ST Virtual Run: What's next for you after completing your goal?

To avoid post-race blues, plan your next goal to keep up the momentum and motivation. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Congratulations to all participants on completing The Straits Times Virtual Run! Whether it was 17.5km or 175km, you did a great job in hanging tight and pushing through despite the challenges you may have faced. You deserve a reward - be it a good meal or a new pair of shoes this Christmas.

While some may see the completion of the ST Virtual Run as achieving your running objective for the year, it could be the start of a new journey for many of you.

While this year's run was held in a way that was new to all of us - running our preferred distance, starting at our desired time and even selecting our own venue - I am glad that you have all gained the discipline and motivation to complete it.

Although you may not have had the opportunity to take part in a physical race and experience the live atmosphere with loud cheers and support along the route this year, it is something that we can all look forward to in the future and train towards.

Having learnt more about your body and running techniques through this challenge, applying the lessons to future training sessions would be beneficial and a whole new experience altogether.

So what should you work towards next?

Planning your next goal

To avoid post-race blues, plan your next goal to keep up the momentum and motivation. Clocking the same distance or duration frequently for your runs may bore you over time. Try challenging yourself with a distance or duration that you have not attempted before.

However, be patient and take small steps when you adjust your mileage to avoid injury. Doing too much too fast, without gradual progression, is an invitation for injuries.

A good way to start would be increasing your mileage within the range of 5-10 per cent from your previous week.

Other goals can be looking out for new races to join.

Find areas to improve

Review on your past running plans and your strengths and weaknesses that you may have noticed during the ST Virtual Run. Below are some questions you can ask yourself to assess and decide what to work on next.

• How is the planning of your training days and distance, is there sufficient rest in between runs?

• Did I work on my core/weak muscles or overall muscular strength?

• Did I follow my plan diligently? Work on being more consistent with the frequency of training. Training consistently helps to maintain a certain level of fitness, instead of going into detraining.

Enjoy yourself

Many of us often get disappointed when we fail to achieve our goals. Settings goals is one of many ways to spice up your routine rather than disappoint yourself.

Enjoying the process and rewards of leading a healthy lifestyle is important. If you do not enjoy doing the activity, you will never stick with it. So try all ways to have as much fun as possible and feel free to explore different sports.

Enjoy the calorie-burning process, the sweat, the adrenaline rush. Savour the company of your family and friends.

Running should be fun, not torturous. While we are working on ourselves and our performance, do not be too ambitious or always follow what is trending on social media.

Many may attempt to follow online workouts which are similar to a professional athlete's training and get disappointed when they are not able to complete the workout.

This may, in turn, result in fear and resistance towards trying a new training programme or in the worst-scenario, result in you stopping your running.

Be mindful of the information presented to you and know that what works for someone else may not work for you. Consult a certified coach for advice when you are unsure or want to.

All of us are different and how well our bodies adapt to different stimulus will differ too and this is the Principle of Individuality.

I hope that I have been able to address most of your burning questions and concerns adequately. Thank you to all readers for joining me over the past few weeks during this year's ST Virtual Run.

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