Things to keep in mind when you run solo, by Radhika Meganathan
Runners run alone for several reasons. Perhaps your life schedule requires you to run at weird, ungodly hours. You may not have runner friends, or your town may not have a running club to socialize. Or, plainly speaking, you may not want another person to disrupt your running zen state of mind.
Whatever it is, you have decided to run solo and you may be wondering whether you will run into any roadblocks in the process. That’s why we have tabulated the four key factors you have to consider while running alone.
Every runner is responsible for their own safety, and for good reason: it is best to be safe than sorry. Your running attire must consist of a bright element in it that can be easily seen from a distance. Take enough water so that you do not end up dehydrated. Always carry an id, some money and have your mobile fully-charged. install an app like BSafe which, on the command of a single button, will broadcast an SOS call with your location details to your contacts.
In case you have a set running routine and do not want to carry your mobile with you, check out Bugle, where you log in your route and how long you will be gone: if you are not back on time, it sends out an alarm to your contacts.
If you are exploring a new route, get a map; if no map is available, practice common sense and carry a portable safety kit with you that includes a torch, match sticks, a small knife or a pepper spray. And if you plan to run regularly in new places, it is a good idea to invest in self defense classes – it’s a skill that will help you not just during running but throughout your life.
Accountability and efficacy
Ah, discipline. If you have discipline issues, running solo may prove to be your nemesis. To avoid missing runs, have a to do list where you can tick off the days you train. Having a visual list like this that you can hold in your hand, helps you to be accountable for your goals. Set a reward system for yourself, with short term consequences if you do not honour your own commitment. Slacked off on the pacing today? No dessert. Ran an extra sprint? Buy yourself a nice cuppa.
When going solo, runners usually run at a constant pace. Hence, interval training can be quickly forgotten in a solo run unless you make a conscious decision to incorporate it into your routine. Use your watch timer to run a certain distance within a specific time period.
Whether you love to run alone or with company, you should train in the way that you are most comfortable with. Even if you love your own company, running solo can get a little boring. Which is why ear phones are the best companion for solo runners!
Get a good mp3 player and load it with your fav songs and podcasts. Do not use your mobile as a ipod, it drains precious power which you may need later if you end up in a tight situation. You can even listen to the audio version of your favorite books and catch up on your reading during your run! If you can manage it, call a friend/family member and chat away to glory, it’s three birds in one stone, you get to run, be fit and keep in touch with your loved ones.