As many runners have registered for races that have been canceled worldwide, many races are being replaced by virtual races. Until our life can return to some form of normality, likely virtual races are most runners’ best option if you want to perform your nice races. To run a virtual race, to prepare both logistically and mentally is very helpful to get into and finish the virtual races. This is a great goal to perform until life goes back to normal with all the worldwide races back on.
What is a Virtual Race?
A virtual race is a competitive individual race. Runners can go and run the required distance, in their own time. We can choose our own start line and route, if we register for a virtual race, we have to upload our race data or finish time, and send the data to the virtual race, so we can get a certificate and virtual finisher’s medal.
Benefits of Virtual Races
The main benefits of virtual races is that we are still able to perform similar races we were looking forward to, and still train and stay fit even with all the races cancelled.
- We can complete a virtual race in our own time, according to our personal schedule.
- We can run a virtual race on a course we really enjoy.
- We can run virtual races with a few running friends, so we can really enjoy it.
- Virtual races allows us to continue to participate in running events.
- Training for a virtual race is the same training as a traditional race.
- Training is great for our health, weight loss, muscle development, cardiovascular fitness and bone strengthening.
- Having a goal to train towards a virtual race can be super motivating and stimulating, especially in today’s uncertain times.
Tips for Planning a Virtual Race
Individual virtual races lack a lot of support structure we have access to in regular races, such as checkpoints, course markings, medical support, toilets, support and fueling. When planning on performing a virtual race we become our own race organizer, so we need to plan everything.
- Choose a Familiar Route
Running solo or with only a few runners, makes it much easier and safer to choose a familiar route. Even to choose a route near our home or areas we know, we can have access to toilets, shops to refuel etc. To plan to run a smaller loop can make it easier to self-support the race distance.
- Make Sure you Plan and Organize the Right Distance
It would be too frustrating to plan a challenging route and get to the finish point without the right distance. To create the route on Strava, makes it very easy and accurate. Also, to have access to a good GPS watch to log in the data, distance, pace and be able to follow the course will be very helpful.
- Planning Good Nutrition and Hydration
To organize our nutrition and hydration similar to the normal races is essential. We have to train for our nutrition and hydration and prepare everything in advance. During training, we have to figure out what our body needs as fueling according to the distance, intensity and weather. Also the nutrition and hydration timing schedule needs to be planned, according to the course. We need to make sure we have access to proper race fueling at the right time. One advantage of personal virtual race is that we can have access to the nutrition and hydration we want and prefer.
- Find a Support Crew
One great benefit is to find a support crew. To plan a crew with friends or family members, we still have to make sure they are dependable and organized, and know what race support is all about. We have to organize a good meeting with the support crew, to plan each meeting area (checkpoints), what they need to prepare for nutrition and hydration.
Tips for Running a Virtual Race
- Running alone is mentally tougher- To have a clear race goal in our mind can help us focus on the race performance, being more positive and make it to the finish line feeling good.
- Smiling during the race will help activate our brain, positivity and energy level.
- Knowing all the course information, data, all the checkpoints areas, making sure we have all our essential gears, prepare and plan everything beforehand will make it more comfortable to deal with.
- Focus on enjoying a nice race, to keep moving, and feeling positive so that you can still do a nice race.
- Even organizing your own “personal virtual” race, is a great motivation to keep training, feeling good, fit, healthy and happy!
Train for and Run a Virtual Race, Stay Fit, Appreciate Reaching a Great Goal!