Should I join a triathlon training group or is it better to go solo?

Should I join a triathlon training group or is it better to go solo?

Is it better to do your triathlon training in a group or to go along solo? Rudolf gives the pros and cons of both of these on today's episode of TRI with CoachParry.

If you're looking for some guidance with your triathlon training, be sure to check out the CoachParry Online Training Platform where there is a great community of athletes as well as an entire library of programs and access to all the CoachParry coaches on our forum. CLICK HERE for more info

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Welcome back on to the next edition of TRI with Coach Parry. My name is Brad Brown. We've got our triathlon coach Rudolf Naude with us once again. Welcome back. Thanks for for joining me.

Hi there, Brad, thanks for having me again.


How important is it for triathletes to train in a group?


Rudolf, another great question in our forums on the website, and it's about training and group training for triathlons. How important is it for someone to do their training for a triathlon in a group?

So there's an old saying that says if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together in a group. So what that basically means is just that, when you're training in a group, it's easier to do a long run or long ride when you're in a group session, because you don't focus just on yourself. And towards the end of it you don't feel like, yes, I'm getting tired, my legs are sore, and there's people, you chat, you have a lot of jokes, and so on.

So that helps you to go further, especially for the long and the easy stuff. But when you're doing your intensity sessions or your quality sessions, then it's not advised to do it in a group setting because you don't want to be caught up in running their paces or their effort that they need to do. So you need to differentiate that. Yes, I can join a group for a hard session, but I need to remember and have self discipline to know that these are my times that I need to hit and I need to stick with them. I don't need to be caught up in going faster than what I'm supposed to do.


Find people training at your level


Yeah, because it can turn into a bit of a double edged sword can't it? Where, especially if you're training with guys and girls that are slightly better than you and particularly on the slower stuff, like you said, the slow long ones, you've got to be very careful that you don't fall into the trap that you're doing those much harder than you should be doing. Because it's going to affect the higher intensity sessions you're doing. So ideally, if you're going to train in a group, you want to find people that are very similar to your ability.

Yeah, so even before you start the session, if you've got an easy session, just ask around in the group, 'Listen, what's on everyone's plans today, how long are you going for? How far are you going for? What intensity level?'. Because you might start out with a group nice and easy for 30 minutes, and then all of a sudden, 90% of them are going very hard because they've got intensity sessions, and you didn't know about it. So communication is very important. Just before you start, ask around about where we're going, what are we doing? What is your plan? And then you know, okay, actually I can go with a group or okay, they're doing something completely different to what I'm supposed to do so unfortunately, I have to do this on my own.


Finding a triathlon training group


You know, Rudolf, it's quite tough as well. I mean, triathlon particularly can be a very, I hate to say it, but it's become a very cliquey sport. Once you're in a group, that's cool, but to get into those groups are pretty tough. And it's quite intimidating. So for someone starting out in the sport to who might not be racing snake or super fit, it's difficult to really feel like I belong here. And sometimes you've got to get out of your comfort zone. What advice would you give to someone who might be there? Who's going 'you know what, I want to join a group and I'm really not good enough, so I'm just going to slog it out on my own'.

So if you want to join a group, I know cyclists and triathletes sometimes we don't get along the best so just joining a cycling group, I would not recommend going to a local cycling group with your TT bike when everyone else is on road bikes, because then they might not take a shine to you. But the easiest thing is also just to ask questions on Facebook or whatever the case might be. Listen, I'm new to triathlon, I'm in this area, is there any group rides, is there anyone going? Then you can build a group like that.

Or if you have been training on your own and had races, talk to people, mingle with them, find out who they are, where they're from, where they train and if they're not from your area, if they know someone maybe from your area where you can join, do that. So communication again is very important and just you have to put yourself out there to join a group.

Absolutely. If you do need some help on your journey, check out, we have got a very active triathlon community within our forums. Doesn't matter where you are in the world, we're all connected online through the forums. It's a great place to hang out, great training programmes. You get access to our coaches as well. So that's if you'd like to check out all those details. Rudolf, as always, thanks for joining us today, much appreciate it. We look forward to catching up again soon.


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