Now that all of the races have been cancelled (thanks COVID) and virtual running has been taking off, here are some ways you can get a little bit more joy out of your virtual run.
This week, the Virgin London Marathon announced that they’d be going ahead with the 40th London marathon but only for elite runners. Yay for that. But what about everyone else?
For the first time ever the London marathon has given runners the opportunity to run it ‘virtually’… whether you think this is a good or a bad thing, the reality is, it’s the only way to run any sort of race right now.
And let’s be honest, the only way some people will ever get to run the London marathon due to the ballot system. 10th time’s a charm right!
So how can you make these virtual races more appealing? There may be no crowd or any goodie bag at the finish line (aka your front door) but there are still tons of ways to enjoy your virtual races and here’s how.
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Have your family and friends create a finish line
Just like your loved ones might be at the finish line of an actual race, have them greet you spectacularly at your own finish line.
They can make you your own goodie bag, put your medal around your neck and provide you with refreshments.
Heck, they could even put together a ‘finish’ line for you with tape for you to run through and some motivational signs.
Actually, that does sound quite appealing, no line for the portaloos, no walk to collect your car and you can get straight into the shower! Winning!
You can take part in virtual runs that you may not have the opportunity to otherwise
As I’d mentioned, the London marathon was going virtual for the first time but for many, even being able to get to London might be a challenge, let alone running it!
If you live really far away from a race destination or your travel options are limited, virtual runs might be the key to finally snagging that coveted medal.
Ok, so it’s not at the ACTUAL place but it’s the next best thing right!
Virtual running is better than no running at all
I’ve just started reading the book ‘Depression Hates a Moving Target’ by Nita Sweeney, which is about the mental health benefits of running, and there’s a line in here that I just love, “Jogging was still faster than lying in bed”.
If you’ve been looking forward to your planned race but it’s moved to the virtual world instead, virtual running has got to be better than not running it at all and definitely better than lying in bed.
After all, there are way worse things you could be doing with your time than running AND getting a medal, am I right!
It’s the first step to running a race if you feel a bit intimidated by the in-person race
If you’re new to running but you want to sign up to a race, virtual running can be your stepping stone to the real deal.
You can give yourself a time goal, you can dress for the occasion and you can treat it like a ‘real’ race AND you can still get a position from the race organisers and a medal too!
Use your virtual run as a ‘practice’ to your in real life race and you’ll have much less anxiety and nerves around racing on the big day.
Read more: 8 Race Day hacks
Virtual running has much less of an environmental impact on the planet
I know what you’re thinking, there always has to be a party pooper but let’s be really honest here. If you’re travelling to an event, along with thousands of other runners and spectators and volunteers and race organisers, think of the impact this might have on the environment.
There will be no plastic cups (admittedly, race organisers are finding way more environmentally friendly solutions to these), no waste produced by runners, spectators etc which in turn means less clean up.
If the majority of people are travelling to an event by car, that’s a lot of pollution (for those who don’t drive electric vehicles yet) that isn’t going into the atmosphere!
Add to that all of the facilities required (i.e. portaloos, fencing/ barriers) and their travel on top of this, at a very large event that’s going to be a massive reduction of pollution.
You will definitely save money
I have run A LOT of races in the past couple of years and it’s not just the entry fee that you have to take into account.
Virtual running means no travel costs (unless you wanted to run further than your front door of course) of petrol, parking, toll roads etc.
If you’re going further a field (RIP to my Ireland race this summer) you’ll have to take into consideration plane tickets, accommodation and food while you’re away.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a racecation more than anything and I can’t wait to sign up for another but saving money is pretty great too.
So there you have some tips on how to make virtual running way more appealing but that doesn’t mean we can’t look forward to the day when our favourite races will be ‘running’ (get it) again!
Happy virtual running everyone! 🙂