Is it just me?

Hi all,

There seems to be a lot of encouragement and positive energy around running with others (park run, running clubs etc.).

I said I would do one but to be honest, I just don't like the idea of running with others.

Running for me is time alone, out of the house where I can, zone out, pray (as a Christian I find myself very away of God's creativity in nature), catch up on some music or podcasts etc.

I am very competitive, but only against myself, so being the slowest person there wouldn't bother me as long as I was quicker today then I was yesterday. Likewise being the fastest wouldn't do anything for me (except I would really worry about the health of the other runners!) if I was slower than last time.

Now, I realise asking the internet 'is it me' is always an interesting and exciting time :-), but how many others are 'solo runners'?

22 Replies

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  • Me. I am like you in that running is me time. With work, kids, marriage, house, social and voluntary commitments to fulfill I find being alone with the Tarmac at unsociable hours brings quality thinking time and the exercise de-stressing.

  • I have no desire to run with others. It's my time to myself, where I can have a little peace and quiet (ironic, given that there's music playing at the gym and through my headphones) with my own thoughts or no thoughts, uninterrupted...it's time I use to clear my head and focus on one thing only - running. Wouldn't have it any other way.

  • I like running solo for the most part but I love running races. I don't see that as two different things though. There's something very fun about running in a big pack of people at a race, it feels very communal, very primal to me -like I'm running in a herd of deer. But I'm also still running very much alone. My music, my pace, my intervals etc. You can zone out just as much as running solo, but you get the added benefit of the group's excitement and energy.

  • I like running solo or with the wife, I'm not a big social person, but also like Parkrun & a club run. Have found some interesting run routes out on the club runs, and only have to put up with other runners for an hour or two, so don't find it much of a problem...

  • Oh Yatesco, I do know exactly what you mean. There's something so wonderful about having time out with just your thoughts. I have a good friend who also uses his long runs as a time of prayer and reflection, a time to concentrate on something bigger than himself. Personally, I love both solo running and the excitement and camaraderie of Parkrun. There is something lovely about getting together with likeminded people on a Saturday morning and enjoying the common experience. I also love that Parkrun brings out a competitive streak I didn't know I had. I guess it's just horses for courses. Why not give Parkrun a go -you might be converted :)

  • Hi

    I definitely am. The thought of running with others would put me off I think. I like to set my own pace and listen to my music. There is so little time for myself I use running to collect my thoughts and take in the scenery .The downside is at the moment I am not getting any faster and maybe running with others may help that at some point. To be honest all the time I enjoy what I am doing and definitely getting fitter faster can wait!

  • I appreciate that. I think running is a golden time whatever the weather, and I love being out there on me tod soaking up the view. Not always the countryside, could be the sewage works πŸ˜€

    I do like jog club once a week though, but sometimes that can be pretty quiet if we have a plan, and then it's heads down ☺ If not it's very social. Any way is fine by me.

  • I love both, too. I think we're all agreed that solo running is great for calming the mind & soul.

    I do like to sometimes do trail runs, because I love the sense of being surrounded by nature, even if its got urban areas close by.

    But I agree with the comments about the energy of a crowd of people, all out for an enjoyable run together.

    It's all just different flavours of the same thing. Embrace it all :)

  • Nope - i'm a solo runner. I have run with a friend in the past, but I prefer to run alone. I can speed up/slow down - whatever I want or need to do without fear or ruining someone else's run/flow.

    Running buddy's do have their advantages though - safety in numbers :), keeping you going when you otherwise might have stopped etc.

    I'm competitive against myself. I like to go further, faster (even if its only a teeny bit (Very silly really - probably why i'm injured.....!!)

  • It's funny, I like both, but do find myself 'alone' both at parkrun and 'races' , as I've yet to meet someone of exactly the same pace. On my 'home' runs, I like the solace, the ability to listen to music or not, listen to the sounds of the day waking up, staring into the distance across the horizon, those are my 'reward' for chugging passed the traffic routes to get to the fields and tracks.

