Solo Running or Group Running?

As we start training, we might ask ourselves whether we should go running alone or in a group. Both have their advantages, but remember that goals and preferences play a key role.
Solo Running or Group Running?

Last update: 26 September, 2018

Should I go running alone or in a group? It seems like an easy question, but it has many implications. Although many experts suggest combining both options, there are those who prefer to exercise alone. Equally, there are people who seek to socialize when running, and they crave team energy.

The choice of running alone or in a group depends, mainly, on the preferences of the athlete, but other factors may have an effect. Considerations include: the compatibility of schedules, the availability of time and the physical level. In addition, the decision can be influenced by the type of routine, the objective of the training and the location.

There are people who don’t run alone because they consider it to be boring. But there are also those who run in groups and end up exceeding their levels of energy. It’s advisable to evaluate your individual condition before making a choice. Both have advantages, but you must know how to take advantage of your choice.

Girl stretching before go running.

Why run in a group?

The possibility of socializing for children and adults is perhaps one of the best benefits of running in a group. The athlete will feel like part of a team and this, in turn, will generate greater well-being and confidence. It also adds the commitment to achieve success together; promoting companionship and perseverance.

In essence, the runner may increase his social circle and spend time with individuals who share the same interests. They will create important social bonds, learn to follow rules and strengthen values such as respect, solidarity, and responsibility. But not only that, there are other advantages:

  • Less danger. When a runner is with a group. They are more protected against setbacks. For example, a fall, dehydration or dizziness, are risks that can produce unwanted situations.
  • Knowledge base. For those who are just starting with running, it’s vital to have the company of someone with experience. It will provide security and knowledge, thus reducing the possibility of errors (getting lost in the woods, use of inappropriate shoes, or bad techniques.)
  • Motivation. Running in a group means additional motivation; it provides strength and courage when we are struggling. The human being is competitive, and that helps us to achieve better results. When you need to do sets and repetitions, there is nothing better than running in a group.

Five advantages of running alone

The freedom to choose the terrain, the schedule and pace, leads to many runners running alone. These are usually people who do not have flexible schedules, who run for fun or who simply appreciate being alone. This choice offers some benefits:

  • Consideration. Getting into a good rhythm is easier when alone. When running alone it’s not necessary to decrease or increase your speed or change your route based on feedback from others.
  • Concentration. When you run alone, you can focus on yourself. This doesn’t mean that you will put aside your social life or that you will not want to run together sometimes. It means that you can use solitude to put your thoughts, feelings, and events of the day in order.
  • Influences. Especially for beginners, the decision to run alone or in a group, can set the level of expectation. Running alone means that you will not feel pressured into keeping up with your peers, who may have more experience and be in better physical condition. You can train calmly, step-by-step, according to your goals and abilities.
  • Schedules. Only the runner will know how to incorporate the new routine into his calendar; If you become used to running alone you will not feel discouraged by not being able to meet with others at specific times.
  • Recovery. If you are recovering from a recent injury, it’s essential that you return to training without someone accompanying you. This way, you will not feel forced to follow the rhythm of the other runner.

The choice of running alone or in groups

The choice to run alone or in a group is very personal. It’s not the same to run to release stress, to lose weight or participate in a competition. Nor will it be the same if you started running five months ago or five years ago. Perhaps it’s convenient to vary your running routine.

Couple running in the street.

However, there are some issues that must be addressed:

  • Running alone can be boring and lonely.
  • Running alone can cause the runner to lose motivation. There is no competition.
  • If you don’t have experience, running alone can lead to injuries, due to bad techniques.
  • Stamina seems to be lower when running alone. It’s easy to become distracted and not follow the path when you’re alone.
  • Running in a group has risks if you intend to follow the path of an experienced runner. Don’t try to match anyone’s pace if you are not at the same level.
  • Talking while running in a group disturbs concentration. It also discourages breathing and good stride length.
  • When you run in a group it’s sometimes difficult to coordinate schedules, which can be demotivating.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.