Does anyone else *prefer* exercising alone? Or am I just a bit of a freak?

(49 Posts)
ShotsFired Wed 21-Sep-16 16:08:42

Almost everywhere you look, articles and websites tell you to train with a friend for better results and more enjoyment.

But I hate it. Whether it's because it makes me feel shit for holding them back; or making them go slower than they want to be (same thing really); or just the fact that it feels competitive when that is the last thing I am interested in. Multiple those feelings by 1000 for organised events, even the local charity ones which are just for fun (allegedly - for me they are horrendous!).

Am I the only one who is happiest just going off and doing their own thing with no pressure to be first or fastest or best? As well as exercising alone, I go somewhat out of my way to do it at times and places where I will come across very few other people too, although that's probably also a self-confidence/body-image thing.

I expect I am probably doing myself a disservice and not getting the best out of my workout by just ambling along at my own pace, but I have tried so many times and it's always been a session of me endlessly worrying and fretting about the other person, instead of just enjoying myself.

(I don't have many friends anyway, and was single for many many years, so maybe I am just happy(iest) in my own company?)

BabooshkaKate Wed 21-Sep-16 16:10:52

I prefer going alone too, particularly on runs or things that require concentration.

AmeliaJack Wed 21-Sep-16 16:11:20

I run alone.

I have no desire to run with a friend - it's my peace and quiet time.

CMOTDibbler Wed 21-Sep-16 16:11:28

Me too. I mean, I like a cycle with dh and ds, or a social ride with the cycling group but not when I'm trying to train. And I really don't like running with people.

I did a team relay thing at the weekend which was supposed to be a bit of fun, but I found it hugely stressful, so never again

MephistophelesApprentice Wed 21-Sep-16 16:13:30

As a result of PE lessons at school, I have an absolute visceral terror of exercising in groups (or where anyone can see me). Can just about manage with my girlfriend but we have very different paces so it's less than convenient. I can relate to how you feel.

fruitatthebottom Wed 21-Sep-16 16:17:30

I'm a loner when it comes to exercise too. I have three kids and a hectic job, for me getting out of the house and running for an hour is just the best way to totally switch off. It's nice to have an hour where I don't have to make conversation or answer continual questions. I listen to music or podcasts and thoroughly enjoy being on my own for a bit. I've had friends ask if they can come and I always make excuses.

Perfectlypurple Wed 21-Sep-16 16:18:34

I'm the same. I have a personal trainer so happy training with her but apart from that I much prefer going on my own. I love the gym when it is dead and no-one else around. I can do my own thing without feeling self conscious.

Theonlyoneiknow Wed 21-Sep-16 16:20:14

I much prefer running alone. It's the only time I get to myself to think. There is so much noise at home and work it's nice to just put the world to rights in my head on a run

americaandhawaii Wed 21-Sep-16 16:20:46

I like to run on my own too but do love big events although I never go with anyone as I just want to go at my own speed.

MyDarlingWhatIfYouFly Wed 21-Sep-16 16:21:30

I run alone - put my headphones on and ignore the world. Bliss! smile

FoggyMorn Wed 21-Sep-16 16:22:05

YANBU (I know you didn't ask grin). I like to do my own thing and have a horror of any sort of group exercise classes/sport.
At the gym, I get frequent "helpful" suggestions from acquaintances (also members) to join this class, or that class because I'd really love it. NO I WOULDN'T!

Lottapianos Wed 21-Sep-16 16:24:45

Don't feel shit OP. I'm the same. I used to run and would rather have died than run with another person, or joined a running club. I spend all day at work around people and I'm really quite an introvert, so I need quiet time

Now I go to the gym, sometimes with DP but I don't 'talk to him while we're there smile Exercise is a really personal thing and its about finding what works for you. We're not all sociable creatures!

ShotsFired Wed 21-Sep-16 16:27:11

Oh my god, so many people who feel the same so quickly! I was expecting to be told I really was a bit of a loser and to get over myself!

CMOTDibbler I like a cycle with dh and ds, or a social ride with the cycling group but not when I'm trying to train.
I don't really do pure social outings like that (and I simply cannot bring myself to join the local cc).

Every time I exercise it is an effort and 'on purpose', as it were. I see friends posting about how they rode 10 miles to a pub, but for me, if I am riding 10 miles, it is to exercise, not sit around sweating with chafing jeans on!

KanyesVest Wed 21-Sep-16 16:27:22

I prefer to plod run alone for the same reasons. My brother is having a tough time at the moment so I've been running with him (he ends up talking which is good) but while its good to spend time with him, I miss running by myself. I like doing classes though because I don't push myself enough otherwise, but things like circuits where I'm doing each station by myself. There's no way I'd go to the gym and do a workout by myself oddball

MsUnderstanding Wed 21-Sep-16 16:28:35

Me. That's why I have a spin bike at home. It's also the only time I get to listen to music without a child nagging me to put Katy Perry on after 5 mins.

Why the hell would you work out with a friend? It's not like you could have a chat in the middle of a run. If you can hold a conversation while excersizing then you're doing in all wrong!

ShotsFired Wed 21-Sep-16 16:28:58

fruitatthebottom I'm a loner when it comes to exercise too. I have three kids and a hectic job

I have a "thoughtful" job where I use a lot of mental energy every day, but its not hectic or physically taxing in any way. And no kids or busy homelife either. And yet I still prefer going out alone.

GemmaB78 Wed 21-Sep-16 16:29:43

Same here. My running, cycling and horse riding time is my alone, thinking time. My OH is always encouraging me to join a running club, or find other people to ride with but I much prefer my own (and my horse's!) company.

I'd be interested to know if we are introverted or extroverted, or somewhere in the middle. Me, I am an introvert.

museumum Wed 21-Sep-16 16:29:51

I like running alone but also love things like parkrun where I'm there on my own but in a huge group of people all doing the same.

Lottapianos Wed 21-Sep-16 16:31:50

'And no kids or busy homelife either. And yet I still prefer going out alone.'

Same here. I just like lots of peace and quiet!

Stellabystarlight Wed 21-Sep-16 16:35:31

I'm completely the same. Hate seeing anyone I know at the gym. Only ever run alone. And I'm a fairly sociable person otherwise, just not when exercising.

ShotsFired Wed 21-Sep-16 16:35:40

I am really quite taken aback by all your lovely replies. My supposed wrongness in this has been eating away at me - what I "should" be doing and that I was the odd one out, that there was something wrong with the way I liked to do things because every other bugger I saw was all social and loving it.

ReggaeShark Wed 21-Sep-16 16:37:12

God yes. Time alone with my thoughts. You're not alone.

Sugarandsalt Wed 21-Sep-16 16:37:53

I much prefer to exercise alone. I'm quite competitive with myself too!

Lottapianos Wed 21-Sep-16 16:38:40

We've all been there OP. You need to stop 'shoulding' all over yourself! <tries to remember to take own advice>

You don't need to be martyring yourself at home or at work in order to 'earn' the right to have time to yourself, you can just prefer it, and make sure you get it. Not everyone is a great big cheerful sunbeam who just cannot get enough of whooping and hollering it up with other people all day every day. Some of us like just getting on with it quietly, and there's nothing wrong with that. Enjoy your quiet exercise time!

OhNoNotMyBaby Wed 21-Sep-16 16:40:43

Let all these replies be a lesson to you OP! It's OK to do it your way - bugger everyone else. grin

FWIW I hate running with other people. A friend joined me for a about 8 months once - she just assumed I would prefer to have company. I couldn't say no but sometimes I did the circuit twice (after she'd gone indoors) so I could do it on my own.

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