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Running Alone August 2, 2007

Posted by Joe in running, thoughts.

I often hear about the value of running with others. How it helps to keep people disciplined, motivated, etc. On the one hand I would love to run with friends, or join a running group. These opportunities actually exist for me, but I am reluctant to take advantage them because:

1) I don’t really need someone to hold me accountable for running. I do not struggle with getting out the door to run.

2) I enjoy running alone. Having never played team sports, and only ever excelling at one “solo sport” (aggressive inline skating, 14 years and 40 lbs ago), I just don’t feel the need to run with a partner.

3) I run slow and fear that I will only struggle to keep up with others, or will hold them back. This is a big reason.

But I would like to run with others because:

1) It would be excellent to just share this gift of running with friends.

2) Running with a local group could encourage/push me, and perhaps I could encourage others.

3) I believe in the value of community and friendship.

I will join the local running group some time this year. I would be most interested in running with my wife. Anyone else run with friends or a group? I’d love to hear your thoughts/experiences.




1. Amy - August 2, 2007

I have done both in my running career. Because of my schedule/life, I usually run alone so it is a treat to run with others. Starting out I was reluntant to run with others because I was slow and ugly, but now I have found the conversations with other runners while running to be as enjoyable as the run itself. I just love runners! And running with my husband is a treat – just doesn’t happen enough.

2. rbarker68 - August 2, 2007

I usually run alone. I think if I did run with others it would be limited. I like the reflective time that running gives me. Plus, I am slow and worry about holding others back.

3. Running Ragged - August 2, 2007

I prefer my own company when running, but occasionally I like going out with others. But, the fear of holding them back is always there.

I am in a training group for my marathon training and I do enjoy the Saturday long runs where there are 200+ other people running the same route (they do try to send the faster runners out first). I don’t run with any particualr group or person for that matter, but running “with them” makes me want to run better and push myself more (not necessarily the best thing during a long run, but oh well).

4. Brian - August 2, 2007

Yeah, I run alone as well. But that is more because I don’t know anyone else that runs! Occasionally I can get my brother to run with me, but he is a slower runner. So what we do is we pick a route and run our pace, at a certain point I stop and rest and wait for him. It is a little broken up but I get a great run when I do this because I focus on speed for each leg, and the added bonus is we end up running longer runs.

I can definitely see the bonus of running with someone. I don’t need the motivation, so that isn’t it. The few times I have run with someone the time passes and before you know it you’ve ran 6 miles and you barely feel winded. Especially when you do the longer runs.

I just wish I had more people to run with, otherwise I wouldn’t run by myself so much. But, in the long run, running is an individual sport.

5. Steve McCoy - August 2, 2007

I run alone because my pace is so freaking fast. Uh. Well, because it’s so slow. Seriously, I’ve just really never had someone to run with at the pace that matters at the time that works. To me it’s like lifting weights. I can’t find someone who fits my schedule to do it together. But I can see as running becomes a lifestyle the opportunities to run with others from time to time would be a benefit.

I remember my second race, years ago, running with an older man I met as we followed the same pace. We talked a bit and it was a real encouragement to me, and I think to him as well. Nothing like getting wisdom as you run. I’d like to experience more of that for sure.

I guess I’m saying “follow your heart” Joe. Or maybe “listen to your heart.” Whatever. Just run and it will all work out.

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