As the harsh but completely necessary clamp down comes into force Because of the Corona Virus, many races have been cancelled or postponed. It really does feel like the dominos will continue to fall.
I have had and will continue to have a lot of conversations with athletes around their training, their goals and the effects that perceived limited training will have on their year.
Given the seriousness of the Covid-19 virus it’s important to take these safety precautions. Cancelling large events and social gatherings can and will save lives by flattening the curve of infection.
Here’s my take on it and how to Stay Motivated When Your Race is Cancelled or Postponed
No one in living memory has any experience of dealing with these highly unusual times. The closest in history was the Spanish Flu pandemic. Because of this no one has the answers, but the world’s best scientists and minds are working collectively to find a solution.
With this is in mind it’s on you to take responsibility of how you choose to react to this unique situation that has presented itself. It’s up to you to decide how you approach the situation and what you choose to do with it.
There are equal examples of how people have reacted, both negatively and positively, the best example I can think of is how communities are coming together to support the most vulnerable within them. Another great example is the man who ran a marathon on his balcony.. It is up to us to set the bar high and lead by example of what can be achieved.
As a result, there is a silver lining to change; for athletes this may mean more time to train and increase your recovery and a move from habitual behaviours and patterns that weren’t always beneficial. Creative solutions often rise from adversity: recognise that you are strong, resilient and resourceful and attack the day.
The most common question though from my athletes is what do you do now that your race is cancelled?
Here are some practical ways to cope:
Take time to be disappointed.
Remember your “why”. You train because you enjoy all of the benefits that are associated with it, Healthier, stronger, the routine, the challenge, the ‘feel good’ factor
Limit your time on social media if it’s increasing your anxiety.
Remember that training is a boost to your physical and mental health and is good for the immune system.
If your race has been cancelled or postponed keep in the rhythm of your normal training cycle, races will return and the question you will want to be able to answer then is did you make the most out of this situation.
Readjust your training focused on a future race/goal.
I keep telling myself that the training is what helps me stay strong, not the race itself. The race is a celebration of all the hard work, but that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate in other ways.
How to adjust your training:
1. Keep training the normal number of days per week. Staying in a consistent rhythm is very important during times of uncertainty. The same goes for strength training. Even if you can’t go to the gym look for workouts online that you can do at home. I have spent the past weekend writing more than 50 new Strength and Conditioning sessions for my athletes that can be done at home without and without equipment. There’s always a choice that we can make.
2. If your race has been postponed 2+ months into the future or cancelled there’s no need to keep doing super long sessions unless you want to.
3. Remember that if you stay motivated, consistent and focused on the process and not the outcome then when the races are released you will be ahead of everyone else that hasn’t.
4. Get more sleep
Self-isolation can be a great time to catch up on some well-deserved sleep. Set your alarm for a specific time every night to make sure to get your 8+ hours. This will improve mood, boost your traiing performance and will help you feel refreshed every day.
5. Use this time to address your ‘limiters’ now is a wonderful opportunity to address the weakness’s that you’ve ignoring, now is the time to develop strength, conditioning, flexibility, that you normally wouldn’t have had the chance too.
6. Remember that your fitness level is not a waste. You have worked hard to get to this point, are you going to throw it all away? The physical and mental strength that you’ve built is a great resource during a time of stress. If you stay focused the extra weeks or months of training is only going to be of benefit to you with your running goals.
It can actually be a good thing to have extra weeks in your training cycle. This can be an opportunity to go into your race even more prepared and stronger than your competition who have let things slide or found an excuse to not train.