Right now, a virtual 5K race could be the thing that keeps you motivated, connected, and happy.

I know, that’s a big sell, right? Especially to my non-runner friends, and even more so to my “I hate running” friends.

But please give me like two minutes of your time and let me explain!

I don’t have to remind you that we are about six months into a global pandemic. We are also in a really nasty election cycle.

Those things alone are stressful. Add in that many of us are trying to sort out how to homeschool, or at least some sort of hybrid homeschool.

It’s a lot, my friends.

So, how, in all the crazy, can you find a little peace?

There are a number of ways to find peace and calm. I won’t for a minute pretend my way is the only way, or the best way.

But I will say this: what I am about to propose is a proven great way.

I know this, because I’ve seen so many moms experience the positive side effects of training for, and completing, a 5K. And when done with the support and accountability of a great group of women? Well that just makes it so much better.

Okay, so why would you want to train for a virtual 5K? Here you go:

The roads are still open (and free!).

Gyms are reopened, but in many cases they’re not quite back to pre-pandemic conditions. Us runners haven’t missed a beat, and many new runners have joined us, because our sidewalks and roads never closed!

We’ve been moving this entire time, and many of us have expressed extreme gratitude to be able to do so!

Oh and let’s not forget: no monthly fees to walk out your door and GO!

Running, and especially outdoor running, is therapeutic.

Who else is honest enough to share that this pandemic has been stressful and often depressing? My hand is raised, trust me!

Exercise in general, and running specifically, we all know are great for relieving stress and making us just feel happier.

But outdoor exercise beats indoor exercise every time for mental health benefits.

A study at the University of Exeter discovered the following: “Compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression, and increased energy.”

Having a race goal makes every workout more meaningful.

Have you ever started a fitness program, only to quit after awhile? Of course you have, we all have!

But when it comes to having a race on the calendar, and a training plan, there’s something special that makes us more likely to follow through.

When you know that you’re going to run a 5K on “X” date, and you have a training plan that will help you get there, then every run has purpose. You can see the logical progression: each workout makes you more and more capable of successfully completing that goal!

We don’t count calories, but if we did: running burns 700 of them per hour.

We here at Mom’s Running Club like to focus on healthy choice for how they make us feel. We like to focus on feeling strong and healthy and confident, over counting calories and starving and trying to achieve a number on the scale.

But I’ll be the first to say: some of the stress associated with this darn pandemic had me reaching for the chips and chocolate more than I usually do.

And so, to feel great in my body, I know that movement is going to help me! And running? Well, while I am moving for the mental health benefits, I just so happen to be scorching off some of those chips and some of that chocolate.

Win. Win.

A 5K is a race that can challenge you, without taking over your life.

The beauty of the 5K (both virtual 5K and live) is that it’s a super accessible race distance, even for the absolute beginner!

Even if you choose to walk it (and we respect walkers for sure!), the longest workout you’re likely to have is about 45 minutes, or around a 15-minute-per-mile pace.

Many runners begin with a run-walk program to get to the starting line of their first race, and that’s a wonderful option!

Point being: no matter where you are starting, a 5K is a race you can train for with a handful of runs per week, and most definitely each workout lasting less than an hour.

Virtual means it’s on your schedule!

Yes, there are wonderful benefits to live races. Yes, runners love our live races. Yes, we miss them and we can’t wait to get back to them.

But as busy moms, I have to say that our Mom’s Running Club moms have most definitely come around to the benefits of virtual races!

There are a number of reasons that we have come to love virtual races

  • Usually a virtual race offers you a window of time to complete your race. So instead of having to show up at 7:30 for a race that starts at 8:05 on a specific date, you can complete your race anytime within a designated time frame. And with all the sports and activities and homeschooling, we appreciate that!
  • Having that flexibility means you can choose to run your race with a friend, or even your family members! In a recent half marathon we did virtually, one mom had her four family members each take a leg! Some were on bikes, and her sons who were college and high school runners even acted as rabbits to help her achieve her goal!
  • Your family can also be your “pit crew,” holding your water bottle or your finish banner, or your “cheer crew,” yelling and holding up signs. We’ve seen some really beautiful ways families have come together over virtual races!

In fact, many of us have so enjoyed the upside to virtual races, we’ve said we plan to continue doing some even after all this all this covid nonsense!

And finally: we love the opportunity to connect and build relationships with fellow runner moms.

Quarantine has been isolating for sure! Even as we’ve been able to get out a bit more, we’re still missing our communities in a big way.

That’s why we love Mom’s Running Club so much: it is a community that is both virtual, and live.

We connect every single day in our private Facebook group, and when a handful of us are all working towards the same race goal, the connection is extra special.

You can find that same connection in a group like ours, you can join us, or you can connect in other ways. See if your virtual race has a Facebook page or group. If so, ask how people are doing with their training! Share your own journey, and maybe even find an accountability partner there! And share your race results afterwards!

While none of us would have chosen to have this reason to turn to virtual-only races, many of us have discovered we are more than okay with them and the virtual 5K is an awesome way to start!

If you need help finding a race, figuring out a training plan, or finding your support community, you know I got you! Please don’t hesitate to hit me up here and we will get you moving! Or, check out our coaching plans today and we can have you training tomorrow!

Are you convinced yet? What will be your race this fall?

And if you’re not sure you’re ready to commit totally, our Become a Runner Guide might be a better option for you to get moving on your own. Check it out by clicking below!