Lots of runners have taken up the practice of solo running. While it comes naturally for some, for a social runner, it’s not their first inclination. Due to public health requirements, runners are doing a lot of their training solo. While this has some draw backs, we’re lucky to be able to do our exercise of choice, and it turns out there are also lots of hidden (and not so hidden) benefits to solo miles.
You become a mentally tough runner
Training partners are amazing. They motivate on the tough days, and few things feel as good as completing a great session with your friends. However, there’s also something special about completing a good workout or run when no one is watching. And getting hard work done when no one is watching is a key to running success.
For a track runner, there will be times when you’ve found yourself in the lead and it’s your job to push the pace. For a road runner, when the going gets tough and you’re out there on your own, do you give it a little more gas or back off?
Working out solo and making those choices to push just a little bit more will pay off at kilometre 30 of 42.2K. When the going gets tough, you’ll be ready.
You can work through personal problems
— Nick Willis (@nickwillis) March 24, 2020
Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed, only to go for a run and feel better at the end of it? Movement is good for the brain and few people appreciate this more than runners.
If life served you up something you’re not loving, a few minutes of solo running will probably make it feel a little better.
Your mind goes completely blank
About 30 minutes into a solo run, a runner’s mind reaches a state of zen that is unique to the sport. You’ll cover 4K without realizing that time is passing, look down at your watch and think, ‘that was fast’, and also, ‘how did I get here?’ Time to zone out is hard to come by in our busy lives, and really hard to do if you’re running with a group.
It can spark really good ideas
Are you midway through a work proposal, stuck writing an essay or not sure how to tackle an issue? Go for a run. There’s something about fresh air, coupled with moving your body, that will spark creative solutions or ideas.
You’re not operating on anyone else’s schedule
This is a practical application of the solo run, but heading out the door, exactly when your schedule allows, is kind of nice. There are many benefits to meeting a group to workout, but being time-efficient is not one of them. If you’re crunched for time, a solo run is where it’s at. On top of leaving on time, you won’t have to wait for anyone to use the washroom, tie their shoes (again) or go someone else’s pace.
You avoid the inclination to keep up with the Joneses
Have you ever been on a group run and wanted to go a slightly different pace, but haven’t wanted to be a bother? The solo run means you go however fast or slow you want–no compromise, just running at a pace that feels good for you.
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