Reasons to defer your marathon place if your training hasn't gone to plan. Image of people running a marathon race

Reasons to defer your marathon place if your training hasn’t gone to plan

Reasons to defer your marathon place if your training hasn't gone to plan. Image of people running a marathon race

If you haven’t trained properly for a marathon, whether that’s because of injury, time pressures or other commitments, you may be wondering if it’s ok to defer your place.

Here are my top five reasons why it’s ok to defer a marathon place when your training hasn’t gone to plan – and some tips on what to do next.

Lack of training increases your risk of injury

It’s obvious to state that a marathon is a really long run! Your body needs time to adapt, repair and build which is why training for a marathon takes months, not weeks.

The reason we train is to get our bodies used to doing repetitive movements over a long time and distance. If you haven’t been able to train properly for the race your body will not be ready, which means there is an increased risk that you will be injured.

It is far better to defer your place and commit to a longer training plan so you are ready, then risk having an injury that could last weeks, or even months, after the event.

Take off the pressure

If you defer your marathon place you are giving yourself time to train properly. Which means you will feel more confident both during your training runs and the race itself.

By deferring you are giving yourself a little bit of breathing space so you don’t end up dreading each training run, or feeling that knot of worry in your stomach when you think about the distances you have to run.

And one good way to keep the pressure to a minimum during training is to work with a running coach. As a running coach I do all the thinking for you, and make sure your training fits around your life so you don’t have the pressure of wondering how marathon training will fit around family and work commitments.

You’ll be more prepared for the training

Training for a marathon takes a lot of commitment. You’ll need to be running at least 3 times a week, with long runs of up to 3.5 hours, and ideally fitting in strength and cross training.

Until you start you don’t know exactly how the training will affect other areas of your life. If your training hasn’t gone to plan then by deferring you are giving yourself a little more time.

Time to build up your base of endurance and strength, so things don’t feel so rushed, and time to work out exactly how training will fit in to your home and work life.

Remember you aren’t letting anyone down

By deferring your marathon place you may feel like you are letting down the friends and family who have supported you so far during your training.

However, you should not feel guilty about this. Your family and friends will rather you deferred and got to the start line feeling confident and strong then see you struggle and possibly injure yourself.

If you have been fundraising for a charity you may worry about letting them down. So, speak to them as soon as you can about the funds you have already raised and how you can continue to support them with your deferred place.

You’ll enjoy the race more

When you get to the start line you want to feel confident. Confident that you can run the distance and confident that you will finish.

By deferring your place you can build your base of fitness before heading straight into marathon training, and take the time to include mobility and strength work. Which means you will feel confident about starting and finishing the race and you will enjoy the race so much more!

But now is the time to make a commitment

The most important thing to do if you defer your place is to make a commitment now.

Think about why your training didn’t go to plan, what can you put in place now (not 6 weeks before the race!) to ensure you train properly and are ready for the distance next year.

Don’t just defer and forget about it!

Start building your base, start adding strength work (for women runners by HCR® Fit to Run programme is a great place to begin), think about breaking up the big goal into more manageable chunks, talk to a coach about working with you.

The only time to feel guilty about deferring your place is if you repeat the same mistakes and don’t put the training in!

So, if you have deferred your marathon place, and would like to put in place a plan of action to get you to the start line feeling strong and confident then book a discovery call to see how working with me can help you.

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