When i was 17 i qualified as a fitness instructor, so i have always been into fitness, mostly a gym user dabbling in various classes, in and out of netball (currently out) and a fair weather ‘runner’
I was never ‘into running’, it was something that was sometimes in my workout plan, then i would get bored and take it out…or ‘ohh its a nice summers day’, ‘theres a Nike running app that has the novelty of achieving badges and running colours for distance etc, ‘Im going to start running!’ annnnnnnnd now its September and its getting dark and cold……end of running until next summer. This pretty much sums me up for the last few years when it comes to running. True to form 2017 was no different, adamant this would be the year i would get enough miles under my belt to get to Blue on my Nike app!
Then while browsing my Instagram i came across a sponsored page for ‘virtual running,’ A concept of paying an entry fee with a percentage going to a chosen charity, depending on the race, a select distance by the organisers or a self set distance / time over the month of the challenge. The best thing! Its all in your own time….e.g. 5km distance set by the organisers, completing the 5km distance and submitting this in one go, or achieving the distance over the time frame of the race (usually a month). Its a race you can complete on your own or with friends! The perfect motivational tool and the start of a new addiction! and the best part, a sparkly bit of bling – a race medal!
The race i found was the PROSECCO RUN – the company offering this amazing run was Virtual Racing UK – like a magpie attracted to shiny objects and a love for prosecco this looked like the perfect run for me. A challenge set for a distance of 5km to be completed over the month of July 2017. Where do i sign up!!
So quick and easy i selected my challenge and checked out. I received my conformation email and as promised mid June i received an email with my ‘race bib’ and my reminder that starting on the 1st July the race begins.
So my decision for this challenge was to complete a 5km run in one go, at this point although i had covered this distance previously it was purely walk/jog/run combination maybe around 45min to complete, i had never set myself a challenge to run the distance. So i decided from sign up around mid June that i would aim to complete my run at the end of July before the end of the completion date and complete the 5k within 30 minutes. I decided to use my Nike app to set a 5km training programme over 5-6weeks to ensure i was training properly. Prior to signing up i had a couple of weeks before purchased a FitBit charge 2 to keep better track of my exercise, perfect! I have a couple of activity trackers and a training guide of 2-3 runs per week with the end run of 5km set.
Through my training with Nike i included treadmill or outdoor runs, mixture of classes including body attack, body combat, spin, (my weight training took a bit of a back seat) prior to this i was completing a split programme for upper body and lower body weights), but i continued with basic weights for strength and conditioning.
In the programme a week before my set race day i completed my first 5km run non stop in 33min 7 seconds, a bit behind what i had hoped but super proud of my progress.
So on my ‘race day’ my mum decided to come with me for moral support, stopping at points to cheer me on. Keeping a close eye on my Fitbit i didn’t think i was going to quite make my time…..but i did it! 30min 28seconds! i felt elated, from the beginning of my training barely keeping a jog for 1km to knocking off a decent amount of minutes on my race day 5km.
Next step, submission, following the link on the email i took a picture of my Fitbit and uploaded it all to the submission form, a few days later i received my AMAZING prosecco run medal and certificate! I was hooked from this moment. But don’t be put off if you do not have an activity tracker or unsure how to submit in this way, they also work off honesty and you can submit your entry without a picture.
Virtual running or virtual racing is an amazing motivational tool, for £12 i received the most amazing medal, 20% of the fee went to a children’s charity. Personally for me i need regular changes to stop my workout going stale or losing interest and skipping sessions for getting home earlier and sitting watching re-runs of Keeping up with the Kardashians.
For this race i signed up with http://www.virtualracinguk.co.uk
Not only is the bling and the challenge a great motivational tool, i have found a new community. They can be found on Facebook and Instagram Virtual Racing UK. The ladies that run the site are super helpful and friendly and respond to queries very quickly. They value feedback and ideas and you get a real sense that they are trying to make it as personal for you as possible, with opportunity to share your stories and read that of others theres a real sense of achievement and community! I recommend them enough.
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