How to Stay Motivated to Run
Many of us maintain our motivation to run by having a live goal ahead. Whether it's a 5K, marathon or ultra, we feel the need to prove to ourselves and our friends that we can achieve whatever goal we've set. However, with real races still closed, how do we stay motivated to run for the long haul?
Here are our top tips:
Maintaining routines can really help during these difficult times. Almost every Saturday since the first lockdown we’ve run a race pace 5k as our parkrun substitute. Followed by coffee and the weekend papers it helps keep Saturday mornings comfortingly normal.
… but also try new stuff
However if running becomes too routine it’s really easy to get stale and lose motivation. Something as simple as exploring one new local route a week helps. Indeed even the exact same route run early in the morning, over lunch or by head-torch after dark can have a very different feel. Or why not seek out a totally different route over the weekend? We recently ran the Malvern Ridge, which was an uplifting experience.
Work on overall fitness
Personally we’re often guilty of focusing to much on running at the expense of overall fitness. Writing in a recent Runner's World, performance coach Chris Lee introduces an excellent 30 day Cross Training Challenge combining running with plenty of strength and flexibility sessions.
Work on your overall strength and fitness by doing cross training.
Set new types of goals
Training is never easy in a vacuum and goal setting helps immensely. Try to have a range of goals over time. For example run 100k in October then get into the top 3 of your club’s Strava leader board at least once in November. Just because real races are likely to be off the cards for a while there is no reason not to take virtual races equally rigorously. FindARace or The Fix are a good source for virtual races and Strava offers interesting and varied challenges. The classic rule for race goals is to have three targets times – best case, acceptable and the time you can live with if things go horribly wrong.
Running is such an aid to staying positive during this prolonged pandemic. If you’ve got a favourite way to maintain your running motivation we’d love to hear from you. Do drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.