Posted On:

Sunday, May 03, 2020

When I entered the Snowdon Skyline back in November, I couldn't have anticipated the crisis the UK is now facing just 6 months later. Events cancelled UK wide, Government telling us that social distancing may continue long term and runners now being perceived as carriers of death rather than the fitness enthusiasts we were known as before. Crazy times I think you will all agree.

So where does this leave your plans and more importantly your motivation. If you're anything like me, you probably use events as a way of keeping the motivation going and having something to work towards. For many runners, this uncertainty will be a monster blow to your motivation and the thought of training hard or even running may even seem pointless with no events or challenges to train for. Not all is lost

First of all consider the bigger picture. If your'e halfway through a training plan your most certainly fitter and faster than you were before. Your psychological stamina will be improved and your ability to push on when your mind is telling you to stop will be greatly increased. See where Im going with this!

Don’t give up

If you’ve spent the past 3 months training for an event its probably got some significance to you. Check the organisers website and check if they have the 2021 dates on the website. For many event organisers this year has been catastrophic and getting people rebooking for 2021 is essential to keeping them going! You can still complete your goal.

Go bigger

Your plan this year was to run your first 10km race or half marathon. Why not go bigger and push onto something harder for next year. Endurance is a volume game and working the low intensity runs will increase your base fitness allowing you to take on bigger more challenging events in the future! Keep running and don’t let the gains you made through the spring all go to waste, it may be the key to your fastest race next year!

Change it up!

Sometimes change is a good thing and entering a race that’s different to your normal event might be just what you need. If you’re a trail runner have you ever thought about running a two-day mountain race like the OMM? If you only run on tarmac maybe its time to indulge in some trail running. You will be amazed how good a run feels when it ends with wet muddy legs.

Stay Motivated

Sitting at home with hours and hours to spare I decided to check out some of the videos on YouTube and I found a wealth of motivational videos to keep me chomping at the bit. Nicky Spinks running the Bob Graham Round twice!! the Dragons Back where people run the full length of Wales and some incredible films about Killian Jornet running to the moon and back without oxygen quicker than Apollo 11. Pretty impressive stuff and certainly leaving you more motivated than you were before you demolished that pack of chocolate hobnobs at home!

Short Term Goal Setting

Setting realistic and achievable goals is the holy grail for any running coach and one of the key factors to improving motivation. Have you tried to increase your speed? Try running 10km from your home using the Fartlek method and slowly watch your speed increase over a 4 week training plan. Take on some hill sessions on your local steps or hill and work on improving your time or reps you can complete. Small gains turn into big rewards when its race day and lets face it we can all get quicker at running up hill or on the flat!


Hopefully you found some helpful snippets of information that you can take away from this blog to help keep you motivated during lockdown. Government guidance is that all exercise should be done locally and from near your home. Any of the advice given above is on the assumption that you are following this advice and social distancing.

Stay safe, stay well and stay motivated!


About the author

About the author

Matt Cooper is a full time Mountaineering Instructor (MCI), mountain runner and Montane ambassador who lives on the North Wales coast with his partner Kathryn. Matt coaches trail & mountain running at all levels and teaches navigation for mountain and orienteering. Matt has also contributed to articles in summit magazine the official magazine of the British Mountaineering Council. Check out our courses that we run throughout the year.

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