenge you is always awesome! But at the end of the day, you are the one who has to put in the work.
Just like with any new task or path you want to take, making changes in your life requires you to make those changes a habit. Habits are easily picked up (sometimes) and difficult to get rid of. Embarking on a run journey is a good habit to acquire. It is you who will need to make sure you set your alarm to wake up in the morning, prepare for the run nutritionally, and make sure you are incorporating rest into your new routine.
Training alone allows you to make workouts more personalized to your needs and go at your own pace. So, you are on your own time. This allows you to incorporate more meditative techniques into your workouts and become more self-aware.
While all of these things are great benefits to training, having a running partner or running partners will help you not to get stuck into a rut. Or get bored with your training and stop.
Bringing Them Together
With all of our training routines, balance is required. It is always nice to have someone check-in on you to make sure you are reaching your health goals. Or to have someone help you to set goals and achieve new goals.
When we were learning a new subject in school, there were group exercises and individual exercises. But, when we had to sit for the exam to show how well we knew the information it was usually an individual task. So, think of running and fitness this way.
We should study and train together and individually to meet our performance and health goals. At the end of the day we, the individual, are the ones who will run that 5k, 10k, marathon, or ultra. But, it is nice to know that there is someone who will cheer you on, encourage you along the way, and let you know that you are not alone on this journey.
So, call your mother, father, sister, brother, neighbor, or significant other and let them know that you all are going for a run. And remember to have fun!