COVID-19 may have altered your plans to attend races throughout the country, but the good news is it didn’t cancel them altogether. Virtual races are popping up across the web and encouraging runners worldwide to not give up their passion. Races that were planned and forced to cancel have pivoted and replanned on virtual platforms. These runs take place wherever you are, at your pace, indoors on a treadmill or outside. They don’t require large gatherings and can be run solo, with a partner, or even a pet. Who you run with, or who you don’t run with, is 100% in your control.
How do virtual runs work?
Virtual races are races you can participate in from anywhere. You don’t have to show up at the designated starting line--your front door or your treadmill is the starting line. For those of us who train regularly for races, not having one to prepare for can set us back in our running goals. We often need a date and a finish line to plan our runs. Virtual races provide just that.
Following are three sites that host a variety of virtual races from which you can choose. Each offers easy ways to sign up and join. Take a few minutes to search through each, find a charity or theme you love, and start collecting your 2020 running t-shirts.
Gone for a Run
Gone for a Run has multiple virtual races and race challenges. These are themed races that vary in distance and come with a t-shirt and medal. They have training programs and even virtual running coaches available. A percentage of each race registration is given to charity. Choose your race and register at Goneforarun.com.
Virtual Run Events
Virtual Run Events hosts races that benefit charities around the world. Whether you choose to walk or run, you’ll do it on your own time, at your own pace, and in the location of your choosing. Be sure to check out The Great Toilet Paper Chase where 30% of each registration goes to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund through the World Health Organization. If you are a part of a charity and are interested in learning how to host your own virtual run event, visit here. Of course, if you are simply shopping for a great run to join, go to VirtualRunEvents.com and shop all the races.
With Virtual Strides, you can time yourself running a 5K, 10K, or other distance by running around your neighborhood or on a treadmill, uploading your times to your account. You can even break the race up into smaller bits spread out across a few weeks to hit your goal. Like Virtual Run Events and Gone for a Run, you’ll raise money for charity while also earning medals for yourself.
How to prepare for a virtual run
Virtual runs are not that much different from any other 5K, 10K, or marathon in which you have participated. The difference is that a large group of people are not meeting together in person. Everyone’s starting line and start times vary but the goal and the distance do not.
You will want to prepare for these runs in the same way you do any other. Don’t start cold, especially if you’ve spent a large portion of your “stay-at-home” on the couch with Netflix (like the majority of us). No judgment; just know your starting line.
If you’ve spent a good portion of the last month or two resting, then try one of these apps to get you moving and back on the trail to your running goals. Start slow and work your way back to where you were.
Just as with any training program, you need to always stretch, wear comfortable clothing for the time of year, and listen to your body while you workout. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you are fatigued, then rest. If you are tight, then spend more time stretching. If there is a pain somewhere in your body, investigate and discover why. Don’t ignore the symptoms. Take care of the body you have. It’s the only one you get.
Dress the part
One crucial way to take care of yourself and to prepare for a virtual run is to dress the part.
During “stay-at-home” orders, it was/is easy to live in pajamas and be sucked into the comfort of baggy stretchy clothes. But as a runner, those clothing choices do not work.
Dressing the part tricks our mind to accept the new activity, the needed confidence, or the motivation required. There is something about putting on sweat-wicking fabrics, bright crazy compression socks, and the right pair of running shoes that helps you get from the couch to the front door, down the driveway, and closer to your goal.
Compression socks and why they matter
Crazy Compression socks are crazy fun, but they are much, much more than that. Our 1-20mmhg TRUE graduated compression helps protect your feet and ankles from swelling. It gives your legs the gentle hug they need to help promote heart health, keeping your circulation pumping. Rather than allow blood to pool in the ankles, the compression gradually coaxes the flow upward and towards the heart. This helps prevent swelling, injury, and a host of other health problems.
Made from lightweight, breathable micro-nylon with moisture control, our socks also keep your feet dry and comfortable during the run.
Whether you are planning to run a marathon or just around the block, compression socks decrease recovery time and may prevent injuries. These socks can also be worn for post-run recovery. The health of your lower extremities is vital to both your health and your runs.
Because you and your goals matter
Here at Crazy Compressions, we want you to stand tall on well supported and fashionable legs. In fact, we are so confident you’ll love these socks as much as we do that we offer a lifetime guarantee.
2020 has been a whirlwind of crazy, but it doesn’t all have to be stressful crazy. You need a little crazy in your life that you choose, the crazy that screams, “this is me, and what I love matters.”
Start taking care of you! Get off the couch. Go for a run. Tackle those goals you’ve set for the year and let go of the excuses holding you back. Do it for you because you, my friend, are worth it.