This month, I participated in a virtual race to help #fightstroke hosted by Dani at Weight Off My Shoulders. Dani runs in honor of stroke victims and her grandparents. She truly is an inspiration for all runners and all of us on our healthier living journeys! There were definitely things I needed to know before running a virtual race!
Dani’s race was the first virtual race I ever participated in. According to Dani, “a virtual run or walk means you do the 5k (3.1 mile) or 10k (6.2 mile) “race” at your leisure. You map out your own route, get your friends together or jump on the old trusty treadmill. Your call.” I took what she said into heavy consideration in my planning.
Since I am training for a 10K, I used my training prompts from my Run10K app. My virtual race was a combination of jogging and walking. The virtual 5K helped me feel like part of the running community since I am relatively new to running races and it was also a kick in the butt to keep me motivated for Runner’s World.
I completed the “race” and l received a Finisher’s Medal in the mail but the most important part of the race was the donation proceeds went towards Tedy’s Team and the American Stroke Association. In the past two years, Dani has raised over $15,500 to help fight Stroke and raise awareness. I am so glad I was able to be a part of this race for such a worthy cause. If you are looking for a virtual race to participate in, US Road Running has a list of ongoing races as well as Will Run for Bling. Black Girls Run also holds virtual races throughout the year.
Are you ready for your first virtual race? Here are 5 Things You Need To Know Before Running A Virtual Race:
1. Train your body to help keep it injury free! – This is important because even if you are running or walking a 5K, 10K, or other race, you want to make sure you are not over-exerting yourself. If you have any concerns, please see your doctor beforehand. There are many training programs you can use to help you reach your goals. I use the Runner’s World Guide to Road Racing and a Run10K app for my smartphone.
2. Enlist your friends and family members to reach your goals! – Running is fun but it’s better with the ones you love! You can shatter your fundraising goals or personal goals with the help of your loved one. You can send out an email soliciting support, create a Facebook page, or simply do an in-person ask.
3. Mind over matter. – For many of us, long distances can seem daunting (especially for an anti-runner like me). For your first virtual race, pick a distance that you are comfortable with or if you are feeling like you want a challenge–go for it! But see tip #1 before you go all the way.
4. Eat right! – This is a no-brainer. Your body needs fuel for flight so make sure you eating a healthy diet. The folks over at Active.com recommend, “sticking to the right diet can not only affect your ability to run well but also hamper your recovery after the race.” In this video, find out how to fuel up properly and learn how the right diet can keep your energy levels up from start to finish.
5. Have FUN! – Your training and the actual run should be a blast. You have picked your route, your terrain, and your timeframe and are ready to have fun. Though virtual races lack the fanfare and excitement of other races, create your own momentum by inviting friends and family to your race!
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