Great Holiday Gift Ideas for Runners

The holidays are around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about gifts for all of your friends that love running as much as you do. Finding the perfect gift can be difficult, which is why we’re here to help! There are so many things that your friends and family may not even realize that they wanted, but as soon as they open those gifts, they will absolutely love them! Here are some gift ideas that any runner would love!

  1. Wearable Fitness Trackers

Runners want to know how well they are performing during each training session so that they can work to improve during their next session. Fitness trackers make it easy for runners to track their heart rate, their speed, their distance, the number of calories they burned, and other helpful information. Fitness trackers have been getting progressively more accurate and easy to use.

  1. Bluetooth Earbuds

Every runner wants to have her favorite tunes that help pump her up and help her keep his pace. Wrestling with earbud cords while you are running can be irritating. With Bluetooth earbuds, the runner in your life can easily put their earbuds in, grab their music, and go. Bluetooth earbuds make listening to your favorite music while you are on the go.

  1. Fun Running Socks

Socks are always a favorite gift for the holidays. They always make great stocking stuffers! Running socks not only make your run more comfortable, but they can also make your run more colorful. There are so many great running socks that have some fun patterns. No matter the sense of style for the runner in your life, you can find a pattern that they will absolutely love!

  1. Foam Roller

One thing that runners need to think about is their recovering from a challenging run. One thing that can help during recovery is a foam roller. A foam roller is a great tool for runners to help them loosen their muscles and help them relax after a run.

  1. Running and Fitness Log

Understanding progress can help any runner reach their fitness goals. Journals can help runners keep track of their progress and their nutrition so that they can understand how their body has improved based on their fitness schedule. Find a fitness log that has everything that the runner in your life needs to track their fitness.

  1. Run a Virtual Race With Them

One way of letting the runner in your life know how much you appreciate them is to actually run a race with them. Also, sometimes it’s nice to get a little gift for yourself. A virtual race is a great way of making that happen. With a virtual race, you can run together wherever you want to at your own pace. You can do them wherever is most convenient for you. There are so many races and medals to choose from so you can choose the perfect race that you know you both will enjoy doing together.

4 Tips to Help You Train for a Virtual Race

Just as with any type of race, it is important to do some training before your virtual race. When it comes to starting your training for a race, there are some things that you should think about to help you complete your race and have a fun time doing it. There are certain things that many runners do in order to prepare for races. Here are some things that you can do so that you have a great race day.

1. Create a Goal for Yourself

When you begin your training for your race, it is good to begin with a goal in mind. Perhaps you want to run the entire race without stopping to walk. Maybe you want to achieve your personal best. Or maybe it is something that is completely unique for you. No matter what it may be, it is always a good idea to start with goals in mind. It can give you the motivation that you need throughout your training. If you accomplish your goal during the race, it will mean so much more than a

2. Make a Training Plan

Another good thing to do before you begin training is to create a training plan. Decide which days you will spend running and figure out how long you will run on each of these days. This will help you stay focused on your goals and will give you a schedule that you will want to stick to.

3. Get a Running Buddy

Running buddies simply make training more fun! You have someone to talk to when you are doing all of the training and you will have some one to race with when your do the virtual race with. Having a running buddy can help you stay accountable during your training. Since they will be doing the training as well as you, they can make sure that you stick to the training plan that you have created for yourself.

4. Find a Place Where You Love to Run

Your environment can make a huge difference on your training and your mindset when it comes to your race. One of the benefits of doing a virtual race is the fact that you are able to run wherever you want to run. Whether you prefer running on the treadmill or you enjoy running outside, it’s your choice. Find that place that makes you feel great when you are running so that you can have a wonderful time during your training and during your race.

Training for Your Virtual Race

The most important part of any virtual race is to have a great time. You can have a fun time while you are training too! Training for your race not only helps you be prepared for your race, but it also can make you more excited for race day. We want to make sure that you truly treasure that medal after all of the hard work that you do after your training.

