Updated: Mar 28
The near future may seem very dim right now with no races, group runs or post session coffees to look forward to. However, it’s not all doom and gloom in terms of your running. There are plenty of ways to keep on training and keep motivating yourself during the current times! Now more than ever, training should be exciting and different. With there being no race season for a while, this means you can try something new without the fear of it going wrong!
So, what can you do to change things up? Below is a list of different things you can do to keep things interesting over the coming months.
· Virtual Challenges: There are lots of different ways you can complete virtual challenges, from using the organised race network though online platforms such as Zwift or through races you have already entered offering online completion. Here are a couple of links for you to find some Virtual Races below:
· Strava Segments: Pick a few different segments in your local area and set a base time on them, each week go back and try and beat it. This is a great way to keep you focused and trying to improve your own performance. You can even create groups with your friends on Strava and all challenge each other to create your own virtual racing scene.
· Time Trials: We all know the hardest part of racing is that final third where you really have to test your mental strength to hold the pace. Putting some solo time-trials into your training in the next few weeks can help you practice developing that mental strength you need to push yourself when you are hurting.
· Try something new in your training: When you are going out for a run try something a little different. Both Strava and Garmin Connect have mapping features where you can map out a new route on trails or on road. Runners are creatures of habit, why not try and run the opposite way around your normal loops, take that turning that you don’t know where it leads or try that footpath you have always just run past.
· Circuit Training and Stretching: When we are working full time, studying and caught up in the busy nature of our lives, we often neglect strength and suppleness. With this extra time, you can do some indoor circuit training or some online yoga classes through YouTube or Instagram.
· Nutrition: Whilst the shops are limited with what you can buy, you can use this opportunity to try and clean up your nutrition. Find a nutritionist online and have a consultation with them. Your diet is something which is so easy to change and key for performance. Remember that this area has a massive amount of conjecture and false information. If you are going to consult someone about Nutrition, they should have or be studying at a MINUMIM a BSc in Nutrition, Food Science or Sport and Exercise Science and/or be studying an MSc in this area. Anyone with lower qualifications than this is NOT QUALIFIED to help you.
· Virtual catch ups: Running isn’t just about the physical aspect for a lot of runners out there. Running provides an outlet for people to connect and socialise with a lot of like-minded people! For the majority of us, the best part of running is heading out with a great training group for a Sunday long run or a post session coffee. Why not organise with your group to have a big group call either on Facebook, Google Hangouts or Skype to check in and see how you are all doing. Remember, if you are finding it hard then more than likely someone else will be too so all motivate each other and keep pushing through the hard times!
· Keep contacting your Coach: If you have a coach keep speaking to them, if you are finding things hard be honest with them and tell them. Usually speaking to someone who understands you will help find a positive solution to your problem and they can offer a different perspective on the issue too. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own head at times and having a different voice to ease the pressure is massively beneficial in times like this! If you currently don’t have a coach now is a great time to shop around and find one as it gives you time to adjust to the new training before you start racing!
· Running isn’t always about performance: This one is the key thing to remember in times like this. We aren’t runners because we believe ‘X’ time will make us a better person. We are runners because there is nothing better than lacing up your shoes and being at one with yourself and the world. Running releases positive endorphins which help you feel better about yourself; it increases productivity and reduces stress. When you are working from home and your usual routine is disrupted the discipline of running helps provide structure to your day and focus on what you need to complete. Even if it’s only 20-30mins you’ll never regret going for a run! “Running allows me to set my mind free. Nothing seems impossible. Nothing unattainable.” — Kara Goucher.
Hopefully this has given you some ideas of different things you can add to your training or helped motivate you to keep going through this hard time.
Head Coach PGC1 Coaching
BSc Sport and Exercise Science