Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Running Social or Solitary - It's All Good

Solitary Run

Some runners are social runners, they love to meet up with a group of other runners for the majority of their runs and workouts.  They relish the comradery of running with others and the chance to socially interact with and catch up with friends.  This can be an awesome experience that heightens the running experience for them.

Some runners are solitary runners, who love to do the majority or all their runs alone.  They relish the peace and solitude of solo runs and the chance to have some alone time with their thoughts while doing something healthy for their body.  This also can be an awesome experience that brings them peace mentally as well as physical health.  

Then there are some runners who are a combination between the two, they sometimes run alone and sometimes run with a group. They have a good mix between the 2 and in some ways get many of the benefits of each.

Their is no right or wrong way to run, with others or alone.  It is all a matter of personal preference, the opportunities available to you, and what your goals are with your running.  

I grew up running by myself mainly as a kid before I entered high school as there simply wasn't anyone to run with.  Then in high school I still usually ran by myself as no one on my high school teams could keep up (I went to a small high school - 87 in my graduating class).  So I learned to appreciate running alone.  After college, I again ran mainly by myself, and enjoyed my quiet time to think and reflect and day dream while I ran.  I did and still do enjoy running with others on occasion but I find running alone a peaceful respite in an otherwise hectic social world. Also I was a very competitive runner for many of my younger years, and it was always more important to me to follow my training plan than to alter it to accommodate others.  I enjoyed the social aspects of running but the competitive aspects were more important to me.  But I do understand and appreciate that the reverse it true for many runners, that they appreciate the competitive aspects of running but value the social aspects just as much or more.  Different strokes for different folks.

I guess my point to this blog is that it is OK to run alone and OK to run socially and we shouldn't put-down or judge someone for desiring to do one or the other.  Recently I came across a group of social runners who thought it almost criminal to run alone and they even made fun of and chastised those who chose to run alone calling them "anti-social outcasts".  I am sure there are similar people who run alone who simply don't understand or appreciate social runners.  This is so crazy to me, that people would judge and criticize someone else simply because they desire to do something differently than they themselves would do it. This type of intolerance is what spreads hate and bigotry in society. Come on now, we are all runners and we each are free to pursue it how we wish. Support your fellow runners, even if you choose to pursue it differently than they do.