Virtual Races – What Are They?

Road runner

Into triathlon, running or cycling? There’s a whole world of virtual events and virtual racing out there.

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Virtual endurance events, such as triathlons, runs and cycles, are increasing in popularity. They’re a great way to add motivation and focus to your training, without needing to spend extra on travel and accommodation.

They’re also a great opportunity to dip your toe into the waters of racing, without all the stress. Completing a virtual race, before you take part in a real-life one, is a great way to see if you like it. And you’ll gain valuable confidence along the way.

There are two broad types to consider.

  1. Virtual Races – where you complete the race distances in your own time and place. And then upload proof to the organizer, to get some form of recognition like a t-shirt or virtual medal. You’ll appear on the results too.
  2. Virtual On-Screen Races – where you race with others around the world in a computer generated environment, such as Zwift or Rouvy.

How To Find Virtual Races

There are dozens of companies offering virtual races all over the world. Some also give part of your race fee to charity, adding to the motivation and the satisfaction.

Companies to check out include:

If you want something really special to keep you motivated over a longer period, check out TheConqueror.Events, which offers themed races based on the distance of classic routes around the world.

They include the Inca Trail (26.2 miles), Australia’s Great Ocean Road (149 miles) and the Appalachian Trail (1,968 miles). The company’s own app shows your progress along the virtual route as your run, walk and cycle.

Virtual Triathlon

Ironman recently got into the virtual events game with its new Ironman Virtual Club platform, which offers a host of free weekly challenges as well as Ironman VR events at weekends.

The first few races have been free with digital badges as rewards, but future paid-for events will include medals and t-shirts or a trucker cap if you don’t quite get to the finish. Different running and cycling distances are prescribed each weekend (swimming will be added soon).

Then it’s up to you what order you complete the disciplines and whether you hit the open road or a virtual reality platform (like Rouvy or Zwift) to complete them for a place on the age-group leader-board.

Virtual “On-Screen” Racing

If you’re seeking more instant action and like the sound of going head-to-head with other athletes, virtual reality racing could scratch the itch for real-time competition.

Online VR platforms such as Zwift, RGT Cycling, Rouvy and Bkool all give you the chance to race against others in regularly scheduled events or even create private races for your friends and club-mates.

For those who like watching events as much as taking part in them, Zwift has plenty of live-streamed races to watch with some of cycling and triathlon’s biggest stars battling for victory.

Ironman’s VR series also incorporates live-streamed coverage of pro’s taking each other on during the bike leg via Rouvy with women’s and men’s races each weekend.

If you’re looking for new goals or just fancy trying something different, hopefully the virtual racing ideas in this blog have given you some inspiration.

If you want more motivation and guidance, check out our Unlimited Athlete program. For a low monthly fee, you’ll get access to our 800 premium training plans – all with coach email support.

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Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)
Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)

Phil is a recognised expert in the field, having featured on many endurance sports publications. He founded MyProCoach in 2010 to sell premium training plans complete with email coach support for triathlons, duathlons, running & cycling.

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About Phil Mosley

About Phil Mosley

Phil is a successful coach & athlete, having sold over 20,000 training plans on TrainingPeaks and been featured on countless publications. His focus is on smart training that still leaves quality time for your family, friends & career. You can learn more about MyProCoach™ here or preview your training plan now.

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