Now that many road races have gone virtual, many people ask themselves, what is success? In other words, runners understand that virtual races are challenging than in-person races. So, the reality is that it’s great to have a group of runners or your club to keep you motivated, preparing, and then doing the virtual running. Hopefully, by next year we’ll have the chance to do everything in person, with no masks or social distancing.
Our two team marathoners, Courtney and Angela, want to run the Marine Corp Marathon. But, training for a virtual race isn’t easy. We thought it would be a great post to share with other runners like you. As always, they happily shared some great running tips in the past with us for our followers. Check them out! Now let’s see what they have to say about staying motivated for virtual races, such as the Marine Corp race.
A Teammate Is Essential for Virtual Runs & Training
Marathoners and runners of all types of distances know training is not easy. The fact that many races became virtual runs because of the pandemic only added to the challenges for many runners. In speaking to Courtney and Angela, one crucial tip suggested was to recruit a teammate. It just so happens that our teammates usually do the races together, but they live thousands of miles apart in different states. Nevertheless, they find support from each other, ideas, and motivation from sharing the journey as they run alone from home.
Courtney’s Ideas to Remain Motivated
As we know, every athlete is different. And so it goes with Angela and Courtney. Each has varying things that work for them as they train and do virtual running races. So, it’s up to you to try things out and see what works best for you. Let’s start with what Courtney’s found that works for her.
- Read about training techniques.
- Listen to podcasts or read magazines about virtual running. It helps with motivation!
- Get disciplined and stick to your training schedule—even when it’s tough, and you don’t want to do it.
- Research and try out new methods for training.
- Join a local running group. Many have accommodated virtual runs and training. And they’re fantastic for the support you may need!
- Seek out in-person races if you’re able to participate with social distancing.
- Some races have “audible experiences” where you can listen during a race and tune into the sounds of nature, for instance. Alternatively, keep updating and changing up your playlist for your earbud listening.
- Make sure you have a positive mantra that motivates you top of mind.
- If you run/walk and chat on the phone, ask a few people to line up along the way when you do the virtual running to keep you going!
- Recruit a “pit crew” of family and friends to support you—even if they don’t do virtual runs themselves.
Angela’s Tips for Virtual Races
In preparation for the Marine Corp Marathon, Angela also has a few excellent tips to prepare and do virtual runs. She, too, agrees that virtual running is different than other road races. However, it’s possible to stay motivated and keep moving forward.
- Set small goals for yourself (e.g., improve your mile time, your 5K time, etc.).
- You could also create health goals if the virtual runs you do are not about run time or miles. For instance, you could set out weight loss or blood pressure reduction goals, etc.
- If you can do it, treat yourself a bit. For example, buy yourself some new running shoes or cool running gear to reward the hard work.
- If you happen to be active on social media, join groups, and follow people. You could also say hello to Angela and Courtney on Instagram @wanderlist_adventures.
- Finally, Angela likes to say that runners should enjoy the time running and also the ability to run. Many others would like to have that chance, but can’t do it because of injuries or disabilities.
The reality is that running is an individual sport. However, every runner and marathoner still needs the support of friends, family, and community. Running and virtual running are tough and demanding challenges for your body, mind, and spirit. But, as you do it, you grow as a person, and you see how far you could go and stretch. It’s not easy, but nothing worth having in life is ever easy.
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