As Covid-19 takes hold and the world changes before our eyes, exercise has taken a new form. Virtual challenges have become increasingly popular over the last few years, seeing even more interest at the beginning of 2020. Just because gyms may not be accessible, it doesn’t mean we can’t all stay fit and healthy.

Spring is undoubtedly when running is at its most popular, with various races and competitions taking place across the world. From city marathons to local 10k’s, runners usually have an abundance of choice. However, as social distancing becomes the new norm, running has changed in 2020. Enter; virtual challenges.

But what is a virtual running challenge? How do you complete one? Can you still run with others? Race At Your Pace has put together this guide to virtual running challenges in 2020 to answer all your questions.

What is a Virtual Running Challenge?

Much like a real-life race, participants get outside (or on a treadmill) and get moving. Participants choose target distance goals and can set their own pace. Just record your evidence and submit it to get your shiny reward.

However, virtual running challenges are different to virtual running races. Whereas a virtual running race is about completing a shorter distance quickly to compare to others, a virtual running challenge is about completing longer distances over a longer period of time, usually a month.

Find out more about the difference between virtual running challenges and virtual running races.

Due to the current global situation, many 2020 races have turned virtual. This means runners sign up to complete the race, such as a marathon, and complete it wherever they are and submit their time and evidence. Although this may somewhat lose the competitive edge or scenery of the race location, this does mean runners can still complete the goal they have been training towards. Races are not being cancelled, simply adapted to the current climate.

How Long are Virtual Running Challenges?

In both time and distance, virtual running challenges can be as long as you like.

For distance, you can choose how much you would like to run. For example, you may be a beginner and choose 20k to run in a month. An achievable target means you have something to work towards and can be very motivating, especially if just starting out with running. Seasoned runners, or those who like to challenge themselves may choose larger distances to push themselves.

Most virtual running challenges give you ample time to reach your distance goal, such as one month. Having a whole month to complete your challenge is great, as it means you need to get out and active, but you can also have days off and run around your lifestyle. For example, you might take weekends off exercising to relax, run in the morning before work or in evening once the kids are asleep; you can complete your challenge wherever and whenever you like!

Many participants complete one month and decide to do more, finding that virtual running challenges are motivating and flexible enough to complete. So, complete one virtual running challenge one month at your own pace, then sign up for another month. You may even find you are getting fitter and building your stamina to the point where you can choose bigger distance goals. The more months you complete a virtual running challenge, the more medals you collect and the more your fitness levels increase.

Can you still Run with Others?

If you like the feeling of running with others or competitive races, there is nothing stopping you from including others in your virtual running challenge. Whether you complete weekly 5k’s with your friends or do timed competitive races, all the kilometres you do count and are part of your monthly total. Why not get your friends involved and see who can complete their distance target the earliest in the month? Or the longest distance? Or simply run with you throughout the month and help to motivate you?

Although big races may not be happening for a little while, running with your family can still be enjoyable and challenging. Get your partner, siblings, parents, or even kids involved! Because everyone can choose attainable goals for the month, everybody can get involved, no matter how experienced!

Are there Virtual Challenges for other sports?

There are virtual challenges for multiple different types of exercise. From walking or steps, to cycling or swimming, there are virtual challenges available.

Just because you don’t run or prefer to do something else, doesn’t mean virtual challenges aren’t for you. There are so many great advantages to completing virtual challenges from fitness improvements to mental health benefits.

Virtual Challenges with Race At Your Pace

Race At Your Pace offer a variety of virtual challenges with a wide range of distance goals. Simply choose your goal, get moving, record your evidence, and receive a shiny medal at the end of each month.

Although running may have changed for many in 2020, our virtual running challenges help to keep you motivated and active. With monthly incentives and variable distances, you can ensure you keep fit in 2020.

Ready to enter a virtual running challenge? Sign up today!

Want to find out more about virtual challenges? Take a look at Race At Your Pace’s FAQs to learn more.