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Now is the time to set some digital PBs

Lace up, log in and chase those online milestones

Over the next little while, you’re probably going to have to log a lot of solo miles and training. For some people, this could be a nightmare. You’re a group runner at heart. You love getting together with friends and chatting for five or 10 kilometres, and who can blame you? Now is the perfect time to go all in on virtual running. Chase personal bests, set route records and get competitive with your friends to see who the king or queen of the virtual running world really is.

Personal bests

GPS watches and exercise tracking apps like Strava and MapMyRun are great for monitoring and updating your PBs. All you have to do is run your heart out let the technology take care of the rest, tracking your splits from start to finish. Then, when you’re done, you’ll (hopefully) get the good news that you ran a new best. Exercise trackers file your fastest kilometre, mile all the way up to marathon and ultra distances, so however far your run, you’ll know if you ran a PB, no matter the distance. You may be running on your own, but you’ll have dozens of versions of your past selves against whom you can race and try to beat.

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Challenge your friends

Once you’ve tested the waters and on your own, challenge your friends to take to the streets, too. You can see who can go the farthest, who has the best PBs and who can win the most CRs (course records) on Strava. You can even set up a virtual race. First, you run a route (5K, 10Kwhatever you like) and send it to your friends. Then they can give the same route a try. You may not be running together, but once you’ve all finished, you can see who won the time trial. If you’d rather stay indoors, you can challenge your friends on Zwift. Take to the virtual running routes and see who wins.

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Get creative

It takes a special type of runner to do this, but, if you think you’re up for it, you could try doing Strava art. This will take a lot of planning, and a wrong turn could really mess up whatever image you’re hoping to produce, but it will definitely keep you busy.

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Photo: Lenny Maughan/Strava

Plus, you’ll probably have to run a long way to complete the picture, so you’ll be in for a great workout, too. If it doesn’t work out, don’t worry, you can always say you were going for a more abstract look.