Motivation?

#1
How do y’all keep motivated running alone during COVID restrictions? I keep the mindset that this isn’t forever and there will be in person races again one day!
 
#2
My running group has organized a private half/full marathon in November. Beyond that, I don't want to lose too much of the fitness I have. As you said, the races will eventually come back, and starting training from zero would be painful.
 
#3
I think mental aspect is a big one here. I recently got back into running myself after a long hiatus and used to run in groups back in college days. I had a gentleman tell me to spend some money on a nice treadmill and that will be my motivation. Got one, used it for a day or two in my room and then it served it's purpose as a clothes hangar, haha.

Honestly I find that you have to will yourself through and for me, setting small goals keeps me going more. I had a knee arthroscopy done last year so I learned that motivating myself to go slow, but being consistent was key. Download some good music in the phone, or even some audiobooks, and just take that first step. Everything will follow. Goals for me are like say do 5 miles under x amount of minutes today. Sometimes the goal can even be to just make it outside or get on the treadmill. It depends on what kind of day it is.

Anyway, just stick to it is my recommendation and when all this is over I'm sure you'll be in top shape to run with your group. Best of luck and happy running!
 

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#4
There are several things that help me stay motivated to run during these times.

Running for me has been a great way to reduce my stress and spend time thinking about life. The idea that I can get out of the house even for a brief moment is something that really helps me mentally when getting out. Additionally, my diet isn't necessarily the best, so running allows me to continue eating junk food without feeling too bad about myself. Plus, I usually feel more energized after working out.

When I do start to feel the slump and unmotivated to run, I tend to splurge on new shoes, running apparel, or if I am not motivated at all, a new GPS watch (a habit that I don't recommend doing all the time). That way I feel obligated to run and it helps make running the same loop feel like a new experience.

One thing me and my friends did to keep motivated at the start of all that is going on in the world, was signing up for a virtual race. Besides the fee, we also had our competitive personalities motivate and push us to continue to run. Plus with several of my friends living abroad, it allowed us to stay connected.

I hope this helps and I look forward to seeing what motivates others.
 
#5
I am 49 and regaining fitness is hard for me now. So maintaining fitness is a huge motivator for me. Plus, I just feel better when I am fit. Races will happen again, so I want to be ready for when that happens. I also focus on the health benefits, like maintaining good bone density. And I want to keep eating what I want even mores so these days. I have to find emjoyment where I can, so keeping up with my running allows me to treat myself with food.
 
#6
I'm running alone 99% of the time. For me, running is a constant competition against myself. I'm running to achieve a specific goal, clear my mind or a combination of the two.

After a long hiatus, I started running again in 2012. Initially, I was mostly focused on 5K's the first few years. Then, I ventured into the 10K world. I told myself I would never even think of trying a half or full marathon. :giggle: Just prior to COVID-19, I created a goal for myself to run a full marathon. I'm 52 years old. During COVID-19, I saw an opportunity to start consistently working on that goal. In addition, my anxiety started to increase with watching the news constantly and worrying about potentially losing my job. Running provided an escape to clear my mind.

Prior to COVID-19, I was running between 30 to 50 miles per month. I'm a road warrior traveling every week. I would get up at 2am or 3am in the morning to go for a run before my client engagements. Since mid-Mach, my traveling stopped. I've been averaging 100 to 125 miles per month. I ran a half marathon or greater for 14 weekends in a row. When I started running these half marathons, I was looking at 2 hours 20 minutes. So, my goal was to get under 2 hours. Once I achieved that goal, then I re-focused on running the full marathon. I got as far as 17.6 miles without stopping. However, I had to take a pause with the onset of the extremely hot weather.:(

I also started to splurge on running shoes and apparel during this time. I've acquired the Saucony Endorphin Pro, Saucony Endorphin Speed, Hoka One One Carbon X SPE and the ASICS Metaracer. So, I've been using this opportunity to try these and experiment with my running performance. In addition, my company has formed a Strava club where I have been on the top 3 leadership board throughout this pandemic. So, that's also increased my motivation to keep plowing away. Now that it's cooler in the morning, I'm trying to finally get to full marathon.

But, at the end of the day, this a personal motivation. I've really gained some respect for these elite marathon runners during my training. There are some mornings where I start running and I'm saying to myself, "What the hell are you thinking?" Yet, I end up running further or faster than I originally planned. Other mornings I feel great at the start, yet in the end, I had to fight to finish my run. It's teaching me to accept failure as part of the process. In my case, in order to get to that full marathon, I've had to accept that I will fail multiple times before I finally achieve it. And you really don't know how your body will feel on your runs. That's why I really respect these elite runners.

So, my advice - start with small goals. Maybe, it's a 5K. Once you can do it consistently, then work on running it faster. Then, perhaps, created a new goal of a 10K, etc. etc. etc. And accept failure as a path to success. Best of luck. Stay safe!
 
