Sunday, 11 January 2015

Missed that training!

Well.  The plan last Thursday was for Hannah and myself to be in the "outside" group for our training session at the kayaking club (actually this is the Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club).  I should say that during the winter months, the midweek training involves running, circuit training and so on as it's not really possible to paddle safely on the water in the dark - paddling takes place at weekends and in daylight.  The winter training programme therefore maintains all-round fitness, which is never a bad thing.

I had left work a little early, got home, collected Hannah, changed into my sporty gear, had a quick snack and then drove over to Linslade.  Turned out we missed Reggie and the group by a minute or so and we chased after the them having been pointed in the right direction.  This turned out to be a bit of a wild goose chase, completely in the wrong direction!  I accordingly gave myself a "talking to" for not knowing my way around better.

Chastised by the coach!
And then yesterday we bumped into the coach.  This being the utterly Sincere, Seriously Serious and Super Stern Reggie who said "Where were you on Thursday? We thought you were training with us".

I explained about missing them by a couple of minutes.

"We were even one minute late leaving the Club House..." he said in his seriously serious way.

All was not lost, Hannah and I did have the wild goose chase run, even catching up another runner in case he too was late in joining the group and would actually have known which way to go.  He actually pointed us in the completely opposite direction, so we stood even less chance of catching the group.  This was a shame as I know Hannah and I would have enjoyed it and the session would have been of benefit.

Back at the Club House
We got back to the Club House where another group was doing some indoor training, using paddling machines.  These give the opportunity for a good work-out and an opportunity for other coaches to examine the padding form more closely.

I also had a go on a rowing machine.  There's no doubt paddling does work many of the different muscle groups: legs, core, chest, shoulders, arms and even hands are all exercised.

"So what's the deal about this group training then?"

There are so many benefits to group training, whether it's for kayaking, or running, or whatever your sport.  It's good and I reckon these are some of the reasons why:
  • I always run faster when I'm with others.  Yes of course this applies when I'm racing but also on the odd occasion when I run with friends who are established runners
  • The miles drift by almost unnoticed
  • You encourage each other i.e. just as you can be encouraged, you may be encouraging others
  • You can become accountable to each other at different levels; you don't let your friends or team mates down 
  • You can bring the best in each other; the camaraderie, the sportsmanship
  • Different people have different strengths with different things (stamina, speed, motivational chit chat, imaginative ways of training and of course, local knowledge of place names, roads etc!) and these can all work together for the greater good
  • You can pick up hints and useful tips
  • You can look out for each other, making sure everyone is okay and respond if someone needs some help (it might, perhaps, be a serious matter one day)
  • Socialising is important and contributes to well-being.  This can be personal well-being through to the well-being of a local community and in my view, this should not be underestimated
  • It's fun
"But I'm a loner!"
For people who run, they will already know it is undoubtedly a great time to be alone with your thoughts.  I do value this.  I have written so many times before about how wonderful this is and how running is a fantastic tool in problem solving, seeing things from a different perspective and generally "mulling" things over.

And yet running with others does have it's place, even for the most dedicated lonesome runner.  None of us should exist without social interaction, it's good for us and others for many different reasons.  Also running, or training more broadly with others, is a good way of gauging where you are - how fast you are, how you shape up compared to others.

Next time.... yes next time we will try to be on time for you Reggie!

Related: other posts about running alone - click here

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