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Finding motivation to train through Strava and other apps

If you're in a training rut, turn to a tracking app to help you out

We don’t blame you if you’re becoming less and less motivated to train these days. In a normal year, when spring arrives, it means races are on their way. Races are your reward for training hard all winter, even when it was freezing, dark and snowy outside. During a pandemic, though, that reward is nonexistent, and none of us have a clue when our next in-person race will be. It’s totally understandable if you’re lacking motivation right now, and one way to snap out of that funk could be to try a tracking app. We know it sounds strange, but trust us, a tracking app could give you just what you need to get back to being excited for training. 

Tracking in general 

If you’ve never used a tracking app before, then simply recording your runs might be enough to excite you in training. It can be easy to get bogged down if you’re unsure of the time, your pace or your total distance in every run. Using an app to see these stats will change the way you train, and that change could lead to newfound motivation.    

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Strava challenges and community 

On Strava, there are two main ways that you can regain your motivation to train. The first is the app’s challenge tab. Here, you can enter dozens of different virtual projects, from distance-based challenges (like running 100K in a month), to goals regarding elevation (climb 2,000m in another month) and more. 

The Strava community is another feature that could reignite your desire to train. Strava is a form of social media, and you can follow your friends, elite athletes and anyone else you can find on the app. Seeing other people’s workouts and knowing they can see yours might be what you need to get back into your pre-pandemic headspace in training. 

MapMyRun coaching 

MapMyRun is Under Armour’s run tracker, and while it has the usual features you’ll find in other running apps, the main one that could help people with low motivation is its coaching capabilities. If you have a pair of Under Armour shoes from the company’s HOVR lineup, you can connect your phone (and the MapMyRun app) to your shoes via bluetooth. Once you do that, MapMyRun will give you tips on form, cadence and more in real time, helping you become a better runner every workout. You might not be able to meet with a human coach right now because of the pandemic, but MapMyRun is here to motivate you mid-run. 

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RunGo’s routes 

You might be unmotivated to train simply because you’re bored. You’ve been training alone for over a year and likely sticking to the same few routes around your town or city. On RunGo, you can map out new routes before each run, and the app will then tell you exactly where and when to turn when you’re out and about. The app even works on trails. A change of scenery might be what you’ve been missing these past few months, and RunGo will make sure you get it without having to worry about getting lost. 

Virtual races 

While some virtual races require you to use a specific tracking app, many don’t, and as long as you use a reliable app to prove you ran the right distance, you’re set. We know that virtual racing will never replace in-person events, but it can still be fun, and it will give you a goal to work toward. Download a tracking app, test it out and sign up for a virtual event. Reintroducing goals into your training will almost certainly help you rediscover your motivation. 

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