Staying Motivated When There Are No Races on the Calendar
If you’re struggling to find motivation with races postponed and canceled, you’re not alone. But we want to help - peep below for our top five strategies to getting your training mojo back.
With race schedules being uprooted across the world, many athletes are feeling both lost and unmotivated to train. It’s not hard to understand - if you don’t have an upcoming race, what’s the point of getting those beautiful green squares on TrainingPeaks? Sure, for some of us, the motivation is there to continue training as we normally would, but this isn’t true for everyone.
So, to help you stay motivated and engaged in your training regardless of whether or not races happened, we are giving you our top five strategies to staying engaged in your training this year.
Train for Fun!
As triathletes, it is really easy for us to get tunnel vision and only focus on our race schedule. And while this race season may not be ideal, consider it a blessing in disguise - it is an opportunity to have more fun with your training!
Is there a crazy hard road ride you’ve always dreamt of doing but never done for fear of not recovering in time for your next session? Or maybe a long trail run you’ve had on the bucket list but have avoided for the same reasons? Well, this season, those bucket list dreams can become a reality. Make space for the fun, and that’s sure to get you excited about training again!
Try Something New
What better time than now to get off your dang TT bike and try a gravel or mountain bike? Or maybe to start incorporating some trail running into your schedule instead of pounding pavement on all of your training runs?
Even the smallest variation in training can make a huge difference in your motivation. Trying new things will not only get more excited about your training, but will also make you a stronger, more capable all-around athlete. And guess what? It still contributes to your fitness too.
Find a (Small) Group to Train With
Nothing like a group of training pals to keep you accountable to your training and motivated to get there!
Full disclosure though - CDC guidelines are still rapidly evolving and continue to recommend individuals avoid groups of 10 or more people. They also recommend wearing face coverings outdoors if you live in highly populated areas where you are likely to see others while exercising.
What this means for you is that, while it is important to maintain social distancing, continue washing your hands and wear face masks in places where it is difficult to adhere to social distancing measures, your decision to train with two to three individuals you trust is yours alone. If you live in an area where community transmission is low, you may be safe to train in small groups - just be sure to follow all hygienic protocols after your interactions.
Set Small, Intermittent Goals
If you think about it, races are just big goals we are working towards. So, why not set some small goals to work towardsinstead? This could include anything from setting a PR on your one-mile time to signing up for a virtual race with your friends in the triathlon community.
Even though it is not an in-person race, it is still something you can work towards! And the kicker is, just like going out and trying new things, it will only serve you in the long haul. Dedicating time to work towards small, more varied athletic goals will only contribute to you becoming a stronger, faster and more capable athlete.
Less money and time spent on races and travel = more money and time to go exploring.
Although traveling is slightly restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our guess is that you have some hidden gems in your backyard. If you’re looking for new places to ride or run in your area (or at least in your state), check out Strava for popular segments or hop on TrailForks to choose some cool trails to run and/or ride this summer.
We could go on for days about different ways for you to stay motivated, but we will leave it at that for now. Don’t be afraid to use this time to reconnect with why you train and race as hard as we know you do - find fun in your training, go exploring, and don’t be afraid to do something new!
Did we miss anything? If so, leave a comment below and let us know your favorite ways to stay motivated without a race on the schedule.
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