All Together Now.....
It's that time of year when, if you live in North of the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is basically awful. Dark mornings, dark evenings, grey and/or wet in between means the thought of training is less than appealing. It takes a great deal of motivation and commitment to get out and complete the sessions.....especially if you are in the base or preparation phase of a training plan where the sessions are building the blocks for later.
What to do? How can you magically motivate yourself to come home, change and get back out there, or not hit the snooze button in the morning? Here we explore how your local club may be the answer to your problems!
If you're lacking in the motivation department, or just want to find someone else to share the love with, then here are a few reasons why you should join your local club:
1. Structured Sessions
Most clubs have a Coach - and one who will set a session plan for the club on a progressive basis. If you're not sure what you should be doing and want to progress, here is a ready made progressive training plan - and you don't need to even write it down to take it to the pool/track/place of training.
Because most clubs have a Coach, you'll be getting some invaluable feedback each session on your technique, gaining new knowledge and having someone to keep your motivation and commitment up in a session.
3. The 'Peer' Effect
I am sure we can all count the times we have completed a session and not really been that into it, perhaps dawdling a little on the way? (We've all been there!) Having someone else in the session with you makes you try that little bit harder. Training with faster people makes you faster. FACT. At the point you really think you're going to skip the next rep, if one of your club mates encourages you, I'll put money on the fact you at least give it a go.
4. It's Sociable
Knowing you're going to meet your new mates later, and all get soaked together, or all endure the same kick set is a wonderful motivator. Plus, if you've already declared 'in' on the club social media page, then you wouldn't want to let anyone down......would you? Having someone else that you have made a commitment to is a great way of sticking to a training plan. Plus, there is always the club pub night, social rides, away days....we're human beings, we like to be with other human beings.
There will be some of you who are thinking that a triathlon is a one person sport and you race alone so therefore should train alone. Whilst there is some benefit to getting used to riding your bike for 4 hours on your own, go back up and read point 3. Training with others for some sessions is good for the soul (and also the PB bucket).
Having all these new people to talk to, you may find out information you need about races, kit, technology and any other triathlon related information. Which is the best sprint distance for speed? Which is a good race for family to come and watch? Where is a good place to stay? Which local races are beginner friendly and which ones are good value for money. Which fancy new GPS watch shall I buy (and if you're really lucky, a great second hand market!)? Does anyone have a certain brand of wetsuit to try for size? Not to mention all the new knowledge you will gain from the coaching team.
6. The Best of Both
Even if you have your own online or face to face coach, you should still train with others for all the reasons above. Most coaches who provide a one to one training plan will (or should) encourage you to join in club sessions. If a triathlon club isn't for you, then perhaps a swim, bike or run club would tick some of the boxes for you. Good coaches will plan your club sessions around your specific plan and more often than not be looking forward to seeing the feedback from those sessions. Plus, it's an excellent way to track your progress - how nice is it to realise that you are actually keeping up with that faster swimmer/cyclist/runner!
In general, triathletes really are a friendly bunch of people. You'll find yourself chatting away to anyone and everyone on race day, and there is a certain sense of belonging when you see a race event t-shirt on someone in the supermarket and you wonder if you know them - so why not join your local club? I guarantee you'll be welcomed warmly and any nerves you have will be quickly eradicated as soon as you get stuck in, and once on board, watch the motivation, enthusiasm and PB's grow!
You can search for your local club through the normal search engines and social media, or check out British Triathlon's website with all the clubs and contact details here