It seems like every passing week there is another announcement from one of the big race organisers about cancelled FULL DISTANCE ®, HALF DISTANCE ® races and marathons.

In this environment, it is understandable if you start to feel demotivated as the goal you have been working towards is snatched from you grasp.

It is definitely something that I have had to deal with – firstly, on a personal level and secondly with my 1-2-1 coached athletes (aka “the squad”).

The good news is, as a very goal orientated group we have come up with some ways to regain our focus.

So just wanted to share to help others in the same boat regain their mojo for the season (and not start an unhealthy relationship with Ben/Jerrys and the couch!)

Option 1: Find smaller races that have a better chance of going ahead

It will be the local races that has the best chance of going ahead due to the smaller numbers and logistics involved. Yes whilst not the FULL DISTANCE/HALF DISTANCE PB attempt you had envisioned – it will be still great to race again.

More good news is that it is much easier to switch from long distance focus to short distance, rather than the other way around.

So start talking to club mates, get onto your federation’s website and start looking for Olympic, sprints, duathlons etc

Option 2: Find or set up your own virtual challenges

FULL DISTANCE to its credit has rolled out their VR challenge impressively fast in response to the race cancellations and a lot of athletes have really enjoyed the experience.

I am aware of local federations and clubs that are following their lead with options for Duathlons, 10km road races etc on offer.

Check these out – they can be great fun!

For the squad – we have agreed to run a semi virtual marathon in October where a small group will run an agreed course supporting one another as we go on a looped course. It has provided some much needed focus and a boast to team morale.

Oh and who am I kidding – competition for bragging rights of beating Coach in a race .. better bring my A game!

An option for you or your training group/club?

Option 3: Focus on the numbers baby!

For those with no local race options available or just don’t like the idea of racing virtually (it is not for everyone) – there is also the option of targeting specific goal times or metrics that will prevent you from hitting the snooze button on a wet Sunday morning.

Metrics you can target can range be as simple as a 10km goal time, FTP goal number or as complex as a target Chronic Training Load in Training Peaks (i.e. the number that measures your “fitness” in the app)

Point is there are a whole heap of metrics you can focus on – key is to find the best one that will set you up for success for when we get to pull on the racing kit again.


Yes COVID has made a mess of a lot of the planned races for 2020 but hopefully that is the only impact it has had on you and your loved ones.

Now it is a case of “controlling the controllables” and finding a way to refocus/get something out of this season – it might be a smaller local race, a virtual challenge or just improving yourself in a specific aspect of your athletic persona.

We are down but we are most certainly not out.

Footnote: For those of you now looking at an Olympic distance race – you might be interested in looking at the following plans

  • Click here to view beginner Olympic distance plans
  • Click here to view intermediate Olympic distance plans
  • Click here to view advanced Olympic distance plans

Steven Moody has starred in the corporate rat race but found his greatest source of satisfaction came from his 20 years of endurance racing including numerous FULL DISTANCE finishes and world championship qualifications

Realising this fact, Steven abandoned his cubicle and moved into full time coaching. Steven is now Tri Sutto, FULL DISTANCE UNIVERSITY ®, ITU and Training Peaks level 2 certified and in 2017, was awarded Triathlon Ireland Coach of the year.

Browse his pre-built training plans by clicking here or if you have triathlon queries you can contact him via