16:16 PM

Virtual Races, Real Gains

Men’s Journal discusses virtual racing and challenges organized by a performance tracking and social networking app used by millions of runners and cyclists around the globe. Parameters for each race differ, as people are typically given a few days to several weeks to run, while other race windows are open indefinitely. Experts say people tend to work harder when they’re performing a task alongside of others versus their own, and research has suggested virtual running partners can increase motivation and effort.

Men’s Journal spoke to Pam Geisel, MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist at HSS, who explained concerns of being too engrossed in this activity. “Every run shouldn’t be a race,” said Geisel. Some runners have experienced overuse injuries as a result of pushing themselves hard, knowing their peers can view their time. “You have to respect it like a regular race,” added Geisel. “That means not racing every weekend, and respecting the easier pace of a training run,” she concluded.

This article appeared in the June 2019 print edition.