Thursday, 6 November 2014

Confessions of a running loner

I'm a loner...when it comes to running that is.

In theory the idea of pounding the pavements with someone else is lovely. I've got a romantic vision of speeding along the banks of the Thames in the winter sunlight with a running pal. Nothing can stop us. We're encouraging each other and challenging each other.

But another part of my brain is convinced that it just isn't possible. What if we have different paces? What if I'm holding them back? What if they're holding me back? What if I get tired and want to stop? What if they get tired and want to stop? Do we have to talk? Won't I be too tired to talk? If we don't talk won't it be a bit weird? Or awkward?

Plus my mind always drifts back to one of my very first (and incredibly unsuccessful) runs with a group of friends when I was in my first year of uni. It was horrific.

I also find running great for de-stressing, letting my thoughts run riot and generally getting rid of some of my worries. With all the stresses of running with someone, what if that gets ruined?

But last week I was getting ready to pop out for a short and easy run when I realised my flatmate Iona was also lacing up her trainers. Turns out we were actually intending to run the exact same route. After much "see you out there!" we finally decided to try running together.

Begrudging running buddies
Iona is of the same view as me: running is a solo sport. No interacting. No faffing. NO TALKING. So that's how we did it. We ran side-by-side for the most part, with our own music in. The only interacting was me pointing out the route (it was Iona's first time).

It might sound antisocial but for us it worked a treat.

It was actually really nice knowing someone was there with me and at no point did I feel stressed about pace. We gave each other the option to drop back/carry on ahead if we needed to but we seemed to manage just fine!

Now that I've finally got over my fear of running with others I'm not really sure what's next. I've always wanted to try a running group but the worries mentioned above always stopped me. Maybe I'll even be able to TALK while running?! I know, I know, baby steps...but never say never.

Harris x

Are you a running loner? Would you recommend joining a running group? 


  1. Sounds like you found the perfect running partner! I love running with friends but definitely have to be in the right mood to do so. It is tough if you run at different paces and if one likes to talk but the other one doesn't. In big groups I find it easier but I do have one running friend that I run with often. Our paces match and we both love a good gossip whilst out on our run!

    1. I've never tried running in a bigger group (I still get horrifying flashbacks to cross-country aged 14) but I definitely think it's something I'd like to try! xxx

  2. I generally hate running with other people - I get in such a huge fluster and I need that time on my own to think and be calm in the moment.
    Also my pace varies greatly..I'd say by about 2 minutes! So finding someone that's similar to me is hard and I find I have to be in the right kind of mood to want to talk to people whilst running and on certain tracks (aka trail running and convo sucks!).
    Maybe one day I'll get over my fear and run with people more often..:)

    1. I completely sympathise Katie - I have exactly the same issue with fluctuating pace! I think maybe I should make an occasional group run my New Year's resolution...! xxx