Are most runners introverts?

I love Audrey Hepburn and I have for as long as I can remember. When I first saw her in the role of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s I just knew that one day I would move to New York and become a socialite. Of course I was only 7 so what did I know but something in Audrey Hepburn just resonated with me. I felt connected to her, I loved her style, her voice and her elegance.

audrey hepburn introvert
Most people are surprised to find out that she was introverted. Most people are surprised to find that I am as well. But I am. I most definitely am.

When I was younger I’m sure most people would have described me as outgoing or extroverted but that was never the case. Crowds and situations that might easily embarrass me gave me great anxiety. Although I may have seemed confident and happy being in the midst of crowds, I really wasn’t. It made me feel terribly insecure and uncomfortable. I don’t think anyone other than my mother knew how terribly tortured my soul was.

introverts unite
As time went on and with the help of self-evaluation, and maybe a therapist or three, I became much more comfortable in my own skin. I came to realize that while I like people and having friends, most days I prefer to be alone.

MacGyver thinks I should go work from Starbucks a few days a week just to get out and be around people but I don’t really want to. I like being at home with the dogs. I like being at home alone. I am not sad, I’m not depressed, and I’m not anti-social. I just don’t like to be around people a lot and that’s okay.  I’m okay.

introverts talking

It’s also probably one of the reasons that I run. It’s an exercise that I can do anywhere. I don’t like the anxiety that I feel walking into a gym or an exercise class. I prefer the solitude of running alone. I love the thoughts that go through my head when I’m running. I really do. As weird as it may sound, I enjoy it.

I really enjoy running alone and while I may run with others on occasion, I do prefer my solo runs. I don’t like the stress of wondering if I can match someone else’s pace or if they can match mine. I stress over whether they’ll expect me to talk the whole time or if they’re quiet like me. I wonder if they’ll need to take breaks or if they won’t need to take breaks and before I even meet someone to run with them, I’m already stressed out.  It wears me out.

introverts rules
I also tend to be habitual in the routes that I run and I’ve noticed over time that once I start to see the same people over and over again, if any of them stop to talk to me, shortly after I change my route.

Introverts avoid

I know, it sounds rude but honestly, it isn’t.   For a long time I wasn’t consciously aware that I was doing it but I realized it about a year ago. I tried not doing it once I realized it was a pattern but it only made the anxiety worse.

introvert conversations

I wondered if other runners were introverts as well or if they had some of the same behavioral patterns as me and since I’m a huge fan of reddit I did manage to find several discussions on the subject and what I found is that there seems to be a lot of introverted runners.  Holy shit!  I’m not alone.

introverted runners

Of course reddit is not scientific proof of anything and I didn’t find any official studies, (well one but I couldn’t access it so it doesn’t count)  but I would love to learn more.  So in the interest of science or just my natural curiosity, I need to hear from you.

Are you a runner and if so are you an introverted or extroverted runner?

If you know of any studies on the subject, please send me the link, You know I love me some scientific facts!

18 thoughts on “Are most runners introverts?

  1. I am a ‘late bloomer’; I didnt begin walk/running until I turned 60. I like working out alone..mostly because i am an introvert (and HSP to boot).also overweight, slow and NOT wishing to be made fun of, for my age and weight. Run/walking soothes me inside. I enter 5Ks, dont win any, but its a personal challenge to me, that at 65 now; Im still able to lace up my shoes and hit the streets, and DO something for my health. I like wearing the t-shirts too. van

    • This was one of my favorite comments ever. I love that you started at 60 and that you enter 5K’s. Entering races can be a little overwhelming for introverts, (or at least it was for me in the beginning,) but you should be very proud of yourself. And you may not win those 5K’s but you are a winner. 🙂

      • I do have several 3rd place medals..which is the best I can do. (so far), .my personal time is slowly getting better, as I am training more regularly than I used to. I guess turning 60 made me decide to do something useful to stay fit/active before I got much older. I still enjoy it. There’s not many around, in 60-69 age bracket for women, mostly a few guys. Run/walk seems to soothe my troubled soul (and a few other things) better than anything else I do, to stay active.

    • I hear ya, I tried the group thing and while I didn’t hate it, it was hard for me to connect with them. I still see a few of the girls and I like them but I don’t think I’ll ever do the group thing again. It’s just not for me.

  2. I am a complete and total introvert! I loved this post and everything you said here resonates so strongly! I laughed so hard about your habitual routes, and when you see the same people and they want to stop and talk …you change your route!! That is SO me! I am a marathon runner and love my long runs just with my dog.

    • I’m so glad you liked it and even happier that you feel the same way. I was a little concerned people might think I was weird or snotty but it feels so nice to know that people understand! 🙂

  3. I’m an interesting mix of both. I have days that quiet sounds really good, and other days I love parties and weddings and people interaction all day long. So I might describe myself as an ‘introverted’ extrovert. God makes everyone unique!

    • Your comment could not have come at a more appropriate time. I was just explaining to my son that there are some people who are introverts with extrovert traits. I do believe you are right, God makes everyone of us unique, 🙂

  4. I am a runner and normally i am an extrovert… but sometimes? i just need to be alone and go my own way 🙂 but mostly i gain my “strength” from people!

  5. I love when people can put down in words the feelings I’ve never been able to express. I love to run and I cringe when people find out and ask to run with me. I don’t mind running in the same race/event but my day to day runs are just for me.

    • That’s me exactly! I totally get you Gwen 🙂 I actually ran into a neighbor once who was at her mailbox and she stopped me to talk about running and then the dreaded, ‘maybe we can run together’ sentence came out and I heard myself say, ‘Sure, I’ll come by on Friday’ and then I stressed out over it for the next few days and I just couldn’t go on Friday and then I avoided that route for weeks so I wouldn’t see her again. I felt horrible about it but the anxiety of running with her freaked me out that much.

  6. I’m an introvert. And shy. But if I run with someone, I usually talk. I’ve done it twice, I think I do it because the other person was slightly slower so it helped me stick with them. Plus, I gave up my music since I’m with someone.

    • I always feel like I have to talk if I run with someone. I don’t mind the talking part so much as the trying to figure out what to say awkwardness. I actually have the conversation in my head before I even open my mouth, lol.

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