Starting tomorrow, more than 50,000 excited runners will be running the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) Virtual Run all around the globe. However, running a race virtually can be tougher than joining a live one.
Do not worry, ToughASIA has got your back. We have done a few virtual races even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, so we have prepared 8 pro tips for your race day.
1. Select a Familiar Route
No matter your distance, think about your route. Choose somewhere familiar to you, especially if you have been training on that route.
Consider running in loops, even if you are running the 5km race. You may need water or even a toilet stop.
2. Get Accurate on the Distance
When running virtually, you will be responsible to get the distance tracked correctly on your GPS-based smartwatch or mobile phone. Do refer to the maximum distance you are allowed to run too.
Also, do note that there is a minor discrepancy of distances tracked between devices, so do run a little bit over the distance. For example run 10.2km, but not more than 11km if you are running the 10km race.
Run in an area with good GPS signal. If you are still having problems with using the KLSCM VR app, we posted some tips to help you out on this too.
3. Safety First
Be mindful about what time you are starting your run. Consider running in housing areas where it is safer and traffic is low. Stay off busy roads, highways and avoid steep terrain.
Safety first. On their social media, KLSCM advocates running against traffic on roads so you can observe approaching vehicles. By facing on-coming traffic, you may be able to react quicker than if it is behind you.
Additionally, if you are driving out to run and starting early in the morning, be sure to park your car in a well-lit and safe place.
4. Select a Suitable Time
If you do not like running in the hot sun, consider starting your run early in the morning to get some fresh cool air. Alternatively, you can consider running at night, but be sure to wear bright colours and some blinkers so that people can see you in the dark.
Additionally, choose a day when you will have more free time and less stress.
5. Plan Your Nutrition and Hydration
We enlisted professional advice from Malaysia’s fastest female marathoner, Penny Loh Chooi Fern. Penny won the KL marathon in 2018 and defended her title in the 2019 edition.
The 28-year old tax consultant from Kuala Lumpur advises to consider and prepare for Malaysia’s hot and unpredictable weather as it might suddenly rain too.
“It would be good if you can set up your own water station. Consider, running in loops so that you can hydrate yourself along the run.”
Nutrition wise, get a proper meal a day before race day. Get yourself some good rest and eat the right portion of food. After your run, refuel and rejuvenate yourself too.
6. Enlist Your Support Team
Running is always more fun when you have support. That is what we miss most about the live race. Cheers from the roadside supporters always give us an extra boost along the way.
Running alone is mentally tougher, and can get lonely and boring. Find friends who are running the same distance or partial, who can join you on the run. Better yet if you have friends who will volunteer to man your water stations and be your personal cheerleader!
7. Pace Yourself – Be Mindful Of Your Pace Strategy
Experienced marathoner Penny has planned out her 21km race in loops around Putrajaya with a running buddy.
“As I will be running in loops, I will be using the loops to pace myself from slow to fast.”
Everyone will be running at a different pace, and you should consider your pace strategy depending on your race goals. You need not aim for a personal best in every race. Completing the race is always an achievement on its own.
We will be sorely missing the ever friendly KLSCM pacers who are a motivating sight for sore feet along the route. If your race is not going as you planned, calm yourself down and consider running at an achievable pace to complete the race within the cut-off time.
8. Maintain Social Distancing and follow SOP
In this COVID-19 pandemic, we have additional standard operating procedures (SOP) to adhere to. Do keep a safe distance of around 3-10 meters between you and the next runner.
Additionally, avoid running in big groups. Follow the restrictions imposed by your local authorities at all times.
All in all, put your best foot forward. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and have fun.