Motivation can be hard to keep hold of at the best of times. However, when life is so uncertain and you don’t know what the future holds, it is particularly difficult. Usually when I try to offer some motivation I encourage people to have a target, which for me normally involves an event goal. Right now the cancelled events are part of the problem, so although I’m holding out hope for some 2020 adventures, focusing on these is not the answer. Instead I would encourage everyone to get back to basics, and run for the joy of running.
It has been so good to see so many people start running, run more, and use this opportunity to just get outside. We should stop for a moment and appreciate that, the love of running for itself. I look back at pictures of events, and all the smiles on everyone’s face, that’s not just because of the event, its because we love running. We love running together. We need to find comfort and happiness in running. If you are new to running check out my Top 10 Tips for New Runners.
If you are looking for some motivation, have a think about where you want to be in the future. Use this time to improve, whether that is working on speed or distance, or taking this as an opportunity to focus on more neglected areas such as strength and conditioning. When you are focusing on an event people will often have a structured plan, but instead we can keep building without having to worry about a peak event, instead just listen to your body and keep building.
Set your own challenges to keep you focused. You can get innovative and set a challenge that you are able to do, that will push you, but something that will interest you. I ran the distance from LEJOG as part of a virtual race with Raced Coaching. I’ve also taken on some fun challenges with Brooks such as the Run Happy Relay, and the odd virtual race. I will be honest, I’m not usually a fan of virtual events, because I love the social aspect of running, but right now, this is the closest we are going to get, and we can have some good fun together virtually.
I am going to be taking part in the RTTS 100km virtual race throughout next week. I will take it steady because I have not ran for almost a month, so I will see if my body is up to it. I am looking forward to taking part in a personal challenge and having fun along the way… it’s such a shame we cannot do the actual RTTS this year, I loved it when I ran it, but it is so good we can run this challenge anyway.
Whatever you do, make sure you aren’t overtraining. I wrote a blog about overtraining, and I fell victim of overdoing it by run commuting to work too much and not resting. So take on challenges but don’t forget to rest. Listen to the little niggles, and give yourself time to recover. Trust me it sucks to have to back off, but it’s better than putting yourself out completely.
Take a look at what you have achieved. Believe that we will be there again soon enough, and most of all have fun, and run for the fun of running. We will be racing again soon, but for now, just enjoy running.