With no in-person races happening for the past year or so, virtual races have gained an immense popularity. While it may be kind of new, virtual racing comes with its perks. Moreover, you shouldn’t lose motivation due to the lack of in-person races or marathons, and neither should you stop training and trying to get better.
This is where virtual races step in and help us all get back on track. And, honestly, we should be using every opportunity to be active move our body.
Here are some of our tips for virtual races to help you stay on top of your game and smash the next challenge.
1. Prepare for the race physically
Even though virtual, a race is a race. It is essential to train for any type of race or marathon we have coming up. In times like these, we’d be lucky to even get to attend a virtual race, so let’s take any possible opportunity and use it as a push to keep up with our training schedule.
Following a suitable training plan ensures that we’d be best prepared and it will limit the possibility of getting injured. However, picking the right training plan can be tricky.
Vitesse Running App takes into account all your personal stats and generates a plan, which is best suited to your needs. All of Vitesse Running’s workouts are put together by professional trainers and Olympic runners, which ensures the quality of the training you get. The best part is that the plan is adaptive and it will re-adjust even if you skip a workout. Give Vitesse Running a try.
2. Prepare for the race mentally
After we’ve talked about the physical aspect, we cannot miss mentioning the importance of mental preparation. You should treat a virtual race the same way you would treat any in-person race – with focus, determination and preparation.
We know it is a completely different feeling to be running along hundreds, if not thousands of other people, but being on your own through a virtual race brings other advantages. Just be sure you don’t lose your focus and do all the necessary things that you’d do for any other race.
Be sure to rest enough beforehand (and afterwards), get hydrated and fuelled with enough food, and wear the right gear. Telling your mind this virtual race is no different to any other races you’ve done is key.
3. Set a goal
Just because you are doing a virtual race, it doesn’t mean you cannot set some new personal goals. You may be surprised how well you will do in these conditions, with virtual running buddies supporting you and running in a more familiar environment, which you’ve chosen yourself.
Here is some really good news that comes with virtual races – if you don’t manage to hit your goals this time round, there will surely be another possibility coming at you shortly. Thanks to marathons and races becoming virtual, anyone is able to access them from anywhere in the world and people get to experience so many different events.
Keep in mind that the goals you set should be realistic and not hitting them the first time is just another opportunity to try again. Do not feel down if you flop – it happens to all of us. The next race will be just around the corner.
4. Find your track
One of the best things about virtual races is the fact that you determine your running track. Use this to your advantage! Take some time to discover new streets and find the optimal race route for you. Be aware of all the possible interruptions, such as traffic, crossings and red lights, as well as running surfaces, inclines and elevation changes etc.
It is also very important to plan your track in advance and not to leave it to the last moment. The last thing you want is during a race to be wondering whether to go left or right, this or that way – this will occupy your mind more than necessary and will take your focus off the race itself. Avoid this at all costs!
5. Prep your fuel in advance
Running for a longer period of time means you need to have some snacks and fluids on you. You could also plan a few stops along the way, perhaps when you are passing by your own or your friends’ home. Just be sure to plan all of this ahead of time, so everyone involved knows what they have to do and things will go smoothly.
6. Have a virtual running buddy
Running in big groups might be put on hold for the past year (and it is unknown for how much longer), but finding a supporting buddy isn’t! The sense of community and accountability are so powerful that you can’t even imagine.
Find a buddy that you can share your progress with, track how they are progressing and have as a companion and supporter at the same time. This could be a family member, a friend or even someone from a running community that you don’t personally know. The possibilities are endless.
All that counts is you have someone to check in with after a running session, or even sign up to virtual marathons together.
Virtual races might be considered slightly more challenging than in-person ones, but it actually all comes down to what you make it out to be. If you manage to follow all the tips for virtual races and be well prepared, you might even be surprised at how well you’ve done.
One thing is clear – it is much better to take the alternative and join virtual races than do no races at all. So get your gear ready and start looking for the next challenge.
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