3 min read
Social media is full of fun-loving runners sharing their adventures and taking pictures at the finish line with their hard-earned race swag. Achievement is delightfully addicting, and who doesn’t want to belong to an energizing community that celebrates its accomplishments? Running takes dedication, motivation, and hard work. You should be rewarded and celebrate your victories!
When I first started running, I faced some annoying obstacles that prevented me from joining in-person running groups or attending some popular races. My work shifts were very early, too long, and usually included holidays, so training with a running group or attending a popular holiday race was nearly impossible. I also struggled to find a running group near my home. Commuting another couple of hours after a 10- to 12-hour shift wasn’t appealing or convenient.
I did my best, but running alone (or with my dog) became necessary if I wanted to train and accomplish my goals. I found virtual racing was a simple yet fun way to overcome these obstacles, run on my terms, increase my motivation, earn medals, and belong to a running community.
Frustrations or obstacles like the ones listed below should not put limits on your running journey! You may not be able to change your work schedule or life situation, but you can race on your terms and still reap the rewards.
Can you relate to any of these obstacles?
If you can relate, you'll discover that virtual races can help you overcome these barriers, and they provide numerous additional benefits as well. Signing up for a virtual race puts you in control of your time and gives you maximum flexibility.
Remember, just because the race is virtual doesn’t mean you have to run alone. In fact, many of our runners join forces with their spouse, coworkers, or friends for a fun get-together or friendly competition. It’s a great way to stay connected and participate with family and friends living in distant cities. Pick a day or weekend that’s convenient for your group, then after your run, share your experience with them via social media, FaceTime, group text, etc. Knowing that you’re “racing” with other runners gives you extra motivation and the incentive to do your best.
Also, virtual racing does not have to be a special event. Use it as a valuable training tool to increase your success. While every run is not a race, it’s essential to test your progress occasionally. Why not end an 8- to12-week training program with a virtual race? Even if you’re training for a big in-person race, throwing in a few virtual races along the way can help you measure your progress and spice up your routine.
My passion for virtual racing is not about replacing in-person races. It’s about enhancing your running journey by providing solutions to overcome obstacles and by making your running routine even more exciting and satisfying. Adding a few virtual races to your routine will undoubtedly offer many benefits that you won’t regret.
At RunPups, we say, “You don’t have to run with a crowd to be part of a pack.” If you’re looking for a virtual running community, you’re always welcome in our pack of people and pups!
Check out our virtual race page to see our list of current races open for registration.
Read more about our Run for Pups Virtual Race Series. Your participation in these races helps us sponsor abandoned and needy pups. Thank you!
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