Working Out – Group or Solo?

Local Pool Boy & Supervisor

Yesterday somebody seriously slapped me with a running stick. I ran for an hour plus in the AM and then hit up Piedmont Park for an evening run. I stuck to my normal eating routine and I was incredibly hungry. I mean looking back, I almost ran 2 hours so that explains why I wanted to eat everything in site.

My feet are oddly what’s killing me. Should I spare you the details? Basically– Nashville Country Music Marathon + rain + flip flops after the race + uncomfortable race shoes = biggest, blister, ever. Stupid, stupid mistakes. When you have a blister they say don’t pop it — DON’T. I waited until I really couldn’t take it anymore, 2 weeks. And now I have what’s equivalent to a rug-burn along the side of my foot. I am actually proud of myself for trying to run through some of the uncomfortableness, and I think it’s toughin’ up my tootsies.

OK happier times are here. We finally opened our pool. Yes, I am totally spoiled – I am aware. I typically float in this thing, but rumor has it that I am going to actually purchase a proper swimsuit and use this pool for “practice.” Need that puppy to heat up before I attempt anything. I hate, despise, loathe cold water. Andrew is a friggin fish and just hops right in. I’m a “toe-at-a-time” kinda lady.

In a herdy.

While I was running yesterday I had a thought. I am more of a solo athlete than a “team sports” competitor. I played recreational softball in high school and also ran cross country, but I am finding that now I enjoy working out and racing by myself. This is probably sounding kind of selfish. But even when Andrew and I attempt to run together, I’m miserable. His pace is different and when he gets ahead early it’s a total mental game for me the rest of my run. Love him to death, but it’s good to go together and then split up. I thought about joining a running group also, but at the end of the day I like making my own schedule and going at my own pace. Sometimes working out with pals can end up with me moving more of my mouth than my body. Large groups give me rapid heartbeat and I feel like a herd of livestock. It’s baaad.

Coach Jenny chimes in at Runner’s World on Group v Solo Training.

In the end, it’s whatever works for you. If you need 20 people to get you moving, then by all means. Different strokes for different folks.

Are you a group workout or gym class kind of person? Or do you prefer to go at workouts alone?


4 responses to “Working Out – Group or Solo?

  1. I work out mostly alone but group fitness classes can be great for support and motivation! Working out with someone in better shape than you also makes you workout harder and with more intensity!

  2. Solo runner. I’m way too competitive if I’m in a group. And since I’m not that incredibly awesome, it generally means that I burn myself pretty well. I’ll definitely chase a rabbit on the run, often without realizing it until my HR monitor starts fussing at me.

    But I’m also trying to do group runs now, if for no other reason than to break myself of that habit, less I keep doing during Marathons.

  3. I joined a running group last winter partially to get me through the 7:30am, 9° Michigan Winter runs, but mostly because my solo 20-milers last summer were so grueling. After a few months I’m undecided – I’ve made running friends from the group, which is good, but not sure if I truly enjoy running with 15+ people at a time.

    For cycling, I used to race, so there I was always looking for a group to ride with. I ride by myself a lot these days, but still enjoy the company on the bike, especially on those 4-6 hour rides. But there is something special about doing a full 100 miles solo. And not just “special” because of the saddle sores you get as a result…

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