Virtual run races. A fantastic way to challenge yourself and an even better way to add to your metal collection. Race bling! I am not going to lie.  I don't often run but when I do it is because of the medals. lol.  So, sue me. :)  Virutal runs sound good in theory except... life happens.  Yes, I know life happens even when you are training for an actual race but for all the awesomeness about virtual races, one fact remains for me-- when you run by yourself there is no accountability or support to push you when you are running on your own. 

I have ran a few virtual races in the past.  And recently I took part in the Run 'n' Roll Marathon Series Virtual Runs.  Running Tracks was RnR 5K series consisting of four 5K races from March 29 - May 10, 2017.  It was a great opportunity to get some 5K races in while earning some pretty sweet medals. I mean, come on...

I have to admit, running these, I find, are mentally harder than an actual organized race. Running this virtual 5K series was a bit challenging to me because I kept telling myself "I will run them tomorrow"or "I'll run later today". Umm... not really. I finally had to take some measures to make myself accountable through this whole process.  Because truly--- you don't want to be THAT person with medals for races not ran.  These are some of the steps that helped me complete these virtual races:

1. Schedule it and think of it as an actual race.  And when I say schedule it, I mean put in on your calendar as you would an organized race.  I even told friends, I will run this 5K on such and such day, because that would also help keep me honest and accountable.

2. Prepare yourself as you would for any race.  While this was a virtual run, we had extra perks to make it seem more like a race.  I printed the bibs provided on the website and fastened them to my shirt. It really made it feel real. I know people who have worn costumes on "race" day to motivate themselves.  I am not a costumes kind of girl but do whatever works for you. 

3.  Cheer squad! Recruit family or friends to run the 5K with you or be your cheerleaders.   

4. On race pace and time.  This was so hard for me!  How do you switch from training run to race pace when its just you?  My solution was going to the local running club and asking them to run with me to keep me at the pace I wanted to achieve the goal I wanted. 

5.  Post the heck out of it.  It's bragging time! Ok, so there are people who have very strong opinions about fitness people, especially runners, posting stuff online but I say "whatever".  I find that posting about running and fitness online, especially Instagram, is fun and motivating.  I always find the best energy when people comment or post with advise or comments, especially if they are about improving.  So go ahead! Post the heck out of your running accomplishments.

6. The Competition Factor.  I have a competitive spirit.  I love a good competition.  I am that silly person sometimes racing against someone on the treadmill. lol. And the few races I have ran, this was a factor that pushed me.  And it is a factor that is missing in virtual runs.  So I find that the cliche applies here-- run against yourself.  Seriously, you are your best challenger. Only you know what it takes to push yourself beyond the limit you set for yourself before.

 For all the challenges that come with running virtual races, I love a few things about it:

1. No crowds. Seriously, the crowds is what has kept me from running races many times.  I just don't like crowds.

2. Cost. The cost for a virtual run is typically less than an actual organized race.  The cost of these races can add up fast!  So, affordable race fees are a thing of beauty.

3.  You can run them locally and there is virtually (no pun intended) no cost associated with traveling, lodging, etc. as you would have with a race. If you are on a budget, this is the way to go!

Have you ever ran a virtual race?  If so, how do you like it? If not, is there something holding you back?

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  1. That is a great collection of medals! I agree with you though: It's very challenging for me to run a race pace when I'm not doing in irl race.

  2. I've done a couple virtual races but I've really cut back. They can be great fun to do with a group of friends!

  3. Virtual races are always a fun way to stay motivated and collect some bling.