Extrinsic Motivation

Reaching month 3 of lockdown meant that it was 4 months since our last event. The volume of training therefore went down quite steeply as the call to be prepared to run any distance at all for what seemed like a longer and longer time seemed to be near silent. Running events we were psyching ourselves up to for months were postponed indefinitely or cancelled.

It’s at times like these when external (extrinsic) motivations can really help. Groups of friends keeping everyone up with their latest 3-figure distance accomplishments – whether that be over weeks or months.

For June we both signed up to cover distances as part of the Ultra Challenge ‘Boost it for June’ virtual event.

For me this meant having to push a decent distance 5x a week – basically a jolly enhancement to my work-week that necessitated waking up earlier. Still not particularly early mind you – just earlier than rolling out of bed a 5-to-9 to log in.

Having this extra bit of motivation helped me actually get up and get some decent miles in over the month – especially as the event allowed you to log your activity through a Strava group, so knowing the results were being published up there meant there was a step that one felt obliged to log the committed distance.

As it starts to look more likely that we won’t be seeing any in-person events this side of autumn in the UK – perhaps a few more more virtual community events could be the answer to keeping us all logging the higher mileages throughout the summer!

(PS – remember to stay hydrated!)

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