Running alone or in a group? It sounds like an easy question, but the answer has many implications. Although many experts suggest combining both options, there are those who prefer to stick only to their own habits; there are people who try to socialize and let themselves be influenced by the vitality of a team.
The choice to run alone or in a group depends, mainly, on the preferences of the athlete, but other factors can have an effect on the choice, such as the compatibility of schedules, the availability of time and the physical level. In addition, they also affect the type of training, the goals of the individual runners and the location.
There are people who don’t run alone because they consider it boring. But there are also those who do it in groups and end up exceeding their abilities. It is advisable to evaluate the individual condition before opting for any alternative. Both have advantages, but you need to know how to take advantage of them.
Why run in a group?
The ability to socialize in children and adults is perhaps one of the best benefits of group running. The athlete will feel part of a team and this, in turn, will generate greater well-being and safety. There is also a commitment to reach the goal together, promoting companionship and perseverance.
Basically, those who run can increase their social circle and surround themselves with people who share their interests. It 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 has extra company, he is more protected against setbacks. For example, a fall, lack of hydration or dizziness are risks that can cause unwanted situations.
- Information domain. For those who are starting to run, it is essential to have the company of someone with experience. An experienced person will provide safety and knowledge, thus reducing the possibility of errors (damage in the field, use of inappropriate shoes or bad practices).
- The motivation. Running in a group means having more motivation; the company gives strength and courage in those moments when the body is about to give way. Human beings are competitive and this helps us to achieve better results. When you need to do sets and reps, there is nothing better than running in a group.
Five benefits of running alone
The freedom to choose the terrain, the day and the speed, leads many people to prefer solo running. They are usually people who do not have flexible hours, who run as a hobby or who simply appreciate their loneliness. This choice offers some comforts:
- Cadence. Following a pace appropriate to your needs, carefully observing the particular sensations, is a great advantage. When you run alone, you don’t need to slow down or increase your speed because others say so, nor is it necessary to change your route because others suggest it.
- Concentration. If he runs alone, the athlete can focus on himself. This does not mean that he will put his social life aside or that he will not conceive of the idea of running in company at a given moment. It just means that he will use that time alone to put his 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 pressure that your sporting performance will have. On their own they will not feel compelled to run at the levels of their peers with more experience and a better physical level. They will continue their training calmly, step by step, according to their needs and potential.
- Timetables. Only the runner will know how to incorporate the new routine into his schedule; if you get used to running alone you will not be discouraged from not being able to train at certain times set by others.
- Recovery. If the runner is recovering from a recent injury, it is essential that he return to his training without someone accompanying him. That way, he won’t feel compelled to follow another runner’s pace.
The choice to run alone or in a group
The willingness to run alone or in a group is a very personal choice. It’s not the same as running to release stress, lose weight, or participate in a competition. Nor will it be the same whether you started running five months ago or five years ago; perhaps it is convenient to vary to learn and have fun.
However, there are issues that need to be evaluated:
- Running alone can be boring and lead to retirement.
- Running alone can tire the runner. It will have no reference points, nor who to overcome.
- If you are inexperienced, running alone can lead to injuries due to poor habits.
- Stamina appears to be lower when running alone. It’s easy to get distracted and lose sight of your goals when you’re alone.
- Running accompanied involves risks if you intend to follow the same training as a veteran. Don’t try to imitate anyone’s running if you are not at the same level.
- Conversing while running in a group alters concentration. It also makes breathing and strides more difficult.
- When running in a group it is complex to match times and this can also be discouraging.