The COVID-19 crisis has meant that training with others has become a luxury we can’t afford to have. Whilst it has been okay to train with one other person in Australia, training in groups has been a no go. And rightly so while we get on top of this pandemic. Now for many people it is about training for triathlon on your own.
At World Multisport we encourage group training as much as possible. The friendships, social connections and coaching that is offered as part of some group training sessions is fantastic. But we also recommend training for triathlon on your own.
Training in a group while offering many advantages as mentioned can be an inexact science. What is considered easy for one person might be hard for the next. From a coaching perspective it can be challenging at times to coach a group session that caters to everyone’s needs.
It comes back to getting the right mix between group and individual training. And without the group training currently, there is much to be gained from training on your own. Done correctly it will leave you in a great position for when racing returns, hopefully sooner rather than later. Here are five benefits for solo training
- Train at the right intensity for you – Both Suz and I are on the comeback trail at the moment. Neither of us have trained consistently for a couple of years. These early stages of building back to fitness it is important we’re both training at an intensity that is appropriate for us and our stage of fitness. Were we training in a group it would be easy to push too hard and not get what we need from specific sessions. The same applies when you’re doing an easy session on the bike or run especially. Your easy might be another person’s hard and vice versa. Training on your own allows you to go at the right intensity and pace for you, not someone else or a group.
- Develops resilience - One of the great aspects of group training is the accountability it provides. Knowing you have to meet someone at a specific time and place means you’ll be there. Even more so for those harder interval type sessions that a group will help push you through. But by doing those tough sessions on your own it builds resilience that will help on race day.
- Practice visualisation – training is the best place to practice visualisation for a future race. When training on your own it allows you to get into a mindset and emotional state without distractions and focus on the goals you have for an upcoming event. Visualisation is a proved method of helping athletes to maxmise performance and training solo is a great place to further develop the skill. I have used this with many athletes to great success instructing them to visualise the performance they want to have while training solo.
- More flexibility – if you’re a time challenged athlete juggling family, work and training it means you can plan your training when it suits your schedule. Group sessions are often locked into a certain time and place that may not fit your circumstances. Solo training takes away that pressure and allows you to plan effectively.
- Educate yourself – with so much information available on-line, training solo allows you to listen to podcasts, audio books or watch something on-line while on the turbo trainer or treadmill. I know personally I can listen to an audio book and retain so much of it while I’m running on my own and get through more books by combining training time with reading time. If I have a hard copy book it will always take me longer to get through compared to an audio book.
We’re seeing many groups offers group zoom sessions and connecting on platforms such as Zwift which is fantastic. It makes you appreciate the freedoms we had before COVID-19 and the social personal connections. But when life gives you lemons, make lemonade and take away the positives of training for triathlon on your own.