We’ve all been there. It’s race morning and instead of all the usual hype of an in-person race, we’re left with our usual course and no one to run with. Have no fear, you can still make it a memorable virtual race experience! Here are five tips to find the motivation to crush your virtual race, even when you don’t feel like it.
Disclaimer: I received a race entry to the virtual Oakland Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!
1. Find an Accountability Partner
In order to crush your virtual race, you’re going to need an accountability partner. This accountability partner is someone who will check in on you during training and be your number one cheerleader. Your accountability partner can be a family member, a friend, or a member from your virtual race community. (The only thing that stopped me from quitting the Santa Rosa Marathon in 2019, was the knowledge that my virtual race community was “watching” and holding me accountable to finish the race!)
2. Plug in to the Virtual Race Community
Many virtual races, including the Oakland Marathon, have Facebook groups in which participants can cheer one another on, ask questions, share photos, etc. Joining in on the virtual race community helps you know that you’re not all alone in completing the race. On race day, you can imagine toeing the line with all of your newly-made running friends.
3. Plan Your Course
Do you prefer “change” or sticking with what you already know? Personally, I’m all about the new and unknown. I’ve never been one to study a racecourse before race day. I like to be surprised which is why I like to change it up and plan my racecourse in a new location! Drive to a location within your own city or venture elsewhere. Take in all of the new sights, sounds, and smells of your new route while out crushing your virtual race. (For one of my virtual half marathons, I traveled to the ocean!)
4. Remember to Make it Fun
Running and exercise in general should be fun! If you’re no longer having fun, it may be because you’re taking the training and race too seriously. Loosen up your shoulders, put on a fun outfit, blast some upbeat music, and make it fun! Remember, even if you’re going for a PR (personal record) or trying to win the whole race, it should still be an enjoyable experience!
5. Share Your Race Experience
Snap a finish line pic and share your race experience on your favorite social media outlet or two. (Instagram is my go-to place!) Don’t worry, you don’t have to be social media savvy to share your race experience. Call up a friend, meet up for a post-race beer, and relive your race experience! You never know, by sharing your race experience, you may inspire others to join you for your next race.
Drop a comment below with your best “virtual race” survival tip. I’d love to hear from you!