When you’ve finished the race you have been training so long for, what happens next? What do you do with yourself? You don’t need to train to the same rate you were, so how do you keep your fitness levels up and keep yourself fitness motivated?
Let’s say you have spent the last 6 months training for a marathon, every waking hour in your final 2 weeks was consumed with excitement, nerves and only the race was on your mind. Now it’s over, what next? When you have spent so much time dedicated to a race then it’s over it can feel like a void, a bit of a lull and you can feel lost. You might not fancy doing another race straight away, but you want to keep your fitness levels up, and that is understandable. But without the focus, can you keep it up? Here are my tips to keep you fitness motivated.
Book another challenge
The obvious choice is to book another race, that could be of a different distance, for example, you have done a marathon, you could then up it to an ultra marathon. Perhaps you’ve only done road runs, what about switching to a trail run? Whatever you decide, booking a race will always keep you focused and keep your fitness where you want it to be.
Watch something motivating
This has been a huge thing for me to give me inspiration. I’ve watched a few documentaries recently that have truly inspired me to push on and help keep me fitness motivated.
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable
Remember the surfer that had that horrendous shark attack but made a remarkable recovery and still became a world champion? She has a new documentary out. It’s truly unbelievable, and if you get a chance please do watch this. The sheer drive and determination of Bethany to even get back in the water, let alone take her surfing to where she has, is an absolute miracle. Watch the trailer below.
The Dawn Wall
Located in the Yosemite National Park California, Tommy Caldwell has this personal challenge to free climb the Dawn Wall of El Capitan. It’s quite an emotional journey as you hear about his experience being held hostage in Kyrgyzstan, and the choices he and his fellow climbers had to make. I was completely glued watching him repeatedly attempt to climb the 3,000-foot rock face, and how regardless of the setbacks he pushes on. If this doesn’t keep you fitness motivated I’m not sure what will!
Finally this one I watched the other day and it absolutely blew my mind and really motivated me. This isn’t about racing and athletes who have completed certain challenges, it’s more about what we do to become better athletes with what we consume. This documentary follows UFC Fighter James (who is from Melton Mowbray near me), as he recovers from injury and investigates athletes who have opted for a plant-based diet. He investigates the effects it’s had on their bodies and their performances, but also how it is backed up by scientific fact. We follow a number of athletes in completely different sports such as endurance athlete Scott Jureck and champion strongman Patrik Baboumian – complete contrasts but both plant-based and at the top of their respective sporting fields. It is absolutely fascinating, so much so I’m now looking to transition to a Vegan diet.
Try a different challenge
If you run a marathon or a 10k, why not put your running on pause and do something completely different? Pick up a bike and book yourself a cyclocross, or extend your running into a triathlon? A great example is a triathlete Lucy Gossage who decided she wanted to pause completing in triathlons and challenged herself to a ski marathon. It’s actually good for our bodies to do a variety of activities, so pick something new to challenge yourself with.
Join a club to keep motivated
This has helped me massively, especially when you’re not involved in a team sport like running or swimming. It can get quite lonely as you clock up your distances, so a club is a perfect option to inspire and motivate yourself with. I’ve joined a great running club and a new women’s triathlon club. Both are new installments for me and I know I should be motivated and focused on all my 12 in 12 challenges, but I sometimes need a push, and this is seriously helping. Having others to share your runs with, chat about best nutrition or generally get support on those tough training days, this has been a big game-changer for me. As an added bonus you’re becoming social and meeting likeminded people – so a win all round.
I hope some of my tips to keep fitness motivated have inspired you to mix it up, and I completely get how hard it can be, especially as the days are darker and it’s colder, training feels hard work. Whatever you do keep pushing on because everyone, even the pros have off days, it’s just about what we do with those off days. How do you keep fitness motivated?