I was having a conversation with a coworker the other day about motivation. She had to defer a marathon because she was under trained. She was beating herself up about having lost all of the progress she had made from training for her last marathon. She had hoped that her body would just “remember” how to run marathons and her training wouldn’t be so bad.
You can imagine how that went.
I suggested she pick a spring half marathon and aim for that, give herself a halfway point towards her fall marathon. In discussing staying motivated, I told her how I have found that if I don’t have a race I’m actively working towards, I don’t put in the training I need to. As part of my motivation through the winter, I make sure to have a few races on my schedule. This winter, I have:
- SpaceCoast Half – November
- Disney 10k – January… and not super motivating, let’s be honest
- Donna Half – February
- Cherry Blossom Ten Miler – April
- Tink Half – May
I can’t give up my distance training if I have races coming up every few months. While over the winter I want to keep up all three triathlon disciplines, right now, I can tell that I have the most room for improvement on my bike, and I’m currently in a not-so-secret love affair with my bike trainer, so that one’s easy to stick to. But the treadmill is more of a love-hate relationship. If I weren’t pushing towards all of these races, it would be really easy to slack off and lose some of that distance base.
So for me, I use interim races to stay motivated. I want to run all of these races strong, but I’m not necessarily aiming for a PR at any of them, since that’s not my goal for the winter season. (My goal is to significantly improve my bike skills. And not gain 100 pounds over Christmas.)
If you don’t want to do interim races, maybe set a monthly mileage goal for yourself and reward yourself for hitting those goals.
Find something that will keep you motivated through the cold winter months and stick to your plan. You will be glad you did once spring racing starts.
(And if you live in Florida, what’s your excuse? Get out there and get running!)