Alternate Marathons


I love it when a plan comes together perfectly. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world. Things can happen that force you to change your plans. Your marathon plans are no exception. It’s a very rare occurrence for a marathon to be canceled – but it can happen. Race day temperatures could rise to unsafe levels. There might be some sort of extreme weather such as a hurricane or blizzard. It doesn’t happen often but you just never know. When it does happen you need an alternate marathon.

Race cancellations aren’t the only reason you may miss your marathon. Injuries, illness or scheduling problems could also cause to miss your goal race. If your race is cancelled or if you can’t participate in your goal race you have two choices. You can try to find an alternate race or you could scrap your plans entirely.

If you need to completely scrap your plans, all is not lost. You gained a lot of fitness during your training. You can always enter a race sometime in the next six months. The training you did for this race will give you a big step up for your next one.

Finding an alternate marathon can be difficult. Marathons have become very popular in recent years and most of them fill up well before race day. If you are lucky enough to find one that will work for you in the next few weeks you can still salvage your training plan and make it work for your alternate race. Adjusting your training for an alternate marathon is not difficult. It is a simple matter of repeating the number of training weeks with some minor adjustments. Here are my training suggestions for your alternate marathon.



Alternate Marathons


Time to alternate




One Week


Repeat your last training week


Two Weeks


Do a 12 mile long run before repeating your last 2 training weeks


Three Weeks


Do a 14 mile run before repeating your last 3 taper weeks


Four + Weeks


Repeat the number of weeks equal to the time to your alternate