JUNE 12TH 2016

BY COACH ALEX ARSLAN

TRAINING ALONE V. TRAINING WITH A GROUP

Is it better to train by yourself or with a group? Well, it depends on what works well for you and your schedule, as well as your general preferences. Below I list a number some pros and cons of training alone as well as training with a group.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Coach Arslan

Coach Alex Arslan is a USA Track and Field Level 1 certified coach. He started off his athletic career as a soccer player. After falling just short of playing professionally he began running, and within his first few months saw a marked improvement. At the start of college Coach Arslan joined the Hunter College Cross Country and Track & Field teams. In his very first season he helped lead the team to a cross-country championship.

Training Alone
Pros

  • Your training is designed specifically for you in terms of how it’s structured, training paces, and overall volume.
  • Your training will always revolve around your schedule, not someone else’s.
  • On a day when you’re feeling particularly good or bad, you can adjust your workout effort without affecting a teammate’s session.
  • You develop a mental fortitude unique to the solo ‘grind’.


Cons

  • Working with others, whose strengths might be your weaknesses, is beneficial to improvement.
  • The mental grind of doing everything alone could potentially result in loss of motivation.
  • Without a group of runners, you can’t run race-day simulations at practice.


Training with a Group
Pros

  • You can depend on others to push you along on days when you’re struggling. .
  • It’s fun! You’ll get to chat with friends during warm-ups, cool-downs, and easy runs.
  • Meeting with others might help you be more accountable to show up to your workouts.
  • You’ll practice race day scenarios with teammates.


Cons

  • Sometimes teammates end up ‘racing’ each other in practice instead of ‘training with’ each other.
  • You might run a workout too quick or too slow because of how other teammates feel.
  • Your individual training might be compromised by a workout designed to benefit the group as a whole.


At the end of the day there are a lot of variables to consider, but you should now have a general idea of the kind of factors you should be thinking about.


You know yourself best, so as long as you’re being honest in your evaluation you can choose the right path. There are plenty of athletes who have been successful in both scenarios. Ben True trains solo and runs 13:02 for the 5k, Hassan Mead trains with the Oregon Track Club and he also runs 13:02 for the 5k. In running there are many ways to acquire positive results, but everyone needs to find the formula that works for them.

© 2017 Educated Running, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved