Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



It’s Time to Rejoin the Pack

Taren discovers that the journey is far more fun and fruitful with friends. 

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Outside, Better Nutrition, VeloNews, and more
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 10 Weeks to Your Best 70.3 and the 60 Day Metabolic Reset
  • Download your personal race photos from FinisherPix* for one race (up to a $100 value).
  • Member-only newsletter, and event meet and greets with editors
  • Get up to $30 off your next race and $30 off race fees every year you are a member through AthleteReg*
  • Annual gear guides for cycling, running, skiing, training, and more
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

Digital + Print
Intro Offer
$2.99 / month*

  • Annual subscription to Triathlete magazine
  • Access to all member-exclusive content on
  • Ad-free access to
Join Triathlete

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Us triathletes are often the lone wolves of the endurance sports world—and we often take pride in our solo status. Why spend a Saturday enjoying a long adventurous ride with friends when you can sit on your indoor trainer hammering strict watt-based intervals in ERG mode by yourself for four hours? Sure, we might give up the group-based, good-time stories, but we have a TrainingPeaks plan that’s 100% green because we didn’t let friends get in the way of a good workout!

I’ve always said that one of my superpowers is to take an everyday regular hobby that most people actually enjoy, and squeeze the fun out of it until it’s a source of stress. And I don’t think I’m alone.

Like most new triathletes, I struggled at the beginning. I could barely swim 100m; Olympic-distance bike legs were a long long ride for me; and my weekend “long runs” were five painful miles. But after a couple of years, I found groups of friends to train with, learn from, and be motivated by. These training partners ultimately were what pushed me to become a better athlete.

But, after a few years of amazing times with these groups, I decided it was time to “take triathlon seriously.” I hired a coach, made my training plan the supreme emperor of my life, and cast aside my training partners so that I could hit every workout, interval, power number, and check off every workout box.

The good news was that I did get faster. (I never thought I’d be able to race a full distance in under 10 hours!) The bad news is that those few years of slogging it out solo are a blur. I remember the finish times but few fun times. Instead of group weekend long runs followed by eating pancakes until my stomach hurt, I ran by myself to make sure my heart rate was exactly 135bpm. Instead of morning swims where we’d practice dive starts and shoulder to shoulder drafting just because it was fun, I stared at black lines by myself for four to five hours a week.

I always told myself and my training friends that I was just focusing on the next race and that I’d rejoin the group after, but one race always led to the next and eventually the group found another pale, blonde, slightly chubby, only half-talented athlete to train with.

Of course, not all training needs to be (or should be!) done in a group, and when you have big goals you will absolutely need to do some workouts solo and check off those boxes. But when I look back on the time I’ve spent training for endurance events, the best moments were always the ones I spent with friends. I had more fun, and I’d even go so far as to say they pushed me more too. Turns out, there’s a reason wolves travel in packs.

RELATED: Lone Ranger or Wolf Pack? What’s Your Training Style?