The best route to improving your running and making it more enjoyable is to run alone, says an article I recently read. I question this strategy, so I called my good friend, I.P. Aard, at the National Institute of Running Sciences. I always enjoy calling I.P. because she’s so friendly.
“Hey, sugar loaf,” she said. “Putting lots of miles on that six-foot tower of muscle?”
I’m six feet tall, but I’m more a tower of bone and skin than muscle. I told her about the article and asked about any research the Institute has done on the topic.
“We’ve done plenty, oh caped wonder.” She told me running alone has theraputic benefits like the need for time alone, especially if it’s spent outdoors. In addition, there are convenience factors – running at your own pace, own route, and according to the whims of your schedule.
“I agree, sweet pea,” I replied. “But I ran track and cross-country, and I liked running with my teammates.”
“It’s a different story if you’re a competitive runner. Workouts with others who are close to your ability are very beneficial. But, of course, getting the benefits of running alone doesn’t mean you have to do it 100% of the time. And there are people who’re very social and group oriented – they would not thrive on a steady diet of solo running.”
“You know, buttercup,” I said, “You mentioned that you might make it out here at the end of summer. Is that plan still on?”
“Oh, listen to me, PR machine, I have a conference in Seattle next weekend. I was thinking of making a stopover in Spokane.”
“I’m clearing my schedule now,” I replied. “I hope when going out, you prefer the social benefit instead of going solo.”
“I really like the company of caped runners. They’re so…suuuper.”
I like I.P. Aard. She is my kind of woman.