In my first 2 years of running, I’ve mostly run solo… primarily because I was self-conscious of my performance. I always thought I was too slow and will have a tough time keeping up. I decided to just focus on my own running. After some hard training this year, I decided to take a break and just run for fun with no set schedule and no specific workouts. I started running with groups, when schedule permits me to. I joined multiple Ladies of the Trails Turtle Sunday runs, a RunGo lunch run, and an Adidas Runners Vancouver’s Sunday long run. The verdict: I LOVED IT. Running is such a social event, I recommend people to break out of their shells and just go find a group run you can join and see what happens. To elaborate, I’ll list out why I loved running with groups.
- Meet new friends – I have made fast friends with a bunch of fab ladies who run my speed. The running community is a pretty tight group and people bounce from one group run to the next. Everyone is approachable and positive and all it takes is to say hi and ask if you can run alongside them.
- Work harder – You’d be surprised at how inspired you could be when running in a group setting. I was expecting a Sunday 10k to be an easy run and instead I broke my 10K PB. I was pretty much dead at the end but I survived and my new buddy and I encouraged each other to keep going. I can attest to it… it works!
- Time just flies by – When you’re distracted by a conversation, a 10K can feel like a 5K.
- Accountability – If you tell someone that you’ll be there, chances are high that you will actually go.
- It’s (generally) free! – Just show up!
That being said, I do love running solo too… but it’s an entirely different experience. Here’s what I love about running solo:
- Zone out – Sometimes there’s no better feeling than just you alone with your thoughts and the open road.
- Listen to music – You can immerse yourself in music you love or are embarrassed to share with others 😛 Not only that, great music is a way to motivate you to work harder. If you need some ideas, here’s what’s on my playlist.
- Do specific workouts – I usually have a coach telling me what to do and I don’t really want to subject anyone else to it.
- Flexibility – Sometimes I want to sleep in, sometimes I want to run less or more than what I originally wanted. Running solo means doing whatever you want!
- No pressure – You can ease off the gas anytime you want without feeling bad that your running partner is not getting as much of a workout as they wanted.
So what do you think? Do you prefer running with groups or running solo? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!