Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The introverted runner

Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

I was thinking the other day about running clubs and why, after four years of considering them, I have never joined one. I happened to be looking at the Huffington Post on the train home last night when I read an article that helped me understand my reluctance. The article is entitled, "Nine Signs That You Might Be an Introvert" and it described me to a T.

I already knew before reading that article that I fall on the introverted side of the spectrum. My company used to administer Myers-Briggs assessments that placed you into one of 16 personality types. I recall my profile came out as INTP (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Perceiving). I'd challenged the introversion assessment at the time, arguing that I was a person who interacted a lot in public, so I couldn't be an introvert. It was explained to me that introversion is not the same as shyness, although they are not opposites.

Realizing that I'm a classic introvert explains a lot about why I prefer to run alone rather than participate in running club activities. I like people, but not situations when I need to interact with big groups. Small groups are much more comfortable for me. Races are the exception, I love the energy of the pack and the shared experience of driving towards the finish line. Perhaps it's because racing lets you interact with others while maintaining a comfortable level of privacy.


  1. I run alone and I prefer it that way I think....mostly because I don't want to slow people down. I am a member of GLIRC but I don't go to parties or anything. I just like getting the magazine every month and also some races and at some running stores I get a discount :)

  2. That's exactly the way I'd engage if I joined. But I think the group runs allow for any pace in case that appeals to you.

  3. I joined Glirc this year also, for the publication and discounts on races. I may go to a meeting or a group run just to try it out. I am an INFJ (introversion,intuition, feeling and judging). I like to run alone to give me time and space to acknowledge and understand what I'm physically feeling as I'm running, with the hope of being able to control each subsequent run - can't do that with someone yakking at me. :)

  4. OMG. I just read the 9 reasons. That is SO me.. I had to post it on FB. Thanks! It's so nice to know I'm not the only one~

  5. I suspect that many runners are also I's for the reasons you state. I've found running to be a great resource for focusing my thoughts without distraction. Although I agree about the yakking, I've also managed through some tough runs by using conversation to keep my mind off my discomfort.


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