Motivation - not only in Covid-19 times


July, 2020


By Janine Jung


At the beginning of the year we all probably didn't want to believe that the corona virus would hit us too and suddenly all the planned competitions would not take place. But this is exactly how it happened now in 2020. And even if there are still some competitions on the agenda, we all have to accept the fact that maybe there won't be a competition this year after all.

At the start of the Corona period you could read a lot of blog entries about how to train correctly for the coming months to improve weaknesses. But the longer Corona lasted, the more entries you could read about motivation and how to keep it up in this very uncertain time.

It was only through these entries and conversations with my trainer, Astrid, and my partner that I realized that at no time did I really have a real low motivation for triathlon training. This made me think, why am I still motivated although I don't expect to have a competition this year? I think it can be reduced to a few points, which I would like to write down here.

1. To become aware of why you enjoy sport in the first place


What made me start triathlon in the first place? I have been doing competitive sports for a long time and then I had the classic break-off, from 100% to zero and therefore unfortunately an unhealthy lifestyle. There was nothing left of the athletic person I used to be. 10 years after the end of my "sports career", the joy of movement and the enjoyment of nature suddenly came back with my first racing bike. And as so often, a bet led to my first triathlon competition. Like many others. This then led to my first 70.3. The feeling of competition is simply a dream, but it is not only the competition that inspires me to train. It is much more to feel how my body develops back to the way I knew it from the past: sporty and reliable. And it is exactly this development of my body that gives me the motivation to continue training every day, no matter if there is a competition or not. I can finally look at myself in the mirror again for 10 years now and am satisfied and proud of my body. And I wouldn't want to miss this feeling anymore, and Corona can't take this away from me either.

In the mountains

Photograph by Janine Jung

2. See advantages


Does the current situation have any positive aspects? Yes, there are, in fact. 😊 In my case, the home office eliminated two hours of travel to work and I was able to train more. This is something I always wanted to do and now I had the opportunity to do it without changing everything. This privilege would not have happened without Corona and such an opportunity should be welcomed with a kiss. Think positive.

So Corona only "stole" the last 5% and fortunately we still have the privilege to exercise and enjoy nature in its full beauty.

3. The training helps to structure the day


In the uncertain time with home office and the loss of the daily structure, the training helped me to keep a structure. Additionally, I had something to look forward to every day. And yes, it wasn't the swimming, but luckily there is still running and cycling. So we can still choose. In addition, there was of course the effect that sport in general simply helps to forget the bad news for a few hours.

Janine Jung

Photograph by Janine Jung

4. Having a coach


Ich war schon immer der Überzeugung, dass ich die Fortschritte nur dank meiner großartigen Trainerin mache. Und während Corona wurde mir dies noch bewusster. Wenn der Trainingstag geplant ist und man nicht überlegen muss was man machen soll, dass motiviert schon gewaltig und der Schweinehund verschwindet auch von ganz allein. Schliesslich will man im wöchentlichen Update was zu erzählen haben. Und wenn jemand ganz tolle Wege findet das Training abwechslungsreich zu gestalten, dann ein Coach. Mit dem Nebeneffekt, dass man sich auch noch verbessert 😊.

Set new targets, e.g. work off your bucket list


Since I started with the road bike, there have been a few tracks I always wanted to do. But 2 years ago I didn't think I could do them physically or last year they would have competed with the competition preparation. But this year I was fit enough and I didn't have to have a bad conscience when I did a unit that probably didn't work out that well in terms of training but gave me a lot of fun. And so it happened that my coach and I built these rides into my training plan. So there was my first long pass ride, my first day with >8 hours on the bike and my first bike packing tour. Experiences that I will probably never forget so quickly! Of course I did not miss the chance to do a 5km test run. I simply noticed how much I had developed and wanted to put this "in writing". Without further ado I organized a friend who served as a pace maker. And whoosh, there came up nervousness and almost a little bit of competition feeling.

All these points have led me personally to the fact that I have practically never had motivation problems or asked myself the question why I do this at all. Sure, this does not mean that I started every interval training with joy 😉. But I know this feeling also at normal times. I also miss the competitions, but I would have missed the training much more if I had not been allowed to do this anymore. So Corona only "stole" the last 5% and fortunately we still have the privilege to move and enjoy nature in its full beauty. And when the competition is coming up again, I will probably enjoy it even more than before!