How to Stay Motivated When Your Race is Cancelled

*[Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now]

Because of the Corona Virus so many spring races have been cancelled or postponed. It’s really felt like dominos falling!

Just this past past week we’ve learned that the Boston Marathon will be moving to mid-September and London will be early October. And given the seriousness of the Covid-19 virus it’s important to take these safety precautions. Cancelling large events and social gatherings can save lives by flattening the curve of infection.

But what do you do now that your race is cancelled?

How to Stay Motivated When Your Race is Cancelled or Postponed

Here are some practical ways to cope:

  • Take time to be disappointed.
  • Remember your “why”. (See our 10th anniversary episode).
  • Limit your time on social media if it’s increasing your anxiety.
  • Remember that running 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
  • 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. Also, I keep looking for smaller races that aren’t likely to be cancelled. –posted by Yali W. in the Academy

How to adjust your training:

Here is a question from Kim that captures what many runners are thinking,

Hi, Are you guys going to talk about what we should do in terms of training  when a marathon is postponed 1 or 2 months later? Should we simply go back 1 or 2 months earlier in our training plan? Should we take a few days off? Should we maintain current milage every week until we’re back on training schedule? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks a lot -Kim from Quebec

Thanks for the question Kim! I recommend . . .

1. Keep running 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. There’s a lot of great core and body work exercises you can be doing even if you don’t have weights or machines.

2. If your marathon has been postponed 2+ months into the future or cancelled there’s no need to keep doing super long runs (over 16 miles) unless you want to.
Many races are offering a virtual option so if you want to take part in that you’ll need to keep your training plan going as planned. Otherwise doing 3-6 miles on your weekday runs and alternating between 8-14 miles for long runs will keep you in good shape with the ability to jump into the last few weeks of a marathon plan when the social isolating has passed.

3. Remember that your fitness level is not a waste.
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. If your race has been moved weeks or months into the future you can restart a training plan the appropriate number of weeks out.

Announcing the “Social Distancing” Virtual Run

So many people have asked us to do a virtual race in leu of the many many cancelled or postponed races this spring. So we’ve been hustling over the last few days to put an event together, complete with it’s own one-of-a-kind finisher’s medal.


Registration is open to all distances 5k and up!

Also Mentioned in this Episode

Athletic Greens -Go to and claim your special offer today – 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase.

A Trio of Conditions -great article by Dr. Justin Ross about why we get anxious when our marathon is cancelled.

Social Distancing Run -virtual event we are hosting.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply