4 Motivation Tips For Trying Times

4 Motivation Tips For Trying Times

To say that motivation is in short supply for runners these days would be an understatement. Races are cancelled, and more races are likely to be cancelled. We are in the midst of winter. It’s cold. It’s dark. Most clubs aren’t meeting. There’s a global pandemic. You get the idea.

So where do we go for motivation when it’s low, and how do we make sure it sticks? Motivation can help get us started, but consistency will keep us going.

1. Find Friends Who Will Push You

  • Try seeking an old teammate, classmate, or former coworker that may not even be in the same city as you. This can be a time to reconnect with like-minded people across the country. I have a friend and accountability partner in Colorado. We are doing virtual challenges together 1000 miles apart. The pandemic can physically separate us temporarily, but it shouldn’t be a reason to train in solitude.
  • Tell your friends your goals, because it will hold you more accountable. Ask your friends their goals, and find common ground. When we share our aspirations, we are more likely to follow through.

2. Put Structure To Your Chaos

  • Whatever your goals in 2021 are, if you make them tangible and measurable they’re more likely to become a reality.
  • I log my days with a habit tracker like the spreadsheet pictured below. What I like about this is it tracks the process toward my goals, not necessarily the end goal itself. When we fall in love with the process rather than the end goal, we’ll be better for it. Yours may not take the same shape as the one below, but when we begin tracking progress it builds future momentum.
Date Make Bed # of Pushups Exercise Meditation Writing # Items Decluttered Piano Notes



3. Use Media as a Tool to Motivate

  • Find a podcast that correlates with your lifestyle goals. One of my favorites is The Rich Roll Podcast. He touches on health, fitness, nutrition, and an array of other topics.
  • Use social media as a tool rather than a distraction. The “mute” feature on Instagram and the “unfollow” feature on Facebook are great ways to clean up your feed. Tailor your content to educate rather than distract. There are so many educational opportunities on social media when we move away from mindlessly scrolling. Be intentional with who you follow and what you see. Using gray scale on your phone can help make the phone less appealing if you do have a social media addiction. Screen time monitoring and screen time limits can help keep you aware as well. Find your why for yourself, not for others. Social media is a tool; it shouldn’t be a primary motivator.
  • Don’t depend on music, but use music to get you going. Aftershokz are a great headphone option that uses bone conduction technology so you can still hear your surroundings while exercising outdoors. It’s open-ear listening is better for your health too!

4. Join a Training Program

  • This year, Athletic Annex is offering a free training program for runners starting in late January. This 14 week training program is tailored to the beginner, intermediate, or advanced runner and/or walker. This year it is virtual, but there are a lot of perks including prescriptive training, a motivating group, and expert training advice. Check their website or email luke@athleticannex.com for details.

Feel free to share how you’re staying motivated and tag @MononTrackClub on Instagram or Facebook. Be active, stay healthy, and keep on the lookout for an MTC event coming in March! Here’s to 2021.

- Words by Luke Tormoehlen, Photograph by Garrett Lawton