This week's Monday Brain Exchange topic is Training.
Question: How do you train? Do you use a schedule, have a coach or go with the flow? Do you train alone or with group?
For half and full marathons, I train with Track Shack's Galloway Group. The group technically meets three times a week on Tuesdays (tempo/hills/etc), Thursdays (track), and Saturdays (long runs). I usually only join them for the long runs on Saturday mornings (3 - 6 am start depending on distance) because it's easier and quicker for me to run on my own during the week, and then I get to sleep in a little :) I plan to join them at the track on Thursdays at 5 am starting in June to get in some structured speed work (maybe sooner so I can get used to it before I commit to being there weekly to set up the water cooler). We use Jeff Galloway's run/walk/run method for the long runs, but I typically run without walk breaks during the week for a little variety and to build up my endurance for short distances. However, I rarely race without walk breaks because I am always slower when I run non-stop.
For triathlons, I trained on my own and informally with some meetup groups (see my Orlando Groups page) and friends last year. Jason and I do some of our training together -- meaning at the same time -- but our paces are so different (read he is faster than me in all 3 sports =P) that we can rarely actually do it together. We did go on a nice bike ride this Sunday where we stayed mostly together. We'd sprint for a bit at our own pace then regroup and do it again. It was fun. I was going to join the Central Florida Tri Club at the Downtown Orlando YMCA this year for a bit more structure and coaching, but their training schedule is a bit ambitious for me. I don't mind getting up early once a week, but a 5 am start every single day is a bit much. Now that the Cady Way pool is open again, I may try swimming with the Winter Park YMCA Trimaniacs on Saturday morning if I can make it work after my long runs with the Galloway Group.
I enjoy running with a group for long runs, but the Galloway Group is the only one where I've really been able to click. Every other group I try, I am too slow or too fast (rarely), and no one else really runs the way I do. But that is ok because I enjoy running alone for shorter distances (3-6 miles, up to 10 if I have to). Running is a great way to clear my head, and is nice being able to do my own thing and not have to speed up/slow down for others.
If you live in the Orlando area and train with a group for any or all of the 3 triathlon sports, I'd love to hear your recommendations and experiences training with them.