Running alone vs group

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So I was approached by a couple of guys at work today to join their group of runners - I see them out several times a week, always give a wave or head nod - one of them said "We need someone like you to push us" (never in a million years I'd be though of as a runner at all, let alone one than can push other runners).

Anyway, I'm not sure if I want to. Ever since day one, I've been running alone, and have come to enjoy the solitude and quiet time. I've also got self esteem issues and am not the most comfortable person with new people, unfortunately. I'm not really sure how serious these guys are from a running perspective (I'm pretty obsessive with it, training for my first 26.2 in October), so I don't want to come across as either too serious, or not serious enough for these guys.

Just curious what other people's takes are with regards to running along versus running with/joining a group.

Thanks
pete
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Replies

  • KathleenMurry
    KathleenMurry Posts: 448 Member
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    It might be worth trying once or twice to see what they're like? I definitely wouldn't use this group for your training though. There could be another guy like you though, training for a marathon and at your level. Only one way to find out.

    I've always run alone too, aside from my dog. I know a few people who run but they refuse to run with me because they feel they can't keep up and they don't want to feel bad for making me slow down.

    If I met someone at my level with similar goals though, I would totally take advantage of that and run with them once a week.
  • TheBrolympus
    TheBrolympus Posts: 586 Member
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    It's hard to find a group of people that have the exact same goals that can run at the same times I can. So I generally just run alone, it's easier to get my runs done at the pace I want. If I run with a faster group, I will kill myself trying to keep up.
  • rduhlir
    rduhlir Posts: 3,550 Member
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    Go with them when you have the easy runs planned, that way it isn't dipping into your training schedule. I am in a running group (our last run together is Monday :sad: ) and honestly I love running with them. I wouldn't want to run with them every day, as it is actually a 5K training group and I am working on my first half. But, it is nice to meet other runners and know that I will have familar faces in the crowds when I race.
  • kiekie
    kiekie Posts: 289 Member
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    I absolutely love running alone. It's my time to challenge myself and work through stuff in my head. I'm also very nervous socially, so running with strangers isn't anything I'd do lightly.

    Saying that, I do run a lot with a friend and her husband as we're all new runners and have stayed motivated together. Thing is, I'm now obsessed and they still do it grudgingly so sometimes it's not particularly inspiring for me and on long runs we have to route back around to their house to drop her off at 3 miles! I've found that it sometimes feels good to be the (slightly) 'better' runner as it feels good to motivate them and pass on tips etc. but having to accommodate others needs/pace does get in the way of my training programme and it's just got to the point where it's slightly annoying (only because I'm addicted and obsessive, not because they are annoying themselves!).

    On the other hand, I'd really like to join the local running club to get better at it. I just need to bite the bullet and deal with the social interaction! I think I'd be as nervous as race day.
  • TriLifter
    TriLifter Posts: 1,283 Member
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    I also only run alone. If I was in your situation, I'd go out and run with them once a week for the hell of it.
  • brenstar05
    brenstar05 Posts: 70 Member
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    I generally run alone as well. However, about a year ago I joined a Saturday morning running group. There are people of all levels... really. We have people who have run the Boston Marathon and done a 24 hour ultra race and we have people who mostly walk with just a few running spurts sprinkled in. Sometimes we go 3 miles, other times we go 9 miles. It just depends on the people who show up and what everyone wants to do.

    I love running alone. I love the solitude and the ability to go as far or as fast as I want. But once a week I love being able to get out with other runners. I definitely would not do it every day, but once a week is perfect. My Saturday runs are not about pace or distance, it's about joining with people who have similar goals and similar experiences. No matter how serious you are, there is probably at least one person in the world more serious and one person in the world less serious about running than you are.

    So, my suggestion is to go out and see how this group is. If you like it, it might just be a chance to bond with other runners and get out of your own head. If you hate it, you never have to do it again. I honestly think there is a benefit to finding that balance between running alone and running with others. Good luck!!
  • sevsmom
    sevsmom Posts: 1,172 Member
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    I'm a solo runner myself. I've only ever run with another person when I was trying to cajole them to train for a half marathon. To show them they could already go further than they thought. But it was a slow run, and didn't aid my full marathon training.

    If some folks from work wanted to form a running group, I'd be into for maybe one easy run a week. There are a handful of serious runners here. (One gal runs a 3:15 marathon!!!) I put myself squarely in the recreational runner category, so I would be nervous to be seen as "less" of a runner by others.

    In the end, sometimes a little social time isn't bad on a short run. But, I would leave the hard workouts for solo time!
  • RunnerElizabeth
    RunnerElizabeth Posts: 1,091 Member
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    Running with buddies is fun! I run my long runs with my sis and when I go on business trips I arrange for a buddy before I go (either a friend in the city I'm at or a paid guide). But I do most of my running alone and I like that too.

    I'd say try it out once and see if you like it. If you like it, once a week might be nice. It might breakup your training a little bit and make it a little less serious and a little more fun. Serious is good but in moderation.

    If you're really worried it's going to effect your marathon training too much, you could always put them off until after.
  • scott091501
    scott091501 Posts: 1,260 Member
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    I run by myself because I have preset metrics that I need to hit for that run. I know myself in that if I go run with a group that day's plan is out the window.
  • sammyneb
    sammyneb Posts: 257
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    So I was approached by a couple of guys at work today to join their group of runners - I see them out several times a week, always give a wave or head nod - one of them said "We need someone like you to push us" (never in a million years I'd be though of as a runner at all, let alone one than can push other runners).

