If you prefer to run alone are you a weirdo?

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In the era of social media and interacting everything online is it weird if you prefer to run alone. Like everything else in the past 5-10 years there seems to have been an explosion in running being a social activity. Most people log their runs with a GPS watch and load the data onto a sharing site such as Strava, they talk about running on social media and organise social runs together that help keep people accountable to get out of the house and go running.

So, if you still prefer to run alone are you a weirdo? I began running because I had moved away from my hometown to the city and didn’t know many people, essentially I started running because I didn’t have any friends that could introduce me to a team sport. This was well before social media and GPS watches and all my running was done alone.

One of the reasons I fell in love with running was the solitude that comes from running alone. It’s a wonderful feeling being out running just you alone with your thoughts. Talking to a non runner recently about my weekend and long run on this weekend and told her that I had covered three hours of running and this was a great start to my Sunday. Her response took me by surprise when she said “to run for that long alone you must really enjoy your own company.” I hadn’t thought of it this way before as I’ve always run alone and never lacked company or needed other to motivate my running.

“Doesn’t it get boring?” This is a question non runners have been asking runners since the dawn of time. Quite simply, No. I am very rarely bored when I go running alone or with others. I go running because I enjoy running, if I got bored from running I’d take up another sport that I didn’t get bored doing.

My top 3 reasons to run alone.

  1. Solitude. Running alone is a great experience. Alone with your thoughts, just one foot in front of the other.
  2. You set the session. When you run alone you can run at your desired pace. If you feel like running fast you can, if you feel like running slow you can. It’s up to you.
  3. Time saving. When you run alone you don’t need to meet up with people, you can run from home and save time by just getting out there and run.

When training for a race I find that running alone helps me stay focussed on the training I have planned. I set my program and stay accountable to each run of the session. My success or failure at the race is absolutely up to me.

There is no doubt that the social aspect of running and running with others appeals to many people. Those that would prefer to run alone are probably in the minority today.

If you prefer to run alone……run alone.

If you prefer to run with others……run with others.

Whatever way you prefer to run go and do it, it’s about the running first and foremost.

 

 

 

 

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14 comments

  1. Great post! You hit the nail on the head as to what’s good about running alone. I used to do it all the time and then became super social. During my training, I go back to being a little less social about running. I tell people what I’m doing and if they want to join, they are welcome to. Every once in a while, I’ll keep my run a secret.

  2. Love this! This is something that I’ve been pondering myself. I have been running alone for 6 years, and for the most part I’m fine with that. I like to run alone for all of the reasons you mentioned, but mainly because I’m usually following a training plan so I want/need to be in control of the runs I do. But I’m finding that I’m feeling a bit of FOMO when I see my local running community being social during runs and outside of running, and cheering each other on at races. And I don’t have many/any close friends that understand my hobby so I worry that I’m boring when I gush on and on about my training. Now I’m trying to find more balance. Maybe I don’t stick so closely to my training plan so that I can join my local running groups once a week. It’s been tough to let go of the control, but I’m sure the friends I’ll make will be well worth it. And those around me that don’t care about my running will be happy I’ve found a new outlet. 😉

  3. I find that meeting a group for a run, especially when training for a race helps motivate me– plus they provide hydration (so I don’t have to carry mine on long runs). That being said though, during group runs, I usually end up running alone- if that makes sense. And I love being alone with my thoughts and not having to make conversation when I don’t really want to 🙂

  4. When people say “you must really like your own company”, what they don’t understand is that running puts you in a slightly different state of consciousness, so it’s not like being in your own head and stuck in the house all day.

  5. I feel running is a great way to feel at peace with yourself! It is a great way to regain your fitness and wellness. I have been running solo for a few weeks now and I love it absolutely

  6. I mostly run alone. About a year and a half ago I started running with a friend of a friend on Sundays, but lately, we haven’t been meeting up as much. I enjoy running alone, but sometimes I make myself run with a group or a friend just to mix it up. Running all 70 plus miles a week alone is a lot of alone time! 🙂

  7. Back in 2015 when I started running I joined the local club. I did a few runs with them, but to be honest I prefer running alone for all the resins you’ve mentioned. I like the solitude – the thinking (or non-thinking) time, and the fact that I can stick to my training plan. I felt that with the club runs I was always compromising the training.

  8. Depending on what I’m training for will depend on whether I run alone or with friends. I enjoy both for different reasons. Sometimes it’s not just about training. Sometimes I like the social aspect of running with others. Then there are times that I need the solitude of a good run. Great post.

  9. I love to run alone. Life is so hectic that this is my Zen time. I get in the zone with my thoughts or no thoughts at all. Hitting the trails makes it even better. I’ve considered a running club but every time I’ve tried running with others they seem to set the pace which leaves me to always feel like I’m competing. So, I run alone. With a lot of travel, who would I run with? I run alone. No, you aren’t weird to like running alone. I think its weird to have to run with someone (just kidding 🙂 )

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