are there any disadvantages to a triathlete who trains solo finds a group

My husband has always been a triathlete who trains solo. Oh, they’d be the occasional rides with friends on weekends, but that was rare, especially when he was training for a race. The reason was always explained to me as follows…

It’s too hard to do what I need to do when I’m riding with someone else. I have to follow what Matt (his coach) has set out for me and I can’t do that if I’m riding with others. I have to be able to focus and get done what I need to get done. I can’t slow down to keep pace with other people.

But, all this recently changed, much to my surprise and delight!

See, I’ve always wanted him to train with others on the bike. I hate when he goes out on his own as people are just crazy and so many have no respect for cyclists. We’ve also had friends whose rides have not ended well. So, I just felt more comfortable knowing there was someone to help, if the unthinkable ever happened.

I also never quite understood why you’d want to be in your training room by yourself for 3 hours when you could be outside (weather permitting) riding or running with a friend. It’s not like he’s antisocial; quite the contrary and he loves to chat triathlon with anyone!

After essentially taking over a year off from triathlons due to injuries, he slowly got back into training…alone. A good friend and fellow triathlete has been trying to get him to work out at a local gym where a lot of other triathletes train, but he has resisted, until he was finally worn down on Thanksgiving.

His coach has consistently told him that he needs to throw weights into his training mix, but seriously, there are just so many hours he can commit to training. But, I guess since he’s only training for halfs next year, he figured he could steal some time from the other disciplines. So, he went to meet with a private trainer and ended up seeing 3 other triathletes he knew there training. Well, that’s all he needed to give the place great tri cred and he happily signed up for 5 AM sessions twice a week. Ugh…It means alarm goes off and lights go on shortly after 4 AM again.

what are the advantages to a triathllete who trains solo finds a group

But, it hasn’t ended there. He’s now doing bike classes on Saturday mornings with a whole group and having way too much fun and he’s even talking about Sunday morning runs and signing up for a package of classes.

So, I wondered what changed his mind. Then, he told me the story of how they can see their pace and where they are in the “tribe” on a big screen and that he got beat at the last second by another guy and was not happy. I knew exactly why he changed his mind…Okay, he also said, “They’re really nice people and not assholes”.

After I figured that out, I focused on the positives for both the triwife/partner and triathlete to training with a posse. Other than what he mentioned about when he had a specific training regimen that he can’t do in a group, I haven’t really come up with any negatives.

For the triathlete…

  • pushes him much farther in training than he could do on his own
  • gets the competitive juices going outside of a race
  • gets in some socialization especially during the long winter
  • gets to talk triathlon with like-minded people
  • can learn more about new stuff and from other people’s personal experience with said new stuff than he can get online or in mags – okay, admittedly this could turn into a negative

the many advantages to group training for the triathlete who trains solo

For the triwives/partners…

  • they have someone else to talk triathlon with besides you
  • there’s safety in numbers
  • gives you a potential pool of triwives to commiserate with
  • they’re not training in the house, smelling up the place or dripping sweat all over the floor
  • you can workout inside when you want and not have to wait for them to finish – besides the odor, we compete for media – he likes music and I watch TV
  • they can take a shower at the gym and come home fresh

What do you see as the advantages/disadvantages of training alone or with other triathletes?