Jun 10, 2018

Training - Solo v Group sessions


This is a subject that is often debated and the truth is that there is no right answer, it really depends on the individual and their goals and situation.

Personally I always preferred training with a group, especially when I was training for marathons. It can be soul destroying doing a 20 miler on your own, I found it much better to have somebody to run with, if nothing else it took my mind off the pain I was going through.

Also I found it better to run with others that were slightly better than me, as it definitely improved my speed and endurance over time. Also I found it better when I joined a club, in my case it was Sparkhill Harriers, ib Hall Green, Birmingham. We used to train Tues, Thurs evenings and Sunday mornings. Most sessions were on the road but we also did track sessions (which were killers). I was definitely in the best condition in those days.

But, as I said, it depends on the individual situation, I have also trained for races on my own, and, although it's hard work, I have always been competitive even with myself, but I always kept a runners diary, which I linked to my plan, this enabled me to look at previous weeks and review my progress and amend my future weeks plan accordingly.

As I say it's up to you, but if anyone wants advice please post a question on the forum, or email me at animalperformance@outlook.com or ring me 07970 730790.

Don't forget we offer a personalised running plan service for £30 and there are generic plans available in the training plan shop too.

Keep on running!


New Posts
  • One of the most important things you need to do, regardless of the distance you are training for, is to teach your body to run when you are tired. That's why, in all of my plans, I will always include a run after an effort based day, or before a Long Slow Distance (LSD) day. It's a fact that, during any race, you will come to the point when your legs are tired, but, if you have trained to run tired you will have the confidence to run through this period, and, quite often you will experience the 'Runners High' and get a boost by actually speeding up! I have experienced this several times, and, as you will see if you have read my latest Blog post, I have, in the last 2/3 weeks actually beaten previous recent bests in training when I have literally had to force myself to go out cos either my legs were tired, or I just felt lethargic. I am sure that this will benefit me in the Richard Burton 10k that I am doing on 4th Nov so don't get disheartened if you feel tired, just get out there and go for it. I promise you that you will get the benefit. As I always say- JFDI!!
  • Let me say, right from the outset, that I am not recommending people not to run for charity. I have done it several times, but what I would advise is not to train for a PB and run for charity, pick a race that you can just enjoy, perhaps use it as a stepping stone for a later race, attempt a PB then. My reasons for saying this comes from bitter experience and I also know that one of our members is going through the same thing that I did. The main problem with running for charity is that, as soon as you have signed up for it, you will feel honour bound to do the race, regardless of your condition, injured or not. I experienced exactly this the last time I ran The London Marathon. I had agreed to run for the local Playgroup (which my wife Debbie used to run) as they needed money to build fencing around the building and garden they used for the kids safety. So I trained hard for 3 months and all was going well until about 7 weeks before the race I started to get pains in my knee. I decided that I could train through it, but, as you would expect it just got worse. Now, if I hadn't been doing it for the Playgroup I would have pulled out of the race and rested up for another race, but, yep, you guessed it, I felt duty bound to run the race, I didn't want to let the kids down. So I didn't train for 6 weeks before the race, hoping my knee would sort itself out. I went down to London and felt ok, my knee felt good, so I started off at 7 minute mile pace, which would get me round in just over 3 hours. I got to the halfway marker just passed Tower Bridge and started getting pains in my knee and by 15 miles I was in agony, so I started to walk. Needless to say I did finish the race in a personal worst of over 5 hours and also ended up not being able to run for 3 months afterwards, but at least I got the money for the kids. Ironically I found out that the injury was in my calf, the pain came out in my knee! The moral of this story is, by all means run for charity, but remember you are committing yourself and your body to it. I hope this doesn't put anybody off running for charity, cos that's not the idea, just beware of the dangers. Keep on Running All Graham
  • Hi All, I have entered the Richard Burton 10k Race on Sunday 4th Nov 2018, start is 11.00am. Why not come and meet me and Richard our Personal Trainer, we will have our Animal Performance gear on. Even better why not enter the race, it's a good course with a large entry normally, and you could always buy one of our shirts to run in too :)



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