So You’re Running Virtually . . .


Why not spruce up the scenery?

Virtual races are all the rage right now! So far I have not participated in one, but I might for one or two when the charity is right. Just to run? No thanks! But that’s me, everyone is different.

Maybe the weather sucks, or maybe you have to entertain babies/toddler/young children, or maybe you’re not allowed to run outside. Maybe the treadmill is the only option for you. How will you keep yourself motivated on that treadmill?

I did a little digging to find some options that might make a virtual race feel a little bit more like a real race. I haven’t personally tried any of these, but here goes:

adventure alberta alpine amazing
Make a treadmill run easier by “running” somewhere scenic | Photo by Pixabay on

Virtual Active
Virtual Active lets you pick videos from scenic places to run all over the world. They can be guided or unguided. $7.95 for SD, $10.95 HD. Buy multiples in a pack for a discount. Subscribe to their newsletter for 20% off your first purchase.

You’ll find the running videos here (there are also videos for hiking and cycling).

photo of man running in the forest
Maybe a virtual trail race is the only way you’ll ever run trails | Photo by Ogy Kovachev on

Virtual Runner
Virtual Runner seems to be trying to appeal to more hard core runners. In addition to the videos you purchase in an app, it displays elapsed time, distance, pace, HR, and cadence. Of course most of that information comes from a footpod, and it wasn’t obvious to me where you buy the footpod.

The cool thing about the footpod is that it will slow down or speed up the video to correspond with how fast you’re running.

You must be able to maintain a 15 mm pace to use the app.

There are links to Android, Apple, and Microsoft apps here.

Peloton App
I think most runners, unless they’ve been living under a rock, are aware of the Peloton App (which you’ll find here). Peloton includes running classes and outdoor course videos. You can try the app for 30 days free. Did you know that they’ve stopped selling Peloton Treadmills because of the installation? My 20 year old treadmill better survive this virus.
royal guard standing near lamp post
Run London on your treadmill | Photo by Samuel Wölfl on
Free Course Videos
Okay, I’ll bet that there are plenty more resources, but how about running the World Major courses with the elites without having to travel anywhere? I found course videos of them all on YouTube — except oddly Boston.
The only thing I could find of Boston was a live stream from Heartbreak Hill (which I walked up, long story) — but seriously, watching runners endlessly battling Heartbreak Hill probably wouldn’t really be that inspiring. Or maybe it would be to you!
  • London Marathon here
  • Tokyo Marathon here
  • NYC Marathon here
  • Berlin Marathon here
  • Chicago Maratho here
There are lots of course videos for other races, too. Google the one you want to run and see if it’s there — it may very well be!

Do you ever run on a treadmill using course videos? 

Do you think it would make it feel easier to run on the treadmill if you did? 

What can you add to my list? 


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.


35 thoughts on “So You’re Running Virtually . . .

  1. What great ideas! I think I would pick the London marathon route – at least I would get to run it virtually!
    Fortunately, I haven’t needed to get on a treadmill for many months now. I really don’t like it and I would desperately need all the distraction I could get. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i haven’t tried any of these, but it could be cool. I say “could” because sometimes videos like that make me nauseated. I’ve been OK with pretty basic animated courses on hotel gym treadmills, but I need to look away if there are sweeping camera moves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t own a treadmill so I don’t know about running to a video.

    I have the Peleton app but it uses too much data outdoors. Even if you download the class ahead. I do like it.

    I do virtuals but not as races. I don’t even wear a watch when I run.

    I do think the videos would be fun on the stationary bike.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds fun! I’d love to check out the London course. I have stayed at hotels where the gym treadmills have programs like this where you can pick courses or trails to run while on the treadmill. I really enjoyed those.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that there are so many options to keep our workouts interesting. I’ve been running the same route for the past few weeks but one day I ran it in reverse and it felt like a totally different run, lol. Funny how a small change like that can make a difference.

    You know I’m a huge fan of the Peloton app and I’ve definitely been getting my money’s worth over these past 8 weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love to sometimes run in the opposite way! It’s a great way to make things feel fresh.

      I did download the Peloton app while it was still 90 days free (haven’t tried it yet though).


  6. These are great suggestions, Judy! For me, though, the treadmill is not only boring, but I know it alters my stride and my form. All of the repetitious steps/strides in the exact same manner wear on my hips, which is why I prefer to be outside where the terrain is constantly changing underfoot. Plus, with my long legs, there’s the constant anticipation of stubbing my toes (and then face planting) LOL So, I don’t know if a race course video would help or not.That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wanted to give options to people who pretty much have no option other than the treadmill.

      I actually feel like the treadmill is kinder to my body (that soft surface) and it doesn’t bother me as much — but I also don’t use it that much. Glad to have it as an option!


  7. If I had a treadmill, I would definitely try this out! I’m extra intrigued by the Berlin Marathon since I visited the city last summer on vacay. I’ve been to hotel gyms that had the fancy treadmills where you could “run anywhere” and I have to admit it was pretty cool and fun to look around at the sights! Zwift is another good option for running virtually on the treadmill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually do have iFit on my 20 year old treadmill — I never used it. Obviously it’s not video, it was supposed to be a way to use preprogrammed runs on the treadmill. You had to connect to the internet somehow, though. 20 years ago!


  8. So cool! Of course, I don’t have access to a treadmill right now. I am not the best treadmill runner in the best of times. I only resort to the treadmill if there is ice on the roads or if a thunderstorm is approaching, and then I always went in to the rec center. I love the idea of running the World Majors courses virtually with the elites!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did download it while it still had the 90 days free. I’ve done one workout so far, but it was nice. At least I get to see what all the hype is about now! I wish I could afford a bike.


  9. I’m lucky that I don’t ever have to run on a treadmill but running virtually through a city or a famous marathon course would be pretty cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t know that it would ever be easier to run on a treadmill. Even watching a movie or show, it’s just so hard on my body.

    I love the idea of having different scenery for runs, but honestly, it’s usually dark when I run, so it all looks the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s kinda weird, the treadmill should be easier than the road — it’s a softer surface.

      I never run in the dark! Ever! I used to run before sunrise (but it was already light) in the summer, but stopped doing that quite a few years ago.

      I bet the neighborhood would be less crowded then. 🙂


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