Every week for the past year, I have laced up my running shoes and hit the road. I do this alone, with just my headphones and the pavement in front of me. I have learned a lot since being on my own and actually found my pace to be consistently decreasing. Don’t get me wrong, I believe running with others can be a lot of fun, can keep you motivated and can also be safer. However, I found so many great benefits to running by myself that I can’t seem to get the will to find a running partner. The overall benefit to me is not having to be on someone else’s schedule, you can set your own schedule/ your own goals and follow it. If you are anything like me, you set a schedule and follow it religiously. Below are a list of numerous other benefits I have discovered in my last year of runs.
Running alone is mental training at it’s finest. You train your mind on every training run you take, so on race morning, you can think back to your hard runs and pull motivation knowing you have mentally gotten through it in those grueling training runs. No giving up now!
You determine the miles you want to run. In my opinion, this is one of the more beautiful things about running alone. I have only trained myself to run 6 miles without stopping so if someone wanted to run 10, well I wouldn’t be able to keep up the entire time. Everyone’s bodies are different and some days my body only wants to run 3 while other days it can go the full 6. Being able to choose my own miles are a very important part of my own training plan.
You set the pace! Like I mentioned above, my pace has been consistently decreasing over time. I have trained myself to endure the endurance part of running so now I can add in speed with successful results. Not every run is the same so some days (particularly 100 degree days), my pace is set way back to just survive. Picking my own pace is perfect because I can train week by week for certain races and don’t have to strain my body to keep up with others.
Gain all the confidence! This is a huge perk you get from being alone. You realize just how capable and unstoppable you really are. If you can go out and run the miles alone without stopping, then you can do anything. Nailing a training run or getting a PR in a race can boost your confidence in your personal and professional life. I have personally experienced the confidence that has bloomed since running on my own. I feel like I can tackle anything that comes my way and I have changed the way I think on a day to day basis. My thoughts have switched from I can’t to I can. I will have to make a separate post about how running has changed my life but for now, you get the picture. Think you can’t do it alone? Think again, because you can. Put on those running shoes and get out there. The first run is not going to go the way you want it but persistence, dedication and patience will pay off with time.
Relaxation! This is one of my favorite benefits. After working all day, listening to people complain, there is nothing better then going for a run. It’s my time, there is no one there nagging me to get something done and I can let go of the day. This has been one of the big reasons why I run. I enjoy getting to put the phone away for an hour and not worry about emails or text until I am done with my run. Most people wouldn’t call running a form of relaxation, but if you had to deal with what I have to everyday, running would easily become your escape.
These are my top benefits that I believe most people would experience at some point in their runs. Why do you run a lone? Feel free to leave comments, I would love to hear from you guys!
Thanks for reading! Look for a new blog post soon on how running has changed my life.