Many runners are feeling a range of emotions right now due to cancelled races. We are all facing other stressors outside of running as well, which surely impacts our running in some ways. While some runners are choosing to take a step back and wait things out, others are continuing to train and signing up for virtual races. Both are great options! And I’m sure many are starting to think about a comeback race too!
Unfortunately at the time of this post, we don’t know how long events will continue to be cancelled and postponed due to COVID 19. With that in mind, I did my best to put together some things to consider when choosing your comeback race. If your race was cancelled, maybe you are looking for an alternative race to run. If it was postponed, maybe you are looking for something additional to train for. Either way, it helps to have something to look forward to and to focus on!
How to Choose Your Ideal Comeback Race
Plan it out far in advance
As I said, we don’t know how long this will go on for. To be safe, it’s best to choose a race at least a few months away. At the time of this post it’s mid-March, and most events are cancelled through mid-May. If you are willing to wait until September to run your next race that would give you plenty of time to plan and train. You would also likely have a better idea of if your race will be held by the time you would start training.
Work around other events
If you are already signed up for other races, this is something to consider. Try to spread your races out and make sure you can train appropriately for each of them. Also factor in any personal events that you may have going on. Some things that were supposed to happen this spring may be postponed for summer or fall.
Consider your ideal running weather
One of the reasons I didn’t suggest signing up for a July or August race is that those months are pretty brutal here with the heat and humidity. However, if those months are ideal running where you live, then maybe you should look for races during those months! Think about what weather you will be training in as well.
Find a course that excites you
If you have enough options to choose from try to pick a race that gets you excited. It’s hard to get motivated to train when you’re not truly excited about what you get to do.
Keep it close to home
It’s probably best to keep your upcoming races as close to home as possible, or at least within driving distance. If the virus is still a concern you may not want to have to stress out about taking public transportation to a race or staying at a hotel, especially since you will be around other people while you are running.
Focus on your goals
Think about your initial running goals from earlier this year. What kind of race will help you to reach those goals? Do your goals need to be adjusted due everything that happened this year? Are you trying to PR or just have a fun race or cover a new distance? These are all things to consider when researching races.
After all of this social distancing, I think we are going to be desperate for those in-person social connections again! Maybe you can plan out a race with your running friends or find out where there will be a meet-up with some runners who you have connected with on Instagram. You can even have an virtual meeting to do some race planning!
Check about the race cancellation policy
You just never know what will happen as the year goes on, so it’s best to be prepared for what will happen if your race is cancelled or if you decide not to run.
Try something new
This could be a chance to run a race you have never done! Many spring races are being postponed to the fall. Maybe one that never fit in your schedule before will work for you this year. With so many races scheduled within a few months of one another you will have lot of options to choose from, so you might as well try something new!
Learn from the past
Think about your past races and what has gone well or not well. Do you fall apart on hills? Are your best races ones with alot of crowd support? Do you prefer to run through a busy city vs through the countryside? Learn from what’s worked in the past and use those factors when choosing your next race!
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As for me, I am still waiting to find out the new date for my half-marathon. I’ll likely do that one as long as it works with my schedule. The main reason I chose this race was because it was taking place in early May, so it’s unfortunate that all races are being cancelled right now. If I get motivated to run hard over the next few weeks/months then I will do some virtual races, otherwise I will shift my focus to the fall (or whenever my new race date is).
What do you consider when choosing a comeback race?
Will you be doing any new races this year?
When do you think we will be able to start racing again?
Now it’s time for the Runners’ Roundup! Link up your running and fitness posts below! Join myself, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, Running on Happy, and Faux Runner to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas.