Do you prefer to log your miles alone, with only your music or your thoughts for company? Or do you have trouble getting off the couch if you don’t have a buddy waiting for you? Or are you somewhere in between?
Today for Tuesdays on the Run, I’m joining my buddies April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere and Patty from My No Guilt Life to chat about when I want to be with friends and when I want to be running solo.
Given that I belong to two different Moms Run This Town groups and have a lot of other friends that run, I could probably arrange it so that I would never have to run by myself. Yet, I run probably more than 70% of my runs by myself. I do this for 3 reasons: I don’t like to drive to run, I need to get into my own head if I’m running long, and I’m totally flaky about when I’m going to run each day. These all make me a poor running partner.
But sometimes, I venture out of my small bubble and meet up with friends to run. Here’s why:
1. Sometimes I need to have real conversations with adults. I work from home and spend most of my time interacting with a computer. Sometimes I want to chat with someone who’ll do more than roll their eyes at me or just talk at me about whatever goes through their heads.
2. Sometimes I need to speed up. I often run faster with a group and need the push to keep up a faster pace when I need to do a tempo run.
3. Sometimes I need to slow down. I have a bad habit of going too fast when I should be running easy. If I hang at the back of a group, I can almost always find someone to chat and run easy with.
4. Sometimes I need a change of scenery. I only run the local trails if I am with at least one other person, so running with a group or a buddy allows me to hit locations I don’t run often. (And there a ton of trails around the DC area, so it’s a pity not to use them!)
5. Most importantly, these occasional runs have given me connections to lots of awesome people. These are the people I run Ragnar with, meet up with at races, and check out new local venues with. I may not be the most regular attendee at the weekly runs, but if there’s a party going on, I’m there. ;o)
What about you? Are you a solo runner or a group member? If you’ve never run with a group, what’s holding you back?
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17 thoughts on “TOTR: Running solo or with a group”
I love running in groups! I no longer work, but before that I also worked from home; the dogs & cat are cute, but not great conversationalists.
It wasn’t until I found NP that I realized how much fun group runs could be. I not only found a group, but also individual friends,running buddies, and new perspectives on exercise.
I run 95% of my runs with a group. I just like meeting up with friends to run. It’s our time to catch up, chat and have fun! I think of it as my “happy hour”! We usually head out to dinner once a week post run too. We support each other, push each other and encourage each other. I’m thankful for my running group!
Prior to this past year, I had only once run with other people, oh and Alex and I have run together a few times. Mayyyybe twice (beyond school, I mean). Then last year I ran my first race with a friend, had my first runs with a friend, and this year I wouldn’t have made it through a long run without my Saturday morning girls! Now I am a marathon coach, so runs are generally en masse. Ragnar is a funny thing (which I am talking about today)–you are alone but not!
That whole Ragnar thing freaks me out. It came up this past weekend again and I’m avoiding it but I have a feeling sometime soon I’m going to get roped into one;). I’m so with you on the mostly solo part but I do think the group thing more often would be good for me! Especially the part about running in different places around town!
I run most of my runs buy myself, but just had my first run club meeting on Saturday. I had a blast, and can’t wait to do it again. There are two runs a week, one speed work and one longer run, and the group is such a nice mix of people. I’m too much of a control freak to run with other people all the time, but it’s definitely a nice change.
I like to use a running partner when I need to speed up too! Often I let them dictate the faster speed, and I concentrate on keeping up. They’re great when they chat to take your mind off the discomfort too 🙂
I tend to run solo but if I ever overcome this injury, I hope to start running with a group. I just worry now that I may not be able to keep up….lol
You definitely have some good reasons here to run with a group! I tend to run alone, mainly because I like the alone time and I like to be able to go at my own pace and run whenever/wherever I want. I do think it would be good for me to try running with a group at some point though!
Safety is definitely a good reason to run with others. I definitely stay near home in the early morning and evening because the trails aren’t great alone when it is dim.
I really like my solo runs. It’s the only time of day that I”m alone.
I’m a very recent convert to running with a group – I guess I hadn’t found a group before that felt the right fit for me and my running. I still love my solo time but look forward to my Saturdays, running with friends 🙂
My neighborhood is ideal for running…very little traffic with a park (including trail) connected to one end. Why would I drive somewhere else? My time is too limited to do that anyway. One reason I like to race is that I get to visit with my running buddies.
Group for me – most of the time. It used to be that I only ever ran solo but I joined a group for speed and gradually I found that I really loved running with others. I love the company and the challenge. It’s made me a better runner.
ahh we need to chat 🙂
I shall message you today.
I really love to run alone. It helps to clear my head. However, when I run with friends or a group I love the excitement, my pace is faster, and I really enjoy the time spent with friends.
I used to live for my Saturday club runs and my Wednesday track workouts, but these days I tend to, by choice, run by myself. For many of the reasons you mentioned. It’s just so easy to pop up and run out the front door. Actually I do that now even when I run with friends. My occasional running partners are my husband and my neighbor!