Urgh, I had a half marathon planned every month from the beginning of the year. I ran my first half marathon at Disney. My second in Jacksonville at the Donna. And, after that, everything started to get canceled due to COVID-19 and social distancing. I ended up running my third, virtually in honor of the NYC Half Marathon.

The Shape Half, the new AC Rock ‘n Roll Half and St. Anthony’s Triathlon all got canceled. It is so frustrating and so easy to lose motivation!

So, how can you stay motivated when everything is canceled?

After doing some soul searching and digging on the internet, I came up with these 7 ways to stay motivated when everything is canceled:

1. Focus on Strength & Flexibility

Now is actually a great time to focus on strength and flexibility. There are numerous free videos on Youtube that will offer you ways to gain strength and flexibility. Do a little surfing and find one that works for you. I researched strength for triathletes, strength for swimmers, and strength training for cyclists.

When I do strength training workouts, I tend to focus on lunges, squats, rows, bench press, etc. I have also been trying to do single-leg exercises. I find that my stability is a little off and these have been helping!

2. What Are Your Weaknesses?

Now is the time to make a list of what you really want to do and strive for. Do you want to get stronger on the bike? Get out and ride as much as you can! If you can’t get outside, ride on a trainer, smart trainer or Peleton. Just keep pushing forward!

Do you want to improve your run times? Go to the track at the “wee hours” of the morning before there are people there. Do 400s, 800s or even 1600 speed training with a 2-minute walk in between! Remember to focus on your cadence. The more your legs turn over, the faster you will get!

Or, do you want to get faster in the pool? Since many of the pools are closed now, you may want to focus on dryland training. This will help you improve! I went out and bought resistance bands and have been using them to help build more muscle in my lats for a deeper pull.

3. Get Inspiration From Others

Sometimes you see other people working out, you think, “They are crazy!” But are they? Download an app like Strava and scroll through to see what your friends are doing. Give them a “kudos” and let their drive inspire you to try to “kick their ass!” (Even if you can’t!)

4. Join a running group

This may seem like a ridiculous and moot point while we are all on lockdown with the coronavirus. But, it really isn’t. We all need support right now. It’s a difficult time for all of us.

If your running group incorporated a virtual component where they meet once a week to discuss their runs and their workouts, that will help you become more accountable.

In my running group, we started to do virtual runs on Saturday mornings at the same time in different locations. Some of us texted each other, while others did Facetime. Even if we didn’t see each other during the run, we knew we were all doing it at the same time and that helped. After that, we met up on Zoom for a team meeting to discuss the run.

5. Get a Coach

Yes, I am a USA Certified Level 1 Coach and I’m also a running coach, but I’m not pitching myself here. A coach can help you get more organized and stay on track. I recently hired a coach and for me, having that schedule, organization, and accountability really helps motivate me to keep going.

6. Look at Your Past Achievements

The other day, I went through all my medals and organized them. I put all my 5Ks, 10Ks, Half Marathons, Marathon, Triathlons in place so that they are all in an organized fashion. This made me feel proud of my accomplishments. I did all of those events? I was impressed and that made me feel more passionate about pushing forward.

7. Talk with Someone

In my running group, we started to implement virtual runs and meetups right after the run on Zoom. This has helped me and it’s helped other members in the group feel motivated.

I’ve been trying hard to keep the communications going. I find that when you are isolated, you need that support. And, I’m grateful to have an amazing team of supportive athletes at my side.

Win a Free Book!

Tell me what you do to keep you motivated and you may win a free book from Gwen Jorgensen’s family, Go, Gwen, Go.