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Yuba College women’s soccer spreads out in its return to the practice field last October. The 49ers have continued virtual workouts during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to stay engaged. 

Without live competition for the foreseeable future, the Yuba College women’s soccer players and coaching staff have made virtual workouts a mainstay of their lives the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The latest challenge amongst the 49er players and coaches is called the runkeeper challenge, where the team goes out and competes through its cell phone on the app runkeeper, which tracks miles run through a GPS tracker. 

It’s one of many applications available to the general public, but runkeeper is a favorite of Yuba women’s soccer coach Cristina Baggio. 

“That’s the one I use, it (tracks) the frequency and amount you want to run,” Baggio said. “You’re basically competing with each other.” 

The team challenge ended this past Sunday, March 7, according to freshman defender and Wheatland High graduate Madison Netto. 

It was a 24-mile challenge from Feb. 6 to March 7. The team typically ran workouts on Mondays and Wednesday as a part of their distanced conditioning program. However, some athletes went above and beyond.

Netto, a defensive stalwart at Wheatland during her senior year in 2019-20 with a team-high 95 steals, tried to run more than twice-a-week.

She said when she’d log into the app and see what others had done, it motivated her to do more. 

It’s also another way to remain connected with the team during quarantine, Netto said. 

Netto said the app is simple and can be downloaded to an android or iPhone device

It also has an add friends and chat feature so runners can compete with others who are on a similar level. 

Virtual workouts are just another new normal during the pandemic. 

Netto, whose team is currently back on the field this week competing in socially distanced workouts without a ball, hopes that she has done enough to prepare her both physically and mentally for the eventual reopening of fall soccer at Yuba College. 

Baggio said the team’s virtual workouts include several challenges. It is about finding innovative ways to keep the team engaged, she said. 

“It’s about (balancing) your health and priorities,” Baggio said. “Most people have been indoors more than ever and you need to have a balanced lifestyle. To go running is a mental destresser. As long as we’re instilling good habits hopefully that leads to a healthier lifestyle in the future.” 

For more information on runkeeper, visit https://runkeeper.com/cms.

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