I’m already learning that, for me, training to do the swim, bike and run distances required to finish an Ironman will be the “easy” part. Well… maybe not the run as much as the swim and bike, but there are so many other aspects of the training that I think will be much more difficult learning experiences for me. I’m really trying to embrace the quote by Neale Donald Walsch that I have on my homepage – “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.
I did my first group workout last night with Team Sisu. This is a triathlon training team organized by Zeus, the coach I’m working with to get me across the finish line next year. I tend to not like group workouts. They are definitely outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t like them when I had to join the masters swim class or when I joined my first running training group. There are a whole list of reasons that I tend to avoid group training, but instead of dwelling on them, I’m trying to focus on the benefits that will come from the group if I stick with it.
– Groups can be great for support, encouragement, motivation and camaraderie. Everyone else in the group is going through the same training ups and downs. When someone is having a rough day, the rest of the group is there to push them along. Great friendships can be made from group training. You spend so much of your time with the people with which you train. Many of my closest friendships have started from our training groups.
– Groups can push you to become a better athlete. I know from my own training this year I think I hit a plateau and stopped making progress. There was no one to push me or to make me realize that I wasn’t working my hardest. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I did a lot of my bike training with a friend who is a lot faster than I am, and the bike is where I’ve seen the most improvement. Seeing other people making progress is also a great motivator to keep making your own progress!
– Group workouts will get you out the door! There have been many days when I really just didn’t want to work out, but knowing that there were a group of people expecting me to be there helped me get out the door.
I’m trying my hardest to think of all the good that comes from group training. Everyone in the group last night was welcoming and I was already friends with some of them. (And everyone is still trying to convince me to pick WI instead of AZ…) I know if I keep going to the workouts I will start to enjoy myself, just as I have with the other group training I have done. I just need to focus on the reasons why group training can be fun.