Tuesday Topics | The benefits of running solo

This week, I am jumping back in and am linking up with  Kookyrunner and Zenaida  for Tuesday Topics. Today we’re talking about the benefits of running solo.

I skipped last week’s prompt (the benefits of running in groups) because I honestly have NO experience running in groups (other than races, but those don’t count).

Ever since I started running, I have been a solo runner. Partly by choice, partly by circumstance.

I have contemplated joining a running group before, but at the time they were meeting at times that weren’t doable for me (either too late in the morning or too early for me in the evening).  Since I work long days, my workout windows during the week were pretty narrow (especially when I was still commuting to the office).

Granted, things have changed a bit. But I didn’t feel particularly adventurous about joining a running group during COVID. And running solo is pretty great. Here’s why:

You get to run on your own schedule. 

While I generally stick to certain running days during the week, I really like to be able to vary my starting and end times. I enjoy having the flexibility to get out a bit earlier or later, depending on how my morning goes, and I do shift around my running days sometimes when necessary. I don’t want to feel bad for standing others up because I have a change in plans.

You get to decide on mileage.

Sometimes when I set out for my run, I don’t really feel like running and tell myself that I can always just do a quick 5k and be done with it (just to coax myself out the door). More often than not, once I’ve left the house and have fallen into my stride, I enjoy my run and extend my mileage based on how I feel.

You get to run at your own pace.

This is really important to me too. I run a lot of runs just by how I feel without paying too much attention to the pace and having  to either slow down or speed up to keep in line with others is “hard” for me (although I do see the challenge in that).

You can focus on your running form.

This is honestly something I have started to pay way more attention to in the last couple of years and I feel like it has really made a difference in my performance. I see so many runners when I am out running that have poor form (they swing their arms and legs out or across the body, they “sit” on their hips, or take huge steps aka overstride).

I’ve really been working on my stride length, cadence, and posture when I run and that works best when you’re not distracted.

You get to spend some time in your own head.

I do my best thinking when I run and I really treat my runs as my me-time. Sometimes, I just listen to music/podcasts/run-instructors, but frequently, I also think about all kinds of things on my run: I make to-do lists, think about projects that I am working on, solve work problems (yup, that happened), or just day-dream about the things I want to do when I feel safe enough again to move around in the world more amidst COVID.

Bonus: You may be able to prevent injury. 

I heard this a few times and I wonder how much truth there is to it, although I am lucky to be able to say that I haven’t really been injured since I started running about 7 years ago. They say by running solo, you’re more in-tune with your body, how it feels and how you feel on any particular day and you can adjust accordingly and don’t push yourself to run distances/paces that don’t suit you that day. Either way, I gladly take staying injury-free by running solo (most days).

What do you like about running solo?


  1. Running your own pace is key for me, especially in the summer when my race slows down due to the heat. I hate to feel like I’m holding someone back, especially if they want to run faster.

    Thanks for linking up this week!

    1. Oh definitely, esp. in the heat, keeping your own pace and not pushing too hard is imperative.

  2. All valid points.

    They all apply to me at times.

    But I’m fortunate that I’m the summer there are groups that fit into my schedule.

    1. I should definitely give group runs a try sometime!

  3. That’s interesting about the injury theory. I’ve been injured, but so far never too bad (for the most part). I don’t think running in a group contributed to that. More like body imbalances.

    1. I absolutely don’t know if the injury theory is true, but I read about it a few times…

  4. You hit on everything that’s great about running solo. I used to run with music all the time (like for every run, unless I was with my friend or hubby). Now that I’ve been running sans music, I really can think more clear about “stuff” and actually remember it when I return home ;-)

    1. I definitely think “more clear” when I run, too…. :)

  5. I have gone running with a friend 2-3 times, at her instigation, and I greatly prefer running solo. I like my own pace and choosing my mileage, and I like losing myself in my music and tempo. I also don’t like being beholden to someone else’s schedule! Definitely solo runs for me.

    1. Glad you feel the same way! I know people rave about their group runs, but it just doesn’t appeal to me.

  6. Solo runner here too! I agree with all of your reasons too.

  7. I can see how solo running could prevent injury- you can be more focused on your own form and pace (although I always run alone and still manage to get injured, somehow.) I just like having that time to myself- I listen to all my favorite podcasts while I run, or sometimes music. But I also don’t mind not listening to anything sometimes and just enjoying the quiet.

    1. Oh, I just love running and listening to NOTHING at all sometimes, too :)

  8. I love to run alone. Always have. I started running in my late 20s as a way to burn off anxiety. I like to get in my head when I run. Even when I’m training for something, I still like to run alone so I can focus on my pacing. I really enjoy solo runs!

  9. I can totally relate to doing sports on your own. There was a time when I went to a studio with work buddies and I always felt I didn’t do anything because all the talking… I often stayed longer to do my routines so in the end it took twice as long. Unless it’s a team sport I don’t really see a point. Also if you need the challenge of a group there are so many online options now. However I have never been a runner so I have nothing to say there.

  10. I used to be in a running club but that doesn’t work anymore now that I have kids. I enjoyed it while I was in the club and definitely got much faster – and stayed healthy! But it’s definitely not for everyone. Now I do a mix of solo runs and runs with my neighbor. I like doing some runs w/ her and some on my own. My biggest issue with running with someone else is that I worry I am going to slow them down. I’m not in the best shape right now so I don’t ever want to hold my neighbor up but she is very cool with me needing to take walk breaks and I know she’s just out there to have fun and log the miles together so I try to keep that in mind!

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