That being said, can anything really stop a died-in-the-wool runner from racking up the kilometres? Virtual events are now becoming the de facto format for endurance sports like marathons and duathlons (running and cycling).
A typical virtual race requires participants to register online, complete their chosen distance (either on a treadmill or on a route of their choosing) within the stipulated qualifying period – while tracking their activity on a mobile app. They then upload their results online for verification and receive a finisher’s medal.
Here’s what you need to know to get your feet pumping and heart pounding in virtual races.
Start by thinking about a good virtual marathon you want to join. Whether you’re in it for the fitness, sense of community or merchandise (who doesn’t love a race tee?), there’s probably a virtual marathon out there that’s perfect for every runner.
One of the perks of virtual races is that you can compete almost anywhere in the world.
Whether you want to support a good local cause, like the 2021 Race Against Cancer, or if you just want to collect a unique finisher-medal, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
For instance, treadmills usually offer a softer surface than running outdoors on the pavement. Running on a treadmill doesn’t require direction changes, and the treadmill belt is moving constantly, which may require a different running technique or shoes.
Cycling enthusiasts can opt for a stationary exercise bike or fix a stationary bike roller beneath the rear wheel of a normal bicycle so they can cycle indoors.
Regardless of your virtual sport of choice, you should download an app that allows you to clock distances and save your times online. A good sports watch with built-in GPS tracker is another option if you don’t fancy running with your mobile phone.
When it comes to the training itself, there a few rules to live by:
If you’re looking to begin your journey into virtual races, the HomeTeamNS REAL® Run is a good starting point.
An annual event, REAL® Run sets out to promote regular exercise and an active lifestyle among Home Team Guardians and their families. In commemoration of the race’s 25th Anniversary, REAL® Run will be launching a 25km virtual run with two modes – Leaderboard Run (competitive) and Sole-Mate Run (non-competitive).
The REAL® Run lets you compete at your desired pace, in your own time and on your favourite running route. Simply register, clock the required distance, submit a screenshot and collect your race loot!
REAL® Run will be live from July 8 to Nov 9, 2021. Get more information and register at REAL® Run