Race Cancelled? 8 ways to keep training & stay motivated

Race Cancelled? 8 ways to keep training & stay motivated

While the entire world is grappling with COVID-19 the running fraternity globally is struggling to come to terms with the fact that the goal races we’ve been working hard towards have either been postponed or cancelled. 

Last week I wrote an article that resonated with a lot of people about running in uncertain times

While the fallout from this pandemic will only be fully known years from now, it’s important to try and keep some sense of normality in our lives. 

For many of us our work and homelife has been upended but the one thing we can do is run..

...I wanted to follow that article up with some practical tips and advice to keep you training and motivated so that when normality (Whatever that actually means right now) returns, you’re not having to start from scratch.

Here are 8 things you can do to keep you running and motivated during the COVID19 pandemic:


1. Chase Strava Segments

If you’re not on Strava, now is a great time to get on. Strava is the athletes social media platform which allows you to follow what your running mates are up to. 

One of the awesome features within Strava is segments. You’ll notice on your running routes there are sections or segments where you can track your times compared to others over time. 

The ultimate segment goal would be to own a KOM or King of the Mountain. Target a segment or two on your route, get out there and smash them as hard as you can. (While you're on Strava, makes sure you come and hang out with us)


2. Watch inspirational running movies and documentaries

I love a good running documentary and it seems the runners I’m in contact with on Facebook and Twitter do too. 

On Saturday I asked for suggestions and was flooded with replies. Here are a few of the inspirational movies and documentaries that were recommended:

Where Dreams Go To Die

Britney Runs a Marathon

Man on a Mission

Run For Your Life

Town of Runners

The Athlete 

The Why 

INEOS 1:59 Challenge Live

3. Enter a Virtual Race

Virtual races have been around for many years and now is the perfect time to try one out if you haven’t. 

At a time like this it’s a great way to train alone, together. Here at Coach Parry we’ve just launched our very own virtual race series. It gives you the chance to ‘run’ in downtown New York and ‘see’ the sights of the Big Apple you may never get to see on foot. 

You can discover more about and sign up for our City Series - New York virtual race by clicking here.

4. Start a Run Streak

Nothing breeds consistency more than consistency itself. Seeing how many consecutive days you can run without missing a day is a fantastic way to stay motivated too. 

The danger of course is that you’re not allowing your body to rest so on your regular rest days it’s important to not do too much. A kilometer or two every single day is more than enough to keep a streak going.


5. Work on your weaknesses (Or strength)

If you can’t get out and run as much as you’d like, this is a great time to work on your weaknesses. For most runners, overall strength tends to be a weakness. 

Building overall strength will not only make you a better runner when things return to normal but it will also help you avoid injuries. 

If you’re looking for a strength plan that you can do at home with no expensive gym equipment needed then this one that our S&C coach, Shona Hendricks, has put together will be perfect.

6. Stay in touch with your running mates

For many of us, our running group are also our friends. They are the people we see a few time a week and we spend hours together with them on the road or trail. 

Now that we’re doing our best to isolate ourselves to stop the Coronavirus from spreading, we no longer have that social interaction. 

If you don’t have one yet start a whatsapp group and stay in touch. Hold each other accountable and motivate each other.

Also, check-in with people to make sure they’re ok. We’re all in this together and it’s up to each of us to look out for one another.

7. Work on your speed


As mentioned in the point about working on your weaknesses, this is a fabulous time to work on getting faster. The best way to do this is over the 5km or 10km distance.

Improving your times over these distances now will serve you well when things do return to normal (and they will). 

This is the perfect time to get onto a structured training plan, that includes the right balance between the harder, higher intensity runs and the slower, aerobic longer runs. 

The Coach Parry Parkrun Powerup is ideal if you want to improve your 5km times, while the 10km Training Roadmap is what you’d use to get faster over 10km. 

8. Get hold of a treadmill


I’ll be the first person to admit that running on a treadmill is not my favourite pastime. But desperate times call for desperate measures. 

If you’re forced to run indoors, running on a treadmill beats no running every single time. If you’re lucky to have one, fire up your favourite music playlist and crank up the volume. (I also find that watching running documentaries help pass the time)

If you don’t have a treadmill, I know there are a lot of local, privately owned gyms that have been forced to close their doors. Give your local gym a call and ask if they’d be willing to hire one to you while they’re out of commission.

Doing that not only keeps you running but also supports a local business at a time when they need it most.

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