In previous years, it was often difficult to lose direction as an athlete because we always had a race to work towards. This is why athletes have the personalities they do, because they thrive off the focus and direction their sport provides. No matter what else you do in a day, training always provides a sense of purpose and structure. You always feel like you have achieved something with your day because you have worked towards those racing goals you have.
However, this year has been a little different. Whilst in normal times we all work towards long-term goals as well, there are always regular races to act as stepping stones to keep you focused and feeling directed. With racing once again a thing of the past, it can be difficult to feel like your goals are very far away. As a result, we can lose sight of what it is that motivates us and what we want to achieve.
When all you see on social media is professional athletes training in Dubai and other athletes abroad, it is easy to feel as though you are a long way from where you want to be. Whilst other times the gap doesn’t feel so big, at times like this it can feel a lot bigger.
This is when it is vital to remember your why. Keep reminding yourself of what you are training for, and WHY you do it.
Keep those long-term goals in your mind at all times. No matter how difficult this period may seem at times, especially without racing, it will return, and we will get back to the life we knew before, it’s just a case of holding on. This time of training, even if you aren’t abroad, is incredibly valuable. It will be helping you, both mentally and physically, step closer to your long-term goals than you realise.
Also, be cautious not to put too much pressure on yourself. There is no need to pressurise yourself at the moment. The key thing is to enjoy training. The time we have now had to focus on training and get in a solid block of work is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There really is no pressure. If the odd session doesn’t go to plan, it isn’t the end of the world, because we are in no rush to be fighting fit yet. Instead, it is a great time to embrace a little bit less pressure and be raring to go when the time comes.
So, if you are finding times tough at the moment, both in and out of training, try not to lose sight of the bigger picture. Better times will come and racing will return, we just have to be patient. Remember this next time motivation is feeling low.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!