Group workouts are an awesome tool for improving your fitness and race times. They’re also completely different than a group run. A group run is mostly a social event and every runner might be there for a different reason. Maybe someone is out for a recovery run while another is trying to get in some short speed work. A group workout, on the other hand, has everyone with similar goals performing the same workout. The marathoners run one distance and the 5k crew a different but each group is working hard. Here are four benefits of hitting the track with your best running friends.
Accountability. Be there or be square. At least one or two people in the group are counting on you. Your coach is definitely expecting you. Excuses are limited and slacking is not encouraged when you’re with a few other people.
Learning. Group workouts are a great opportunity to learn. Learn how far you can push yourself or what that pesky soreness in your foot means. There’s someone at that workout who has been through whatever you’re experiencing and wants to help you. Pick the brains of seasoned runners with combined decades of miles to avoid common pitfalls.
Push it. Someone is certainly faster than you. Maybe you’re the quickest miler but you probably aren’t the fastest 200M person. No matter what you’re training for a tough speed session can go a long way. We automatically push a little harder when we’re with someone else so take advantage.
Friendship. Even though group workouts are slightly more competitive than a group run, you’re bound to bond. One of the biggest perks of group workouts is the chance that someone is training for the exact same event you are. That can lead to a new training buddy and even better race times. It will also lead to laughs and memories you can’t get anywhere else.
Group workouts are fun, good for you and easy to find. Be sure to include at least a few in every training cycle to gauge your progress.