Running for the Love of it!
By now there is no doubt that our lives have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, and we’ve had to adjust our everyday routine. One of these adjustments is the way we exercise and the timeline for our fitness and running goals. Races have been postponed, training timelines pushed back, and access to gym equipment is much more difficult for many of us without a home gym. While we work to make this our “new normal”, we must think about our running goals and determine how badly we want to achieve them. Although achieving these goals may require adjusting the plan and getting creative, our running goals are still possible!
First, identify the WHY behind your goals and determine how badly you want to achieve them. Achieving your goals starts with you deciding that they are bigger than your circumstance and current situation. This is true for any situation, and we must be committed to putting in the work and doing whatever it takes in order to make big things happen. In any situation, going for our goals requires getting out of our comfort zones. “If it’s not challenging you, it’s not changing you!”
Think about the reason behind your goals in the first place and think about how you will feel when you’ve achieved them. For example, if your goal is to PR in your next half marathon, ask yourself why you want to go for that PR this year, and envision how it will feel crossing the finish line! Are you willing to postpone this goal, or are you ready to go for it?
Once you’ve committed, adjust your plan accordingly. If your race was postponed, look at the new timeline and re-create your training schedule. If your race was cancelled, research if there is a virtual option or another race you can register for instead. Outlining your new timeline will allow you to make a new training plan. Having a schedule will help you stay on track and feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment with each daily workout!
Next, get out there and go… solo! It can be a big transition to run alone or without your running group, and you may even find yourself lacking the motivation or accountability to get out there because of this. The good news is that while we are separated physically, we can all still come together socially! One way to do this is to take part in a virtual workout challenge. Find a few friends and commit to a day and time that you will each run a specific distance. You can cheer each other on virtually and check in before/after the workout! This is a simple, yet fun way to stay engaged with your running friends, while still respecting social distancing!
Finally, don’t give up! If you had your heart set on running a specific race, run it anyways! Although it may not be the official race, you can still run that distance outside on your own. It’s all about your attitude and when you maintain a positive outlook, you’re going to have positive results. For example, if an upcoming half marathon was changed, but you’re trained and ready to go, don’t let anything hold you back! Map out your route, pick out your favorite running gear, and head out the door. You can even plan to set up water stations at certain points in your route and/or ask your immediate family to be your cheering section along the way! Have fun and get creative with it.
Overall, this is a chance for us to reset and get back to the basics of focusing on doing what we love, running, and why we love to do it!
Written by Ashley Morrison
Ashley has over 17 years of running and racing experience and is both NASM CPT and RRCA Certified. For more running tips and tricks, find Ashley at Run With Ashley on Instagram or on her website and blog.