    Friendly and chatty at parkrun or races, but then finding your 'spot' , like runswithdogs says, it's only now, that I am starting to look around me, discard the tunes that gave me confidence, take in the scenery relax and enjoy.

    Both have their place depending on perhaps my selfish needs πŸ˜ƒ

    Mx

  • I'm a solo kind of girl too unless i'm running with the hubby who tends to be well ahead of me anyway. I find too that its me time away from the kids, house, business and wouldn't want to go with lots of people. I think I would find myself running faster than I needed to. I'm quite happy plodding along at my own pace with my running music in my ears. So totally understand where you are coming from yatesco

  • No, it's not just you. I love running on my own and don't actually enjoy running with others at all. I've run with a friend a few times and while it was lovely to run with her she kept saying I ran too fast and so I had to slow down to her pace which I found difficult ☹️. I've done only two parkruns (didn't really enjoy them until the very end 😊) and I've had races where there are obviously loads of other people. That's a different experience and I really do not enjoy the jostling for position or others running along with me. I find it a bit claustrophobic but I do it for the bling (I'm a bling slut) and for my own benchmarks and ... well.. because I can πŸ€—

    I think, when I read this back, I realise I'm a pretty anti-social runner and just love my own thoughts, space and pace!

  • haha 'bling slut'πŸ˜‚

  • Great minds yatesco ! I asked the same question about 4 weeks ago on the "Bridge to 10k" forum! I think most people said they preferred running solo. I know I do, because I can set the pace as I want. I've only ever run once in company and he was not as fit as I was (which was an eye-opener). I did enjoy it, but I think it also contributed to my last spectacular fall as I was tired and probably pushing myself too much. We ran on holiday together, 5x in total and he made me feel fit. I had more stamina, he was very stiff after every run and I noticed nothing, he made me realise how far I've come. He hasn't run since, because it's no fun running on your own, and I've been out every other day as usual and have great fun. People are just different!

  • I prefer being solo too, or with my dogs! I have done two parkruns but still found myself running alone in a bunch of people, I did enjoy them but not desperate to do them very often and only briefly spoke to one person once! But that is pretty much me whether running or not, I have 3 kids and work full time so an hour of peace whether running , cycling , walking or swimming helps keep me sane!

  • I have found out that I am both a social and a solitary runner. I really didn't think I would enjoy social running before I started running with people in my own league.

  • Yep another vote for solo running for me! I love my own space & hate trying to keep up with others.......

  • I like running solo it's my bit of me time out of a busy life. I like to look at what is around me and listen to the birds, enjoy the sunshine (when there is some) and feel like l can clear my head of any worries.

  • I've done the one parkrun. Was there with my sister in law but we each completely ran our own thing. Can't say I overly relished the occasion! First 'race' is in September so I guess I'll see how that pans out.

    I'm fairly antisocial anyway! I've adapted over the years to spending time on my own/with the dawg in the daytime and crave the minutes of clear mind that running seems to bring. (Well, it's full of the run but nothing else manages to jump in- bliss :) )

    I have a few friends/acquaintance's who have suggested mutual runs/ dog walks but no, not for me! Can be a bit awkward making 'excuses' but continue to make them I shall!

  • Me, definitely. Extremely happy with my own company, free to go at my own pace and roam where I choose, thinking my own thoughts.

    My virtual friends on this forum are my running mates.

  • I'm a bit of a loner in most things really. The hobbies I'm drawn to all seem to be lone pursuits. My first ParkRun was a disaster, I've never really got over it although I have done a few more with Madge holding my hand and quite enjoyed them....I don't really get the race thing either if I'm honest, why pay large sums of money to run somewhere you can run for nothing on every other day, at a time of your own choosing, rather than when the organisers say to, with other people getting in your way and tripping you up....

  • Me, me, me! Lonely by name, lonely by nature. I much prefer challenging myself than competing with others. I'm trying to avoid stress, not adding to it!

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