Virtual Races: The Competition Is Simulated, But the Gains Are as Real as it Gets

Virtual Races: The Competition Is Simulated, But the Gains Are as Real as it Gets

JUST AROUND sunrise, I snap on a fuel and hydration belt, decide against compression sleeves, and double-knot my laces before stepping outside. The air is crisp and cool. It is perfect for race day. I inhale deeply to calm the jitters.

But this race is different—no bag check, porta-potty crowds, or even a start line, for that matter. That’s because I am running my first virtual race—a 20K. There’s no entry fee, and finishers enter a raffle for a new GPS watch. I have mapped out a 12.4-mile route that takes me along the East River and under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, yet I am racing against people from all over the globe. I think about them when I glance down at my tracker. The challenge is organized by Strava, and the leaderboards are constantly updated, so when I set out, I know the top finishing … Read the rest

10-Week Half-marathon Training Program for Intermediate Runners

10-Week Half-marathon Training Program for Intermediate Runners

When you’re looking to step up your racing distance from a 10K to a half-marathon, the main priority is increasing your endurance—extending your ability to maintain your current pace past 7 miles. It may seem counterintuitive, but you gain speed through endurance.

Let’s say, for example, you can currently run an 8:00 min/mile for a 10K. If you can extend that pace out to 10 miles, when you go back and run a 10K, you’ll be clocking faster times. The effort seems easier, so you can ramp up the speed.

This 10-week program is focused on just that—building your endurance and extending your current speed for a longer distance. Of course you can’t expect to reflect your 10K pace in a half-marathon in just 10 weeks, but you can absolutely make great strides that’ll benefit both races. First, you’ll acclimate your body to … Read the rest