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motivation for exercise
motivation for exercise


Written by Hilary JM Topper

With Covid-19 many of the races have been cancelled or have gone virtual. So, how do you keep yourself motivated when it feels like the world around you is falling fast?

triathlon training

I am a triathlon/running blogger at A Triathletes Diary since 2011. Recently, I came up with a number of tips on staying motivated when races are cancelled. Here they are:

1. Focus on Strength & Flexibility

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

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 dry land 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

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 lock-down with the coronavirus. But, it really isn’t. We all need support right now. It’s a difficult time for all of us.

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.

5. Get a Coach

A coach can help you get more organised and stay on track. I recently hired a coach and for me, having that schedule, organisation, and accountability really helps motivate me and keep me going.

6. Look at Your Past Achievements

The other day, I went through all my medals and organised them. I put all my 5Ks, 10Ks, Half Marathons, Marathon and Triathlon medals in place so that they are all in an organised 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. Do a Virtual Race

Yes, I know virtual races aren’t the same but they will help you with speed training. We are always racing against ourselves, even when we are racing in real-time. So, why should virtual races be any different?

To me, it’s important to keep training. If I had my choice, I prefer to race in person. But, if I can’t have that, a virtual race is the next best thing.

triathlon training

Triathlon training for 2021

Perhaps this year is just a year to train. One of my running group members said, “2021 will be the year of the PR.” He is right. If we keep pushing this year, we can make great strides in 2021.

Julie Moss Said about triathlon's…

I recently interviewed Julie Moss, who is a famous triathlete best known for her “crawl” across the finish line in 1982 in Kona. Julie said, that “if you are training for a half Ironman or an Ironman, it’s good to give yourself two years to prepare.” She said that we should think of this time as a time to get stronger and focus on all three sports but also strength and flexibility. “It will pay off,” she said.

I think Julie is right… Hang in there, we are all in the same boat!

triathlon training


Hilary JM Topper is a professional blogger and podcaster. Her blog, A Triathletes Diary, focuses on product reviews, race reviews and tips and strategies. Her podcast, Hilary Topper on Air helps small business owners grow personally and professionally. There are lots of endurance athletes included in this podcast. She is the author of the new book, Branding in a Digital World, currently available on Amazon.


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