One of the biggest choices runners make is the concept of solo running vs. group running. Personally, I go through phases where I prefer one to the other, but runners learn to adapt to all situations.
I use my solo running sessions to get some much-needed quiet time. Sometimes I use music, and sometimes, I run to the sounds of my own breathing and feet. In fact, I’ve come to prefer the latter of the two. It’s good for my soul. Running on my own also allows me to pay more attention to my form and how my leg feels. Recovery is still very much a focus for me, and I need to indulge my aches and twinges a little more than I did before.
Benefits of solo running include:
- Alone time
- Builds mental toughness
- No obligation to stick with a particular route, pace, or workout
- It’s easier to become one with the run when on your own.
There are, of course, some downsides to solo running:
- It’s easier to quit or talk yourself out of an effort without a buddy
- Runners must take more safety precautions when alone (never run without your RoadID or telling someone where you are).
- Solo miles can be boring
- You can easily fall into a running rut when by yourself
I confess it took me a really long time before I felt comfortable running with another person, let alone a group. It was incredibly intimidating and I always feared holding people back. On a positive note, I am far less likely to bail on a run if I am with a group, and getting to chat helps the miles fly by.
There’s definitely strength in numbers, and so many of my best runs have been in great company. Members of the group are great for spurring each other on and encouraging each other, and that’s something you don’t get on your own.
Pros of group running:
- Increased accountability
- Social time in a healthy, fitness setting
- Someone to push you when you’re not feeling motivated
- Improved safety
The cons of group running can include:
- Pushing yourself to keep up when it’s not safe
- Having to commit to a route, pace, or workout when you’re not feeling it
- It can be harder to take care of your own running needs in a group
I remain solidly Team Both. I love running with friends, especially in these days of social distancing, when it’s hard to get people time. However, having few other outlets, it’s nice to have time to myself as well. As I came back from my injury, I preferred running alone, so no one would see me struggle. I also wouldn’t feel pressured to keep up with anyone if I was having a hard day. Now, I enjoy running with a friend, and can hopefully add more people to my running rotation, as it helps my motivation.
Where do you fall in the solo running vs group running debate?
Join the Runner’s Roundup!
Link up each week to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas. Join your hosts Coach Debbie Runs, Running on Happy, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Mile by Mile, Runs with Pugs, and Organic Runner Mom each week for the Runners’ Roundup linkup! Your link must be running related. Unrelated links will be removed. You must link back to your hosts — it’s common courtesy and a lot more fun! Spread the link-up love by visiting at least two other #running bloggers! Leave a comment and find new blogs to read! Use hashtags #running and #RunnersRoundup to stay in touch and promote your content!