The Pros and Cons of Running Alone

Yesterday was a pretty nice day out – sunny, no clouds or wind, and it was actually above 40 degrees! It was great weather for a run, and I asked my fiance to come with me.

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We ran into a little friend on the way!

I love running with my fiance. He’s extremely encouraging, funny, and patient. He’s the best cheerleader anyone could ask for. Running with him is a lot different than running by myself, which is what I do 90% of the time. If some of you are wondering whether it would be good to get a running buddy, or better to pound the pavement on your own, here are some quick pros and cons.

Running alone

Pros:

1. You can go at your own pace. If you’re running with someone who is at a different point in their training than you, it might be hard to find a pace that’s comfortable for everyone.

Luckily for me, my fiance doesn’t mind moving at a glacial pace. We just enjoy spending time together. But I have friends who run marathons, and it might be a little irritating for them to end up walking more than running. When you’re by yourself you can set the pace at whatever you want.

2. You have some time with your own thoughts. I don’t know about you, but I use running as a way to destress from the day and reconnect with myself. The rhythmic pounding of my feet helps me think, and an hour away from the bustling world of social media and texting helps me focus on my own mind for a while.

Or sometimes I choose to listen to educational podcasts or jam out to music – something that’s hard to do if you’re with someone who’s expecting conversation.

3. You can go anytime you want! With busy schedules, it can sometimes be hard to find a chunk of time that works for two or three people. When you run alone, you can go out on a whim! Any place with solid ground is fair game, and you can go for as long as you want.

Cons:

1. There’s nobody there to hold you accountable. If you have a hard time sticking to your goals or challenging yourself, it can be really easy to give up if you’re on your own. This can make it hard to actually improve your running over time. I’ve found that running with my fiance really helps me push myself when I might have otherwise let it slide.

There’s something about someone shouting, “You can do it” that makes you believe you can.

If you get stuck in a rut, it might be a good idea to find a running buddy who can push your limits and act as a cheerleader.

2. It’s not as safe. Because of my schedule, most of my running happens at night. I try to stick to well-lit, well populated areas, but the truth is that I would be a lot safer if someone was with me. If you’re running alone and you get injured, lost, or (god forbid) someone tries to grab you off the street, you’re in a world of trouble.

Of course, smart phones help mitigate some of these. I always make sure my phone is fully charged before I go out running, and I also let my fiance know where I’m going and when to expect me back.

There are even apps these days that automatically call the police if you release a button or fail to check in every few minutes.

Nonetheless, I’d rather have someone there to help me immediately if something happens.

For now I think I’ll stick to running alone most days. I love the occasional outing with my fiance. It’s a great way to grow closer while improving our health. But for now I’ll enjoy my alone time.

Our run together yesterday:

2.43 miles, 42:21 min, 17’26” pace

How about you? Do you prefer running alone or with a buddy?

 

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