4 Ways to Warm Up Before Your Run

While it’s tempting to get your workout started by simply running at top speeds, this can actually cause injury. Before any running workout, it’s important to warm up your muscles in order to stretch them out and prevent you from any tears or tweaking a tendon. Also, if you start your running too fast, you are more likely to slow down faster and your endurance will wear down. Here are some great warm-ups that will keep you loose and feeling great throughout your workout.

  1. Walk

Start your warm up with a brisk walk. This eases your body into workout mode and helps get your legs ready for your run. Walking takes the tendons and muscles in your legs through the same range of motion that running does. Walking increases your body temperature and increases blood flow to your leg muscles.

  1. Stair Climbs

Find a series of stairs and slowly jog up and down them. This stretches out your glutes and hamstrings to keep your legs and even increases the range of motion of your legs so that the muscles are loose and energized. This dynamically stretches out your muscles and helps prevent injuries when you begin to run.

  1. Deep Lunges

On a straight stretch of the track, do some deep lunges. Deep lunges are able to stretch out your glutes and your calves. This is a great way to slowly loosen up your legs and your hip and knee joints so that they are not damaged during any strenuous part of your run.

  1. Stretches

Certain dynamic stretches can work to energize your legs and help prevent you from any injuries during your workout. These are some examples of dynamic stretches that you can do during your warm up:

  • High Knees – Do a light jog, but kick up your knees as high as they can go. Do this for 30 seconds
  • Butt Kicks – Do a light jog, but kick up your feet behind you as high as they can go until they lightly kick your bottom. Do this for 30 seconds
  • Ice Skaters – Start in a standing position and then slowly bring your left foot to the opposite side of your right leg and lean down then slowly. Repeat with your right leg. Do this for 1 minute.

Don’t Forget to Cool Down After Your Run

Something that is also helpful for recovery after your run is doing an effective cool down. Once you have completed your run, do some light stretches and walk for a short distance. This will help slow down your heart rate and will prevent your muscles from becoming sore after your workout.

Training for Your Virtual Race

It’s important for you to train for your virtual race so that you feel prepared for race day. Find a race that gives you enough time to train beforehand. You can choose a race that works well with your personality and has a medal that you will always treasure.

6 Tips for Running in Winter

When the weather begins to change, it can be tempting to stay indoors instead of going and running outside. But, just because the thermometer has dropped does not mean that you cannot enjoy the outdoors when you want to go for a run. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your run when it’s colder outside.

1. Protect Your Feet

Look for shoes that have the least amount of mesh. Also, be sure to wear socks that wick away your sweat, but will still keep your feet warm. This will help ensure that your feet stay warm and will keep any snow or slush out.

2. Layer It Up!

If you are running in colder weather, the general rule is to dress as if it were 20 degrees warmer. Be sure to dress in layers, so if you do get too hot and sweaty when you run, you can begin to shed layers. Also, it may be a good idea to remember to wear a scarf or mask to keep your face warmer when you are running. Cold air tends to also be very dry, which can cause breathing issues.

3. Warm Up Before You Start

It’s easier to get started on your run if you have warmed up beforehand. Before you start your run be sure to do some stretching and some light jogging. This will help you stay warm while you are running and will keep you feeling great throughout your run.

4. Stay Hydrated

Even in the colder weather, it is important to stay hydrated and make sure that you are getting plenty of water while you run.  You may be losing as much fluid in the winter as you do in the summer, so it’s important to make sure that you always have an insulated water bottle on hand while you run.

5. Stay Visible

Unfortunately, during winter, the sun sets much earlier in the day, which means that there are fewer daylight hours to actually go for your run. It is important that if you are running during darker times, that you wear something that ensures that can be seen by others. Make sure that you wear clothing that is reflective and stay in well-lit areas. It also may be a good idea to wear a headlamp.

