We may be in the midst of coronavirus locks, but that doesn't stop runners from practicing and competing by participating in virtual races.
Thanks to a host of active apps – MyFitnessPal, Strava, Couch to 5K, Nike Run Club – there is no shortage of ways to plot and track a runner's course even during the pandemic. While some essential aspects of racing are lacking because people can't get together, encourage each other and experience the thrill of crossing the finish line, virtual races can be best.
Here's how to keep fit while remaining safe.
What is virtual running?
Virtual running, jogging or walking takes place wherever people can run safely while keeping social distance and obeying park and street closings during coronavirus locks. Distances for races range from 5 km to half marathons.
Basically you drive the way you would on any race day, but you probably run alone or a safe distance apart from people you know. While the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a distance of 6 feet apart, a study suggested 1
Other than that the rules are pretty loose.
Participating in virtual races
Running clubs such as the New York Road Runners (NYRR) indicate that a virtual race can be run at any time within a specific time period, for example during the two-week course to accommodate the different schedules of people while working from home.
Some running groups have virtual races open to the public and then special registrations for those who want their time to count towards qualifying for half marathons and full marathons that take place later in the year.
Runners log their times into an app (NYRR uses Strava for its races) and "competes" with others. NYRR's Michael Capiraso told Digital Trends that runners only need a device with GPS and an app like Strava. For the runners of his organization: & # 39; any result will be verified by Strava and all race routes must be made public to be added to the race results and count as official result & # 39 ;.
For others, responsibility and community are important. The Quarantine Backyard Ultra, which began on April 4, asks participants to log into a Zoom video conference. Runners registered online to go 4,167 miles every hour, on the hour, until only one runner was left in the live stream.
Their phones or other devices could be mounted on their treadmills or anywhere outside where other participants and the organizers could see and interact with the runners as they ran their laps – so they didn't have to travel far from their home during a lockdown.
A flexible schedule can also help when you run out, so you can avoid times when there may be more people outside and sticking to social distance is more difficult.
A large number of races have been canceled due to the coronavirus, but many organizers offer virtual alternatives, so it is best to contact them. Generally, race organizers offer refunds and free or heavily discounted virtual race registrations.
NYRR offers both free and paid registrations for its races. With the paid ones, runners can use their time to qualify for bigger races like the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Capiraso said that since NYRR launched virtual running events in 2018, more than 100,000 runners have finished their races. Upcoming 5K and half marathons already have more than 20,000 registrants.
Virtual Run Events has been offering these kinds of races long before the pandemic for those who were unable or unwilling to run with others.
Some apps also sponsor virtual events and email participants and winner medals – even including a Baby Yoda award.
And best of all, virtual runs can help and keep you healthy: the registration fees of many races, if there are any, go to Corona Virus Rescue.