But what do we do in a pandemic world where running together is no longer an option? In this case you have two options. You can stop running OR you can learn to run solo. It takes a long time to build back up as a runner, so in my opinion the better option is to learn to run solo!
How do you learn to run solo? Well first of all, in order to get better you need to practice. You can’t expect to be a rock star the first time you run by yourself, but I promise there are ample rewards to be earned if you learn to run solo!
Over time I’ve had training partners cancel on me, or have had to plan my runs based on my husband’s weird schedule, and gradually I’ve gotten much, much better about running alone. Now, we all find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic where solo running is our only option. Solo running can reap a whole heap of rewards, just like social running, so start practicing today!
- Practice makes perfect. Don’t give up on one bad run or a week of bad runs. Keep working at it, keep practicing!
- How much you like running boils down to what you think about when you run. If you don’t like running solo, chances are you are being mean to yourself when you’re running. Pay attention to your mental voice. What are you saying to yourself? Is it something you’d say to your best friend? If not, then don’t say it!
- Listen to pod-casts or an audio book. You can learn a lot and it’s almost similar to running with a friend.
- Give yourself grace. Bad runs happen to everyone. Don’t let one run or even a week of runs make or break you.
- Have fun! Mid run find a spot to plop your phone down and try to get some action shots. You just might make yourself laugh, and you'll have silly photos to remember your run.
- Pick a goal to work towards. It can be hitting a certain landmark or a certain pace, or to accomplish a certain workout. Set an attainable goal for yourself for each solo run and you’ll feel a lot more accomplished when the run is over.
- Fall in love with running. If you’re running to have friends or running for weight loss, those reasons behind running are short lived and if your duty station changes or you reach your weight goal you may find yourself not running at all. The fact of the matter is though, that running has SO MANY MORE positives than the weight management and the quick friendships you can build. Running is a great stress reliever, it’s a great way to get endorphins. It helps you to clear your mind. It helps you to feel accomplished when you set goals and reach them. Running can and should be about so much more than weight loss. You have to change how your mind thinks about running, and change what your mind thinks about when you run in order to make this happen.