To Train or Not TO TRAIN
So this brings us to my first question... if you were halfway through a marathon training plan when you found out your marathon was cancelled because of COVID-19, would you keep training? Or would you stop because "what's the point"?
What's the Point
In 2018 when I discovered Obstacle Course Racing, I trained with a purpose. My purpose was to get faster at running and better at the obstacles. If it wasn't for OCR, I wouldn't have been so committed to get in shape and go to the gym as frequently as I did. I can't answer this for sure, but I'm pretty confident if this same scenario we're going through now happened back in the fall of 2018, I would've stopped working out, gained weight and went back into the same unhealthy habits I was in before training. So at the end of 2018, my answer to the question above would've been "what's the point".
Last year was not a good year for me. I lost the love and passion I had for OCR even though I averaged 3+ races per month. By the end of 2019 I despised racing and training. I was unhappy and didn't see any of the results I wanted. So 2020 was already going to be a pretty light year for me race wise - by the start of 2020, other than the Disney Dopey Challenge, I only signed up for three OCRs total for the year.
2020 has already been a challenging year for me even without the added struggles of COVID-19. I guess I can sum it up with this quote:
Not everyone is meant to stay in your life. It may hurt to lose someone but in the future you'll see the lesson they brought you.
So needless to say, I did fall off track at least with my running because it just made me sad for a while. I'd try to run, I wanted to run, but I couldn't get past my thoughts and had to stop. These numbers are also significantly off from where I need to be to achieve the 2,020 miles for the year.. but I'm not so sure that goal is all that important to me anymore anyway, and that's okay. Goals can change if you're changing them for the right reasons.
January - 101 miles
February - 34 miles
March - 51 miles
April - 64 miles and counting
Finally when March rolled around, I was starting to feel more positive about life in general and getting into some good workout habits and routines. Then COVID-19 hit and things changed a bit..
MOTIVATION or DISCIPLINE
My second question.. would you rather be someone who needs motivation to get you out the door (i.e. races) or would you rather be someone with the discipline to chase your own personal goals you set (i.e. hitting a training PR)?
It Just Clicked
After the first two weeks of mandatory work from home, I just wasn't feeling it. It was getting harder and harder to wake up early and the motivation to get out of the apartment after work just wasn't there. I went for a walk after work March 30th and it was not a good walk. I had a lot of negative thoughts to the point where they carried over to the next day and I had to take the day off from work to try to sleep them off. Something had to change, otherwise I was going to go crazy.
So I set some goals for April. And let me tell you.. this was one of the best things I've done for myself in a while. Without going into the details, my goals involved handstands, pull-ups, 10K steps each day and hitting a target distance for running (I ended up dropping this running goal though).
I've spent every single day in April working toward these goals and it's made me so happy. In addition to this, I've dropped body fat and I feel stronger than I've ever felt.
But most importantly, the reason I'm getting after it every day is for no other reason than myself. If I didn't do a single race the rest of the year, I would still be getting after it just as much as I have been this month. It's because these small goals I set are important to me and aligned with the lifestyle I want to live. I'm already thinking about my May goals and I'm excited to keep up this momentum.
Train for Life
COVID-19 will reward those who have self-discipline over motivation. If the only time someone can train with a purpose is if they are training for a race, then their competitor who is training hard every day working to fulfill their own personal goals will blow them out of the water when the next race finally happens.
As a society, we have become so reliant on having races and events be our main goals - hitting a race PR, getting on a podium or even just finishing a race. But COVID-19 has shown us the reality of what happens when races and events are our main goals - the sense of purpose and motivation disappears just as quickly as the races themselves.
SET SOME GOALS!
If you're reading this, I hope you can set some goals for May. Goals that will have you excited to work toward them every single day. Goals that will be impossible for you to ignore since you're so excited to achieve them. And make sure you share these goals with others or write them where you can be reminded of them regularly. It's so important and I promise it will add more happiness into these crazy times!
SAVAGE RACE SHOUTOUT
For those of you who are interested in supporting an INCREDIBLE race brand and getting in some good virtual workouts, I encourage you to try Savage Anywhere! You'll also have a chance to get your hands on some of the 2020 race bling!
I also wanted to announce I'm continuing on as part of the On Run Crew for the second year in a row!
On April 14th I had the opportunity to host a five day challenge as part of On's #athletesadapt campaign centered around max rep pull-ups! This was another highlight of April for me - it was so inspiring to see all of the posts from the 37 athletes who participated in the challenge! We saw ring pull-ups, tree pull-ups, bunk bed assisted pull-ups, treadmill assisted pull-ups, basketball hoop assisted pull-ups, one armed pull-ups, weighted pull-ups and so much more.
Use the hashtag #athletesadapt to show how you're continuing to adapt with your workout routines! And of course if you're interested in On shoes or apparel (I love their running tops and running pants/shorts!) and want to learn more - message me! I just might be able to sweeten the deal for you if you're interested in trying out the brand!
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