There will always be factors outside of a runner’s control.
One of them is the weather.
Unfortunately races get cancelled or postponed when the weather is deemed by the organisers as too treacherous.
It happened this weekend with the occurrence of more snow in the United Kingdom. The Roger One Mile time-trial scheduled for this afternoon (which I intended to race) and a local half marathon tomorrow (which two runners I coach had entered) have been postponed.
It is the first time this has affected my running.
Despite the initial disappointment, the calling off of an event should be no reason to prevent mine or anyone else’s progress. This relies on always having an alternative plan.
For example, for my One Mile Challenge, I always intended to attempt my goal at least three times, with adequate rest in between attempts. This meant I didn’t have to rely on only one occasion, with certain conditions and preparations. It also allows me to experiment, using experience to guide me.
The Roger One Mile time-trial would be on a local track ‘racing’ with others, and my other two attempts would be run alone along self-devised routes on flat surfaces such as pavement and road.
Even for longer distances you can easily research another race ahead of time that you would be available to race if required. Likewise, a self-organised race (in the form of a virtual race) can provide the necessary motivation to meet your goal. Although the crowds or traffic-free route may not be present, I believe this is one way to build self-confidence and mitigate the inevitable issues of externally-organised events.
My advice also applies when illnesses, injuries or emergencies stop you from participating in a running race. If you prepare well in advance for any potential problems you’ll have an effective psychological technique to cope with other setbacks that occur in training and in the off-season.
This can easily be incorporated into your racing strategy long before you travel to the start line.
You’ll then become a more resilient runner that has, paradoxically, greater control over your running.