For Staying Motivated and For Making the Most of Difficult Times
Whether you are new to running or a seasoned athlete, a common theme when it comes to training is the need for consistency and a routine. It can, therefore, throw you off-kilter should an event outside of your control put your training at risk. With these unprecedented times, we spoke to Sigma Sports Run Ambassador, Maisie, to discover how she has adjusted her lifestyle and running to make the most of a difficult situation. Continue reading to learn more about Maisie's top tips for staying motivated.
1. Use Your Daily Exercise Token
My number one tip is to always use your daily exercise token. Some days this might involve a high-intensity session, others it may be a 10-minute walk. Leaving the house is the perfect ‘reset’ and getting your body moving is guaranteed to make you feel better.
2. Keep a Routine
Ensuring you stick to routine can help a lot. Continue to set your alarm at usual time and prioritise getting enough sleep. Have a weekly plan which you stick to. If you usually do parkrun on a Saturday, get out for a 5k and try to beat last week's time. Writing a plan down can help structure your day and allow you to fit in other activities around it.
3. Mix it Up
Try something new, or something you never usually have time for. This doesn’t have to be extreme, you don’t have to do 100 burpees a day, it could be something as simple as a session of yoga, a virtual fitness class, or dust off the bike in your garage and go for a ride. There are plenty of tutorials YouTube as well as live classes on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to get you started.
4. Treat Yourself
Treat yourself to some new running kit to test out. This is always a good motivator and it’s the perfect time to break in those new running shoes for races later in the year. With any new clothing or piece of tech, invest in items that are going to inspire you to get active and also can be integrated into your current training. There are also a wide range of recovery products worth considering, from compression clothing to massage devices.
5. Explore New Routes Close to Home
Get to know new routes around your local area. Leave your running watch at home, slow down, be extra observant and appreciate the opportunity to leave the house and spend time enjoying nature. This is the perfect opportunity to get the map out before you set off and to discover trails and paths you may never have ventured down.
6. Get the Music or Podcast on
Make a new playlist or search for podcasts to accompany you on your daily exercise. Music is a great tool to keep you motivated and in the zone, especially when you choose tracks that vary in tempo to correlate with the intensity of your workout.
7. Don't be a Stranger
Use technology to connect with running teammates and family, whether that be for a virtual workout, a quiz or simply a catch-up. It’s the perfect time to check in with people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Zwift is a platform that allows you to meet and exercise with friends from the comfort of your home. Get a WhatsApp group together and arrange a meetup, you'll have a blast.
8. Strength Training
We may not all have a gym setup, but this doesn’t mean you can't do strength training. Get creative by using wine bottles, or a bag filled with books for weights and recreate your usual strength routine. Bodyweight exercises are equally effective. I'd recommend trying single-limb exercises to increase the intensity.
9. Readjust Your Goals
Readjust your goalposts and focus on the small victories. Make goals for the next week such as getting up to see the sunrise, signing up to a virtual race or chasing some local Strava segments. You can even start a virtual medal collection. Strava often runs challenges where if you hit a predetermined target you can earn badges a neat touch to incorporate into your daily and weekly training plan.
10. Get Creative in The Kitchen
Try to eat mindfully and spend some time cooking nourishing food which gives you the energy you need. This is a time when you can get adventurous in the kitchen and try out new dishes. That delicious pre-workout meal or cheat day recipe may be closer than you think.
We hope Maisie's ten tips will help keep you focused, motivated and making the most of your time during a difficult situation. What are your top tips? We'd love to know what keeps you active, leave your ideas in the comments section below.