The cancellation of many Trail Running Races, such as the Lavaredo Ultra Trail, the Ultra Trail of Mont Blanc, the Tor Des Geants and many others, have thrown the trail runners into despair. The reasons are various: the loss of the annual goals, the economic aspects, the disappointment of the cancellations and the difficulty of enrolling in the races still available … but they are not the only ones. Finally, the sense of deprivation of alternatives also adds to demotivation.
This difficult situation can be an opportunity to reflect on the approach to ultra trail running and on the real reasons that drive us to “run” the trail running competitions and in particular on our predisposition for ultra trail endurance.
It could console you the fact that Elite athletes also experience similar difficulties.
In an interview where one of the topics was “motivation”, the trail running champion Kilian Jornet underlined that: “Racing is definitely a fun thing. It’s an opportunity to measure yourself, but it’s not the ultimate goal. It’s just a tool for staying fit in a way. The ultimate goal is to run in the mountains, see the landscape and explore; to get different feelings and sensations “.
Kilian wanted to say that it is certainly important to find motivation in participating in the goal race, but this cannot be the only motivation for a male or female trail runner. An ultra trail runner must have the strength and intelligence to always find new or renewed motivations both in sport and in family and professional life.
If we share this thought, why not take a cue to find stimuli and alternative solutions to prepare for the races scheduled in Autumn.
Here are some tips:
- TRAIN TO IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE AND ENDURANCE. Focus on all those “technical” aspects that you neglected for lack of time and become a better ultra trail runner. Now that you have more time available, read and get informed, ask for help from the experts.
- DO NOT VANISH AND MAKE USELESS ALL SACRIFICATIONS MADE TILL TODAY. Demoralizing yourself for the cancellation of the races, without looking for new goals or alternatives, is useless! Focus on your energy and inventiveness and use the preparation acquired in another way: participate in a Trail Running Camps, train for a road ultra marathon or a 24h race, organize an “adventure” multi-stage tour in the mountains on one of the Alte Vie with friends, etc. By doing so, you do not throw away what has been built up over the months and you prepare to be stronger in Autumn or for next year’s races. The British use this term “Consistency”, which in Italian we can translate into: “Stay focused” and “Don’t give up”!
- SET SMALL TARGETS AND REWARD YOURSELF. Get organized, set new goals, compete with yourself overcoming your limits. For example, plan a multi-stage session on a new path; set a record on a trail track you already know; perform a night workout staying out until dawn, etc. When you have achieved your goals … reward yourself!
- MAKE A PLAN FROM NOW TO THE END OF THE YEAR. Analyze which races are still available, which ones you could run, when you could re-start your preparation for the next ultra trail 2021 knowing that competitions > 100K require at least 6-8 months of training.
- POSITIVITY CALLS POSITIVITY. Surround yourself with positive friends, resilient and with excellent problem-solving skills … they will help you find unexpected solutions and new motivation.
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