6. Change Quickly After Your Run

Once you are done with your run, take a warm shower and change into warm clothes. This will help you recover easily from the winter cold. A warm beverage such as a hot cup of coffee or tea can warm your body up and help you recover quickly.

Training for a Virtual Race During the Winter

It’s important to train before your virtual race, which can be more difficult during the winter months. If you are training for a winter virtual race and you cannot stand running outside during colder weather, you can still complete the race wherever you want including a treadmill. Find what works best for you and your training habits.

How to Get into a Winning Mindset While Virtual Racing

If you haven’t signed up for your first virtual race, it’s time that you did! There is no better time than now to start racing. Signing up for a 5K or 10K race that you complete in your own time is easy. In fact, it takes minutes to do and makes you eligible for a finisher’s medal just like the one you’d receive at a sponsored event you attended in person.

Developing a winning mindset can help you overcome the challenges you face with your first virtual race. It helps you adapt and conquer the terrain you’ve chosen to race on. If you have a time in mind that you’d like to beat, you can set a goal for yourself. The thing about virtual racing is that you do it on your own terms, when it’s convenient for you so timing yourself isn’t necessary.

Here are some ways to get into a winning mindset while virtual racing:

  • Pride yourself on having the courage to start. For many people, running a race is a dream that they’ve had for a long time. Unfortunately, for some men and women, time constraints or life events prevent them from joining their friends, family members or work colleagues in an organized race. Having the opportunity to race on your own is incredible. It’s something that not everyone can do alone. That’s why you should be proud of your decision to start.
  • Know that you are strong and resilient. Your body is capable of doing things you’re not even aware of. Keep this in mind when you start to tire or feel like giving up in the middle of your race. It’s okay to run and walk. Virtual races give you greater flexibility. You can even ride your bicycle or take your dog for a walk and have it count toward your 5K or 10K total. The point is to finish what you’ve started because you are strong and capable.
  • Listen to uplifting music or your favorite podcast. This race is all about you! Why not put yourself in the right mindset by listening to music that you love or a podcast that you’ve been meaning to check out? You’ll be amazed at how quickly time passes when you’re doing something fun. Your virtual race can be customized however you see fit. The only thing we advise is that you do it when it is light out and that you remain aware of your surroundings throughout the duration of the race. We want you to put your personal safety first.

A virtual race provides you with the opportunity to discover new strengths about yourself. It allows you to complete a 5K or 10K race at your own pace and on your own schedule. Virtually racing builds strength in your body and character while providing you the opportunity to support charities and causes that matter to you.

Creative Ways to Make Your Virtual Race Even More Enjoyable

Virtual races are always an enjoyable experience. You get the chance to set goals for yourself and accomplish those goals. You also have the ability to complete your race at your own pace and wherever you feel most comfortable. However, there are some things that you can do to make your virtual race an unforgettable experience that you will always treasure. Here are some creative things that you can do to make your virtual race a blast!

1. Invite Friends to Join You or Cheer You On

Races always seem to be better when you do them with friends, because they are there to encourage you throughout training and during the race. It’s great when you are doing them with someone who has the same passion for racing as you do. If your friends do not seem to want to join into the race, they may be happy to cheer you on from the sidelines.  This way, they can still have fun contributing to your success.

2. Dress Up in a Fun Athletic Outfit

For some of the fun virtual races that you can do, it may make your race a little more enjoyable to dress up according to the theme of the race! You get the chance to wear a crazy outfit and let people know that you are actually on a race and not just exercising. Choose a virtual race where you would be comfortable creating an outfit with that theme and find an outfit that is fun, but you are still comfortable in while you are racing.

3. Make Sure that You Celebrate After Your Race

While reaching your goals and achieving victory can be exciting enough, you can still find some simple ways to celebrate what you accomplished. If you did do the race with friends, maybe you can all go out to dinner afterwards or do another activity that you all enjoy together. This way, you can keep the party going and celebrate what you all accomplished together.

