by Our Runners
The following survey question was sent to HMRRC members: How have you managed to remain motivated to run during the pandemic?
This has been one hell of a year with the pandemic, quarantine, school closing, election stress and trying to figure out the new norm while keeping my sanity in check. My recipe for a healthy lifestyle has been pretty simple: nourish my body with whole food (most of the time!), surround myself with positive people and move my body! When the gyms and studios closed and races were canceled, I needed to find new habits, which took some time establishing and get used to. During the beginning of the pandemic it was easy to keep up with my running. The weather was nice and I had a bit more free time due to schools shutting down. I found 2 friends to run with and we kept each other accountable and challenged with 1 workout a week and a virtual race on the calendar. I did find it challenging to do cross training and resistance training at first. I was going to Orangetheory Fitness 2x a week getting some weights in and going to yoga 1x a week as well. When there is a will there is a way. I did virtual yoga classes and ended up getting an assault bike for the basement along with a workout bench and weights. I am building some new habits and finding a routine that works for me. Some days it’s not easy to go into the basement and get a workout in by myself but I know the mental, emotional and physical benefits are worth it each and every time.
I've remained motivated to run during the pandemic because it's the only thing that grants me a sense of peace in the midst of all the chaos. I am also lucky to have a team that has become the sheer definition of family over the last nine months. The pandemic, as tough as it has been, has given me lifelong friendships that I would not trade for the world.
It definitely has not been easy to stay motivated. I have my days where I feel down and really have to fight to get through them to run or weight lift. In the beginning months of the pandemic, I was motivated to get into shape for racing that may happen in the summer and then the fall, etc. I guess I just kept pushing through the day when we are out of this and back out on the starting line. I am hopeful for things to be different in 2021.
Going for a run is often the only time I go outside each day, so I’m motivated to get away from my desk and into fresh air! The many virtual challenges also help a lot!
To stay in shape and give me "me" time in the morning before everyone gets up. Running the Boston Marathon virtual helped me to keep moving and now being able to run a real in person race the Upstate Classic Half Marathon is really keeping me motivated. With winter coming and no idea if spring marathons or any race will happen, I need to keep a healthy mindset of just keep moving.
For me it is not about staying motivated. Running is a part of me, just part of my life. I don't always compete, but I always run. It isn't a task or something I have to do - it is an opportunity, a blessing, a daily gift.
Without races, my motivation has been preserving my fitness and preventing COVID-19.
180-degree change to my running schedule. During the weekdays, I used to run in the evenings, but I am now almost entirely running early mornings. This switch was an effect of working from home. For weekends, I used to wake up early Saturday morning, but this is now my sleep in day, with a mid-day run. Sunday is an early morning long run.
Cheryl Reaulo Hutchinson
I have good days and bad days. There are days that I can't wait to get out and run and days that I dread it. I think (for me) just trying to stay active keeps me motivated.
Marna Meltzer McMorris
Unfortunately, I’m injured. Non-healing fractures of the tibial plateau. Haven’t run since May. When I did run, it was for myself. To keep my training and conditioning without the pressure of an imminent race and to build my base and strength so when we do race again, I will be ready to train.
My bathroom scale (yes!), my husband, a few friends and the occasional virtual race all have kept me running. Drawing inspiration from folks in the local running groups on social media has helped as well.
Beth Thalon Smith
Great question. It's been hard to maintain motivation and I'm not entirely motivated every day. It comes in waves. I have picked a couple smaller goals to work on such as FTP (Functional Threshold Power) PR, riding my longest ride ever of 140 miles, putting together a couple big millage weeks in a row. I did a 56 mile TT (Time Trial) on my bike. Running has been more difficult to stay motivated but I have been following the same principle, setting small goals such as getting out 3x this week. I keep telling myself it's gonna get better and we will race eventually, and when we do I'll be ready.
Honestly having no races has been a blessing. It’s really let me get back to the root of why I run- because I love it. With races, I’m always so consumed with paces and workouts so I can PR that I forget to enjoy running at all. But no races has me running to just run and for that I’m thankful.
It usually doesn’t take much to get me out the door, but I’m grateful to have had plenty of motivation to run this year. Training for my first marathon kept me going early on through the lockdown, until the race was eventually postponed. Once we were able to get back together in small groups, the Tuesday Ryanite and Jumpin' Jacks runs, and a few long runs with buddies kept me going. I also follow a bunch of local runners on Strava. Seeing other runners’ daily accomplishments is always inspiring.
Just focusing on steady running 4 to 5 days a week. Trying to stay healthy.
What keeps me motivated is focusing on the next finish line The ARE Half Marathon on Nov 15th Tupper Lake Tinman 70.3 in June 2021, and Ironman Lake Placid on July 26th, 2021
I stayed motivated, by knowing it’s my wellness time to disconnect from everything. I always look forward to my run as it always makes me happy and there is always a scenic outdoor view to just forget about everything. Another motivating factor is how well I feel at the end and the accomplishment. Running and the outdoors are the best free medicine.
Our training programs continued almost uninterrupted. With the lack of races, we scheduled our own events and also focused on existing ARE events. With the stress of the pandemic it was important for everyone's sanity to stay active and have goals despite Covid-19. We had excellent success with many athletes improving multiple personal bests in our spring and fall seasons.
