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Why You Should Be Virtual Racing

A great option for those who want fitness and convenience

Are you motivated to toe the line with other athletes but there are no upcoming races near you? Or are you busy on race day and cannot make it? A virtual race may be the option for you! Skip the pre-race nervousness with other runners and enjoy this new trend in the running world.

With virtual racing, you can sign up online and complete any challenges on your schedule. You can even choose your own starting time. You will still get the benefits that come with competition in person including community support, competition, and rewards for taking place in a virtual race.

Register online and receive a race bib just like you would in a live event. Once you are finished racing, upload your finishing time and you will receive a medal in the mail.

Here are some more reasons why you need to be doing virtual racing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less Stress

You can easily work around whatever comes your way with virtual racing. Is the weather bad? Don’t sweat it – or do by hitting the treadmill! Are you feeling tired? Take it easy and just enjoy the distance. Are you sick or had a hard night of sleep? You can simply reschedule (a benefit you never get with real-life 5ks).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flexible Scheduling

Let’s face it. Life is busy. You probably want to run more races than you can fit in your schedule with work, family, and travel. Stay motivated by setting goals with virtual racing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motivation

By joining a virtual race, you can get geared up and in the racing mindset. Knowing you will be sharing your results, you may surprise yourself with how well you do! You might even set your own distance personal record because of your newfound motivation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race Anywhere

Is your city filled with trails and fitness centers you have wanted to check out? By signing up for multiple virtual races, you can give yourself a reason to take advantage of each of those places! Or do you already have a favorite place to run? With virtual racing, you have the option of running on your favorite trail every time you race!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experiment

Virtual racing offers runners opportunity to experiment with new training methods and plans to determine what works best for you when it comes to hydration and nutrition before and during a race. You can also work out the details with what resting time is best for you before and after a race, which supplements work best for you and even which apparel works best for you and your time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Embarrassment

One reason many people fail to get into running races is out of fear of embarrassment. A virtual race enables you to treat yourself like the runner you are without worrying about running with other people or the fact that others looking at you.

 

 

3 Mental Barriers That Hinder Your Running Success

Disappointment, stress, and fear are feelings that can affect our enjoyment as runners. Some races or workouts may present a mental barrier that is harder to overcome than a physical one, leading you to struggle with even getting your laces tied to run. If you have ever faced this kind of challenge, read on to learn how you can overcome these mental hindrances to your success on the pavement (or trail).

Comparing Yourself to Others

It is sometimes difficult to not compare ourselves to runners we think are better and/or faster. Although having other runners around to compare yourself to can be motivating, enabling you to set realistic goals, there will almost always be someone faster than you. The trap of comparison occurs when one takes this too far, potentially hitting a wall of disappointment head-on. Not all runners are created equally, meaning we do not all have the same genes or resources, time or training. If you find yourself making self-defeating comparisons on a regular basis between your pace and those of runners who are faster, stop – right away. Are you putting in all you can? If you are, find encouragement in the fact that you are putting great effort into your workouts and that you have likely improved greatly in comparison to your pace before. Motivate yourself by your own times!

Fear of Failure

Although fear can be a driving factor, it can also do just the opposite. Many runners end up overwhelmed, giving into fear, which may result in anxiety, a lack of confidence and a running experience that is less than our best. When fear begins to creep up on you, acknowledge it first and then begin to take steps to positively change your thoughts. Set realistic goals, taking small steps in achieving them. Practice relaxation techniques. Develop positive affirmations toward yourself. Be willing to risk failure in order to succeed. If you don’t get up and try again, you will not ever make it. Be the best you can be when you make a commitment to reach a goal or win a race and keep your expectations in balance. Celebrate by looking up at what you have achieved instead of down at what you have failed to accomplish in your eyes.

Constantly Trying to Beat Your Record

Setting and beating your own personal record is a great delight when it comes to running. But some runners get caught in a cycle of constantly trying to beat their own personal record. This can lead to disappointment and burnout in some. Instead, enjoy your runs regardless of whether you are beating records or not. That is not to say you should not strive to succeed and achieve growth. Just simply change your outlook and look for other rewards as well – not just gaining the fastest time.

Ways to Help Others Join in Your Fitness Goals

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!

6 Things You Need to Get Started Running

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.

8 Ways to Prevent Soreness After a 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.

Your Guide to Sticking to Your Running New Year’s Resolutions

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.

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.