March 2020 will forever go down in history as one of the craziest months in our life times. We were up against a pandemic and went into a global lockdown. Like I need to even remind you, we all lived it and I doubt any of us will ever forget the year of 2020. But even though March 2020 feels forever ago, it’s still really fresh, the ‘turning upside down’ of our lives, drastic change, fears and disappointments. It is safe to say COVID19 has really impacted us all in one way or another. And I know these seem so tiny in the grand scheme of things, but with our sporting events getting cancelled, how do you overcome no race goal direction?
I have seen that a lot of people who have been miffed about a race getting cancelled, particularly in early lockdown, getting pulled up on not looking at the larger picture. Granted, health always comes first over anything else, but if like me you thrive in life with a race goal as your focus, losing it, you can actually really lose yourself.
Bye bye race focus
I was at my fittest, most confident and most positive I’d been in a long time in March. I was training for Ironman Oceanside 70.3 as part of my 12 in 12 challenges. When our April race got cancelled, not only did I lose my race goal focus, I lost a 3 week mapped out road trip across California. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Even saying that I feel guilty because I know that nobody could travel. It wasn’t just me. Regardless, I’d put so much into that trip it was like having a rug pulled from under your feet. It had been a difficult few months so that was my life focus. To lose that completely derailed me. As many found.
When Ironman Oceanside 70.3 got cancelled we deferred to Ironman Santa Cruz 70.3 in September. In the back of my mind I kinda knew it wouldn’t happen. I have 3 challenges left on my 12 in 12, a story that had finally got people talking and asking me questions to learn about the epilepsy condition, and I couldn’t complete them. I currently have a ‘pending’ next to each 3 challenges. So I have no direction.
When we train for a race as a goal it pulls us along. You’re accountable to it. It gives us that purpose. I know some people find it easy to train, just because, but there are some of us who need that push off the back of something else. I’m one of those people! I need a goal, I need a finish line to push too. Are you like me? Need a goal to get going? Phew! Glad I’m not alone in this. What can you do?
Virtual fitness friends have been my biggest help. As many know I’m part of the Echelon community. I meet up on rides with fellow riders and I’m accountable to them, it gives me a putpose
Races are still getting cancelled, and solo virtual challenges just haven’t done it for me. So find a small social distanced specific race. They are out there. Better yet, book something for 2021 and map out your training out now.
Do something different
If you can’t achieve what you want in a certain sport area, change it. Try something different. I focused on yoga and achieving new goals there, even decided to do my yoga instructor training.
Back to basics
Use this time for drills. We focused on mastering brick sessions and how quick I could get out a wetsuit! Sounds silly, but seriously that new ‘get better at racing’ focus has been so welcomed.
Adapt it – we’ll be back soon
This is short, we’ll be back, so use your previous race focus on becoming better at it. Strip back your challenges, look at drills, perfecting your running technique, work on building core stability, find virtual accountability friends. We have got this, so use this time well.