Do you also find it hard to keep up the right motivation? Are you struggling to get yourself outside for a run? For many, many months – well, almost a year now – we have had to adjust to the new normal of spending more time indoors and alone.
Just like a regular training programme (without Corona), it is inevitable that you will “hit the wall”. The motivation will plummet at some point. But how should you react? How can you most efficiently re-establish the good outdoor habits in an otherwise fairly enclosed and cold time?
I will try and provide you with some good tips for when you encounter these types of situations. Personally, I have also experienced a lack of motivation because of Corona. Previously, I consistently ran between 50-80km a week, but at the moment I am down to 20-30km. My motivation and will to train are suffering.
For this reason, I thought it called for a new blog post that will help both you and me – and everyone else – to move away from the couch. We need to go outside and get going.
New focus: Make short-term goals
Some time ago, many of us trained towards one main goal that was months away in the future. That could be a 10k, a half-marathon, or a marathon. Something on our bucket list. Therefore, the motivation was high to put in the work. Because we want to succeed. We want to perform well on that special day.
We have not had those prospects for almost a year now. And it is still unknown when we will get them again. Hopefully soon! But until that, we have to change our focus. Stop thinking months ahead but start thinking short-term.
You need to have a goal with a manageable time horizon. It is fairly subjective what constitutes a manageable time horizon.
The most important, however, is to sit down (or do it on your run) and figure out,
- - What do you want to accomplish with running right now?
- - How do you wish to benefit from your running training?
- - And most importantly, what do you expect running to give you?
It is just like planning for a regular training programme but this time, try to re-think your goals. Instead of listing a half-marathon or marathon as your race-goal, try and think in more simple terms when it comes to your training. See some examples below, which can be adjusted according to your level.
Re-think your training goals
Personally, I have had to consider how I could re-think my goals to become more motivated in a new normal that does not allow us to sign up for race-days. Naturally, you can always set-up your own races, which I did in 2019 where I ran my own marathon and half-marathon. Great experiences, but I am in no way motivated to do it again.
For this reason, I have spent a lot of time to think about why I want to run. Previously, beating my own personal records was the main driver for my hunger to keep running, but now it is actually the very fundamental about running that motivates me. Simply the act of going outside, getting some fresh air, getting the extra energy for the rest of the day, work, and family and simply the feeling of a healthier me.
And achieving these things do not necessarily require long-distance running. It is achievable through our daily training. And that is what our new goals should reflect. They should be manageable, fun, different and encompass the joy of running.
Here are some examples of new, simple training goals:
1. To run e.g., 100km in a month
2. To run XX times a week, it can range from 1-7 times a week (depending on your level)
3. To run certain days every month.
4. To run in your lunch break – everyone deserves and needs a break during the day.
5. To run the distance of the current date. This would mean you run 4 km on the 4th of March, 20km on the 20th March, etc. It can be done in various ways. You could, for instance, pick the next three-four-five months to run as illustrated in the table below.
Please, consider your current level of fitness before following the number of kilometres.
|1st March = 1km||2nd April = 2km||3rd May = 3km|
|4th March = 4km||5th April = 5km||6th May = 6km|
|7th March = 7km||8th April = 8km||9th May = 9km|
|10th March = 10km||11th April = 11km||12th May = 12km|
|13th March = 13km||14th April = 14km||15th May = 15km|
|16th March = 16km||17th April = 17km||18th May = 18km|
|19th March = 19km||20th April = 20km||21st May = 21km|
|22nd March = 22km||23rd April = 23km||24th May = 24km|
|25th March = 25km||26th April = 26km||27th May = 27km|
|28th March = 28km||29th April = 29km||30th May = 30km|
Establish some good outdoor routines, every day!
Running is a great way to get outside, but you are not necessarily setting a goal to run every day of the week or multiple days a week.
Therefore, it is worth exploring if there are other ways you can go outside and get fresh air.
It could, for instance, look something like this:
1. To make sure you walk 10,000 steps outside.
2. To play on the playground with your kids. If they are home, convert the “lunch break” to outdoor play. If they are in school, make sure you have a playdate with your kids in the afternoon.
3. To include your kids in a busy work schedule. This can be done in many ways, for instance on your run, on a walk, do your work-out with your kids (if they are home). This could be running, walking, exercises on the floor/outside. Kids benefit from exercising just as much as adults.
Challenge your training-buddy
Nothing will commit you more than pre-scheduled dates with your training-buddy. And no matter what, we will not suffer a loss.
Maybe you have found inspiration in one of the abovementioned training goals or daily routines, but you still do not feel 100% motivated. Then challenge your training-buddy.
If there is something that will surely motivate most people to leave the couch and go outside, it is challenges we do not want to lose. If you have a buddy you want to challenge and do not want to lose to, then reach out to that friend.
Create a shared goal together. You could both set up a bet that commits the one that does not meet the goal to e.g., buy race numbers for a race for both of you for when we get to the other side of the Corona pandemic. That would also, at the same time, give you a new adventure (and challenge) to look forward to.
Write down your goal – it is binding
What should be your next step?
1. Figure out your new training goal
2. Find a training-buddy you can challenge
3. Write down your goals
4. Go outside and get going!
I have listed my goals. I have decided to walk 150-170km in a month, as it allows me to have a more flexible week where I can run whenever it fits in with my family and work life. Also, I will make sure to go for a walk, visit the playground with my daughter etc. on the days I do not go for a run!
I am already looking forward to starting again and to go outside – and I hope you are equally as ready as I am.
In any case, have fun and enjoy your training!
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