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Try virtual running to stay fit and motivated at home

try virtual running to stay fit and healthy

What’s the idea?

Virtual running is the perfect way keep you fit during lockdown.  If you’re missing Park Run, there’s lots of virtual ‘races’ online to enjoy.

What’s the story?

Last week a friend sent me a link to a family Lockdown Virtual Run.

This is where you run a race distance on your own or with your household.

And then post the results on the event website, so you can see where you came in the virtual race.

I’m always looking for ways to help my family to stay active, and this feels like a great way.

Partly because I find that my kids tend to need an end goal to do something.

Plus at this time of year we usually take part in 2 or 3 family runs.

Not to mention our weekly Park Run which isn’t happening at the moment (for obvious reasons!)

So I decided to do a bit of research on virtual running, and I found:

(it’s not a virtual race but it is a really good online running programme to get you started)

Best of all, most virtual running events have no time restrictions, so they’re perfect for kids.

People should do this because…?

Taking part in a virtual running programme or race helps your whole family stay mentally and physically fit;

If you’re lacking motivation and need a specific goal this can help;

Virtual running can help you train for a specific event post-lockdown;

If you do it with the kids, their activity levels will increase;

Virtual running is really flexible, so you can fit around your other commitments;

You can go at your own pace and will have a real sense of achievement once completed;

Some virtual running events  even send a medal to your home. What a great way to reward you and the kids!

And don’t forget, you can always do a virtual run for charity.

How do you do it?

Below is a list of virtual running events I found to be the most straight forward and family friendly.

Each one provides something a little bit different.

NHS Couch to 5K

  • A running plan aimed for beginners
  • Helps you to gradually work up towards running 5K in just 9 weeks
  • Each week involves 3 runs.
  • Start with a series of brisk walks and intermittent running
  • Plus download podcasts from iTunes
  • Or get the entire programme as a smartphone app:
How to get started:
  1. Download the Couch to 5K podcasts to your mobile device or computer
  2. Carefully work out how to fit Couch to 5K into your day.
  3. Plan your route. You may want to look at a map to plan your route first so you can focus on running.
  4. Click here to find out about apps to help you do this
  5. For the 9 week plan and tips on progression you can click here
  6. It’s free

Race at Your Pace

  • Lots of virtual running events
  • Also cycling, walking, and swimming events to try out
  • Their aim is to inspire and motivate people to enjoy the great outdoors
  • Includes a special race section for kids under 16
  • New challenges are released each month
  • You get a medal once you have reached your achievement
How to enter:
  1. Go to the website Race At Your Pace UK
  2. Explore the challenge that you would like to do by clicking on the ‘Enter Now’ button
  3. Choose the distance that you would like to achieve
  4. Select whether you would prefer to run or walk – a combination of both is fine
  5. Race at your pace – challenges begin each calendar month.
  6. Once you’re registered, you’ll have the entire month to cover your chosen distance in however many runs, walks, swims or cycles you like
  7. Submit your evidence at the end of the month
  8. You’ll receive an email asking whether or not you completed your challenge. Then you’ll have to submit your evidence to them as proof of your achievement
  9. Screenshots of tracking apps, photos of your smart watch records or a spreadsheet with your results will be accepted.
  10. Once the team receive your evidence, a medal will shortly follow in the post
  11. Move on to the next challenge!
  12. The cost for an adult challenge is £10 for a medal and £14 for a medal and compression top. The cost for a kids challenge is £7.

Plan B – Act 2

How to enter:
  1. Go the website by clicking here Plan B – Act 2
  2. Choose a challenge. You can run solo or compete with or against friends and family
  3. You have 30 days from entering to complete your challenge
  4. Send the evidence using the link that they provide and a medal will be posted to you. They will accept any kind of evidence – running app screen shot, photos of your watch, a well kept spreadsheet of results etc…
  5. The costs for adult races are between £10-15 each and the cost for the kids races are £10 each

Virtual Runner UK

  • This website is about finding a race that suits your pace
  • They have dedicated kids’ Fun Runs
  • Plus multi-sport options
  • You can select a virtual running race by race type and date
  • A minimum of 20% of your fee goes to a good cause to support the running community
  • For more information on this you can click here
How to Enter:
  1. Go to the website
  2. Find and join a race or challenge online
  3. Run it anywhere, anytime, with anyone – at your own pace
  4. Submit your results online -upload proof that you have completed the race
  5. You can use app screenshots, or stats from Fitbit and Garmin
  6. Get your custom medal. Once your results have been reviewed, you will be added to the leaderboard
  7. Then you will receive your medal in the post
  8. The cost of a race is between £6-£15

For a list of some of the best running apps recommended by Runners World click here.

For a list of some of the best recommended running route apps click here.

For advice on how to set up your perfect playlist while you exercise click here.

Please remember to run safely and according to Government Guidelines.

Stuff you may need

  • A laptop, computer, tablet or phone
  • Good running shoes!

Links to other Stuffer pages

Create The Perfect Playlist For Any Occasion or Mood

Do a quiet cardio workout at home

Practise Yoga At Home

Become a Stuffer

Links to other articles on the web

Links to apps

Introducing the Virtual Runner UK app

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