With the current difficulties we are being faced with, running temporarily sits at the bottom of the list of what is important. When the health of the nation is at stake, you realise that sport plays such a small part in the world, even if it is a large part of our individual lives. Whilst it is frustrating when all our immediate goals suddenly disappear, thinking about the larger picture will help relieve this and prevent you from feeling frustrated with the current situation.
When the races we were imminently preparing for have been cancelled, and the ones slightly further away than them have too, it can be helpful to change your goals and focuses. Rather than focusing on short-term goals, such as the summer racing season, it is worth switching your focus to your long-term goals. You can adjust what it is you are working towards and what you are focusing on to help keep your motivation up.
For me, my imminent goals have changed dramatically. Whilst racing often acted as my drive for weekly sessions, with no races currently in my race calendar, I have changed what it is I want to get out of my sessions. My new goal is to enjoy every run and session that I do. Of course, I still want to keep up the quality of my sessions, but I want enjoyment to be present at all times. Rather than getting nervous about big sessions ahead of me, which I do at times, I want to focus on looking forward to them and appreciating my daily dose of outdoor activity. I always feel that I run my best when I enjoy what I am doing, therefore this has become my current goal. I had been feeling recently as though my love for running was being overshadowed by the pressure I was putting on myself which was in turn reducing the enjoyment I got out of it. I don’t want this to happen as running brings me so much happiness. So, I’m working on bringing this joy back.
It may also help to look ahead. I know this has helped me. Rather than focusing on the goals that are in the near future, think about those that are further away. For example, think about what it is about running that makes you stick with it and continue training week on week. I am thinking about what it is I want to achieve in years to come and using this to motivate me. This can be anything from a time you want to achieve in the future or focusing on what your values are. (For more on values, read this blog.)
This current period can be seen as a time to work on the little things you usually neglect due to lack of time, as well as getting some quality training in, as quantity may not be quite so easy. This may include stretching or strengthening exercises such as core and mobility. You could even get your family to join in to make it more enjoyable! You may also have to adapt your training, and do cross training activities that you never thought of doing.
It is also worth remembering that what is going on in the world away from running is much larger. However, the beauty and power of running is truly coming to the fore.
So, what are your goals for now and how are you dealing with all the changes?
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!