2018 is your year to be the best you that you can be. No more abandoning your goals for the New Year — start this year off strong and finish stronger! Make this year about facing challenges head on and conquering them. One way to help you reach your goals is encouraging others to get involved too. This way you can have a support system to help others keep you accountable for your goals. Here are a few tips that can help you show yourself the love you deserve and to help others get involved.

Find support

We already mentioned the value of finding a friend to accompany you in your goals — but remember that your support network can be more broad and diverse than that. Participating in an internet community centered around your topics of interest and asking your family to support you in your goal are both good ideas, for example. Signing up for an event related to your new goals can also be a tremendous motivator that connects you to a wider community of people interested in the same kinds of self-improvement as you. A 5k is the perfect race for beginners and it is something that you, your friends and family can train for together.

Make the time

Perfectionism and procrastination sometimes go hand in hand. It is important to understand that there will never be a perfect time to start working toward goals — and those who wait for such a moment often end up waiting forever. (Remember that perspiration counts more than inspiration, after all!) Talk to your family or friends about finding time each week when you can just go and run. It doesn’t need to be for hours at a time, just a half an hour can make a difference. Text or call each other to coordinate times when you can get together to train.

Reward yourself

Having a reward of some sort to look forward to will help push you to keep it and meet your goals. It is important to be kind to yourself, and indulging in a special treat once you succeed is an excellent way to do this. Also, who doesn’t love spending time with people that they love? When your support system is able to reach goals together, you have the chance to celebrate together. Go out and do something that you all love doing together.

Find a Race that You Will All Love!

Each of our races has a different theme. Work together to find a race with a theme that your entire group is a fan of. This way, when you get your medals, you will always be happy to show them off to let others know what you have accomplished. A virtual race could be the perfect way of staying focused on your new year’s goal of getting into better shape. Visit Virtual Pace Series online today to see what race will be best for you and your loved ones!

Running is one of the easiest ways to exercise. It can be done alone or in groups, almost anywhere, and requires almost no special gear or equipment. That being said, it does take some preparation to run safely and effectively, especially when you are training for a race. If done wrong, running can be uncomfortable, and even dangerous. Here are a few of the most important things you’ll need to have on hand if you want to get the most out of your running, and avoid getting hurt.

  1. Good Running Shoes

There’s a reason that this is number one on the list. Old, broken down, or badly fitting shoes can wreak havoc on your feet. If you’re going to start running, invest in a new pair of running shoes, and make sure that they fit well. Some runners even have two or more separate pairs of shoes that they use for different types of running (short distance vs. long distance for example). If you have particularly bad feet, you might want to consider purchasing inserts as well.

  1. Socks Made from Synthetic Material

Regular old cotton socks just won’t cut it. If you want top performance with minimal risk of blistering, synthetic socks are the way to go. With cotton socks, moisture is absorbed into the material and if your feet sweat, they will stay wet. This can get particularly uncomfortable in extremely hot or cold temperatures, and put your feet at risk of fungal infection.

  1. Sunscreen

Running long distances without protecting yourself from the sun can result in uncomfortable and dangerous skin damage from sunburns. A sunscreen with a high SPF is a must for runners, particularly in the summer when skin is exposed and the sun is at its hottest.

  1. Proper Clothes

As with socks, synthetic materials in clothes are important for keeping cool/warm and dry in extreme temperatures. Keeping sweat off can prevent chafing and make for a much more comfortable run. For women, proper clothing also includes a good sports bra.

  1. A Roller for Stiff Muscles

Particularly for those new to running, a good run can result in stiff and painful muscles for days afterward. While warming up and cooling down before runs and not pushing yourself too hard can be good ways to prevent this, it is also important to be able to massage yourself to work out stiffness. Foam muscle rollers, available in most sporting stores, can be a lifesaver when your muscles are cramped and swollen

  1. Water

This may seem like a no-brainer, but dehydration is no joke. On a hot day, water is vital to prevent heat stroke and replenish moisture lost through perspiration. In the cold, staying hydrated is important because it helps you retain heat and prevents chapped lips from low humidity. While a plain old bottle of water works fine, some people prefer camelbaks or other alternative methods of carrying water that does not require you to hold water in your hands the whole run.

It happens to everyone. We go on an intense run one day, and the next morning, we wake up with soreness everywhere. There are 2 reasons for the soreness in your muscles. The first reason is due to the lack of oxygen that your muscles receive during intense workouts, leading to lactic acid build up in the muscles. The second reason is due to small tears in your muscles, that your body needs to heal, which will strengthen your muscles.

In the end, soreness in your muscles is a good thing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to always be in pain. Here are some ways that you can prevent muscle soreness before, during, and after you run.

  1. Wear Compression Clothing During Your Runs

Wearing running gear such as compression tights and compression socks can help prevent soreness later on. Compression clothing can help reduce muscle micro-tearing.

  1. Stretch Before Your Run

Before you run, take some time to stretch out your muscles and warm them up. These stretches can help loosen your muscles and prevent micro-tears in your muscles. Make sure that you stretch your hamstrings and glutes.

  1. Cool Down

After you have finished your run, take some time to walk around to cool down. Take 10-20 minutes to just walk and do some light stretching after you have finished. This will relax your muscles and will ease them after the intensity of your run.

