Staying motivated during Covid-19

Mental fatigue has set in. Ugh. I don't know about you, but I'm over it. I want to go to a race. I want to have a party. I want...things to be normal. But they're not. So I'm grinding through it, just like you.

How do we keep our edge? The world hasn't stopped. Just our little corner of endurance sports. And it is normal to lose motivation when the goal line has disappeared. Big sigh.

Working out with friends (at a social distance, of course) has been helping tremendously. I may not be going as far or as hard as I could or would in normal circumstances, but it's something.

Reconnecting with my athletic roots has helped. Why did I get into athletics in the first place? It was to hang out with my friends. Speed and competition came after that, not before.

The available virtual events have given me a boost. I ran in a local series of virtual runs, and just competed in a virtual masters meet with a few of my USMS teammates. That was fun, and made me work hard! For those of you with more competitive tendencies, committing yourself to a seasonal virtual goal will definitely help.

We have been hosting a weekly strength and conditioning class online, and I've discovered a ton of great youtube hosts with excellent yoga, Pilates, and HIIT classes.

Most of you reading this newsletter have the luxury of living with first world problems. Anytime you start to get down about the worldwide situation, remember how much better you have it than many/most.

Stay safe, stay fit, and remember, racing will return. Unhindered group workouts will return. Normalcy will return! When you need to, take yourself for a walk in the woods, take a deep breath, and keep on keeping on.

Marty Gaal, CSCS, is a USA Triathlon coach who lives in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Marty has been coaching endurance athletes since 2002. You can read more about OSB coaching services at

One Step Beyond is the producer of the Powerstroke®: Speed through force and form freestyle technique DVD, intended to help new to intermediate triathlon swimmers become faster and more powerful in the water.