Running

I’m an Olympic Runner—Here’s How I’m Staying Motivated Now That the Olympics Are Postponed

Zoe Weiner

Zoe WeinerSeptember 2, 2020

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On March 24, when the Olympic Committee announced that the 2020 games would be postponed until the summer of 2021, Team USA track and field star Allyson Felix gave herself a minute mourn the loss. “I had to take a little bit of time to grieve that the journey isn’t going to look like how I imagined it,” she says. “And then pick up the pieces and keep moving.”

With competitions on pause for the foreseeable future, Felix, who was the 2012 Olympic champion in track and field (plus a three-time World Champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist), has had to change up her routine in a major way. “Not having a track to train on and not having a supportive community of teammates around has been really challenging,” she says, adding that she’s recently found herself sprinting on trails, empty fields, or up and down her own street. “Not having races has also been a really bizarre feeling. As a runner, you really thrive off of the competition of someone next to you. This made me focus on myself and really pushing myself.”

While Felix’s workouts may look different during quarantine than they do when she’s training for her next big race, she’s still approaching them with the same mindset. “I’m trying to look at quarantine as a time to get better. I want to come out on the other side better in all ways, and so just really trying to embrace the journey.”

Though she may be a decorated Olympian, Felix has still struggled to find running motivation during this weird and complicated time. “With the Olympics being postponed an entire year, it feels really far, so I’ve been trying to break down my big goals into smaller weekly goals,” she says. “I’ve also tried to be sure that I’m being kind to myself, because I’m not going to feel great every day, and that’s okay. I’ll have days when I’m off or need to take more time for myself or feel like I’m failing in certain areas, but being able to pick myself up and regroup and not let that takeover has been really important.”

If you’re one of the many people who has turned to running to get you through quarantine—whether for the first time or the thousandth—Felix has some words of advice. “Start where you are and don’t feel like you have to overdo it,” she says. “The amazing thing about running is that you can do what you can and continue to build, because we all have to start somewhere. Everyone can have a different relationship with running, whether it’s therapy or a way to challenge yourself, and there’s something so healing about it.”

And one more thing Felix has done during quarantine? Launched a collection with Athleta, which you can shop below—and run in for as many miles as you please.

Shop now: Legend Zip Front Bra A-C, $69

Shop now: Legend Mesh 7/8 Tight, $109

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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