The best of times are had with friends. The richest memories are made with those whose company we really value. The camaraderie of training together and helping your friends through the lows of hard sessions and riding the highs of the perfect days makes everyone involved stronger athletes and happier people. Going solo is good to do as well, especially on the easy days when you want to keep the pressure off and the intensity low. However, the most gratifying training is done with friends. The talking, joking, encouragement, and the friendly nature of the competition raise the morale of the group. On rough, rainy, or cold days good company makes it easier to get through the slog.
Not only is it more fun to be with a group but there is a growing body of evidence showing that group workouts have a positive influence on performance. Recent studies state that runners in groups can tune out discomfort and pick up the pace more easily than they can alone. Not only are the performance gains beneficial but the social aspect of training with others is significant. Learning about your fellow athletes is great because you get to hear stories about the lives of others. You will get to learn what training means to the people you’re with. Everyone has their reasons and motivations. You’ll get to hear what they do for work and what their families are like. You’ll learn of their goals and hopes for the future. In short, you get to bond with people you might have never known if not for going out with a group. Taking the time to learn these things about others will enrich you both as an athlete and as a person. You can find training groups whether it is through a gym, local running store, bike shop, or social media group. Opportunities for group training are plentiful as are the experiences they provide.