Virtual Races: 5 Tips for Success!

Coach Casey · August 31, 2020

Virtual races of all distances and types are becoming more popular and essential for runners these days. Continuing to see that positive race result progress can be imperative for maintaining motivation week after week. As runners we LOVE setting personal bests and reaping the race rewards of our training. Virtual races are a perfect way to continue reaping those rewards and tracking your progress…if approached correctly. 

As you continue to work hard with your training, start planning successful future virtual races. Charge Running has a full calendar of weekly virtual races from 1 Mile all the way to the Half Marathon ready live or on demand for you! Follow the few 5 easy tips below to make your next virtual race a success!  

Crush your next virtual race!

1. Plan your route ahead of time.

Don’t wait until you start your virtual race to think about where you’re going to run. The last thing you want is to have to decide between right or left, loop or out-and-back, midway through your race when your focus should be on pace and the race. Take some time in advance to think over the optimal race route. Consider traffic and any street/road crossing. Think about running surfaces and elevation/incline changes. The more uninterrupted the route the better. Have some fun planning a route with a bit of variety in it that takes advantage of any beautiful settings or environments you may have nearby access to. 

2. Vary the virtual race distances.

One of the benefits of virtual races is that there are so many great options of varying distances. Where previously you may have had to travel quite a bit to find different race distances, with virtual races you can compete in 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons, and even full marathons without any required travel. Take advantage of this ease! No matter what your ultimate race goals are, competing at a variety of distances is great training. You’ll be able to test your different energy systems and workshop different race pacing and tactics. On top of that it’s also a great way to add to your weekly mileage in an engaging and competitive format!

3. Don’t be afraid of lofty goals.

Don’t shy away from setting some big time personal goals for your virtual races. Just because they’re virtual doesn’t mean you can’t set a new distance PR. You may be surprised how fast you’ll run with a community of virtual competitors pushing you. On top of that, with the low-lift nature of getting out for a virtual race, you can afford to shoot for the stars more often, knowing that you’ll have another opportunity at your convenience if you don’t quite hit the mark. You’ll learn just as much, if not more, about racing successfully in falling short of your goals as you would in hitting them! No harm, no foul!  

4. Execute pre-determined “race moves/tactics.”

Even if you’re out there racing physically alone, you can still practice a series of race tactics and moves that you’d use in a race surrounded by competitors. As with any race, pre-planning is important. Think about the race distance, route, and your individual goals and plan some pre-determined tactics to execute. Choose points in the race to surge, take turns at the tangents, use your finishing kick in the last 400 meters! Practice makes perfect and virtual races are a great opportunity to practice every element of a successfully executed race plan. 

5. Treat virtual races like any other race! 

Prepare yourself mentally and physically for virtual races the same way you would for any in-person race. Give yourself the maximum opportunity for success. Get plenty of rest the night before. Be strategic and focused with your hydration and pre-race warmup. Eat a properly balanced and hearty meal the night before your race and consume your traditional pre-race meal beforehand. Make sure you’ve got the right shoes and the right racing outfit ready to go. The little things matter and will make all the difference. Treat all of your virtual races with focus, determination, and preparation and you may just be blissfully surprised with the results!  

Looking for great virtual races each week for all experiences and abilities? Sign up for Charge Running and get access to live weekly virtual races, runs, and workouts lead by certified, professional running coaches!

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