When I am at home over the holiday months, the majority of my training is done solo. I frequently have company for my track sessions, but the rest of my training, including sessions, easy runs, and cross training/ gym work, are all done alone. Whilst some people may think the idea of always training alone to be very dull, I love it. Don’t get me wrong there are times when I would love to have company for a session, but I get on with it and get the job done. I am very grateful to have amazing people to train with at uni the rest of the time.
For those of you who may believe training alone to be very dull and boring, I feel it is the opposite. I find running on my own to be very mindful. A lot of people ask me what goes through my head, and quite frankly, a lot of the time, nothing does. This is my version of mindfulness. I don’t necessarily consciously decide not to think about much, because if I need to, I will, but my brain tends to switch off and focus on my surroundings and what I am doing. As a result, this alone time spent outside is one of the most relaxing times of my day. Whether I am running hard or easy, my mind can switch off to the chaos and stress of life around me for a short period of tjme.
Don’t get me wrong, some days, it does seem a struggle. Some days my mind doesn’t just switch off to the things stressing me and the distraction of another person would help millions, but it isn’t possible. This is when I have just learnt to get used to it. Whilst it may take a while to get going, once you’ve started it is ok to be on your own. This is because running is something I love, so once the struggle of getting going has gone, I am happy running alone.
Also, not having others around me all the time when I am training, means when it comes to racing, I love being surrounded by lots of other runners. The adrenaline of having other people to work off and chase down drives me, but I also know if I end up isolated, racing on my own, I can do it! I know I have mentally prepared for this in training.
It may seem bizarre, but at times I actually feel as though I get more out of a session when working against myself, rather than other people. I feel I am able to push myself harder as I have no one else to compare myself to and I run to feel rather than where I think I ‘should’ be within a group.
However, when I am at university I love running in a group and learn to adapt back to this way of training. When training with others, I am constantly pushed by their drive to work harder. There is definitely no better way to complete a beastly track session than when working alongside others throughout. You can all work together to keep one another going strong.
We all train in different circumstances and have to train using what is around us, but whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it. Whether it be on your own or with others, love your training.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!