at the races Team Canada runners, Rachel Cliff and Reid Coolsaet, on setting goals and...

Team Canada runners, Rachel Cliff and Reid Coolsaet, on setting goals and staying motivated in a virtual world

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Photo courtesy Bill Torres

With in-person running events being cancelled or going virtual, it can be hard to set running goals and stay motivated. Team Canada runners, Rachel Cliff and Reid Coolsaet, share their tips for doing both and, why supporting Canadians living with MS by participating in events like MS Run Presented by Running Room matter.

Rachel Cliff

Rachel Cliff has been representing Canada on the international stage since 2013. This year, she had hoped to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but with a cancelled competitive season, her schedule has shifted. “I took some time off in April to reset and have been building up mileage and base training over the summer.”

What tips do you have for runners to stay motivated during a virtual event?

Think of all the other people racing the virtual challenge across Canada. You might not be with them physically but it’s still very motivating to imagine people across the country doing the same thing as you.

Why are you joining MS Run and supporting Canadians living with MS?

My uncle has multiple sclerosis. Our families grew up very close, we lived literally one block from each other and his daughters, my cousins, are similar in age and are good friends. I’ve seen the significant impact MS has on daily life and understand how critical fundraising and further research is in the fight against the disease.

What advice do you have to help runners set and reach their running goals?

Consistency is key – be patient and smart when increasing your volume. Try to develop a consistent schedule that shows gradual increasing in volume and/or intensity and schedules in rest weeks as well.

What advice do you have for experienced runners to help them stay motivated and work toward their goals without a traditional finish line?

It’s sad we can’t race together in person but one positive thing that’s come out of the pandemic is how strong the virtual running community has become. Find virtual events that excite and interest you, get active on Strava to find new routes and check in with your local running store to see how their run clubs are adapting to the new virtual COVID-world.

2016 Olympic Games Rio De Janeiro, Brazil August 12-21, 2016 Photo: Victah Sailer@PhotoRun Victah1111@aol.com 631-291-3409 www.photorun.NET

Reid Coolsaet

Two-time Olympic marathoner and 14-time Canadian champion, Reid Coolsaet, is a frequent face at fan-favourite running events around the world. Through COVID-19 Reid has adjusted his training, “I’ve backed off my training to be able to recover more. I’m maintaining a base level of fitness so I can be ready to increase my training once a race opportunity presents itself.”

What tips do you have for runners to stay motivated during a virtual event?

Pick a reasonable goal knowing that you won’t have competition and the same race atmosphere to push you. See it as a benchmark/bridge for your big goals that will come later.

Why are you joining MS Run and supporting Canadians living with MS?

One of Canada’s top distance runners has multiple sclerosis and still sets master’s road records. I’ve known him for about 20 years, and he’s had MS for over 10 years.

What advice do you have to help runners set and reach their running goals?

Pick a goal that excites you and gives you motivation. Then figure out what you need to do in training to achieve that goal. Having training partner(s) and/or coach can go a long way in terms of accountability and direction.

What advice do you have for experienced runners to help them stay motivated and work toward their goals without a traditional finish line?

Focus on improving some aspects of your running that you might normally neglect. Pick a new distance or a new challenge. Maybe it’s running a local hill x number of times or running longer than you ever have before or racing a shorter race, like a 1500m.

On Saturday, September 12, unite with runners from across Canada toward the ultimate finish line – a world free of MS.

Click here to sign up today

#WeChallengeMS

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