Anyone who follows the blog will know that I am desperate to be able to run a 5k without stopping … why?! I’m not really sure, just feel like that is a great physical challenge and one that I could achieve over time. I am kinda stubborn and bloody minded and am determined not to let fibromyalgia dictate what I can and can’t do.
I have tried all sorts of ways to get that 5k including the Couch to 5K programs, but until recently, I was really struggling. The aim seemed like a never ending battle.
It’s well known, that having a running buddy helps to motivate and push you to achieve personal bests, but I don’t really have anyone locally I could run with, and those I do know who run, would run circles around me. That wouldn’t be motivational, it would just be demoralising. So what’s the answer?
Well, I recently discovered virtual running and I am officially hooked! Even my daughter has got involved!
What is virtual running?
There are lots of different companies offering virtual races, but all are basically the same process. Pay your money, run a set distance whenever and wherever you feel like it, get a medal in the post and support a charity. What’s particularly good for someone with fibromyalgia is that more often than not, you don’t have to run the distance in one go, allowing you to break it up into as many runs, jogs or walks as you need.
What is virtual running?
I have been running with Virtual Runner UK who have a very active and supportive Facebook Group. No one is concerned about how long a run took someone and just that they managed to get out and run/walk … or even cycle or swim for some medals. It’s great fun to take part in the races, and share your victories and also your upsets with the group. I also discovered, after posting about my first run, that there is a vast community for fibro-runners within the group.
How can I get involved with virtual running?
Sign up for an account with Virtual Runner UK and get yourself booked onto some races. They have loads to choose from for all different capabilities, get active challenges, fun runs, 5kms, 10kms, marathon distances and so on. You will need to track your activity using something like a Fitbit or Runkeeper and submit your evidence via the web site once you are completed. I’d also join the Facebook group and like their Facebook page to get involved with the community.
Virtual Running has made me feel like a runner despite running no faster than I walk and not being able to get through a full 5km without walking part of it. I love the encouragement and the motivation for beautiful bling. It’s really made running more achievable and makes it much easier to keep pushing through to achieve my overall fitness aims.
Have you tried virtual running? Have you found it to be useful in improving your fitness and increasing the distances you can run?