Finding Motivation Without a Race in Sight

Training when your spring racing schedule just went to the wayside can be a little challenging. We have seen a mix of responses in regards to what their spring season now looks like. We have seen everything from extra enthusiasm to train, to anger, to sadness and lack of motivation to run. First off, as coaches we understand. Everyone responds to news differently. We are athletes too and know what the feeling is like having something taken from you whether that is lack of opportunity, injury, or weather cancellations…or pandemic cancellations. We carry a lot of empathy for our athletes when we see them have missed opportunity. With all this being said, we thought we would give some advice to those who are struggling to find motivation to train during this time.

1) Keep the big picture in mind. You may not get to cash in your fitness for your upcoming race, but that doesn’t mean your work was pointless. Fitness is cumulative, as we gain consistency from training cycle to training cycle, we give ourselves the ability to handle more volume and intensity as we become stronger. We may take down time in between cycles, but the body remembers and has absorbed the work from the last cycle.

2) Change up your routine. Find some new trails to run on, explore a different side of town on a run, or create new neighborhood loops. Give yourself something to explore or look forward too. Sometimes changing up our routine when our world is turned around, can give us a little freshness. Try out a new podcast, new playlist or new e-book, shake things up and get out the door.

3) Maybe train for something shorter. Speed is an important tool for runners. Often when we have done marathon cycle after marathon cycle, anything 5k/10k specific has maybe taken a bit of the wayside. Set up a personal time trial or even a family time trial as something to look forward to.

4) Keep moving even if you don’t want to move fast. For some of our athletes and runners in the community, we know that work may be turned upside down. You may be homeschooling your kids. You may be a medical professional who is just trying to stay as grounded as you can during this time. We hear you. Perhaps sticking to your regular schedule is not in the cards right now. If workouts (quality days, speed work, or longer sessions) need to be cut back, that is okay. Even spending 30-45 min doing an easy run is better than just forgetting about your running in general.

5) Social Distance Treadmill-ing…Normally have a running buddy that helps you get out the door? We have seen posts of people continuing to run with their normal buddies, but have turned on a video chat while they have worked out. Nothing like some good under chin view and some good accountability.

6) Follow a running group social media page to stay engaged. Our choice is Run256 (for those in Huntsville, AL). Get tips and encouragement from our friends at Fleet Feet, Huntsville, other running and fitness enthusiast, and RunningLane!

7) Check out our Social Distance Run Challenge. Check out our RunningLane Events Strava page. We will be posting a trail and a road route every two weeks. These routes will have fun segment names and you can try to get your name close to the top of the segment leaderboards. 

Week 1-2: RL EVENTS

Trail- “Solo Sanitizing” 4.8 mile route 

Road-“Toilet Paper Rollers” 3 mile route


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My coach, Brandon, has really motivated me to get into shape.  He gave me a simple walking plan and eventually I was jogging!  I was able to work into my busy schedule....and with two kids and working full-time, that is a hard thing to do.  Over time I’ve been able to go longer distances and I am looking forward to doing my first 5K this spring.  Thank You RunningLane!!!!