Is Virtual Racing The Future of Exercise?
Gretchen Ho on May 17, 2020 04:16 PM
Gretchen Ho has signed up for the World Vision Run for Children, a virtual race with different distances that can be completed in a span of a month and a half.
This article was originally published on womaninaction.ph
It’s one thing to say you’ll keep working out during quarantine, and it’s another to be constantly motivated and consistent about it.
Professional athletes usually have targets to hit that keep them motivated, or games to prepare for. For enthusiasts, signing up for races does the trick, because races feel like “tournaments” they have to be in condition for.
With games cancelled and races postponed, how do you stay motivated in a COVID world?
For those who have been raring to go out of their homes, it’s a good thing that restrictions on working out outside have already been somewhat eased. Walking, jogging, running and cycling are now allowed. However, is it recommended that face masks be worn and social distancing must be observed (at least 2 meters).
With all of these measures in place, can virtual racing be the future of exercise?
Don Velasco, a professional triathlete and coach, says joining the IronMan Virtual Races every weekend has helped him and his clients stay disciplined. “The hardest part is staying motivated. Because some people lose sight of why we’re doing this. Like if walang race, bakit pa magtrain (if there’s no training, why train?). But it transcends that. It’s about having this lifestyle.”, Velasco says. Apart from personal training, Don has been racing with his athletes as a way to monitor and motivate them.
How does it work?
Since swimming is not allowed at this time, the IronMan Virtual Club features challenges centered around running and cycling, much like a duathlon. The way it works is you register online (for free) and then sync your tracking device with your account. You can also train with different coaches and groups on their website.
“I think running and cycling are actually great options during the MECQ because it's relatively easy to perform social distancing while doing them. I feel that running and cycling will be bigger in the next few months. Running is a relatively easy sport to get into and needs minimal equipment to participate in. Cycling, on the other hand, will not only be an excellent form of exercise, it will even be a great means of transportation as well. At the end of the day, more and more people will value health and wellness because of this pandemic.”
For the weekly IronMan races, there are rankings based on your time, as you get to compete with all the other athletes around the world. Training and racing earns you points that add up to rewards with IronMan partners, but that’s not what we’re working hard for right?
Want to join a virtual race, even as a beginner?
Apart from IronMan, World Vision has come up with its own virtual race called World Vision Run for Children to help support its causes on Education and Food & Nutrition. You can choose from the different distances — 21km, 50km, 100km and 200km, and you must complete it in a span of a month and a half, from June 15 to July 31. Unlike IronMan, this race has a much simpler process. No need for syncing of apps, you just need to submit screenshots as proof of your progress. When this is all verified, your finisher shirt and medal will be delivered to your doorstep.
“We want you to have the freedom to run where, when, how often and how far you prefer. Walk, run, ride a bike whether indoors or outdoors, in your treadmill or on a trail, every morning or just one time, whether you’re alone or with your friends. As long as your heart beats for children”, according to World Vision’s press release.
The proceeds of the virtual race will go to the funding of 4,500 sanitation kits and 28,000 back to school kits for all registered kids of World Vision. You may register at www.worldvision.org.ph/virtual-run-for-children/.
Virtual racing is all about doing your own workouts, tracking your progress and submitting reports. It is definitely possible to cheat but remember that when you do, you’re only cheating on yourself.
We know it isn’t easy to be disciplined in this pandemic, especially with all the limitations, adjustments and changes, but here is what Don Velasco says. “Focus on what you can do, not what you can't do. Having a more positive mindset will not only influence your success, it can also help a lot with mental and emotional well-being. Adjust your goals. Most things in our world are put on hold. Having the same set of goals for yourself is somewhat unrealistic. Maybe adjusting a few things here and there are in order. This can mean changing the timeframe in which you want to achieve something or adjusting your definition of "success." Remember, the mere fact we're alive and well is already cause for celebration. Being able to workout and enjoy are just bonuses!”.
Spoken like true athlete.