#7
I look at it as a time to change up my routine and try different things when it comes to training. Instead of looking at not having races, I look at goals I can achieve in training. Can I run 50 miles this week, can I lower my mile time, can I start running trails. That has helped me stay motivated during this time. This will also help when we do have races again that we are ready to break through and nail our goals in the race. I typically run 2-3 marathons a year, so this year I did my own Backyard Ultra (ran 4.17 miles every hour on the hour). That was fun and different and helped me stay motivated. I am currently training with a goal of losing 12 pounds and to run 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. Being creative in my goals has made it different and fun.
Hope this helps, stay safe and keep running.
 
#8
My VO2Max dropped considerably from a year ago after starting a new position at work (a lot of hours, very high stress) and I lost my job three weeks ago. So I want to get my fitness back and have plenty of time to do so now. The motivation is that the lack of fitness results in a lower quality of life when you are as old as I am.

I do have goals for motivation and have been a runner for decades and want to get back some of what I've lost.
 
#9
After suffering back to back multiple strokes, and having to learn to do things from walking to being able to sign my name. My doctor gave me the green light at the beginning of the year to try to start running again. Then March came and after all I have been through and the few gains I had made in running, I was and am not going to let COVID stop me.
 
#10
I do all of my training alone to begin with but I too am definitely feeling the loss of large-field races.

I have been running about 5 days a week (40 - 50 miles) since early February and I have been keeping motivation up by varying my scenery. I am careful to keep at least one "standard" route as a measure of my progress but I have been mixing it up a lot and heading in different directions on my runs to keep things from getting too dull.

For the odd time trial that I have thrown in I have made it a point to make it an event. Driving a town over and hitting up some roads I haven't run on at all.

I know it is a little lame but variety is the spice of life and definitely the spice of running.
 
#11
I do all of my training alone to begin with but I too am definitely feeling the loss of large-field races.

I have been running about 5 days a week (40 - 50 miles) since early February and I have been keeping motivation up by varying my scenery. I am careful to keep at least one "standard" route as a measure of my progress but I have been mixing it up a lot and heading in different directions on my runs to keep things from getting too dull.

For the odd time trial that I have thrown in I have made it a point to make it an event. Driving a town over and hitting up some roads I haven't run on at all.

I know it is a little lame but variety is the spice of life and definitely the spice of running.
We have about twenty miles of trails in the city to our south and I used to run there several times a week. I didn't really like the idea of driving eight miles to go running but there are wide running paths on both sides of a long canal system with a canopy of trees overhead. It's quite pleasant when it's really hot outside.

I don't need the variety right now but I can see how a lot of people would find it enjoyable.
 
#12
When I don't feel like heading out the door I always tell myself..."give it a couple or few miles and see how you feel." Rain or shine. I remember cutting my short once or twice the past year. It almost always ends up a good run. Other motivators:
  • After many years of running, finally started stretching and resistance training. Look forward to my performance in the future. So far my nagging pain went away and gained leg strength.
  • Trying to keep a healthy weight.
  • New shoes! Can always add more to the rotation.
 
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#13
A lot of the replies deal with the motivation of getting out the door but recently I have run into an issue of low morale striking towards the end of runs and I am coming up empty-handed for how to deal with this.

Mid-way through a run I find myself looking for excuses to stop and then pouncing on them whenever I can find something remotely justifiable. I am for sure on the difficult end of my training plan (aimed at a marathon date of September 27) but these are also some of the most important miles... as they say "work hard in training, so you don't have to work hard in the race". Even knowing that, I am really finding it hard to gut through some of these workouts. This weekend I quit at mile 17 of a 21 mile treadmill run... my pace was fine but I told myself it was because the gym was hot and running with a mask sucked. Both of those things were true but it wouldn't have killed me to run those final 4 miles. Yesterday I hung up the spurs midway through a 400/800/1200/1600/1200/800/400 ladder run because I got kicked off of the track (local high school closes the track while teams are practicing, even if they're not using the track) and I used that as an excuse because it was inconvenient to continue that workout on the road. Again, true but not something that made the run an impossibility.

I am hoping my morale improves as the heat dissipates. Even though I am hydrating and fueling properly, I find that a lot of my excuses begin to form as some of that heat exhaustion creeps in.
 
#15
@imnothammer I gotta give it to you for being able to run that long on a treadmill!(y)(y)
It must have been at least 10 years ago since I last ran on a treadmill. 30 minutes and I was done.
I am in Connecticut and we have had some pretty wild weather lately. Remnants of hurricanes spawning tornadoes, which is unheard of around here. If you can believe it, the treadmill was actually the lesser of two evils on that day. As much as I hate treadmills, there is something to be said for having near perfect control of your pace. Running indoors wasn't much of a problem until I really started sweating, which I don't think my basic surgical mask was really equipped to handle.
 
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