I was thinking that training or cycling in a group is probably like doing a group training run.
A few reasons to train (for anything, really) with a partner:
1. When you train with someone who is a little better or faster than you, it can really push you to improve your pace. Training with a partner can be a good change of pace from training alone.There are benefits to training alone too, but it can be good to mix things up.
2. Training with a partner provides you with someone (or a few people!) to talk to. This always help make the workout fly by!
3. A training partner provides you with someone to be accountable to. If you set a meeting time and place, it is harder to back out.
For cycling in particular, other riders can really help you! If you form a drafting line, you take turns up front doing the brunt of the work. When you are in the back, you have some rest time before it is your turn to pull again.
Edited to add: A number of readers have mentioned that riding in a group is also much safer because you are more likely to be seen by drivers. Good point!
I was super nervous going out for this ride because there were a few riders with us who were much more experienced or just naturally faster. I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep up. But, I ended up being able to stay with the group for most of the ride. Sweet!
We made one wrong turn somewhere along the way, I think, so we ended up going about 68-70 miles, but we still hit all the hills. I did a lot better at them this time than a few weeks ago. It's amazing what a rest day can do! We also finished a much longer ride at a faster pace than I usually go. I was so excited!
I wish I had a few photos of the scenery on this ride. It was so beautiful! Sunny. Rolling green hills.
Here's one from a couple weeks ago just for fun.
This training ride made me so excited for the Tour this coming weekend! I know we are going to have a blast.
Do you train often with friends? Most of the time, I do my runs alone, but Ryan and I like to bike together. As I said here though, it was awesome to ride with more people! Ryan and I help get each other out for our runs and keep each other accountable -- even if we don't actually run together.