How to stay motivated without upcoming races
Many races have been canceled or postponed which can take a toll on our motivation.
As runners and triathletes, we usually have a competitive goal or race that we train for.
So how can we keep up that motivation without upcoming races?
Here we are sharing 5 tips on how to stay motivated without upcoming races.
1. Strava segments
Strava has become the Social Media for endurance athletes with 50 Million users worldwide. A big part of Strava's fast growth over the last few years have been Strava segments. They are sections of road or trail created by members where athletes can compare times.
Running or Cycling on a public Strava segment can give you a sense of racing and community by virtually competing against others or trying to improve your own time on specific segments.
You can pick a couple of segments and set yourself the goal to slowly improve on them. Coming back to the same segment a few times within a couple of weeks can really draw a picture of your fitness level and how much you are improving.
Bonus: The good thing compared to an actual race is that you can "race" a Strava segment at any time and as often as you like and thereby get a clear picture of your progression.
2. Time trials
Time trials are a great way to challenge yourself and see where your fitness is at over more standard distances. If you are a runner or a cyclist, it could be a 30 or 60 min time trial to see how far you can go during this specific time. Try and mix up the time trial efforts that you are going for and revisit them once every two or three weeks to see where you are at. For example - in a 6 - 9 weeks window - as a runner, you would do 3 time trials ranging from 3k - 10k.
Bonus: Even if you are an ultra marathon runner or a long-distance triathlete, building your speed over short distances will really benefit your longer races.
3. Improve on your weaknesses
Right now it's a great time to tackle your weaknesses. As athletes, we usually enjoy doing the things that we are good at, but without upcoming races, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to really work on your weaknesses and take your performance to the next level. If you are a triathlete who has always been scared of the swim leg, this is your chance to invest more time into your swimming and decrease the amount of time that you spend on cycling and running so you can really focus on your swimming. It might be your form, it might be your endurance. This is the time, to be honest with yourself and work on your weak parts.
If you are a trail runner and you struggle with downhill running, this is your chance to work on your downhill skills by doing specific downhill running workouts for the next few weeks while being less concerned with other aspects of your running. Thereby most of your focus and efforts can go towards downhill running.
4. Train with a friend
If you are a social person, then training with a friend or a small group of people (depending on regulations), might be just right for you. Going out for a run or a ride with a friend is also a chance to remind yourself that sport isn't always about training and competition, but also about enjoying other people's company, being outside in nature, and simply being physically active without a time goal or a finish line.
5. Virtual races
With many races being canceled, we are seeing a large number of virtual races popping up. Some are free events and some will also offer a medal or finisher certificate for a small entry fee. Those are great as you usually have a window of time, by which you need to complete the distance or route. This makes it more flexible and save and also helps you stay motivated with your training.
Even if you are not running a traditional race, remember to always stick to a good warm-up and cool-down routine and make sure you look after your recovery, hydration, and nutrition. And above all stay safe!