Longer, warmer days are back meaning more time to get outside and get working on those goals you’ve been plotting all winter! Whether you’re taking on a long distance run, keen to conquer a Strava challenge, or preparing for a unique adventure in the mountains, we are on hand to help you go the distance.
First things first - there’s nothing like a new item of kit to help put a spring in your step! Our lighter layers this season have also been especially engineered from fabric to stitch with the ultimate goal of maximising your performance on the trail. Choose from breathable, lightweight base layers, technical fleeces and protective, packable waterproof jackets.
For those in need of more motivation to get moving, keep reading to hear from our team of athletes to get their advice and tips that will help you to push yourself further this season…
Brandon Johanns | Ultra Runner & Skier
During a big training block or a week that I'm upping my mileage, I try to mix up my training by running new trails, creating fun running games, or by running with a friend! If I get bored running the same local trails I'll often head down valley or cruise to the desert to explore new places to run. During a typical winter in Crested Butte, all the trails are buried under snow, forcing me to run on roads. During a Sunday long run last winter, I decided to run up and down every street in town. The ‘every street challenge’ turned a Sunday slog into an engaging and fun challenge!
Some days I just need a buddy to run and chat with. It's a great way to catch up with your friends and encourages you to run at a conversation pace which supports your aerobic base. If my friends aren't free to run, I'll pop on a podcast or listen to a book on tape! Running should be fun! If it starts to feel like a chore, mix it up!
Katy Parrott | Endurance Athlete
I love the feeling of pushing my physical and mental limits, so I purposely sign up for events and adventures that scare me a little. This slight fear then provides me with the motivation I need to get out to train and prepare, especially on those days when I’d like to stay in bed instead (let’s face it, we all have those occasionally!). I have signed up to the iconic Montane Dragon’s Back Race this year, which genuinely terrifies me, but excites me in equal measure. It will be my longest ultra to date, so I’ll be exploring new limits.
Knowing why I am taking on a challenge also helps to keep me on track and focused. I am currently also training for an Ironman in August, in memory of a teammate we lost climbing Broad Peak last year. Everyone will have a very different ‘why’, and ‘challenge’ is relative, so it’s important to keep hold of your personal reasons and goals. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Surrounding myself with like-minded and inspirational people is also the ultimate motivation. Find others who champion you, pick you up when it gets tough and support whatever challenge you want to take on next!
Howard Dracup | Ultra Runner
There are so many cool little ways to take on challenges these days! One of my favorite weekly challenges is on the Strava App! You can enter groups like the Montane Strava club and see how your running efforts are going amongst quite a big group of people - this includes your distance covered over the span of a week and/or vertical height gain! I personally prefer the height gain. If you don’t quite fancy that challenge then there are things called “segments” on most routes and you can see how well you place on that. You can also see who’s the quickest that day - not just of all time.
Then there’s the local legend status too! You can also make your own segments. Each month Strava releases challenges for you to join; all you need to do is enter the challenge, distance or elevation and then get running and see how high up on the leaderboard you can get - this is across the whole world and has hundreds of thousands of people participating. I find it quite motivating entering these challenges and seeing how high I can get on the leaderboard each month.
Victoria Thompson | Ultra Runner
214 of the hills in the Lake District (UK) are called ‘Wainwrights’ and they are collated into 7 books. I’ve challenged myself to run each book in 2 days, carrying everything I need with me. Most recently, I completed ‘The Far Eastern Fells’ (90km, 5750m vert). I really enjoy sitting down and planning the optimum route! Should you choose more distance over elevation? Where could you stop to fill up water? Will I get blisters? Follow a path, or straight-line it across bogs/rocky sections? These are all questions that I have to consider.
No matter the distance, or size of the challenge, I find that I always learn something new about myself when I’m out running. For me, that’s good motivation to get out and about!
Marie Cheng | Trail Runner
We are definitely spoiled for choice for challenge options these days and there are many more quirky and off-the-beaten track options cropping up alongside your traditional bucket list challenges! Whatever the challenge that you choose, I would say to stay motivated you need to work out and always remember “your why” for doing it.
Whether your challenge is running your first ultramarathon or perhaps you’re doing “couch to 5k”, or maybe you’ve picked to run 1k everyday for 1 month; the whole idea of a challenge is that you’re pushing yourself to do things out of your comfort zone and that will mean that you will always have good and bad days.
But it’s on your bad days - when you’re tired, it’s raining buckets, or it’s blowing a mini gale, that if you can keep hold of why you’re doing it in your head, I find it a lot easier to keep myself motivated to train!
The other thing that helps me a lot when training is accountability. Find yourself an accountability partner and that can be as easy as saying to a friend or family, I’m going to tag you or send you a screenshot of all my runs. And make sure you pick someone who will keep you honest!
More motivation this way…
Not got any goals lined up and looking for ideas? Good news, we’ve got some great suggestions! Don’t miss our spring Strava challenge this month - your chance to win new Montane kit worth £300, as well as the ultimate challenge - a place on this year's Montane Dragon’s Back Race. Enter to find out more and get involved.