4. Do a Photo Shoot When You Receive Your Medal

Since you receive your medal in the mail after you have completed your race, you may want to take some time to celebrate again when you receive it! Take some pictures of yourself wearing the medal and share it on your Facebook or Instagram so that your friends can celebrate with you and congratulate you for completing your race.

Having a Great Time Doing a Virtual Race

Everything from your training to your virtual race is all about helping you reach the fitness goals that you have for yourself and having a great time doing it. If you haven’t tried doing a virtual race, we have some fantastic options to choose from. Virtual Pace Series can help you find a race that works with your personality and your training schedule. Our virtual races are all about helping you find races that you will enjoy doing and you will be proud when you have completed it!

3 Benefits of Doing a Virtual Race

Races are always a fun way of staying physically fit. It gives you the chance to work on your personal best and earn a beautiful medal when you are done with the race. You also have the confidence to know that you reached your goals and finished your race. One of the joys of virtual races is that it has all of the positive aspects of a race without any of the drawbacks. These are some of the best benefits of doing a virtual race.

1. You Are Only Competing With Yourself or Friends

The point of most races is to improve yourself and to have fun, but sometimes too much competition can spoil the fun. When people start passing you during a race, you can feel self-conscious and upset, which can prevent you from joining in the fun on other races When you are running your virtual race, you get the chance to run at your own pace.  You can still compete in the race with your friends and have a great time together at a pace that suits you all.

2. You Can Race Wherever You Want

Sometimes you need to travel a distance in order to get to a race, which can be so inconvenient. You have to travel to wherever you need to go the day before to pick up your bib and then you need to be sure that you arrive at the race location early so that you are with your pace group. The best thing about virtual races is that you can race wherever you want! If you have a favorite running spot that gives you the energy to do your best, you can race there! You can even race on a treadmill if that is where you run the best. You have the freedom to run where you are most comfortable.

3. You Still Get Some Fun Medals

When you complete a race, it feels so rewarding to get that medal to show off what you earned. There are so many colorful and creative medals that make the entire experience more fun. Many people choose to compete in a race simply because they like the look of the medal that they would win by competing in the race. When you receive that medal in your mailbox, you will still feel that pride from knowing that you were able to complete the race that you participated in.

4 Tips to Help You Train for a Virtual Race

Just as with any type of race, it is important to do some training before your virtual race. When it comes to starting your training for a race there are some things that you should think about to help you complete your race and have a fun time doing it. There are certain things that many runners may do in order to prepare for their races. Here are some things that you can do so that you have a great race day.

1. Create a Goal for Yourself
When you begin your training for your race, it is good to begin with a goal in mind. Perhaps you want to run the entire race without stopping to walk. Maybe you want to achieve your personal best. Or maybe it is something that is completely unique for you. No matter what it may be, it is always a good idea to start with goals in mind. It can give you the motivation that you need throughout your training. If you accomplish your goal during the race, it will mean so much more than a

2. Make a Training Plan
Another good thing to do before you begin training is to create a training plan. Decide which days you will spend running and figure out how long you will run on each of these days. This will help you stay focused on your goals and will give you a schedule that you will want to stick to.

3. Get a Running Buddy
Running buddies simply make training more fun! You have someone to talk to when you are doing all of the training and you will have some one to race with when your do the virtual race with. Having a running buddy can help you stay accountable during your training. Since they will be doing the training as well as you, they can make sure that you stick to the training plan that you have created for yourself.

4. Find a Place Where You Love to Run
Your environment can make a huge difference on your training and your mindset when it comes to your race. One of the benefits of doing a virtual race is the fact that you are able to run wherever you want to run. Whether you prefer running on the treadmill or you enjoy running outside, it’s your choice. Find that place that makes you feel great when you are running so that you can have a wonderful time during your training and during your race.

