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Registering for an organized race is an exciting time for many runners, regardless of their running level. Races can be motivating to train for, and the feeling of accomplishment after completing a race often fuels the desire to do more in the future; the medals don’t hurt, either!
Utilizing the growing world of virtual races is a great way to compete in a race at a time that is convenient for you and without the pressure or potential inconveniences of an in-person event. If you’re looking to progress in your running ability and fitness level, consider joining runners all over the globe and enter the virtual racing world!
Set Goals for Yourself
Signing up for a virtual race is a great way to set a tangible goal for yourself in your running journey. If you’ve been running on your own without any real direction or end goal in sight, it can be discouraging to not have anything by which to gauge your progress. On the other hand, committing to running a 5k or half marathon virtual race on your own time can be just what you need to get motivated to train for that event.
Once you’ve decided which event you want to run, choosing the day of your run can be helpful for developing a training program. It can help to write out a training schedule from the day you sign up for the race to race day. You can make your own schedule up, or utilize pre-made training plans.
Make it work with your schedule
Running in a formal running event comes with its own set of challenges. It can be hard to find an event that coordinates well with your schedule, or that is close enough without having to drive for hours.
The beauty of virtual races is that they’re done on your time. This way, you’re more likely to sign up for more events than you may have with traditionally organized runs. This is especially helpful if you don’t live in a large area with a dedicated running club which hosts regular running events.
While frustrating, something that often comes up while training for an event is an injury. With an injury before a traditional race, you might have to scratch and lose your registration fee, only to be left feeling frustrated and disappointed. Not a problem with a virtual race, though; if your ankle isn’t feeling right close to your race day, take it easy and pick another race day! Instead of pushing yourself through pain and causing a more serious injury, running virtual races takes away some of the pressure since there are no hard-set race dates for events.
Race Against Yourself
Running virtual races is a great way to push yourself physically and accomplish things you weren’t sure you could do. Consistently working towards goals, like deciding to run specific races, can help improve your physical fitness and increase your threshold for running longer distances and faster speeds.
Increasing your physical fitness through running can also help you train for other physical events you enjoy. Running is a great foundation for other physical activities. Improving in your running often means improvement in other aspects such as dancing, hiking, or just playing basketball with your kids.
Help Train for In-Person Races
Virtual races not only help train you physically, but mentally as well. Running is largely a mental sport, whether you’re on a relaxed run or competing. Getting a few virtual races under your belt can help you mentally work through the race day process and realize any hiccups or kinks that need to be worked out before you sign up for an in-person running event.
If you’re still wary of signing up for an in-person race but it’s on your bucket list, consider asking a friend to run a virtual race simultaneously with you! Getting used to other people around you while running can help you get a better feel of what a crowded race might feel like, so starting with a trusted friend or family member is a great step.
Running a virtual race is not only convenient, but also gives a satisfying sense of accomplishment. In fact, running one race often starts a hunger for competing in more down the road! Participating in virtual race events is a great motivator and can help you have things to look forward to and train for, all while improving your physical fitness and health.