You’ll Go Further And Faster If You Run With A Group

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Running solo has an undeniable appeal to it. You get time and space to clear your head, as well as the freedom to set the route and run at your pace. However, there are equally appealing aspects to group running, and those who only run by themselves would do well to take heed of stats from Strava that suggest you’ll run further and faster with others.

The tracking app looked at a year’s worth of data on over 90 million runs from all over the world and found that the average pace of a group run (which involved at least two runners) was 5sec/km (7sec/mile) faster than an individual run. Solo runners averaged out at 5min 55sec/km (9min 31sec/mile) and group runs at 5min 50sec/km (9min 24sec/mile).

On average, group runs were also 2.1km (1.3 miles) longer, covering 10.1km (6.3 miles) compared the average solo run of 8km (5 miles).

The worldwide trends were also seen in the UK where Strava had data on 18 million runs. Group runners ran 3sec/km (5sec/mile) faster than individuals and 1.4km (0.84 miles) further.

It could be that the sheer joy of having someone to take your mind off the run makes people go further, or a competitive streak that made them go faster. A simpler explanation might be that many group runs are races where people naturally pick up their pace and don’t stop whenever they feel a bit out of puff.

RECOMMENDED: UK Running Events

Whatever the reason, it’s worth giving group running a try because even if you don’t end up running faster or further, it’s still a great way to spend your time. Once you find the right running ally, the miles will seem to fly by even if you’re not actually going any faster.

If you’re based in London, it’s also easier than ever to find yourself some running companions, even if none of your friends are willing to pound the pavements with you. There are several free running groups in the centre of the city that put on a few group runs each week, as well as the many traditional running clubs based all over the capital. And of course there’s parkrun every Saturday morning – here are five of the best parkruns in London.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.