IRONMAN VR Races And You!
You’ve seen your friends jump into doing the IMVRs. You’ve probably also seen some of their frustrations around upcoming race schedules, technical glitches, errors in registration, etc. But now you’re starting to think about jumping into the VR racing yourself.
You’re a smart athlete and recognize that racing every weekend or even most weekends can be a bad idea. Even if you are spreading out the legs across the long weekend period (like in the IRONMAN VR Classic division), going hard in those three workouts multiple weekends in a row can do damage. So what’s a middle of the pack, age-group athlete to do?
Remember this simple phrase: Pacing NOT Racing
Push a leg, not all three!
Use legs as metrics improvement!
If you are not participating in the competitive, Championship division or semi-competitive Challenge division of the IMVR series, then, by definition, you are participating mostly for personal enjoyment. Perhaps even virtual camaraderie with friends! So, focus on the entertainment value. Especially while registration continues to be free.
As part of an overall training plan, you and your coach can incorporate back to back weekends of IMVR races by using individual leg performance as a metric for improvement in areas where you might have limiters. De-emphasize two legs of the race and see if your 5k pace is improving.
Don’t push all three legs every weekend. Pick one, whether it is a performance improvement metric or just one that fits your training schedule better.
Remember it's virtual; you are really racing against yourself, no matter what the leader-board says. Focus on how you’re improving and gaining fitness and not other people’s numbers.
For most age-group athletes, even in non-virtual races (if that is now a thing), we participate in races with a focus on measuring our performance mainly against our own past performances.
More than higher-performing podium candidate athletes, our focus is predominantly on pacing not racing. We know that we need to focus more intently on our pacing and nutrition since we will often be on the course for a significantly longer period of time. This fact increases the value of proper pacing.
Weekly IMVR participation can provide a great opportunity for race pacing and nutrition strategy. So if you have been thinking about it, and it fits your training schedule, go ahead and jump in (if you haven't already) and enjoy the virtual atmosphere!