I'm never a team player, therefore I thought I'd do extremely bad in group training. But I adapted well to it, surprisingly.
I think there's a different feel to training alone and training with a group of people. I've been a solitary runner for many years, with the other person being my dad sometimes, and I love solo running. Firstly, it's relaxing. Totally relaxing. I could go on and on without having a care in the world. Secondly, it's mentally rewarding. I love knowing that I have conquered a tough distance all by my lonesome, as we all know how low our motivation gets when you're not running with a partner in tackling tough workouts. Thirdly, it's super relaxing. There I've said it. I love running solo because there's no one to pressure you.
On the other hand, when I first started to train in groups, I realized the benefits of it as well. It's a GREAT push factor. When you train solo, you need to have the discipline to stick to the planned speed, distance or intensity. Sometimes, it's easy to stop voluntarily, since there's no one pushing you anyway! Training in a group pushes me to points I never thought I could do. I've experienced it many times. I would be dying to stop and the reason I didn't was because the others were going at it as well. Ego feeds. But this is good, social ego.
I also enjoy the camarederie of other like minded people. You never get tired of talking about the same sports you've just been exerting yourself into, looping the stories again and again. we moan and sigh about the same bruises and cramps and ugly toenails and tan lines and nobody else understands. Ever since my circle of friends grew bigger through sports, I feel like I've just joined a society where everybody else is seeing the world in colors when I was seeing them in black and white. It's a whole new discovery.
So, in order to introduce more push, more meat into my workouts, I would try to do these group training at least once a week, or when I feel like I needed the company and push. I still like training solo because I know I would enjoy the pace and the moment more when I have no one to distract me, or to spur my competitive mode on. These solitary workouts would be done completely for enjoyment and relaxation. And when I need the time to pass by faster through a boring workout, I'll definitely be doing them with friends.
What's your weekend menu? I have so many tempting ones offered to me... so many runs to try to join! I need to run this weekend. I only did 15k last week! oops.