Everything has changed this year and we don’t have our usual choice of races available so what can you do to keep motivated and stay focused? In my last article I talked about setting up some alternative goals for 2020 and I wanted to follow up on this with ideas on how to make these goals stick and turn 2020 into a productive season.
One of the big keys is that your goal has to be motivating to you, it has to be something that gets you excited and wanting to work towards. Everyone is different, it might be focusing on running fast and trying to set a 1 mile PB on the track, or going after a local KOM on the bike, or it might be a long adventure, a 50km trail run, a 10km open water swim. There are endless options but the first step is to choose something you would really like to do and this is the time to try something different that wouldn’t normally fit into your schedule (i.e. if you’re a long course athlete running a mile PB on the track wouldn’t be a normal summer goal). The goal needs some good work to achieve but it has to be achievable, if you set the bar too high (a sub 4min mile!) then you can lose focus when you realize it’s too much of a stretch.
Get some friends involved! There is nothing like some good training partners to help keep you on track and motivated. Find some friends who are willing to work towards the same goal and help keep you accountable. My brother in law suggested a swim from his Chalet in Hidden Valley to a friend’s place in Huntsville, 8.5km which was a perfect motivator to get us in the open water and putting in some good swimming in a year that has been a swim challenge with limited access to pools.
Hire a coach! A coach is there to help with these steps, walk you through some different goal options and what will work best for you and then to help hold you accountable along the way to make sure you’re meeting the targets you need to get there. A coach should be there to help keep you focused and motivated in what is a very challenging year, while at the same time being flexible and understanding of the nature of the different goals and different year in general.
At NRG Performance Training our athletes have had a wide range of different goals in 2020. From our NRG 111 time trial triathlon (1km swim, 100km ride, 10km run) to a 50km trail run, an 8.5km point to point open water swim, a 280km Toronto to Huntsville Gravel ride and a swim/bike/run Everesting (swim 8848m, ride an accumulation of 8848m of climbing and then again on the run!) there has been a wide range of challenges to help keep our athletes motivated and progressing.
Don’t let 2020 pass you by!!
Nigel Gray is Head Coach of NRG Performance Training