Training for Your Virtual Race
The most important part of any virtual race is to have a great time. You can have a fun time while you are training too! Training for your race not only helps you be prepared for your race, but it also can make you more excited for race day. We want to make sure that you truly treasure that medal after all of the hard work that you do after your training.

New to Virtual Races? 5 Steps to get your started.

What to Eat Before a 5k/10k Run

Carb loading for a 5K race isn’t really necessary. When it comes to a 5K you will really just want to make sure you are doing these following steps when it comes to eating before your race:

Eat A Light Breakfast

For morning races, a light 200-300 calorie breakfast one to two hours before the race should hold you over well. Try to make sure that most of the calories are coming from whole, unprocessed carbs. Try to avoid too much fiber or fats due to the amount of time they take to digest. 10 grams of fiber/fat or less is best!  Be sure to avoid spicy! Spicy foods or seasoning can upset your stomach and may cause heartburn during your race. Make sure that you try different meal choices during your training to see what works best with your body, so on the race day you will know exactly what to eat.

Pre-Race Snacking

No need to starve yourself! If you are hungry right before your race, it is perfectly OK to have a small snack of 150-250 calories that settles the hunger, but not fill you up. Something like a banana, or energy bar would suffice. Try to choose something that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Make sure to drink 7-10 ounces of water or a sports drink to wash it down. Drinking  will aid in quicker digestion, giving your body the quick burn nutrients you need to succeed!

Stay Hydrated

Wash your pre-race meal down with plenty of water or your favorite sports drinks. 17-20 ounces of water before the race is about what you should consume. Then sipping water throughout the day and before the race is a good idea. Avoid drinking so much that you get sick once you start running. Stay hydrated but pace yourself.

Late-Day Race

If your race is later in the day or evening, be sure to keep all your meals very light. Breakfast and lunch meals will be very important in how you feel by the time the race starts. Again, avoid high fiber and fat. Granola with fruit, a bagel with egg, etc. are all good choices for breakfast if your race is late in the day.

Best of luck on your upcoming Virtual 5k or 10k! Let us know what you do to prepare for your race and as always we would love to hear and see the results on social media!

Fuel For A 5k

What to Eat Before a 5k/10k Run

 

Carb loading for a 5K race isn’t really necessary. When it comes to a 5K you will really just want to make sure you are doing these following steps when it comes to eating before your race:

Eat A Light Breakfast

For morning races, a light 200-300 calorie breakfast one to two hours before the race should hold you over well. Try to make sure that most of the calories are coming from whole, unprocessed carbs. Try to avoid too much fiber or fats due to the amount of time they take to digest. 10 grams of fiber/fat or less is best!  Be sure to avoid spicy! Spicy foods or seasoning can upset your stomach and may cause heartburn during your race. Make sure that you try different meal choices during your training to see what works best with your body, so on the race day you will know exactly what to eat.

Pre-Race Snacking

No need to starve yourself! If you are hungry right before your race, it is perfectly OK to have a small snack of 150-250 calories that settles the hunger, but not fill you up. Something like a banana, or energy bar would suffice. Try to choose something that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Make sure to drink 7-10 ounces of water or a sports drink to wash it down. Drinking  will aid in quicker digestion, giving your body the quick burn nutrients you need to succeed!

Stay Hydrated

Wash your pre-race meal down with plenty of water or your favorite sports drinks. 17-20 ounces of water before the race is about what you should consume. Then sipping water throughout the day and before the race is a good idea. Avoid drinking so much that you get sick once you start running. Stay hydrated but pace yourself.

Late-Day Race

If your race is later in the day or evening, be sure to keep all your meals very light. Breakfast and lunch meals will be very important in how you feel by the time the race starts. Again, avoid high fiber and fat. Granola with fruit, a bagel with egg, etc. are all good choices for breakfast if your race is late in the day.

 

Best of luck on your upcoming Virtual 5k or 10k! Let us know what you do to prepare for your race and as always we would love to hear and see the results on social media!