A while back, I instagrammed a post about how I tend to train alone. I’ve had people ask if I ever get lonely running solo and my answer is usually no. I’ve always had questions from fellow group runners who ask why I run solo. I mean, I can always stop by any of the multiple running groups that meet daily in Toronto to do a run with other runners but that’s not easy when you’re on a training plan. Until recently, I never had anyone on the exact same training plan and pace as myself (hi Allison!) so it was always difficult to do a group run.
But are there any benefits of running solo? Is it harder to push a little bit extra without someone being there by your side egging you on? Surprisingly, there are plenty of benefits of training solo.
I found that when I started running on my own without my previous training partner pacing me that I was all over the place! It took a while for me to figure out my own pacing and I have yet to do a goal race without a pacer now that my internal pacing is off. In addition, you do not have to worry about your training partner’s pace. Once two years ago, I had a training group where during intervals, I had taken off faster than everyone else and had a little talking to by the group leader afterwards for leaving everyone behind and how it was not the point of being a part of a group. Running solo means I can go at whatever pace I’m feeling that day and work on not relying on someone else to pace me.
Similar to the previous reason – running solo means running without someone who might push the pace. There are days where I go out on an easy run and push harder than what I had wanted to because someone in the group was pushing it pace and I felt bad about slowing them down. So instead, I pushed and as someone who believes in the importance of an easy run being easy to prevent injury, it is not something I was comfortable doing (I stopped going shortly after).
Running is my alone time! I can zone out and not have to worry about making small talk.
I do a set of exercises directly after my run and foam roll right away. What I liked about running solo was that I did not have to pack my bags and go out to meet up then pack my bags and go home then do my exercises and foam rolling when my muscles are no longer warm and limber. It is way more convenient when running solo to integrate that into my routine.
Going Off Book
I love exploring. I have a habit of going off into some trail on my Sunday long run and exploring it and seeing where it takes me. Running solo means I have wiggle room and not have someone who needs to be somewhere afterwards and needs to finish their run at a certain time. I can take my time, get lost, and explore without worrying about taking up someone’s entire day.
QOTD: Do you like running solo? Or are you a fan of group runs?