Strength in numbers


Today’s topic is are you a solo or group runner? The quick answer for me is both. I believe both have their pros and cons.

Tackling cold together makes it more fun

The Group Run
Nothing will get you out the door quicker for a run than knowing you are meeting other people.

It always feels easier to run with other people (unless, of course, you’re running with a much faster person — like I was last week!). I believe that is part of why it’s easier to run at a faster pace in a race.

You are more likely to stick to the training plan if there are other people along for the run. Unless, of course, those other people tend to cut runs short.

Misery loves company, right? Running with a group in adverse conditions feels a lot less difficult than running alone in the same conditions. Running in a Nor’easter with a group definitely made it more fun!

But sometimes I need my alone time to think through things, too

The Solo Run
You have more flexibility of where and when to run.

Despite the built in group that comes with racing, you’ll be on your own during the race (unless you’re really lucky). I believe in the specificity rule: do in training what you’re going to do in your race. If you’re running a trail race, run mostly on trails. Try out your race day outfit and fueling before the big day. Sometimes tackling those hard runs by yourself are the true confidence builders.

While running with friends can make the run go by quicker — sometimes literally — it’s also so easy to run at a pace that just isn’t right for you. A pace that could potentially lead to injury.

Sometimes we can work through things on our own easier than if we’re in a group — sometimes it’s just the opposite, of course, but there can be real peace in a solo run.

Final answer?
I started out as a completely solo runner, mainly because we were new to the area and I didn’t know anyone. I joined a local running club, but never found my BRFs there. Then I joined a summer running group, and made running friends I still run with sometimes (I’d run with them more often if our schedules synched up more often!).

I actually do love to run in a group, but finding the right group — people you actually can run with — it’s not always easy.  There are also times I truly just need to be out there by myself.

  • Which type of running is your jam?
  • Or are you like me, having a foot in both camps?
  • Have you found your BRFs (best running friends)?


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


20 thoughts on “Strength in numbers

    1. I do know that some runners truly are lone wolfs. I think a running group is great, but there have been so many runs where I was grieving, or struggling with difficult decisions . . . and a solo run sometimes is so healing.


  1. I have many friend with whom I could run with but I prefer solo. On this way I can do my workouts where and when I prefer and at my pace. I also can changing my mind about the distance while running. A friend of mine said that I am “asocial” but maybe I didn’t succeed in explaining better my point of view: I am not rude I only want enjoy the sensation of freedom that only our sport can give.

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    1. Ah, you are very lucky to have friends to run with! I do get the deciding when & where — sometimes my friends want to meet at a time that just doesn’t work well for me.

      I know there are plenty of runners that enjoy running on their own — and others that enjoy running in a group, but don’t like to talk while running (I do!).


  2. I definitely prefer running in a group. I only run alone when I can’t find someone to run with.

    Yes it is difficult to run at the desired pace. I often run with slower runners. But I prefer their company to training for a PR.

    To each his or her own.

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  3. I like running solo and with friends (though often times it’s just one other friend). The time definitely goes much faster when you’re in conversation!

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  4. Which type of running is your jam? Running solo.
    Or are you like me, having a foot in both camps? Never found a group.
    Have you found your BRFs (best running friends)? I runwith my husband & he is my BRF.

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  5. I like both, and I also like being in a supporting role, helping others achieve their aim,whether it’s learning to run or running longer. I remember my first marathon campaign, I took people on bits of my long runs and one time everyone including me ran further than they’ve ever run before – that was fun. I quite like running with just one other person and having a good chat, too. You’re right about running alone in races though, and I’ve tried to do a bit of that at the end of this marathon campaign. And sometimes, as I did yesterday and will do tomorrow, you need to run an errand and the quickest way is to stick your trainers on and run it!

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    1. Well, I do most of my runs on my own, so no worries there (even when I’m with a group).

      One of the reasons it can be discouraging to be by myself in a group (and I often run with someone slower than me in groups — but not always) is that you really get to know people when you run with them, usually.

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  6. I think you covered both sides well. I like to run with someone slightly faster than I’m comfortable with so I push my pace, but if they are too much faster it’s not going to work. Scooby goes way too fast for the first 1/2 mile or so, so I have to be really careful.

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    1. When I ran with Bandit he would start out “fast” (for him). But he’d slow down quickly. Newbie mistake. I haven’t taken him for a run in a long time though — the last few times I did he really didn’t seem to appreciate it.


    1. I really do enjoy running in a group. It is harder for slower runners — obviously we’re out there, but there tends to be less at groups, often because of fear (fear of being last, fear of having no one to run with — why yes, I’m still struggling with that one after 10 years).

      There are definitely times, though, that I just prefer to be on my own.


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