Why Do A Virtual Challenge During 2020?

Many athletes, including marathon runners, OCR Racers and even Olympians, have all had their events postponed for this year. For many individuals, training is a consistent routine. Sometimes without an event or race or even a challenge to aim for we can quickly lose the momentum. 

That said, several organisations such as Spartan, Tough Mudder and Rat Race Series are running virtual editions of their event calendar this year. This, of course, helps people to stay involved with the training, and it also gives people the feeling of working towards something. From a business standpoint, organisations need to find a way to diversify their income.

Although in the United Kingdom, gyms and leisure centres have started to reopen, things are far from back to normal. With gym admissions significantly down and the fear of the pandemic still in our minds, we have an exceptionally long way to go before reaching what we would call normal.

All OCR racers and marathon runners are forced to put their actual events on-hold for this year. Many individuals are looking at virtual races or virtual challenges as an alternative.

For those looking for a fitness challenge during 2020, a virtual challenge can be a solution. Let’s delve into some of the reasons for this now:

Virtual Challenges Can Be Done Alone

With the guidelines for COVID-19, it’s most likely the majority of people exercising will be going solo. Whether you are running, cycling, hiking, rowing or swimming, these activities can easily be done alone or with family members, of the same household, and fit into your daily routine.

A Virtual Challenge Is The Closest Thing To A Real Event This Year

During this pandemic, everyone has had to make sacrifices, and the closest thing we may have to a real marathon or an OCR race is by working towards a virtual challenge. I appreciate a virtual event is not the same as the real thing, however in these strange times we have to make do.

An Excellent Way Of Staying On Track With Your Goals & Ambitions

For many, going back to the gym is not an option. However, that should not stop you from getting exercise and training towards your goals. Fortunately, we are allowed to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. If you are serious about getting fit and increasing your cardio, cycling is a great alternative. You don’t necessarily need to have a gym membership to stay healthy. By working towards a virtual challenge or virtual race, this can still help you keep motivated towards your goal.

There Is Some Fantastic Bling For Completing A Virtual Challenge

For some, completing a virtual challenge is a great sense of achievement and especially when you receive your metal through the post. Now depending on which challenge that you do or which challenge provider you have, the quality of medal will significantly vary. As humans, we all crave recognition. For many runners or OCR racers, you will be surprised what people will do to get a new headband or a medal. For some athletes, collecting “bling” is a healthy obsession.

Aiming For A Virtual Challenge Keeps You Focused During COVID-19

Without having a schedule or structure in place, it can be easy to go off course and develop a level of complacency with your training. Often when there’s nothing to train for, we can be victims and fall behind. I’m guilty of falling behind with my exercise routine just like anyone else – it happens!

A Virtual Challenge Can Help You Work Towards A Bigger Goal For 2021 & Beyond!

We’ve established at 2020 is a write off for many OCR racers and marathons. However, many athletes would be using this time wisely to try and get ahead. Just because there’s no races this year doesn’t mean you can’t improve on your technique and training for the following year.

If you wanted to become more efficient at running or cycling, signing up for a virtual challenge could be beneficial. In the UK, there are a handful of challenges that are considered gruelling. For instance, the Land’s End to John O’Groats bike ride. Cycling from the very top of Scotland down to the furthest part in Cornwall can be overwhelming for anybody. However, if you were to break it down the distance of the 1100 mile route across 6 to 12 months, this activity can be easily achievable.

The English Channel is a 21-mile swim. For many, this would be seen as an impossible task to do in one go. That said, nothing is stopping you doing the 21-mile challenge virtually over several weeks or months. More importantly, if you had access to a swimming pool, you could achieve this safely too!

You Run Your Own Race

When it comes to virtual challenges, depending on your level of fitness, time commitments and your burning ambitions, you can complete your challenge at a time and pace to suit you. Each Virtual Conqueror’s Event has a maximum time limit of 18 months. So whatever life throws at you, you should have no reason not to complete your mission.

James King has competed in multiple OCR events including Europe's Toughest Mudder from 2019 to 2022, multiple mud events, 10k runs and currently for his first marathon. James includes useful tips and experiences about OCR on his blog mudrunlifestyle.com.

James King has competed in multiple OCR events including Europe's Toughest Mudder from 2019 to 2022, multiple mud events, 10k runs and currently for his first marathon. James includes useful tips and experiences about OCR on his blog mudrunlifestyle.com.