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The advantages of running alone over group training.

March 21, 2020
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Photo by Emma Frances Logan on Unsplash

There was one incident from some years back where I did pick up some money while doing an easy morning run alone. It was still so early in the morning, the road was empty both ahead and behind me and I had no one to share the money with.

While this may not count as one of the advantages of running alone, below are some of the advantages to enjoy during this time when runners are being urged to train individually to assist in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

1. It is the only available option at the moment

To curb the spread of the coronavirus, governments across the world have banned any form of gatherings and are advocating for social-distancing whenever it is necessary for one to be out of their houses.

Almost everyone is practicing this right now; including Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s greatest marathon runner as seen from a brief video posted by the BBC.

2. It is more flexibile

Depending on the other programs you would have in the day, you could choose to go out to train earlier than the usual time, or to do something first and go for training later at your own convenient time.

You also have the flexibility to easily switch or move a training program to a later day without inconveniencing anyone else. Or, to even change the route on your run.

3. It is the most effective in sticking to a training program

This reminds me of planned 35 – 38 km runs in some of the big groups around Eldoret. At times we may have up to three pickup vehicles ferrying runners to the starting point where they would leave their water bottles in the trucks. However, 5 km into the run the leading group is almost one kilometer ahead of those behind and the driver will find it hard to supply the water everywhere. Some of the runners behind would be requested to get onto the vehicle for their own sake since they would be left behind with no water and a pick-up vehicle later if they do no oblige.

So, some runners who had a 35km run on their programs would end up doing a 10km run instead!

Also, easy and hard are relative terms that refer to how someone feels while running. So, when heading out for an easy run, it may not be easy for everyone in the group.

4. Lack of unnecessary tension and competitions

In a group, it may be a day for an easy or a moderate run. But, to others, in their nature to boast, it is often a day to show their colleagues that they are in good form.

Most of the runs would likely end up feeling like races despite the coach intending it to be a recovery easy run in preparation for a tougher workout the following day, or to recover from a tougher one in the previous day.

5. You get to minimize injuries

While running in a large group, you can easily get pushed or stepped on by another runner resulting in a fall and eventually an injury.

Also, pushing harder to keep up with a group may result in overstraining that could as well lead to injuries.

6. You get to enjoy your own uninterrupted time alone

Everybody needs some quiet time to be alone at times. Going out on an easy jog in a quiet environment may be what you require to feel rejuvenated after a hectic day. So, running alone without anyone interrupting your thoughts could reverse the effects of a bad day you may have had into a great evening.

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