September 20

Solo vs. Team, Coached vs. Uncoached


Getting It Done: Group Training
Getting It Done: Group Training

Standing on Bondi Beach this week I watched many fitness enthusiasts in action right across the setting. So many people training, in a variety of ways, with a variety of goals, one thing in common they’re all doing something. Good work.


There’s many ways of training and depending on who’s speaking, the greatest way to train is:




So what is the best way to train? Lord don’t ask me, I’m still trying to work it out. How to get the most out of my time spent on the track, in the gym, in the kitchen, in bed? We all know what we like and how we want to train but does that get us to our destination? Rarely.


My guess is 90% of athletes out there are training the same way they always have, 1) because they don’t know any better and/or 2) they think another method can’t be as good their own.


So here’s some examples:


Group Love


Training in a group is popular and helpful if you like the competitive factor. I love always having someone to chase and having someone chasing me, it means I never get too comfortable. However, in groups especially of fitness people you’ll encounter a high percentage of ‘bandits,’ very energetic, chatty people who usually make up for a lack of substance with useless babble about themselves. Skeifs.


Hans Solo


I love training solo. Used properly training alone can be the most peaceful thing you do all day. Imagine if you work with a bunch of peanuts then get home and go for a good hour training on your own. You can get some quality thinking done and de stress. Running or doing weights in the garage with loud rap music helps me to unwind.




People say a coach will keep you accountable but really, if you don’t show up to training there’s not much a coach can do for you. While coaches are ver useful in technical elements of training usually early in the athletes life they are largely overused, in Australia athletes rely so heavily on a coach to hold their hand for every step of the journey it’s embarrassing. Mostly the coach is good for implementing variation in the sessions (which is rare mind you) so the athlete doesn’t have to think too hard (not rare), athlete morale and support. It’s like the maestro in the symphony, between me and you, what the hell is this guy doing?




The way it’s supposed to be and is most of the world over. Track legend Michael Johnson (winner on 3 Olympic golds and world record holder in 400m) met with his coach only 3 times a week during heavy training and during pre-season would rarely see him. With the program in hand and the technical knowledge of the process he could train-the-house-down alone. In doing this he also trained another very important factor that’s key to success – mental drive, desire and discipline to work when you’re not accountable. In addition, unless you love your coach they’ve usually only got one good yarn and once you’ve heard it that’s enough.




This is a very brief and general description of some training scenarios. It’s not intended to bag any particular style of practice, rather my intention is to prompt you to question, your training methodology and what it’s doing for you?



Is running 15km with Pat Malone 7 days a week the best way to get marathon fit?


Is this guy going to stop telling me about his hip injury before I drop him?


Could I have got the same value for this $1000/year gym membership for a $1.50 in late fees for training manuals at the local library?




You feel me knockin?… Well let me in!



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