Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Running: alone or in a group

As I sit on the couch with my fingers and toes crossed that my knee is going to start feeling better and that I can start running again, I was thinking about training and the benefits of running alone or with a group. When I started running over 4 years ago, it was myself and occasionally Mr.D with me doing the sad and slow loop around our block. Ever since then, I have mainly trained for my different races alone. Except for last year when I had an amazing training partner {hi Erica!}. 

The main reason that I never joined a group of runners through a store like the Running Room is because I was always afraid of holding the group up or not being able to keep up with the group. That and I am so nervous in new social situations that I'd end up blabbering my mouth off or saying something embarrassing ;) I have heard nothing but good things from friends who have trained with groups though. I can definitely see why they would say that - lots of motivation from the others in the group, helps keep you accountable with your running and the chance to chat and make new friends along the way. 


This training cycle for the Calgary Marathon has been tough as I have been doing it alone. It's hard to find others who have the same pace, schedule, distance and that you actually want to spend 3 hours with every Saturday morning! Erica and I have met up for part of my run once this training cycle {she's pregnant which is why she is not running the full again} and it made me realize how much quicker the kilometers went by and how it kept my mind off the large distance I had to run. It's been decided that I need to make more friends who are runners :) Or suck it up and join in the Running Room group runs.

Tell me: are you runner who prefers to run alone or with a group?



16 comments :

  1. I prefer to run alone. I spent too many runs holding everyone up in high school cross country (I am a plodder) so now I won't run in a group. I have a running buddy who's natural pace is the same as mine so we'll run together once in awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like to run with other people but feel the same! I don't want to hold anyone up. I agree that it makes the time go so much quicker and I find I have a better run when I do it wit someone

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like both. It just depends on the day and my mood. Sometimes running alone is nice because you only have to worry about yourself. I trained for my first full marathon alone, and once I got into the higher miles it was hard. 21 miles by yourself is rough. For my second full marathon I trained with Team in Training. That was much easier because there was always someone to talk to, and keep you motivated. I totally hear you on worrying about holding people back. I hate that feeling. But in my experience with Team in Training (I have trained for one full, and 4 half marathons with them), I have never had any trouble finding people who are a similar pace as me. Try out a couple different one, and you will find the right fit for you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. For past races I always joined a training group and did all long runs with a group. It was great cause we had pace groups so you never worried about speed really. I miss the group now that I am training again and do long runs on my own, and they are still short long runs!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You? Slow people down or hold back the group? Doubtful!! I do know what you mean though. I've been part of groups where I am one of the slower ones and group where I've been one of the faster ones (rare). The nice thing about the group is that everyone I so supportive (usually) whether you fast or slow. I've trained some halfs mostly by myself and i didn't enjoy it nearly as much as with a group. It can get very boring as I'm sure you know.

    And for what it's worth- you may feel awkward in a new social setting but you don't seem awkward! :)

    Hope that knee heals up!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I used to be a solo runner and actually trained for my first full marathon all by myself. Looking back now I don't know how I did it! I now have so many running friends it's pretty easy for me to arrange to meet a friend for a run and I actually can't even remember the last time I ran by myself. Running has become a very social activity for me. Even when I was recently away for a work conference I joined a running group the conference organized and ran with people there. I seriously cannot recommend running enough and going to the running room enough. Think about it this way... your crossfit box would never look down on someone new who did the workout the slowest, right? I feel like people tend to be intimidated by different things (running groups, yoga studios, crossfit boxes, gyms etc.) but really anything related to healthy living like that tend to be THE most supportive places ever.

    I say jump out of your comfort zone and join the Running Room! I guarantee there will be some people around your pace there. And it will be fun!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I run alone. (dadum dadum)
    And you know when I run alone, I prefer to be by myself! (The song goes on, it has many verses.

    I rarely ran with anyone until this winter. I ran "with" a group doing tri training for a while. The instructions would be to head out at a zone 2 pace. They'd be all chat chat chat, and I'm looking at my heart rate monitor thinking Red Alert, zone 5! Dial it back. It's no fun getting dropped by a group. Plus running alone you never have to wait for someone, or have the wait while you fuss, hoping the weather gets better.

    But it's worked out really well running with Michelle this winter. We run the same pace without trying, we don't live far apart, we have lots to chat about. The run goes very quickly, so I've been loving that.

    But during the last run there was a group coming towards us. From all the yelling back and forth warning the others, you'd think we were carnivores or something hoping to pick off an unwary member of the group. That sort of thing pisses me off, so I'm not likely to try running with a group. But who knows, it might work for you. Try it and find out for yourself. I somehow don't think you're going to get dropped.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I run with a group 1-2 times per week, but would love to have a reg running buddy for 1-2 weeks per run who is my pace. Most of my good runner friends are quite a bit faster or slower so it's a bit challenging. I do though enjoy beig able to go on early morning runs or lunch runs wih the drop of a hat. Where I really miss having a buddy is my long runs on the weekends. It gets lonely out there as you know when you're running 10-20 miles every weekend solo. Joining a running group does feel a little like dating at first (awkward and nerve wracking), but worth it in the end. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm exactly like you! I want to run in a group or with someone beacause it does make time go faster but I'm too nervous about joining a group lke running room because I don't want to be the slowest one or have someone trying to chat with me while I feel like I'm going to die. I'm really on the fence about joining a marathon group that starts in May.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've never ran with a group, but have had people offer to run with me, like one friend and I always find a way to decline. I've ran with my sister before but I don't like worrying about having someone waiting for me or me having to slow my pace for someone else. My running time is so precious to me, I want to be able to do it how I want to. Maybe if it was a big group I could find some others on the same pace but we don't have anything like that close!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I was nervous about running with a group for the same reasons you are, but I decided to take the plunge back in 2011 and am so glad I did as I found such an awesome running group in Minneapolis. Since there are so many people in the club, I always had someone to run and I never felt like I was holding people up or slowing people down. I did tend to do the Monday and Wednesday workouts by myself as I wanted to do the workouts at my pace but there was always someone to chase down or someone to try to stay ahead of which helped me stay motivated. I really don't think I could train for another marathon or even half marathon without a group. Running with a group made me faster and it made me train smarter, too. And I have made so many friends through the club, too!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sunday morning, 30 km's, I think around the res... You are welcome to join us!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I run solo during the week but for long runs during ultra marathon training when friends aren't running as far as me, I often run part of my run solo and part with a friend or friends.
    Last weekend I ran with one of the slower groups from the Running Room. I can assure you that you wouldn't hold them up Leigh. (Your long slow pace is my race pace.)

    ReplyDelete
  14. This training cycle has been tough for me too. I blame the weather. I've been really struggling to get my planned runs done. I don't have many marathon running friends so I don't have many friends to commiserate with :) I run alone 98 per cent of the time. (My running pals are all in Grande Prairie where I delved into running). It's true it's tough to find people who have the same schedule. Maybe you should make your hubby run with you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. You got me thinking Leigh... it boils down to this: What's your running style? Are you a cat, dog, chameleon or pair of sneakers? http://finefettlefrets.blogspot.ca/2014/04/whats-your-running-style-dog-cat.html

    ReplyDelete
  16. This has been my least motivated running cycle yet. I'm with Michelle, I blame the weather! I have a couple go-to running buddies who I met through groups... including my boyfriend. It's such a great way to meet people and I often find myself saying "good people run"! Now we just need your sill knee to heal up so we can finally meet up for a run! You can say whatever your heart desires and I promise not to judge :)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...