My race is done, my schedule is empty. This is when the motivation to run regularly can really wane.
I find great motivation in racing. The training plan on my calendar is a daily reminder to run (and sometimes to rest). But there are other motivators besides racing.
Here’s some of the things I’ve done over the years between training cycles to maintain my fitness and get out for my runs:
- Set mileage goals: create some weekly and monthly goals to work towards. Having something to aim for and achieve gan be a great motivator.
- Play around with streaks: maybe try daily running, or even streaks of a certain number of runs per week. Some advice: if you opt for the daily run, keep it short and run easy. Apps like Habit List for iOS make tracking streaks fun and easy.
- Challenge a friend (or two): competition is a great motivator. Who’ll run faster, farther, more often? Whatever you come up with, make sure you have some fun and get into the spirit with some trash talk.
- Run somewhere else: hit up the trails, or drive somewhere and run some different roads and neighbourhoods. Maybe do a point-to-point run where you take transit out and run back. Or run home from work!
- Get our for group runs: remember the training group you ran with when you were training for your race, and how they kept you honest? There’s no reason you can’t keep running with the group. Be the organizer and call out friends who are letting their running slide. They’ll do the same for you if you skip a weekend or two.
There’s a lot of enjoyment in running for fun. Get out there and stay motivated so when you sign up for that next race, you’ll be starting from a solid base rather than having to build from scratch again.