Running a Virtual Race: "Plan B"
Your training is going well. You are in really good shape. You have no place to go. Uggh. Welcome to 2020 racing season.
COVID 19 has wrecked your plans.
But wait… there is a possible plan “B”. The advent of virtual racing is upon us. These events are popping up all over. While not ideal and not something most (if not all) would sign up for, it is a good alternative to not racing at all.
My clients are participating in virtual races. The feedback has been mixed. However, the overall feeling is acceptance. It’s better than nothing.
So what is ideal? What is a good plan? It all depends on you. What are you shooting for? What is your goal?
I am finding that a virtual race is not an easy competition. There are no thrills. No other runners to work with. No crowds. No fans. Nothing to pump you up. It’s just you, your watch and your mindset. Not easy. Doable but not easy.
So how should someone attack a virtual race? Well, first have the proper thinking going in. You are competing. That’s for sure. But you are a race field of one. That’s it. You are your competition. Embrace it and watch what happens.
Next, have realistic expectations and then dial that back just a tad. Data is showing that
virtual race times are typically much slower then what someone is fully capable of achieving. Know that going in and you are going to have a much better experience.
Now pick a distance and go for it. Maybe you want to create support by having family and friends root you on. Perhaps they can be out on the course. Provide support. Provide cheers. Provide motivation. Or perhaps not. Maybe you are good going solo. Again, all a preference thing.
Bottom line, running a virtual race is not the same as a normal racing event. Clearly. However, as an alternative, it is just fine.
I have a friend that is getting a bunch of training buddies together and putting together competitions among themselves. That group are racing in various distances. Some are even doing triathlons
. I love that creativity.
Hope is not gone. Have fun. Compete and set new personal bests in our new reality of virtual racing.