22 April 2013

group running vs. running alone

i just noticed today that this article was released in iRun Canada's magazine about the process of determining whether or not retaining a coach is right for you, and how to go about it.  it's almost as if they'd read my mind (or at least my previous post)!

and while i'm exploring the possibilities of entering into a coaching relationship, there's also the option of participating in a group training program which can serve a similar benefit (as noted in the iRun magazine piece).  with the benefits of being a more pocketbook-friendly version of an instructional environment and providing additional social interaction, many runners flock to group running as a great motivational tool.

i mean hey - even the kenyans are big on running in groups.

but what's one to do when one is a rabid introvert?

generally speaking, i'd prefer to be alone than to be with others.  that's my optimal, recharge time.  maybe that's why i run pre-dawn, when most of the people in my neighbourhood are still hitting the snooze button ... or on the squalling, -30°C not-fit-for-man-nor-beast days.  alone time is pretty precious to me, and so i'm often loathe to give it up.

that being said, i have two friends who are regular running partners - one on saturday, the other on sunday.  both great guys, both ironman triathletes, and yet distinctly different in terms of running 'function' - one helps to keep my pace quite moderate to easy (so i don't overtrain), while the other pushes me to run long runs at almost a marathon pace clip.

i'm thankful for both of those guys - and most weeks i look forward to the time that i get to spend with them.  i do feel like i'm a better runner because of what each of them bring to the table - from conversation to competition - and appreciate having someone with whom to share running exploits and tales.  and when i finally do race, i tend to be the guy who is a chatterbox with the other runners in the pack with our pace bunny of choice.

still, the introvert in me savours the isolated country road runs - kilometres on end with no music, no dialogue, just birds and breeze and a keen sense of the presence of the Creator.

so if you see me plodding by you with no wink, wave or other acknowledgment, don't take it personally.  i like to distance myself from everyone without prejudice.

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