• Dr Victor Thompson

How do runners cope with the Coronavirus this race season?




With a high chance of your races being cancelled, how do you keep your head?


Some might think:


“What is the point of training, as with competitions being cancelled my training will be wasted?”


Well, this is one way of looking at it. But one that is not that helpful. If you stop training, you will lose fitness, performance, the good mental benefits from running…. You will likely end-up in a psychological hole. Instead, my advice is to see this as an opportunity, such as one:


  • To train and prepare for a race as usual, with less pressure, as the race might be cancelled. Making the build-up less stressful. If the race goes ahead, that’s then a bonus.

  • To modify training and so it is less specifically geared for the race, with even less pressure, as the race might be cancelled. If the race goes ahead and you still want to do it, then fine. If it doesn’t, or if you choose not to to do it, that’s fine too.

  • To train differently, focusing on different aspects of your running – a different speed focus, a different hill focus, more strength, drills etc – this will give you more of a mental break from racing and likely help your performance for the next race you do.

  • To focus on events or races that are likely to go ahead – such as your local ParkRun – focus on improving your 5Km PB for the next 4 months, with a ParkRun every 2 or 3 weeks as a test.


In short, when things change, adjust. Don’t kick-off against what has changed, but is outside your control. Adapt, move on (with your running shoes attached).


(This is based on my answer to a question by Runners' World this week)

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Dr Victor Thompson

Clinical Sports Psychologist

Tel (UK): 07979 622537

help@sportspsychologist.com

member of Top Doctors - recommended Psyc

© 2020 by Dr Victor Thompson