    Anyway, I'm not sure if I want to. Ever since day one, I've been running alone, and have come to enjoy the solitude and quiet time. I've also got self esteem issues and am not the most comfortable person with new people, unfortunately. I'm not really sure how serious these guys are from a running perspective (I'm pretty obsessive with it, training for my first 26.2 in October), so I don't want to come across as either too serious, or not serious enough for these guys.

    Just curious what other people's takes are with regards to running along versus running with/joining a group.

    Thanks
    pete

    I started out running alone and still run most of my runs alone. But I did run with some co-workers last year, we were all training for different spring events but we kept eachother motivated running through the winter. It was great. We all did part our ways as we all ran different paces. But it was great and it was the first time I really got into the running community. One of the guys I ran with is a pretty good runner :) and has made my last two training calendars, which I PR'd my last two halves and he is getting me through my first marathon. So for me it really worked out! I now run my long runs with my sister who I convinced to run the full with me. But most of my weekly runs I do alone. I like being alone as I can set my pace, but I also like being with someone to talk with on those looong runs. I would give it a try. You never know who you might meet running, you might find a perfect running buddy. You might find someone who has some good running knowledge to share, or you might find someone that you can inspire with you knowledge and ability! Give it try!
  • KyleB65
    KyleB65 Posts: 1,196 Member
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    Why one or the other? Why not both?

    I run with a group 2-3x per week and get another 2-3 runs in per week by myself.

    Like you, I very much enjoy the solitude of running by myself. Especially in the winter! Just me, my tempo and my thoughts!

    But, I am currently training for my first marathon! So, decided to join a group and follow a "program". For me this was a great decision. The group gives me motivation and for a few I am able to provide some motivation. In addition, I am working through a tested training program that has helped me add distance to my runs and improve my pace.

    I say do both.

    Most important, Have fun!
  • kaperlinger
    kaperlinger Posts: 66 Member
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    I enjoy running alone, I've never needed a group to push me. I'm competitive with myself and found the few times I've run with others it's slowed me down.
  • glin23
    glin23 Posts: 460 Member
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    I run really early in the morning, so yes I most certainly run alone.
  • likitisplit
    likitisplit Posts: 9,420 Member
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    I run alone because of schedule, etc, but I'd love to run with a group every month or so just because you pick up so much by seeing other people do it.
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
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    While I dream of someday finding an "accountability group" that shares my goals and abilities, I am stuck with running alone. It's my "me time" and I like it to be that. I tried my local group, but they only meet once per week and socially are kinda awkward to be with (all way older folks who seem to be best friends). We had one at the base I'm at, but they were lightweights and chose to run exclusively inside on a 1/10th mile track - thanks, but no thanks. Now my mountain bike club, they know how to party - but they can't run worth a darn.
  • WhataBroad
    WhataBroad Posts: 1,091 Member
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    I say try them out and as someone already noted, connect with them on an easy run day or one of those so called 'off day' you have!!! =P
  • ShellyBrowne
    ShellyBrowne Posts: 27 Member
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    I say that you should run w/ the group, at least once. You never know if someone in that group is running at your pace - even if it's for a few miles in a run. You might inspire someone in that group to either try for a different pace or train for a different race. You just never know until you give it a go.

    I run both alone and w/ a group. My early am runs are solo but my long runs are with a group. I don't think that you have to run the same pace as others in the group but just knowing they're out there is a mental kick in the pants sometimes.

    I'm training for my 7th marathon. I've done the shorter races from a 5K to a 25K and even ventured out for a 50K (just once though :smile: ).
  • bert16
    bert16 Posts: 725 Member
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    I'm definitely a lone wolf when it comes to my running... I've got zero interest in running with a group. Not dissing the concept at all for others; but, for me, I don't want to worry about anything else when I run but my target mileage at my target pace. Plus, I have to interact with people all day at work; when I'm not at work, I really freakin' *love* the solitude of my runs. The fact that I, like many others who have responded, run in the wee hours of the AM just makes it easier to ensure no one else tries to cramp my style. :laugh:

    I totally get that others really love their running groups/buddies; I'm a bit of a loner freak (I call myself an introvert in extrovert's clothing), so am probably the exception to the rule. If you think it sounds like fun, go for it! You can give it a try and, if it's not for you, it's not like you've committed to a lifetime of running with them.

    In any case, keep kickin' butt on those runs of yours - you're like the rabbit I'm chasing (and I'm waaaayyyy behind right now)!!!!
  • wild_wild_life
    wild_wild_life Posts: 1,334 Member
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    I almost always run alone (mainly because I don't have any runner friends as slow as I am) but when I ran my first race (half marathon), the course was packed the whole way and I found I really enjoyed being surrounded by other runners. It was a much different energy and it was fun.

    My personal theory is that, because early humans used to hunt in groups and run down large prey cooperatively, running with a group can be very satisfying on an instinctive level. That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it. . . just pretend you're chasing that mammoth in the distance. . .
  • bert16
    bert16 Posts: 725 Member
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    I almost always run alone (mainly because I don't have any runner friends as slow as I am) but when I ran my first race (half marathon), the course was packed the whole way and I found I really enjoyed being surrounded by other runners. It was a much different energy and it was fun.

    My personal theory is that, because early humans used to hunt in groups and run down large prey cooperatively, running with a group can be very satisfying on an instinctive level. That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it. . . just pretend you're chasing that mammoth in the distance. . .

    I was going to tell you that mammoth is me, but it's so unlikely that I'd be ahead of you!!! :laugh: