Do you have a backup plan?

Stuff happens. Slipping and falling or unexpected surgery, these are just a couple examples of situations that may make an athlete have to come to an unexpected and sudden stop in training. How, as an athlete, do you adjust mentally and physically to this?

Now is the time to focus on the positive, and refocus your energy. The sudden stop has been described as post-race blues on steroids. You do not want to go down a potential downward spiral that will be very difficult to battle up from.

Here are some ideas of some things you can do to help you refocus (or distract) and remain positive:

• Hone in on proper nutrition

• Sleep

• Read some good books

• Watch a movie

• Get caught up on past seasons of The Walking Dead (or other shows you have always wanted to see)

• Take up a new hobby. Coach Christina swears by knitting

• Get a massage

• If physically capable, embrace, and practice Yoga.

• Meditate

These are just some ideas to get the wheels turning in your head for backup.

Plan for it, have a backup plan in place so you can embrace the sudden stop if the unexpected happens.

What if this happens and you have signed up for a race you can no longer do? Contact the Race Director, ask for deferral. You never know until you ask. Many races are becoming more open to this, but don’t expect it, most do not. Some races now offer “race cancellation insurance” for a small fee $5-$7. You can purchase insurance that will offer you a registration refund and/or guaranteed deferral in the event of the unexpected prevents you from racing.

If the inevitable happens and you can’t defer or get a referral, write it off in your head. It’s a race, a medal, and a t-shirt. There will be others. Easier said than done, but if you accept that, you will make your “time off” easier to bear.

Start looking forward to and get excited for your “come back”.

I say this a lot: If you don’t plan for it, it will happen. If you do plan, it won’t. One can only hope.

One this is for certain, if you take care of yourself, you will come back from your sudden stop stronger than ever before.

So, all this being said…what is your backup plan?


Coach Kristie

I wrote this 3 weeks ago, little did I know (as I post this) I would be day 6 into mandatory rest due to unexpected surgery. Now…I practice what I preach.


8 comments on “Do you have a backup plan?

  1. Kielly says:

    Love the way you say to “embrace the sudden stop if the unexpected happens”. Beautiful.

  2. Also don’t forget to stay involved with your running community both online and in real life. Volunteer to help out at local races, join a running club. Yes it is hard to see others doing what you want to be doing, but when you are injured you can give back to our/your sport in other ways. You might see things from different perspectives, appreciate volunteers more and find out you are not alone in your recovery.

    Not running is tough, but loosing contact with the running community is worse (either online or local).

  3. Laura says:

    Great post, last year I was in a bad car accident and was left with a broken foot, and for a runner and athlete, there is nothing worse. One thing I found to be helpful was watching and volunteering at races. At first it was really hard, I cried a few times watching races because I wanted so badly to be out there. But after time I loved cheering for people I knew, and those I didn’t know, and it gave me motivation to get back sooner and let my foot heal so I could come back stronger than I was before. I also read a lot, like you said, catch up on books. With a broken foot there isn’t much you can do, especially when your life revolves around being active. So I read books on training, and recovery, and new races, and also read books that had nothing to do with running at all. It was a great distraction.

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