Do you prefer to run solo or in a group?

by On Dec 22, 2020

Who do you enjoy running with?

Do you run solo or with group?

Many people run alone. Some have no choice, as they could not find someone else to run with. Furthermore, during the pandemic, it’s advisable to run alone and keep proper social distance from others.

However, whether you are running in a group or solo, it can affect and impact your overall performance.

In fact, there will be both pros and cons of running alone or in a group. But, as long as you are able to find what works best for you, your running effort will still be beneficial to you.

Today, we are pleased to speak to three experienced runners who have trained solo as well as in groups. They will be sharing their experience on what works for them to be a better runner.

So, let's get right into it, shall we?

1. Novita Lim

Bio: Australian, residing in Jakarta, 38-years-old, self-employed

Do you run solo or with group?
Runner: Novita Lim

Novita did her first half marathon in 2017 with no training and preparations, as she was given a free BIB. Her good friend wanted her to enjoy Jakarta city by running or even walking the half marathon.

But to her surprise, she actually did run all the way throughout the race. Since then, she began to wonder what running was all about. In the end, she decided to be an active runner from mid 2018 and fell in love with running ever since.

Her PB so far is 5K for 26:53, 10K for 59:48, HM for 2:13:10. Originally, before the pandemic, she was training for her VFM for the Gold Coast Marathon for Sub 4.

RS: How often do you run solo or with a group? 

Novita: I run solo 4 to 5 days a week when I do my training program and twice a month on Saturdays or Sundays running with a group when I do my long run.

RS: Why do you run?

Novita: I love running solo when I do my training program, so I can focus and concentrate on the program itself. Running with a group is more towards longer runs; you tend to enjoy your run more when running with your friends.

RS: How does running solo or in groups help you grow as a runner?

Novita: Running solo, you can build endurance better, meaning you have to self-motivate yourself to achieve your running goals and also improve your focus and concentration when you are on your own.

Running in groups can give you more motivation, especially for longer runs, and it’s nice to have company along the way. Also, you could learn about other people’s experiences on their running journey and share yours too.

Do you run solo or with group?
Runner: Novita Lim

RS: What is it about running that brings you the most joy?

Novita: Running is like listening to the song “What a Feeling” from the movie Flashdance for me. Happy and exhilarating feeling every time I start running. I guess running has become a part of my life, so either running an easy or tempo 10K is a happy day for me.

I also believe that running has changed me a lot as a person. I have become more patient with a lot of things in life.

RS: What would be your ultimate achievement for this year?

Novita: Originally, it was to do my VFM Sub 4. But since the race was cancelled, I decided to go back to basics and fix my timing from 5K onwards. The ultimate achievement by the end of this year would be running 10K Sub 50.

RS: Did you join any online race or virtual run before?

Novita: Unfortunately, I haven’t joined any online races so far.

You can follow Novita on Instagram: @nov1nov

2. Chua Zheng Hang, Aaron

Bio: Singaporean, 33 year-olds

Do you run solo or with group?
Runner: Chua Zheng Hang, Aaron

Aaron started running in May 2017. Initially, he just wanted to run because he heard that running  would help him to lose weight, as previously he was about 80 to 90kg.

However, as he started to run and increased the frequency and duration of  the runs, he realised that running could be quite addictive, and he also saw some changes in himself, such as body shape and mindset (being more positive).

The more he ran, the more he enjoyed it. Over time, he befriended other runners, which is how he started his running journey to date.

RS: How often do you run solo or with a group?  

Aaron: In a week, I will dedicate three runs to myself and two runs with my friends.

RS: Why do you run solo or with a group?

Aaron: For a group run, I think the most important factor would be the friends that you run with. Friends push you to break your limits and also inject positive vibes and energy into the run. Thus, it makes the run more enjoyable and fulfilling.

For a solo run, it helps to clear my mind and also gives me a chance to disconnect from the things/people around me.

RS: : How does running solo or in groups help you grow as a runner?

Aaron: For groups, tips and strategies are shared by friends. Friends would suggest and correct my running form. For solo, group, sticking to the training plans that I have set/created for myself.

