Six Tips for Your First Virtual Running Race
1. Determine your course before you head out the door. Several questions to ask yourself may determine one route over another. Are you going to run an out and back, a loop, multiple loops, will there be hills, lots of intersections, drinking fountains, or restrooms?
2. Plan your nutrition! With no aid stations you should decide what drink or supplements? How much will you need? Can you carry it all? With those in mind you need to add multiple loops to your course to refuel for longer distance/duration races.
3. Prepare to stop. With virtual racing the chances of having to stop are high unless you are running on a treadmill or track. Understand that you are not cheating or failing because of stopping at intersections or other unforgettable obstacles. Be safe out there!
4. Set realistic expectations. Due to the lack of closed course, no nutrition stations, race pacers, and other factors it would be in your best interest to dial back expectations. Maybe you will run a personal best or run the entire race, but for time goals I suggest adding 3-5% to your time goal. There is a lot to be said for race day adrenaline and maintaining momentum through intersections.
5. Notify someone that you are going to be completing a virtual race. Safety is key, but also by telling someone you are racing adds an extra layer of accountability!
6. Enjoy the race! All the hard work and weeks of training have come to an end and this is the time to celebrate!