Hi! I’m Sara! I’m a runner, fitness enthusiast and wife to a future doctor and elite marathon runner in training. I blog over at LovingOnTheRun.com. It’s my little place to share my passion for being a runner and a wife. My motto in life is always “Run hard. Love Harder.
The Benefits of Running Alone
Getting lost on back country roads. Just you and the road. Nothing better than the quietness of your feet hitting the ground.
Ah yes…running alone. To some it is relaxing and to others it is an abysmal death march into oblivion without their social friends by their side.
Believe it or not, there are many benefits to pounding the pavement alone. While not always the easiest, the benefits can be immense both physically and mentally.
Running with friends is great but consider the reasons below on the benefits of hitting the roads alone every so often.
No Pressure From Others
When your out there by yourself, there is nobody to compete with or keep up with. Nobody to slow down or speed up for. Your on your own to decide how you want your run to go. This proves a major benefit depending on how you feel that day. Maybe you need to go slow…perfect…you don’t want that added pressure to keep up with and impress your friends. The only one your competing with out there when your alone is yourself.
You Pay Attention to Your Body
When your alone, you have the full experience of being able to hone in and listen to your body. You can pay attention to exactly how your body feels. Maybe you feel good. Maybe you feel sluggish and need a rest day. You can concentrate on your running form and notice pain before it gets worse.
When you are with a buddy on the roads – your typically busy chatting it up to notice some of the small but important things in your running that can make a big difference.
The Beauty of the Disconnect
Most adults spend a large majority of time around other people. The ability to head out on the roads, tune everything out, and just run is immensely attractive to people. You can truly enjoy the small block of time in the day without the full stresses of life or having to make decisions. You can tune out for the moment in time and just embrace the enjoyment of running.
Better Prepared for Race Day
Most people race on their own come race day. No friends to pace them or keep them company the full-time. Running alone allows you to practice the ability to be mentally engaged by yourself for that moment in time. You will become better at pacing yourself rather than relying on others around you. You will also be able to practice sensing when your body needs fuel or hydration.
Practicing running alone will make you more resilient and better able to handle the ebbs and flows of running. Some days you feel great while other days you feel like somebody beat you with a bat with an elephant on your chest.
You won’t always have that partner there to pull you through. You have to rely on yourself to mentally tough it out. You will go through learning points where you teach yourself to deal with pain on your own. You will find out what mind-tricks work for you and how to get the most out of yourself even in tough times.
When Your Ready, Go
When your running alone – there is no waiting on others or depending on your buddy who is always late to show up on time. You start when you want to start. No time constraints based on others.
No worrying about your buddy showing up 10 minutes late. This is important for those with tight schedules who don’t have time to spare.
Running alone can be tough at times, sure. But, the benefits you can get both physically and mentally are extraordinary. You will be more confident in yourself to better handle the rigors of training and racing. So, embrace the loneliness – hit the road or trails by yourself – get lost in your own mind and just run.
If you enjoyed my ramblings and advice – feel free to follow my own blog at Loving On The Run where I blog about my own running, life and being married to a sub-elite marathon runner.
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Question of the Day: Do you run alone? What’s your favorite part of a good run?