Running alone vs group

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  • dorianaldyn
    dorianaldyn Posts: 611 Member
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    Logistics (and my odd love of insanely early runs) dictate that I do the vast majority of my runs alone. I do have a bunch of local friends that are getting more into running, and if I can join them for a run, I do. Usually it's an extra run in my schedule for me; I tend to go at their pace when I join in ~ I'm mainly there to add my support and to enjoy their company. If one of them keeps at it and wants to go my pace/distance, that'd be great!

    I think you should give it a try. You never know, it could end up being a great thing for you a couple of times a month.
  • MinimalistShoeAddict
    MinimalistShoeAddict Posts: 1,946 Member
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    I almost always run alone. That being said if there was a local runner in my area with my ability level and schedule I would love to run with him/her on occasion for the same reasons I run in groups during races.

    Pacing is much easier if you are running in groups. I also feel like I can push myself harder with others nearby. The proof is in the results. I always run faster in an actual race than I do by racing by myself over an identical distance.

    In your situation it sounds like you would be helping the group more than the other way around. While it is a great thing for you to help, just be sure not to over commit. Your training has to come first.
  • bttrthanevr
    bttrthanevr Posts: 615 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.


    ^^^This. Totally.

    I try to encourage others. Multiple casual runners have asked about running together sometime. A few I have run with. But I just make sure that it is an easy run day, or one that I am not needing to get in a specific distance. And I never commit to anything regular. My schedule wouldn't allow it anyway! I have to squeeze in runs when I can.

    I do look forward to my running group starting up again next spring. It's such awesome support and camaraderie. I also have enjoyed running with my kids (pre-teen to teenage)...But on the most part I like to go alone.
  • 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. . .

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

    LOL, nah, I'd bet money you would already have caught and cooked the mammoth before I got there!
  • barrpc
    barrpc Posts: 96
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    I like running my 5 and 6 milers by myself, but i enjoy company on my long runs. It goes by much faster. I have met some interesting people this way. I also run pace groups in the marathon and have PRd while having some fun with the banter.
  • thepetiterunner
    thepetiterunner Posts: 1,238 Member
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    I used to run alone quite often and like you, I enjoyed the solitude. But over the last few months I've been running more with other people (a coworker and a friend on our lunch breaks, and also I've joined a marathon training group that meets twice a week once for speed work and one day for the long run).

    I've found that I like having a balance of both. It's nice to have some meditative time to myself, but I have found that I really enjoy my running time with other people, particularly on speed work days when I know others are suffering just as I am (misery loves company, right?). And I like being a part of the running community, sharing stories, learning different new strategies or tips, etc. It has made my running much more enjoyable in the end.

    Running is such a solitary act, after all, you're the one pushing yourself forward, no one else can do that for you, can carry the pain for you, but at the same time, running en mass or with a group of others can be really pleasant. I'd agree with the others who have posted and suggest running with them on your easy run days so you don't feel pressured to keep up with them or not.

    And finding a good running partner or group is like dating. You'll meet a lot of nice people, but it doesn't mean it's always going to work out.
  • olymp1a
    olymp1a Posts: 1,766 Member
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    It's really hard for me to focus when I am running with other people, so I only do it when I go out for a recreational run. Otherwise I do all my runs alone. Gives me time to focus to myself, my pace, my breathing, the exercise I do (tempo, intervals, etc) AND it is really meditative. :)
  • DavidMartinez2
    DavidMartinez2 Posts: 840 Member
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    I have a tendency to go to fast on what are supposed to be easy runs, running with a group those days helps keep me closer to the pace I should be running at. I have read that runners are cats or dogs; based on the number of guys I see ahead of me at races vs. the number behind me on group runs I had my own theory that faster runners tend to be cats.
  • plateaued
    plateaued Posts: 199 Member
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    I like running alone too. On runs over 10 miles, it's better to have a group but running with strangers in the marathon-training group I joined is awkward. Probably just my personality disorder or something.