Motivation can be a fickle thing at the best of times but when you're confined to your house 23 hours a day and all your races are being cancelled left, right and centre, it can be damn near non existent.
That's why right now it's so important, to set beneficial goals that you can work on while in lockdown. Which means that when this is all over (and it will be all over eventually), you'll come out of it, refreshed and raring to go, instead of needing several weeks easing back in before you're ready to hit the trails.
SMART goals have been around for donkey's years and are peddled by everyone from self help books to business seminars and for good reasons. They work. If you've not heard of SMART Goals before it stands for
Set a goal that is targeted and something you can do from or near home, such as increasing hamstring flexibility or running a mile loop in a particular time. It’s easier to stick to something when you know exactly what it is your working towards!
This point is so important, measuring your goal doesn’t have to be about putting pressure on yourself to do a PB. It's just about being able to accurately track progress. Make your goal as easy as possible to measure. If core strength is a weakness, you could set your goal to reach a two minute plank, rather than to find planks easier.
This is about being motivated towards your goal and ensuring that it's something you can achieve. That doesn’t mean setting easy targets. In fact, this should encourage you to do the opposite. Set yourself a goal that you may not know exactly how to reach but you feel is possible, you will be more focused on making the ‘how’ happen.
Ensure though that you have everything that you need to accomplish that goal already, there's no point in saying you'll run every day on a treadmill if you don't have a treadmill or that you want to squat 100kg if you don't have a barbell.
Do you want it? Really ask yourself that question. I’ve said it before, but if the goal is not relevant to you and does not belong to you, you will not work as hard to achieve it and you may not enjoy it. Trail running is awesome but it can also be really hard. Make it easier on yourself by setting your own personal goals, not being led by what other people are doing. Right now instagram and facebook is full of people giving workout tips and challenges, these are great if they align with your goals but don't be sucked in if it's not something you truly care about.
Normally the deadline we have for goals like these are a race. "I want to be ready for this marathon on this date", but it doesn't have to be that way. Instead work in four to six week blocks, and set yourself a goal that you can achieve in that time. Having a ‘deadline’ will often make you take your goal more seriously, so make sure you give yourself a time scale to work with. Think carefully about what you can honestly do with your time but also give yourself a sense of urgency.
Set yourself one or two SMART goals this week and work on them religiously for four to six weeks. You'll be amazed at the progress you can make and what's more you'll fly once you finally hit those trails.