What Is A Virtual 5k?

What Is a Virtual 5k?

If you haven’t heard of virtual races yet, get ready for your life to change instantly! It takes all the good things about running a race and eliminates much of the bad. Before long, they may very well be the only races you participate in!

What Is a Virtual 5k?

A virtual 5k may sound overly complicated where it involves quite a bit of technology, but it is actually quite simple so that even the non-tech people will be able to run them. This isn’t one of those things that require AI or holographic images. 

Basically, everyone that signs up to a virtual 5k agree to run the exact distance, they record their time, and then they post it. The top runners will receive their medals in the mail. 

Virtual races can be for any distance. In this case, it is for a virtual 5k. Anyone that competes will be running the 3.1 miles. There are many charitable organizations supporting good causes out there at the moment, so it is a worthwhile opportunity for those that enjoy running. (Plus, with COVID seemingly on the rise in numerous places, it will keep you safe and help you avoid contact with others.) 

Benefits to a Virtual 5k

As stated above, there are enough advantages to virtual racing that it will probably be a mainstay for the racing world from here on out. 

Run the Virtual 5k at Any Time

Why do they seemingly book every race first thing in the morning? I enjoy running, but I don’t want to wake up on my day off at 5am to combat the race time traffic, get my number, and then weave in and out of hundreds of people. 

With a virtual race, you may get a notice that you must complete and record your run at some point in a span of seven days. This means you can choose whether you run it in the morning, in the afternoon, or at night. It is entirely up to you! As for myself, I am an evening runner and so are many of my clients. The virtual race works better for our schedules and our preference for when we like to run. 

No Pressure Racing

Many of us thrive off of competition and passing the person running next to you is always a good feeling. But then there are others that would rather just run for enjoyment and not worry about having to elbow through a couple of hundred other runners. Virtual racing will take all the pressure off, but will still allow you to compare your finish time with others. 

A Virtual 5k Is Very Doable

There is a reason that the 5k is maybe the most popular running race: Almost everyone can do it! The distance of 3.1 miles is long enough to keep it interesting to the serious runner, but short enough so those of us that only run now and then can still compete. Plus, with a virtual 5k, you can choose the terrain you are running. If you just want to run around your block for 3.1 miles, you can. Or if you are feeling adventurous, choose a more difficult course. It is all up to you!

Compete With All of Your Friends

As we get further into adulthood, it seems a lot of friends generally start to drift to different areas of the country. It is just part of growing older. People move away. But with a virtual 5k, everyone can still sign up for the race and compete against one another regardless of their location. 

Avoid the Crowds

Everyone loves a good running race. However, the crowds at these races can be out of control. When hundreds of people are trying to all line up at the starting line, the joy of racing can take a backseat to frustration. With a virtual 5k race, it is just you running without the whole crowd on your heels. In fact, if you want to run the entire race on a treadmill, you can! 

Dip Your Toe into Running a 5k

Many of the people I have trained in the past have been apprehensive about running their first actual race because they don’t want to look bad in front of other people. They worry that they may not be able to complete the race. Through a virtual 5k, they can check and see how their time compares to the other runners. Knowing there won’t be others around perhaps imparting judgment on them if they need to walk part of the 5k, they can let go of a lot of anxiety. 

Choose the Weather You Want to Run In

Race days can be no fun when you roll out of bed and see it pouring rain outside. Or, on the other hand, it could be 100 degrees out with the pavement almost melting the rubber off of your soles. With a virtual 5k, you can look at the forecast and pick the weather that is most conducive to your style of running. You are no longer at the mercy of Mother Nature on that exact day. 

Give It a Try!

With the uncertainty facing the world nowadays, there are going to be times when you really don’t want to have to get in your car and travel to a busy 5k race. Now you have the option to still compete, but stay healthy and safe. Choose a virtual 5k race to participate in and see how you do against the competition all around the country!

Picture of Ryan Crawley

Ryan Crawley

Ryan Crawley is a journalist, educator, and health and fitness fanatic that currently makes his home in Illinois. With a Masters in Reading and Literacy and award-winning personal training results with his fitness clients, he is still reminded daily that he is not a doctor like his wife Katie. Ryan enjoys spending time with his dogs Flair and Smoosh and kitten Charlotte. In his free moments, he likes to write books for children that will hopefully be on shelves in the near future.

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