Solo or Social?

Solo or Social

Since my re-entry into the world of running, I would consider myself a solo running.  I enjoy the solitude, the quiet time just for me.  But, there were a few time last year when I started to wonder if maybe running with a partner or with a group was something that I could do.  I inadvertantly ran with Kara at the L.L.Bean 10k and the Beach 2 Beacon 10k.  I really enjoyed the light chatting and having someone by my side to help me tough out the hard miles.  In the L.L.Bean, she literally helped pull me up the hills with her encouraging words.  And, during the Beach 2 Beacon, we pushed the pace and I set a new 10k PR.  So, with Kara in mind, I thought, gee, maybe I could really enjoy group running?

Fastforward to current day and I have to say that I really am starting to enjoy the group run.  I joined a group of local lady runners here at West Point that get together every weekend.  We break off into different speeds and distances.  Plus, there are no hard feelings if you can’t make the time work.  I like the flexibility but more importantly, I like the speed that some of these ladies bring to the table.  When I run with this group, I am challenged and I like that!

I’m definitely not giving up my solo runs anytime soon but I think I enjoy having a little more balance.  How about you?  Are you a solo or social runner?  What is your experience?


PS.  Don’t forget to use the discount code ANNAMB16 for 10% off the ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon or 10K!  I would love to meet some new faces at the race this May!


  1. I'm currently a super solo runner. I have a group of ladies signed up to run SeaWheeze, so I'm hoping once the training starts I'll be able to run with them as well.
    My recent post Let’s Talk Cross Training

  2. funny, I've been contemplating this since my marathon training gone awry. I liked having someone to chat with making the long runs go faster, but honestly, I prefer being solo. I think when I get back to marathon training later this summer, it'll be sans group.
    My recent post If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

    • For marathon training, I think it is great to go solo, especially on long runs. My thinking is that you want to be able to take care of yourself when the going gets tough. If you are mentally prepped, through your training, it will help you tackle those darker moments, if you have them, on race day. No one wants to depend on someone else to in case they aren't there come race day!

  3. I'm in the same boat. I enjoy both. At times all I want to do is go out and get a solo run in, clear my mind and get lost in thought. Other times, I love running with my @November_ProjectSMF group – discussing races, strategies, and talking all things running. I've come to find I enjoy a balance of both, even though you asked an either/or question. However, when it comes to racing – I'm best when I'm solo. I noticed I get negative when I race with someone and I can't keep up. I'm a better self (positive) motivator when I race solo. Love the topic, thanks for posting 🙂
    My recent post Race Recap: Blue Diamond Almonds Shamrock'n Half Marathon

    • A balance in both worlds is awesome! I can definitely see how you can get negative with you are racing with someone. I think that is why I wanted to go into my first marathon solo. I didn't want the pressure of having to keep up with someone/ be pulling someone along — since it was my first I wanted to give it a go on my own and just make sure I crossed the finish line in one piece!

  4. dnardi710 says:

    I've always run solo, more because I don't have anyone around to run with, but I do think I would enjoy company for the occasional run, especially long runs! I've run a few races with people though and it's definitely nice to encourage each other along the way, I know it was great running with Christine during MCM last year!
    My recent post State of the R-UNion

  5. I am almost always solo running lately. But, since I'm moving, I'm hoping to find some groups to help me meet some people. So, hopefully I'll have a good mix of both!
    My recent post Big Changes!

    • I'm so jealous of your move! It seems like running has a huge community there so I bet you will find a group. If not, you always have your hubby to drag along on all the awesome terrain out there!

  6. I'm definitely a solo runner. When I started running I ran with my husband because we were training for a 5k that we had committed ourselves to. But since the 5k has come and gone, he stopped running and I continued, and I like running by myself better. I don't feel like I am trying to match pace with anyone and I'm not big on talking while running either so being by myself lends to that. Maybe one day I'll find a running buddy but I don't really see myself running in a group setting.

    My recent post Maxi Dress Madness

    • I definitely hear you loud and clear on your points. I think finding a partner is nice if there is no pressure, like pace, chatting… and just letting there be a natural rhythm to it. BUT, that doesn't happen for everyone. Heck, I haven't found a new local bud that I would consider the ideal running partner either. A girl can dream, right?

  7. wdickson210 says:

    I run solo. I am excited to run with a few Tough Chiks during a scheduled Half Marathon event, but solo allows me to think and enjoy MY time.

    • Running with toughies is bound to be a great experience. Last year, I ran Hood to Coast with fellow toughie Jolene. We never met before the race but she was awesome and motivating and I am so thankful that she was in my van. Toughies unite!

  8. When I started I refused to run with anyone. I am a slower runner and I was always afraid to slow anyone down of feel the need to push myself too hard. Then I met a friend at the 7 mile mark of a half marathon and we just stuck together, it was THE BEST TIME EVER. Now I love running with others and if there is someone who is slower thn me and is afraid to do a longer run/race I am the first to volunteer to hang and push them. I decided that the time spent on the course is more important than the time on the clock.
    My recent post Central Park Half Marathon.

    • Pacing is definitely hard with groups. I often wonder am I too slow or fast when I am with other runners. Sometimes it is unneccesary pressure added to a run so I can see why lots of runners, especially new runners, shy away from groups.

  9. I used to be a solo runner, but with the development of my MRTT group, I am now a social runner and have a hard time solo! Partners really give you a boost when you just want to throw in the towel!
    My recent post The BEST race and WORST race all rolled into one!

    • I like that I am fine on long runs solo because in a race situation, when the times get tough, you can do it on your own. I definitely wouldn't want to have to rely on a partner for my mental toughness if that makes sense. But, it is nice and a boost if they are around!

  10. DisBroad Summer @RunningwithPixies says:

    I started as a solo runner, but I find I do better by distracting myself with a partner.
    My recent post Intuitive Eating: What it is & Why I’m Doing It.

    • The time flies by when you are with others. It really is a great distraction. I think I might enjoy it for longer distances… my furthest so far (with a partner) was a 10k.

  11. Love that we catch up at races from time to time! Wish we lived close enough to run more frequently together! I enjoy both solo and group running:) Some days I need that time to myself out in the road. However, other days I enjoy the companionship, chatting and the extra push!!
    My recent post My Life in a List, Lately

  12. Leslie @ TriathleteTreats says:

    I like both!! I like to run by myself because I can work on my mental toughness! I like to run with a partner because it is more fun and the time goes by faster! The problem is I am too slow for the fast people and I am too fast for the slow people. Needless to say I do a lot of running on my own! 🙂

    • The mental toughness piece is so true! I'm so glad that I did a lot of my marathon training solo because when things got tough on race day I was kind of prepared. Partner running definitely does make training go by a lot faster though.

  13. megztap says:

    I would classify myself as a solo runner but i do find i push myself harder come race day – with everyone running past i seem to want to keep up (generally i pick a person and have an internal race war with them till the finish 🙂 ). i think a balance is the best thing. "everything in moderation" and all that…

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