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.


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.

Kickstart Your Training Today!
Choose from over 900 plans from 4-48 weeks long in beginner, intermediate, advanced, masters and off-season versions!

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.

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

Phil is a recognised endurance expert who founded MyProCoach in 2010 to offer smart training plans that still leave quality time for your family, friends & career - complete with highly-rated coach support (he has sold over 40,000 so far). Learn more here!

As featured on...

download (1)
220 triathlon

Popular Articles from the Training Tips Blog


Sign up for Phil's email newsletter!

Get expert training advice, the latest news and occasional discounts. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Kickstart Your Training Today!
Choose from over 900 plans from 4-48 weeks long in beginner, intermediate, advanced, masters and off-season versions!
Planning Your Off-Season

You can start our Off-Season (Fitness Maintenance) plans anytime you like.

They’re designed to help you maintain a good level of fitness when you’re not specifically targeting an event, such as, during the off-season, or anytime you’re taking a break from racing.

Planning For Your Event

For the best outcome, input the date for your “A” target race and the tool will default to a plan that will fill that gap nicely. If you want, you can then adjust the plan length to start it on a different day.

Note that you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan too!

The longer plans start easier and progress more gradually. This has a bearing on the difficulty level you choose. For example, a 12-week plan starts off at a higher level than a 36-week plan because with 12 weeks left there’s not as much opportunity to build up slowly.
Short Medium Long
4-12 weeks
14-24 weeks
27+ weeks
Required fitness level
Training phases
Fitness tests
Our Standard and Masters plans are designed to get you ready for your target event, while our Off-Season plans allow you to recover from a tough season but still maintain your well-earned fitness.
Approx. age
Under 40
Over 40
Recovery weeks
Every 4 weeks
Every 3 weeks
Strength sessions
1-2 per week
2 per week
1-2 per week
Likely goal
Train for event
Train for event
Maintain fitness
This table provides a brief overview of which level might be right for you, to help you get the most out of your plan. You should also note your current fitness levels and how many times you have done this event before.
Little to none
1-3 years
3+ years
Time to train
Likely goal
To finish
At least top half
All our plans are available either for sale directly on the TrainingPeaks Store (where you can also see screenshots of sample weeks), or you can subscribe as an Unlimited Athlete to be able to swap freely between all of them, among other benefits outlined below.
$24 to $159 per plan
From $24 per mth
Flexible, structured training
TrainingPeaks training app
Coaching videos, articles & FAQs
Email coach support

During plan only

Swap freely between all 900+ plans
Help setting up your training zones
Coach fortnightly engagement check
Discounted TrainingPeaks Premium (optional)
30-day moneyback guarantee
We're Sorry To See You Go!

Please confirm your cancellation below and one of our team will process it as soon as possible (stopping all future payments). Your subscription will still continue until the end of your current billing cycle (your “next payment date”) and there is nothing else you need to do.

Don’t worry, you will always be able to access your completed workouts and your TrainingPeaks login credentials will stay the same. Also, if any payments happen to come out before we cancel your subscription, we’ll simply refund them.