The virtual Vitality London 10,000

10 top tips for taking part in the virtual Vitality London 10,000

If you’ve never taken part in a 10K before, much less a virtual one, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive about the virtual Vitality London 10,000. Here are our 10 top tips to help you get the most out of your experience – whether you’re a novice runner or seasoned competitor, they should help you enjoy yourself!

1. Plan your 10K

If you’ve been running regularly as part of your virtual Vitality London 10,000 training you probably have some routes that you’re familiar with and feel comfortable on, so it’s wise to stick to those – you don’t want to get lost on the big day! You can check the length of your route in advance by walking or running it (or sections of it) with a GPS watch, pedometer or app like Strava on your phone – see tip nine below.

Points to remember:

  • Stick to traffic-free paths and trails and stay away from busy areas if you can.
  • Pick a route that suits your experience and ability. If this is your first 10K, try to avoid a hilly or uneven route and areas where it may be muddy and slippery underfoot. If you’re a more experienced runner and want more of a challenge, then find a route that gives you that.
  • Always check the current Covid-19 restrictions where you live and plan accordingly.

Wherever you decide to do your 10K, stick to your own pace – it’s easy to get excited about taking part in the event, but if you set off too quickly you may regret it later. Take it slow and steady if you need to and remember you don’t have to run if you’re not comfortable doing so.

2. Make it fun

You may have already inspired a friend to join you on your 10K – if not and you know someone who’d like to take on the challenge too, they can enter now.

Even if you don’t know anyone else who’s taking part you don’t have to go it alone – a friend or family member could run (or walk, or jog!) with you for some or all of the 10K, or cycle beside you, or you could enlist people to cheer you on at different parts of your route, and in particular at the finish!

Prefer running solo? Not a problem – though you might want to listen to some music on route (see tip three below). Whatever you decide to do, remember to follow government and local guidance on social distancing.

3. Take some tech

It’s always a good idea to take your smartphone with you when you exercise – just in case of emergencies. Your phone can also help you while you take on your 10K. As well as using it to track and record your result, it can make your run more fun. Choose your favourite, most energising music, or podcasts that entertain you, and create a playlist before you set off. It should help you breeze through the kilometres and take your mind off any aching limbs! As well as your phone, you could also take a GPS watch if you have one or other tracking device to record your activity.

4. Eat well beforehand and keep yourself hydrated

Depending on how long you think it will take you to run (or walk or jog!) your 10K you may want to take a drink with you. Or you could plan a route that passes a shop where you could grab some water or other refreshment (in which case don’t forget a face covering). Either way, have a decent breakfast or light meal a couple of hours before heading out and make sure you’re well hydrated – you don’t need to gulp down pints of water though, it’s all about balance.

5. Raise some funds

It’s not too late to take part in aid of a cause that’s close to your heart – an added bonus is that knowing you’re raising funds could give you the boost you need to go the distance! The easiest way to do this is by setting up a Virgin Money Giving page and then letting everyone you know what you’re doing and why!

6. Dress for success

Now’s not the time to debut any new pieces of kit: when it comes to taking part in events, tried-and-tested is best. However, have a few favourite outfits ready to choose from so you can adapt depending on the weather. It’s all about personal preference – if you’re more comfortable in shorts and a T-shirt wear them, if you feel the cold and might not be running very fast, some leggings or tracksuit bottoms and a long-sleeved top may suit you better. And if you opt to run in the rain, a waterproof jacket will be very useful!

7. Wear your number with pride!

On the subject of clothing, don’t forget your running number! If you entered the Vitality London 10,000 before midnight on Sunday 9 May, you should receive your running number in the post. It isn’t possible to resend the numbers, so if yours doesn’t arrive or if you entered after 9 May, you can download a running number to print at home via your registration area (see tip nine below for log-in details).

It’s not compulsory to wear your running number, but if you choose to, pin it to the front or back of the top you’re going to wear. This way people will be able to see what you’re doing on the day and offer their support – and don’t forget to cheer on anyone else you see wearing a Vitality London 10,000 number while you’re out and about over the course of event week.

There’s also a space for your name and contact information, as well as details of any medical conditions you have, on the back of your running number – it’s a good idea to fill these in just in case of an emergency.

8. Be prepared

Talking of emergencies, it pays to be prepared!

For example, if you find it easier to fit in your 10K in the early morning or evening be sure to wear something that will help you stay seen and stick to well-lit paths.

If you are going to listen to something on your smartphone, take care when using headphones. Stay aware of your surroundings and always stop to look, listen and cross any roads safely.

As discussed above, spring weather can be changeable (especially in the UK!), so check the forecast during event week so you’re not caught out. Remember you can do your 10K at any time from Saturday 29 May to Sunday 6 June so you can adapt or change your plans to make the most of any sunshine or avoid a downpour if necessary.

9. Upload your time

You will be able to upload your Vitality London 10,000 time from Saturday 29 May via your Registration area. You should receive your medal and T-shirt around two weeks after the event. Further information about the process will be confirmed closer to Event Week.

10. Celebrate You!

The Vitality London 10,000 is all about running for your head and your heart and celebrating you – so don’t be shy about sharing your achievement!

We’d love to read your inspiring stories and see your photos on social media @London10K. Just remember to use the hashtags #London10000 and #CelebrateYou so everyone can see what you’ve been up to.

Finally, don’t forget to plan something special to mark your 10K once you’re done – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive (and should be appropriately socially distanced). A long, hot soak in the tub or your favourite meal might be just what you need. You’ve certainly earned it!