Training can be done in a group as a community such as a running club or alone in solitude. Sometimes a mix of both, doing some runs with others and some by yourself. Lots of people struggle to get out and run without a buddy or group of runners to go out with. Usually, this is because it’s harder to push yourself when training alone and it’s less motivating, but it not all negatives. There are positives and joys of training alone whether it’s on an irregular basis or makes up most of your training weeks.

Monday Motivation: The Joys Of Training Alone

Running And Solitude

There’s nothing wrong with training alone, particularly if the one you’re planning on running with bails on you and you’re left by yourself. It can be difficult, but it’s best not to dwell on the negatives and instead focus on the positives of training alone.

#1 – You Choose Your Schedule

When you’re training alone you have complete control over your schedule. You can train when suits you and use the weather forecast to find out when the best time to train is. There’s much more flexibility.

Prefer to get your workouts done in the morning before work? No problem. Need to run off some stress during your lunch break? Lace up those trainers. Would you rather wait till the evening and do it to raise your appetite for dinner? Go for it.

#2 – You Decide The Training

Another plus is that you get full control over the training you’re doing. You can choose when and where you want to run and decide if you want to do an interval session, hill repeats, sprints, weight lifting, core work, steady run, fartlek, tempo run, threshold run, long run or a recovery run.

That means how long you run for, how hard you run for and how long your rest periods are depending on what training you do.

No one is there to persuade you to do a training session you don’t want to do, which can be both a good and bad thing since it might be beneficial to do the training you don’t particularly like.

#3 – You Listen More To Your Body

When training alone you can listen more to your body when deciding the training. You don’t need to feel forced to run at the faster or slower pace that someone else is running at. This means you can ensure you recovery runs stay at a recovery run pace and don’t turn into a steady run pace (in order to allow your body to recover). And you can make sure you aren’t running with someone who isn’t at the same level of fitness as you on tempo runs since you won’t achieve the desired aerobic and anaerobic benefits of a tempo run if you’re running too slow.

#4 – Peace And Quiet

If you’re running alone, you get to embrace some peace and quiet. Especially if you’re an early bird or night owl runner and prefer to run when the streets are quiet. Whilst the quietness can seem lonely, there is a certain beauty in it, especially when getting out on your own, up and early in the Summer months and running on the trails or more in nature where you can listen to the birds, the rustle of the leaves and sound of the waves lapping against the lake or shore.

#5 – Mental Toughness

Training alone helps to train mental toughness. It can certainly be difficult training alone and having to get yourself up and out running by yourself is why it can help with the mental toughness aspect of running. Improve this further by pushing yourself hard during your solo runs.

In a race, you don’t always have others to run with if you lose sight or contact with the pack ahead of you so it’s important to be mentally tough if you want to maintain a hard pace and give a race your best performance.

#6 – Runs With Music

One benefit of training alone is you can run whilst listening to music (or podcasts) without feeling like you’re ignoring whoever you’re running with (since there’s no one there)!

Music can really help to take your mind off any pain you might have from pushing yourself hard whilst running and can help to motivate you to go faster and run longer, helping to increase the stimulus of the training you put on your body so you can try and achieve enhanced running adaptations.

If you’re going for an easy or steady run, I like to listen to podcasts since I enjoy the sound of having someone else talking to me and like to soak up information.

Did I miss anything? Thanks for reading, if you found this post motivating, I’d appreciate it if you could share it with other runners!

Further Reading:

Monday Motivation: The Dark Winter Grind

Monday Motivation: Push Yourself