I must admit I am a person who trains a lot by myself when I am training for a long event like an Ironman. Some people seem to prefer to train with other triathletes in a group. I have always thought whatever works for you is best. Everyone is different when it comes to what motivates you. But when you hit a plateau you need to make some changes.
I recently felt this way with my swimming. I am a good swimmer and love swimming long intervals. I hate doing anything fast. I do incorporate some speed work into my training but I am not getting any faster. I even swim with other triathletes to motivate me and push myself. Last week I decided to go swim with Viva Las Vegas Masters. This group is made up of some really great swimmers (not just triathletes). We did a variety of strokes and I really pushed myself in the pool. I thought I was getting quality swims until I went to swim with them. We did a variety of strokes which for any triathlete is really great to do but many never do them. When I swim with on my own I add a little variety with the different strokes but I can't say I push myself like I did when swimming with the masters group. Swimming with this group made me think about my training overall. How am I going to get faster in my training? Maybe its not a bad idea to swim with swimmers, run with runners, and cycle with cyclists! I think at times it could push you over a plateau in your training. Training with someone better than you might push you harder than you would like to go or would have one your own.
I am going to continue my swimming with the masters group and hopefully I will get faster in the pool. The Viva Las Vegas Masters swim group is a small group in Summerlin. As a coach who is always the one on deck telling people what to do it was a good change to have someone tell me what to do. It was hard but as always it was a good feeling to be pushed to my limit! Oh and they said that was an EASY workout that night. I will let you know how my next masters swim class goes so stay tuned!