How to Train & Run a Virtual 5K
Are you wondering what in the heck a virtual 5K is?
A virtual 5K is a Covid pivot that helps us continue to make and achieve our fitness goals while avoiding big groups—and they’ve become quite the thing in this new world of ours.
Consider Running A Virtual 5K
Before Covid, you would register for a race, train, and show up on the big day along with hundreds or thousands of other runners.
There was a set course, street closures, and a starting gun. People cheered you along the way, and after the race there was post-race eating, entertainment, and goodie bags.
It’s sad that those days are gone for a while. Running an organized race is tough, but it’s so much fun and filled with positive energy and camaraderie.
But, organized IRL (in real life) races do have some downsides.
The weather doesn’t always cooperate or the dates don’t always work for you. Sometimes it’s hard getting up to speed when you’re amidst a big crowd of other runners.
So, what to do???
A virtual 5K enables you to run a 5K totally safely and completely on your own terms!
How Does a Virtual 5K Work?
If you’re confused on how a virtual 5K works, you’re definitely not alone. I was totally confused at first.
Here’s the scoop…
With virtual 5Ks, you still sign up and run, but they work a little differently.
There’s no crowd and no specified time to run. You don’t have to get up super early and sign in and there are no weather worries!
You simply sign up for the virtual 5K of your choice, then run the distance within the specified timeframe. You’ll see all of the specific race rules when you sign up.
Some virtual 5K races are only on a specific date, but most give you few days to complete it, so you can run it on any day within that time frame that works best for you.
Some virtual 5Ks require an entry fee, while others are free.
Like IRL races, there are usually prizes!
Tips for Running a Virtual 5K
Of course, this is the year for the virtual 5K because of social distancing. For that reason, you’ll want to scope out a running course that’s not crowded and pick a time of day to run when there are fewer people out and about.
Don’t forget to leave at least six feet of distance between you and anyone else you that’s outside.
It’s a good idea to plan a route that has good visibility. The last thing you want is to head to urgent care of a hospital with a sprained or broken ankle!
There are some helpful apps that help you find running routes—try Strava Routes, MapMyRun, or RunGo.
Guess what? If going outside makes you too nervous, some virtual 5K races allow you to run on a treadmill! But, personally, being outside is one of the best things about running for me.
Even though you’ll run your virtual 5K alone, tell your family and friends what you’re doing. They can hold you accountable and be your virtual cheerleaders!
Wear your headphones or call a friend if you can talk and run at the same time. This’ll help you get through the tough spots.
The biggest tip I have for you is to spend a month getting in shape before you run any kind of race.
One of the best ways to do this is to commit to a new routine that breaks bad habits and establishes new, better habits.
30 Day Breakaway
Beachbody’s 30 Day Breakaway program is perfect for breaking bad habits, getting into shape, and discovering the joys of running.
In fact, the end goal for the 30-Day Breakaway is running a 5K!
Super Trainer Idalis Velazquez leads you through 30 days of effective resistance training workouts and interval training. Running and resistance training are a powerful duo to help you build strength, endurance, and speed.
Don’t worry if you’re not in great shape—this program will get you there! Have fun and feel proud of what you’re doing!!!
RELATED | How to Break a Bad Habit
Whether you’re new to running and building a foundation or you’re an experienced runner looking to improve, this is a fabulous program.
The workouts include 20 to 45 minute running and resistance training exercises that you’ll do six days per week.
You’ll start with walking or running three times per week with the goal of building up to five days per week.
The 30-Day Breakaway Calendar features several options for you. The calendar is designed for new runners, but there’s also an option for advanced runners, as well as an option for people with tight schedules.
Besides walking and running, you’ll also do some weightlifting. And, there are also cardio workouts for days when the weather doesn’t allow you to go outside and walk or run.
All you need is a set of at home dumbbells (light, medium, and heavy), a foam roller and some resistance loops.
At the end of the program, you’ll feel confident in completing a either an IRL or virtual 5K!
Run a Virtual 5K for a Cause
Charities and nonprofit organizations are struggling financially during these times, so think about running a virtual 5K for a charity or cause.
You can do this one of two ways—set up a GoFundMe and let people know you’re running for a cause or, if you don’t want to be the organizer, use Google to find a charity that’s already set up a fundraising virtual 5K.
Speaking of virtual 5Ks for a cause…
30-Day Breakaway Virtual 5K
The 30-Day Breakaway Virtual 5K is the perfect way to show you’re a runner while you’re contributing to a worthy cause!
Hope of the Valley Rescut Mission (HOV) is a non-profit rescue mission in Los Angeles doing great work with the homeless. They serve hot meals and help those with nowhere else to go.
Registration for the 30-Day Breakaway Virtual 5K is FREE, though they’re encouraging donations. What’s really amazing is that the Beachbody Foundation is matching donations up to $500,000.
Once you register, you’ll get a customizable race bib.
Walk or run your virtual 5K the 21st or 29th of November 2020—running it on Thanksgiving Day is encouraged!
You’ll get a limited edition 30 Day Breakaway medal after providing before and after photos from the 30-day challenge and a photo of you in your race bib.
RELATED | Changing Habits with Habit Stacking
Run a Virtual 5K!
I hope you’re excited to run a virtual 5K soon. I especially hope you’re ready to sign up for the 30 Day Breakaway Virtual 5K to support the special work that Hope of the Valley is doing for the homeless!
Running is an excellent way to burn fat, get fit, and stay in shape. If you’re looking for a lean, strong body and are ready to break those old habits and learn some new good ones, join the 30 Day Breakaway Challenge today.
If you have any questions, you know you can ask me!