  1. Massage or Foam Rolling

Doing light massage or foam rolling after your run helps break down lactic acid build up and encourages blood flow to the area. Blood flow helps your muscles repair more quickly.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Constant hydration is known to help reduce the soreness of your run. It helps to flush out of the lactic acid that is built up in your muscles. Most experts recommend that you consume approximately 2 quarts of water for every hour that you run.

  1. Eat Right After You Run

Usually, you are hungry after a workout since you likely burned off quite a few calories and it’s best to eat as soon as possible. Eating protein after your work out can help your muscles build up faster after a run, making the recovery shorter.

     7.Warm Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salts are known to help ease muscle pain after a run. Follow the instructions that are recommended on your Epsom salts.

  1. Use Ice to Decrease Inflammation

Another great solution to decrease inflammation that can lead to soreness is through ice therapy. Place ice packets on your body and strap them on tightly with plastic wrap. Keep these on for 30-40 minutes.

Enjoying Training Before a Virtual Race

Half of the fun of doing a virtual race is taking the time to train before it. Part of training is dealing with the discomfort of soreness, but the positives greatly outweigh any of the negatives. Think about how energized your body feels while you run and the joy of accomplishing your training goals along the way. And nothing can beat the pleasure that you feel when you get that medal once you are done with your race.

It is so common for anyone to say that they are going to begin running in the new year, and start strong only to taper off when life starts getting too busy. New Year’s Resolutions can be extremely helpful to motivate you to reach the goals that you have, but you need to stick to them. Here’s our guide to making sure that you succeed in your New Year’s Resolutions this year!

Start by Signing Up a Race

This may sound slightly backwards, but bear with us. The reason that you want to do this is that you start with a commitment. When you sign up for a race, you have to choose what distance you want to be able to run and the date that you want to be able to run it by. A race can also give you the motivation that you need to actually follow through with your resolution and to “walk your talk”.

Write Down All of Your Goals

When working on your new year’s resolution, it’s important to write them all down, even the smallest goal you would like to accomplish. Once you have all of your goals set, create a workout plan. This will help give you an understanding of how you will be able to reach those goals that you have set. Place your workout plan in a place where you will see it every day as a reminder to follow through with it.

Start Small

Often times, when people begin running or start getting into running again. They start very aggressively. Seeing how far they can run or how fast they can run, leaving them too sore the next day, or next couple of days, to accomplish their workout plan. It’s better to start easy and work your way up to more challenging accomplishments. That being said, once you are in your workout routine, it will be important for you to push yourself, and yes feel sore, in order to reach those larger goals that you have.

Don’t Make Excuses

This sounds so cliché, but it’s a rut that we all fall into. So many people are ready for other things that they put before your fitness. They have work, errands, or other busywork that they put in the way. Absolutely, there will always be other things that you can do instead of running, and there will be days when you just don’t feel like it. But just remember, your health always needs to come first. You already made a commitment and you need to be able to do what you set out to do.

Find a Race that You Will Love

Part of the reasons why people love doing races is that they are always so much fun! You can choose a race that works with your fitness level and you will get a cool medal once you accomplish it. When you do a virtual race, you get to run at your own pace, which makes it a great option for any beginner that wants to start running.

Whenever you are training for a race, the best place to start is to create some goals to achieve throughout your training and during your race. Completing your goals can give you that additional sense of accomplishment when you receive your medal, knowing that you did everything to succeed during your race. However, setting goals for yourself is not always easy. That’s why we created this guide, so that you understand what kinds of goals you should be setting and how you can reach them

Start Small

If this is your first race, it’s best to start small when it comes to your goals. You need to be practical about what you can and cannot accomplish. For example, if your current running speed is approximately a 9-minute mile, don’t expect to be able to run a 6-minute mile in the course of a few months of training. Decide on a goal that is doable but will still be a challenge for you.

Create Training Goals

Not only is it a good idea to create goals that are related to the race itself, but you will also want to develop goals that are training related. Of course, you will want some goals that help you with your training regimen, such as committing to train every day or every other day, but it is also a good idea to create goals before each training session. This will give you something to focus on for that session and it can give you a boost of confidence when you are able to stay focused on your goal.

Focus on Yourself

Yes, there is some competition when it comes to virtual races, but they are really about self-improvement. You really shouldn’t be thinking about what place you are going to be in or how many people you want to be ahead of, but think about how you can better your abilities through your virtual race. Maybe for this race, you are going to try for your personal best, or maybe you are going to run the entire race without stopping to walk.

Celebrate Your Victories

Of course, one of the most exciting moments of the virtual race is when you finally get your medal. It’s great to take some time to look back at what you were able to accomplish and to celebrate what you were able to achieve. Get some friends and do something that you enjoy doing. This is a great way to involve loved ones in your virtual race as well as your fitness journey.

Making Goals for Your Virtual Race

When you are able to complete your race and accomplish everything that you had set out to do, it just makes victory so much sweeter. Virtual races make it so much easier for you to have the ability to focus on yourself, because you aren’t comparing yourself to others when you are in your race. Find a race that works with your fitness goals and have fun with it!

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.