*photo of Charlie taken by me*I'd say around eight out of ten times I prefer to train alone. At the moment I always train alone. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it isn't. By yourself you can control what you do, where you do, where you go and how long to do it for. You can also cut the session short if you feel like it. You're completely in control, you're just dealing with yourself. All of these things can change when one person becomes two. Instead of dealing with one schedule you're having to juggle different ones.
However training with someone else can be hugely beneficial. Having someone there in itself is a huge motivator. And having that motivation behind you is something is something that can often be overlooked, especially when you're competing in a solo sport.
A partner gives you company. This is probably the most obvious one but, something that is extremely handy whilst on long bike rides or out running. Rather than being a potential chore, training with someone else can be a fun experience and can make even the hardest training session a little easier.
They understand you and what you're going through. If you're training with someone that has a similar event coming up, there's always someone to talk to about training, kit, preparation etc. It can sometimes be a struggle talking to family members or friends that don't get why/what you're training and don't really fancy talking about it 24/7. If you've got a person in the same boat as you it gives you the opportunity to talk to someone with a similar mindset. This is one of the things I also really like about Twitter. Join a community and there are literally hundreds of people across the world willing to talk about anything from to kit to training, to events and offer you tips. Also the blogging community. Fitness blogs are on the increase with some fantastic reads out there (I've done a couple of posts showing you my favourite blogs here and here) and they can offer huge motivators as well as offering tons of tips.
When you train alone it can be far more challenging, especially mentally. This again is a positive thing and a negative. In a race you're not always going to have someone there. You need to be able to get through the long runs/cycles and swims on your own. But initially those long training sessions can be really hard without someone there.
Running clubs - set routes, days and also important during these darker evenings, safety. Plus, there are HUNDREDS about the country now. Not one near you? Grab some friends and set up your own one. Not only is a great opportunity to do set and focused training but it also gives you a great chance to get up and work out.
Exercise classes - great to workout with friends if you don't want to be alone and also someone to be a bit competitive against. Plus if you end up at the front, you're not there alone!
At the end of the day I think it's a bit of both. We enjoy being alone to workout and having that alone time but sometimes we do just need a friend there, whether that's for company or for motivation. For me, at the moment, working out alone works best the majority of the time. I don't really have a set schedule, with each day as my routine can change fairly often. It's useful for me to able to go and train when I can do.
We're all different and I think it's a case of the situations and circumstances we find ourselves in that suit working out solo or working out with a partner. There is no right or wrong and if you feel like training alone sometimes then that's the best option for you.
Let me know what you're thoughts are and when are the sorts of times you find yourself working out with a partner or solo? Tweet me @afloralcrown.