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Urban Running

Keeping At It: Virtual Racing During COVID-19

By: Allison Backer

As the COVID-19 crisis presses on, it has been difficult to watch the events unfold. Like most, I am concerned for those who have suffered and continue to worry about the health and safety of my family.  


During these times, it is also quite challenging to stay on track with fitness and nutrition goals. I will admit to relying a little too much on coffee and wine, and have been tempted by treats with the extra time on my hands! Overall, I have done my best to take care of myself the last (never ending) 8 weeks. Here are a few simple things I am doing to keep my mental and physical health in check:


-Adequate sleep. I am sticking with my usual early bedtime routine, plus laying down to take a “power” nap for 20-40 minutes on most days of the week. I find the extra rest allows me to tune out the bad news and clears my head - even if only for a little while.    


-I am focusing on drinking plenty of water, loading up on immune boosting foods and taking my Vitamin D3 supplement as prescribed.  


-Sticking to an exercise routine. I continue to bike and run, but swimming is out until the gym and/or beaches begin opening again. I am normally highly motivated to exercise. Lately, I am struggling with mustering up the energy to get out for a run.


I was training for a local marathon prior to the lock-down. Racing is my passion! But now, I am unsure of what I am even training for? Although it has been disappointing to see races get canceled or pushed back with the hopes of carrying on at a later date - they of course can wait. Adherence with social distancing guidelines, in order to stop the spread of infection, is most important. 


So, I have been trying to think of creative ways to push myself out the door, get in speed training sessions, and find some friendly competition (at a safe distance) along the way.


I came across a virtual race series that I want to give a try! The races 100% support great causes - that is something to feel good about! 


How It Works: ITS YOUR RACE is setting up virtual races for non-profits and charities for FREE! The charity also gets to keep 100% of the registration donation. So if the entry fee is $10, the charity keeps that entire $10. It's an amazing program that can help non-profits all over the U.S. raise money, while encouraging people to get out and exercise. 


Who wants to join me in signing up for a race? 


You can learn more or register for a virtual event here.


Best of luck!

About The Author

Allison Backer is a Registered Dietitian with New York state. She received her nutrition degree and completed her internship at Long Island University in 2006. Allison has worked as a Dietitian for over the past 12 years in various clinical settings. Allison resides on Long Island, New York. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and dog. She is an avid fitness enthusiast. She trains for endurance competitions, including marathons and triathlons. Visit her website here for more training tips, nutrition advice and healthy recipes.

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