COVID-19 has presented its share of challenges, but thankfully it’s also presented us with unique racing opportunities. Sportstats and Ironman have both offered virtual duathlons for athletes from all over the world to participate. As our local heroes, we’ve put together this guide to help Somersault participants find and compete in some of these events.
Sportstats has been providing timing for Somersault for years and they’ve put together a virtual experience for participants that begins in May. We encourage all of our Somersault Local Heroes to participate and support this event.
Ironman is without question the biggest name in triathlon. They’re also running a global virtual series with races from Sprint to half-iron distance.
Ottawa Race Weekend has stepped up and offered to host a virtual run race. This is a great opportunity for runners to get their competitive vibes going while staying safe and away from crowds. Kudos to the Run Ottawa team for spearheading this!
Find out more here https://www.runottawa.ca/
NYRR is also hosting a virtual run race through Strava and there are many virtual races held that you can pay for and receive a medal if you’re looking for bling!
Heck, yes! That’s half the fun! While virtual races might not be ideal for everyone, for many this is an opportunity to tackle a new challenge. We all know how a triathlon normally functions. We have a good sense for how to prepare. We know enough to put together a strategy.
So how do we put together a virtual race? How is it different than normal race?
With most virtual formats you’re given a set period within which to complete the prescribed legs of the event. In most cases these are virtual duathlons which involve a short first run, a bike, and a longer second run.
If you want to simulate a typical race, you can certainly do that by completing all three legs successively. But you can also plan out your race so that you maximize your performance in each event.
Some races like the Ironman Virtual Club hold events over a single weekend. This mean you generally have 3 days to complete all three legs. Let’s pretend you have an Olympic distance duathlon coming up. 3K run, 40k bike, 10k run. What’s the best way to maximize your performance? Take a look!👇
The Sportstats Virtual Race runs a little differently. In this race you have an entire month to complete the distances. You could even complete several different distances from the same event. Unlike the Ironman races, you can repeat your efforts at any time. This provides you with some options and some competitive strategy.
With the IM Virtual Club race, you can see updated leaderboards only for those who have finished. And you can only upload one effort per leg. With Sportstats you can see live updates to the legs and repeat your efforts. This gives you the opportunity to go back and retry an effort if you think you didnt do as well as you’d have liked. It also encourages you to push yourself. Let’s say you upload a 44:32 10k run. You’re neck and neck with the person ahead you. Overall they’re only 1min faster. Can you knock a minute off your 10k time? You’ve got a month. Put in some speed work, take a couple days rest and have another go at the 10k.
What about a month long strategy? It’s a little harder but you can still plan it out. For this, let’s assume you’ve been training throughout winter and spring to prep for spring/summer racing. We’re middle of April now.
There’s more than one right way to do these events. So use your best judgement. Have some with it. But remember to be strategic and thoughtful. Going out and retrying your run or bike effort every couple of days is just going to wear you down. Let us know how you did and what your strategy is by popping over to FB. We want to hear your thoughts!
The Somersault Event Series is the pre-eminent event series in Eastern Canada consisting of triathlon, duathlon, and running events for all ages and abilities.