Staying motivated in the off season can be tough – it’s hard to stay motivated when it gets cold and dark but this strategy can help you use the off season to your advantage so you can come back stronger and crush your race goals!
The off season is considered to be the time from your last race ending and 2-3 months before your next race begins. For many of us in the obstacle course racing community this is a time when we stop working out as hard (and sometimes stop all together) and find it hard to get motivated to workout. For most racers when the last race ends your body needs a break and time to recover, so you rest, as you should. But more times than not that rest period grows longer and longer and before you know it you’re back on the couch eating chips and cookies watching the new Disney app and blowing off your workout. Race season seems very far away but time really does go by fast.
But having a strategy and an off season training plan can help you stay motivated and race day won’t sneak up on you. Instead you’ll be ready and will get to the start line ready to crush your goals!
Here are the four steps that I use and that I use with my clients when creating a training plan for next year’s race season:
1) Sit down and think about what went well this past race season – what did you accomplish that you’re proud of? Maybe you ran your first Spartan Race (and didn’t die!), or maybe you got over the 7 foot wall without a boost for the first time, maybe you made it across the monkey bars or you ran more than you walked this year. Celebrate those wins no matter how small you may think they are!
2) Next think about what you would like to improve – what do you want to do better at next time? List everything – climb the rope? Get faster? Run age group? Get across the monkey bars or twister? Then take a look at your list and decide on the top TWO things you want to focus on for next year. For example – getting across twister and improving your Spartan Sprint time or Running most of the course instead of walking and being able to carry the bucket without having to put it down multiple times.
3) Take those two goals and break them down into the steps that you need to do to reach them. These steps may include specific strength exercises, working on run form and speed drills, training on hills or building up your cardio base. For example if you want to get across the monkey bars you will need to work on upper body, grip and core strength and then technique. If you want to run faster you will need to work on improving your run form to be more efficient and adding in speed/strength/hill work in addition to easy runs to your running program.
4) Once you have the goals broken down you can sit down with a calendar and create a training plan that works for your schedule. It’s important to make your schedule flexible and make sure it fits into your lifestyle. You’ll want to plan each workout and be specific, so not just “run”, instead “run 3k at an easy pace” for example. Strength workouts should include each exercise with reps and sets, each one should have a place in helping you reach your goals. For example, if you want to get across the monkey bars including grip exercises such as dead hangs and farmers carries is important. This is where you may start to feel a bit overwhelmed and unsure of what you need to do, if you would like to set up a complimentary 15 minute race training strategy call click here.
Having a race goal and creating a plan helps you stay motivated during training because you are working towards a goal and not just randomly showing up to do a workout. A plan helps you stay focused and the goal keeps you motivated to reach it. But you also need to explore why that goal is important to you. Why you want to reach your goal and how you’ll feel when you do is a key factor that will help you stay motivated on those days that you just don’t feel like working out. Having a plan and knowing why you’re doing each workout and how it will help you reach your race goals is another important thing that will help you stay on track. Knowing what you want to accomplish by the time you hit the finish line is key to helping you stay motivated during training.
If you’d like some motivation and support to stay motivated head on over and join my FREE FaceBook community – *Ladies Only* OCR Training & Run Coaching Community.
What is one of your race goals for the 2020 season?