Virtual races have existed for awhile, but they have definitely exploded in popularity due to the pandemic. There are tons of virtual options. Including for the first time, major marathons offering virtual like Boston Marathon. Here are my best tips for running a virtual race.
There are SO many virtual options these days. Some are a minimal fee and don’t include anything sent to you. Some are more expensive and include medals and shirts mailed to you. Make sure to pay attention to the details depending on what you are looking for.
Treat this like you would a real race. Set the date on your calendar and stay accountable to it. Some races have a window of time you can run it, so are more strict to a specific weekend. Whatever it is, pick the date and stick to it.
Just because it is virtual doesn’t mean you should train any less than you normally would. Get your training done so you are ready for the distance you will be running on your race day. This is especially important if you are planning to train and run for a longer distance race.
While doing your training runs, pay attention to the distances of the areas you are running. This will help you plan out your race day route. You don’t want to have to just run in circles to try to accomplish a distance, or on the flip side, you don’t want to end up running 15 miles instead of 13.1 because you didn’t plan your route. This will also help you mentally prepare for mental mile markers as you are running.
When planning your route, also think about bathroom stops if needed and where you can make that happen. Whether it is a loop back near your home or a public bathroom at a park.
Some races require you to submit your time and some don’t. Make sure you pay attention to how the race wants this. I have done some that want to sync with your app, like RunKeeper, to verify your run. Some just ask you submit your time when you are done and some don’t require anything at all.
If you move between the time you sign up and the time you run, make sure to update your address so they can send you our medal. It can’t hurt to verify the correct address even if you didn’t move. Typos happen and not getting your race bling would be a bummer.
I hope you have fun running your virtual race.
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