I have set new and different challenges for myself. I did a run streak from Memorial Day to Labor Day and I am trying to set a PR for total yearly miles by running 2020 km (or 1,255.17 miles) this year.
I also know that some days it's the only real movement I will get in. I try to take a short walk on my lunch (I am still working remotely) but if it's not great weather and would require a shower or change of clothes I don't go. My morning workout is my time to move. I have a treadmill and indoor bike, both are Peloton brand, and the Peloton community is amazing. People all around the country, many that have just started running and are so excited to hit new milestones (distance wise or pace wise), and the energy with that is just awesome. Those of us that have been running a long time forget how exciting it is to do something you have never done for the first time. I know many of us get caught up in just getting faster and faster and don't realize that we are fortunate to have the ability to do what we do. It's also humbling to see how many fast people there are out there. You realize this at the big marathons and races, but not when you're just out there training on your own.
Just stick to a routine weekly and I’m pretty self-motivated when it comes to running and Tri training. These virtual long-distance challenges like the One NY Cares challenge have also been a huge motivator to get my mileage in. I just finished the 600 mile challenge last week.
Easy, run my own races.
I've always been very self-motivated, especially when it comes to running. I've been running just as much now as I normally do. The difference is no/few races. I don't need an upcoming race to motivate me since I enjoy running no matter what!
Well, I had some goals I had set beforehand and had started working with a coach for the first time. I would say having a coach really helped me stay motivated and crush some goals this year.
My teammates on Willow Street keep me motivated.
Making up my own challenge (running a 50k) and joining other non-race challenges (Destober)
I did big time through September, running more miles in 4 months than ever, ending in a 70 mile trail race, the Laurel Highlands 70.5 miles. The effort gave me a real great time for a 65-year-old; no one my age or older has a faster time over a 21-year period of the race. Since then I'm not running (much) but hope to start building up in November.
In addition to running, I have been hiking and roller skiing, too. I’m very glad I wasn’t dependent on a gym or group class for my fitness.
Honestly, regular running times with good friends.
Jennifer Rainka Casey
Had a few people that I met up with to run, which held us all accountable. We also tried to go to new places to run and try new routes. Once the Y reopened, I started coaching my Pacers group runs again two days a week but we haven’t had as many members as we had hoped return to the Y for various reasons, so our group is much smaller but it is still fun to run with people. I also signed up for a few virtual races which helped to keep me motivated to log the miles!
Beth Gottung Stalker
I miss the challenge and fitness from races but running for me (and I expect many others) is not only about racing. It is a gift to stay fit, get outside, think clearly, talk with friends, reduce stress, experience the seasons and be grateful. So, it’s more of a need vs. a need to be motivated.
I always have a goal. I pick out an event that I want to do that challenges me.
I have stay motivated through this pandemic by keeping my same running routine and even adding more miles to my weekly total. Also, I look forward to my weekend runs with Mat Nark and his team!
Gideon Oyibo Smith
One answer to that: My Team. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. There was a short period during the lockdown where we did not meet and I was barely able to put in a run during that period. I lost all my fitness and then some more. Things only got better when my coach reached out. I wouldn’t be where I am fitness-wise without my coach and my team.
I have my first half Ironman branded race and I want to finish!! Lol. Also, I used to be overweight and drink, and running became a way to conquer both. I’ve successfully been alcohol free for 7 years and have managed to stay within the same weight as well: from 250 to 150lbs. It is my way to clear my head and gain perspective. I would never give it up.
Anne McGuirk Hurley
Lean on my training partners and aiming for the ARE half marathons that (miraculously) have happened twice already, with a third set for November 15.
I get on the scale every day.
After the virtual Boston, I decided to address my lingering plantar fasciitis issues. That and my son Arlo being born gives me enough reason to relax my running during the pandemic. By relax, I mean I haven’t run in a couple of months.
I have a very boring answer. I have not been motivated at all. I am just getting out and plodding along, listening to ebooks and podcasts.
Sarah Wood Piper
Mat Nark has actually been terrific in keeping us motivated as a team and as a coach. He’s provided us with opportunities for time trials, we had a timed half marathon and really encouraged us to participate in ARE events (like the re-vamped Helderberg to Hudson) as much as possible. When everything started to pause and races started to cancel in March/April, he transitioned us from spring marathon training to a block of 8 weeks or so of speed training. I think having this variety has been a motivator. As a coach, he’s not just sitting back and waiting for races to happen again. He’s taken it upon himself to provide opportunities and has really made sure we know that running isn’t canceled.
Mary Claire Walker
Running is my outlet. I work a stressful job, which has only become more stressful during the pandemic. Making the time to run is a form of self-care and helps me to de-stress. No matter what happened at work, what I saw, or had to treat. I know when I clock out of work and drive home my running shoes are waiting and I can turn off the world and my mind even if it’s just an hour. Running has saved my life, and provides sanity time and to become me again. Especially during the pandemic.
Strava! Competing on virtual segments.
The opportunity of time, time we have with friends, time without a race to focus on, and time to focus on yourself!
I haven't! It's been a real struggle.
Lol I haven't stayed motivated at all. Had a second child in June, so training has been poor and sporadic since.
Getting out to see fall colors.
I run because it has always been part of my routine... pandemic or no pandemic. It's what I do. If I don't do some sort of physical activity, I don't feel like myself. Running allows me to think, relieve stress, and maintain my health. Quitting is not an option.