Are you an athlete that enjoys competing in races and events? For many, races and events provide convenient goals to train towards. Even if we are process-oriented and focused on small improvements to maintain our health and fitness, races and events are often a fun and structured way to test our progress.

And participation in races and events often delivers us into an amazing and supportive community of like-minded individuals. We get to hang out with “our tribe” when racing and preparing to race!

With many races and events canceled or postponed, and an uncertain fate for those scheduled over the rest of this year, what to do?

Solutions can be broken into satisfying two needs: 1. goal setting and accomplishment and 2. social interaction and acceptance within a community. Some goals can be set to satisfy both, and there’s often the option to set more than one goal to pursue at a time.

Races are unique – with a group of people are endeavoring against the same obstacles and challenges – we get a lift from our comrades and competitors. Best times often happen at races! But goals of “winning”, “placing” or “qualifying” are entirely based on the composition of the field. The trouble with these goals, even in normal times, is that the outcome lies not entirely within our own control.

So, let’s consider goals that are entirely within our control, yet satisfy our need for accomplishment and/or community. You can instantly create a community by getting a friend to simultaneously pursue the same goal as you! Here’s some examples:

One-time

  • Execute X unassisted pull-ups (or push-ups or burpees)
  • Set a maximum lift PR for squat (or deadlift or press)
  • Set time PR for running 1-mile (or 2-mile or 5k or 10k)
  • Set power PR for biking 1-minute (or 5-minutes or 1-hour)
  • Set time PR for biking 20k (or 40k)
  • Seek out a new Strava or Garmin segment and set a new PR
  • Draw a picture on Strava with your route!
  • Compete in a virtual race or challenge (there are many available)

Cumulative (measured over a month, perhaps)

  • Run 40 miles per week (or 10 or 20 or 80)
  • Bike 5 days this week (or 2 or 7)
  • Strength train 12 times (or 5 or 20)
  • Climb on the bike or on foot 10,000 feet (or 50,000)
  • Complete 2 hours of yoga per week (or 1 or 5)
  • Paddle or Hike 5 times this month (or 2 or 10)

Lifestyle (create a new habit)

  • Sleep at least 8 hours per night, or ensure lights out by a certain time every night
  • Drink at least 1/2 body weight in water (ounces per pounds)
  • Declutter/organize the house, one room per day or week
  • Write and mail 2 letters, or call 2 old friends, per week
  • Plant and grow at least two vegetables that you normally buy at the grocery
  • Weekly: Start a new book, try a new recipe, sew a mask, meditate, etc.

Some of these goals may not require any planning or training – call them low-hanging fruit – just go and do it. Others may require preparation or training to accomplish, giving you the space to create a plan, train and then set a date to go for it (yes, kinda like a race). Put it on the calendar, share your intention with others (invite them to join virtually) and even establish a reward!

The list is not exhaustive, but you get the idea – let this unexpected change be an opportunity to re-frame how you choose to live. Chances are you will discover something new and interesting about yourself… which may simply be how much you really enjoy participating in live events and races! But in the meantime, enjoy the benefits of setting goals you can still control.

Looking for some help and support? Email lana@lbendurance for a free 15-minute consultation; you’ll end the call with some new goals to chase!