Do you run solo or with group?
Runner: Chua Zheng Hang, Aaron

RS: What is it about running that brings you the most joy?

Aaron: The people bring joy, as we celebrate each and every success/achievement/effort we have put/achieve in.

RS: What would be your ultimate achievement for this year?

Aaron: Forging new friendships and having friends that shared the same vision as I do. 

RS: When was your last solo and group running races?

Aaron: Yes, my last solo race for this year would be the Kyoto Marathon 2020, and the group run would be Run for Heroes 2020: 550km (Duo).

You can follow Aaron on Instagram: @runningaaronss

3. Desmond SG Tan

Bio: Singaporean, 28-years-old, Designer

Do you run solo or with group?
Runner: Desmond SG Tan

Desmond has started running constantly since 2017. It was an online running platform that triggered his interest in picking up running, as he was doing other sports at the time. To recall his first 3km run, he struggled to complete it.

As time progresses, he continues to improve from stamina, pacing and sAs time progressed, he continued to improve his stamina, pacing and started to join more races with longer distances. To him, it’s the journey that matters.

RS: How often do you run solo or with a group?

Desmond: I would normally run 2 – 4 times per week, mostly solo at various stadium tracks and park connectors. It varies, as it depends on the types of run I am doing on that particular day. 

At the stadium – I would do (i) ‘Speedwork workouts,’ such as tempo runs and intervals or (ii) ‘Fartleks,’ which boost my overall fitness.

Park connector – I would go for a distance run that increases aerobic capacity.

RS: What is the reason behind that make you run solo or with group?

Desmond: There are two factors that contribute to me running solo at times.

First and foremost, versatility in doing everything at my own pace. For example, I would normally craft out additional workout plans, such as kettlebell or resistance band workout, to complement my run. Nonetheless, I am able to adjust my schedule accordingly to my liking.

Another factor would be to disconnect myself. This would be the downtime, where I have all the quiet time to myself.

RS: How does running solo or in groups help you grow as a runner?

Desmond: Let me start off with an overarching quote. 

“It’s not about how fast you go. It’s not about how far you go. It’s a process.” – Amby Burfoot

I strongly believe that it’s the in-between process that helps me improve as a runner. It’s about determination and motivating oneself to keep moving forward.

Do you run solo or with group?
Runner: Desmond SG Tan

RS: What is it about running that brings you the most joy?

Desmond: The joy of it would be to run away from all my responsibilities. Just kidding. What actually brings the utmost joy about running allows me to take a step back from the hectic world and go back to nature. 

Yup, you never know what awaits you as well, especially when it comes to running at Park Connector. At times, I get to stumble upon new running routes and “little creatures” that excites me to explore.

Nonetheless, I believe that running helps me to recharge from fatigue and de-stress.

RS: What would be your ultimate achievement you want for the year?

Desmond: As there are still restrictions due to COVID, my achievement would be something simple yet meaningful to me.

  • Continue to hit/exceed my yearly running mileage
  • To get a Sub20 5k

Other than that, I can’t wait to participate in an offline/on-site running event and get absorbed in the awesome running atmosphere once again.

RS: Have you previously joined any online race?

Desmond: Definitely a yes! It’s the flexibility of what online races offer that has triggered me to join more races for the past three years constantly. 

To conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all online running platforms that give runners the flexibility to submit their run online.

Of course, a shout out to #runsociety for supporting the running scenes all these years. I am looking forward to meeting more awesome people, great races and events.

You can follow Desmond on Instagram: @ossyiro

No matter how slow you are running alone or with someone else, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch. So give yourself a pat on your back and start your next run today.

If you are trying to challenge yourselves in solo running, then you will enjoy the Solo Run Online 2020, as you can run anytime and anywhere you like at your own pace and earn some great awards.

Samantha is an editor at RunSociety. A digital expert with a focus on the research and development of thought provoking and resourceful content, Samantha love Yoga and incorporate running in her weekly workout whenever she can.

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