There are definitely pros and cons to running with a training group. I paid for membership to a marathon training group so that I would have people to run with when the miles got long for NYC. I plan to follow my training plan as closely as possible, but I know that won't always be possible, since they are running to a different plan.
CON: 5 a.m. wakeup call on a Saturday morning.
PRO: It's no too hot yet and the sun isn't beating down on you!
CON: not everyone runs your pace and you may end up running alone for a few miles.
PRO: you will run your own pace and not wear yourself out trying to keep up with the other runners. I spent the first 2.5 miles alone. And at the back of the pack. I finally plugged in my ear buds and I started gaining and eventually passing a lot of technology runners in my group.
CON: your group schedule might not match your training plan
PRO: you're not running alone, and you can always alter your run to better match your plan. Today's NYRR run was planned for 5 miles and my group was running between 6 and 8. I ran 6 with the half marathoners instead of doing 8 with the marathoners.
CON: you will run in placed you've never run before. Wait. No. That's a PRO!
PRO: goodies at the end. Last week there were ice pops. This week there was also chocolate milk. Score!
What are your pros and cons of running with a group?