April Vesey running along Beach Drive past the Oak Bay Marina on her way to a sub 2 hour half marathon


Now that we are going on a year without racing here in Canada, and as races continue to be postponed and/or cancelled I can see that it is becoming harder and harder for athletes to commit to training programs and schedules.

I have watched many athletes lose some of their “mojo” for training as the pandemic has carried on. I don’t blame them. Many, if not most, athletes like having a deadline or destination for their training. Races are usually that destination. As we head into another summer of uncertainty, we can all see that glimmering flame of races starting to die out as case counts continue to rise.

So what to do when there are no races? Commit to something! It sounds easy enough, but in reality it needs to be something that you aren’t quite sure you can accomplish. Making your goal easy won’t get you up and push you out the door for those workouts that you KNOW you have to do, but might not feel like doing.

Once you have picked a goal or challenge, tell people about it. Make yourself accountable! Encourage others to join you on your quest. Breaking a certain time in the pool, or on the road, tackling a certain amount of climbing in a day, it can even be something crazy like the Yeti Challenge (we had a couple of athletes tackle this one). Pick something that is within the realm of possibility, BUT only if you commit to it and the training that it will take to achieve it.

We recently had a couple of athletes on Human Powered Racing wanting to break certain times for a half marathon. They set this goal for themselves in November. Seeing as there were no “in person” running races we set it out as a team goal to have a team only event and see if we could get these athletes under their goal times. They committed, they told us all what the goal was and they inspired us to be a part of the process with them. Yesterday both athletes came in under their goal times and it was truly rewarding to see their commitment rewarded.

Now is the time to pick a goal and COMMIT. Having something to keep you motivated and on track might just be the ticket to having you at the top of your game when the pandemic ends and races resume.