Written by Colin McKean
Here we are, the pandemic end in sight (hopefully!), but in-person events are still potentially months away. What keeps me motivated with no events in sight? Here’s my list:
Strava is an online running log (join our Run Away Shoes group!) that syncs to all your favorite watches. But one of the coolest things they have are user created segments where people can compare times (or you can look back at how many times you’ve completed the segment to track your own fitness gain). They range from just a few blocks to a number of miles, and the person who is the fastest on that segment is King of the Mountain.
Does that mean I have had some easy runs that have involved me absolutely blitzing up a hill to get a KOM? Yes, yes it does. Do I need an extended break afterwards? I most certainly do, but my name is etched in history… well, until someone beats it anyway. Then I get an email that I’m no longer KOM, I get upset, and I go try and reclaim my throne. It forces me to keep running all in the name of bragging rights and the sweet, sweet crown icon next to your name.
Strava Local Legends
The other thing Strava does is look at how many times you’ve run a specific segment (which, since I’m exceptionally boring, is pretty much the same for every distance), and if you’ve run that segment the most over the last 90 days, you become the Local Legend, which means you get an AMAZING wreath next to your name on that segment. If you have the wreath AND the crown? That pretty much means you have ultimate bragging rights. Are you sensing a theme here?
My wife is an absolute machine in regards to working out. If she doesn’t have 10,000 steps on the day, she will walk around the living room while we watch Great British Baking Show until she hits it. She does a 25-minute toning workout every day, and runs every other day. So, my excuse of wanting to sit on the couch with hot chocolate in lieu of working out typically receives a look of disdain. Mixed with love too obviously. And out the door I go.
Avoid The Fitness Death Spiral
We’ve all been there. You workout a number of days in a row, you’re feeling great, then all of a sudden you can’t exercise for 3-4 days. You get out of your workout routine, and now it’s been a week since you’ve exercised. That hot chocolate continues to look delicious, and it’s somehow now been two weeks. It’s the fitness death spiral. I’ve found that even if the workout is just 8 minutes, keeping that routine keeps me going.
I’m a shoe geek. I like trying new shoes. If I get a new pair, I need to know how they fit and feel on the run. Some (my wife) might say that I have too many shoes. My response? That’s impossible.
- Tempo run? I have the Saucony Endorphin Speed.
- Easy run? Brooks Glycerin or Saucony Triumph.
- Trail run? Altra Lone Peak.
I’ll be trying out the Nimbus Lite 2 from Asics soon enough as well. Each shoe gives me a different experience and a different reason to run that day.
The pandemic will not last forever. Races will be back. Training plans will resume. Until then, use this time to discover new ways to enjoy running and working out. Tell us what is keeping you going in the comments.