The 2020 July Running Playlist: Music to Your Ears

We curated the 2020 July Running Playlist just for you

You want music? We’ve got music! Austin is known as The Live Music Capital of the World and we are big music lovers. Every year, we showcase live music throughout the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon course and at the 3-block-long finish line festival. These monthly playlists will allow y’all to hear what we’re listening to. Each song can be found on its monthly playlist and our master #WeLiketheSoundofThat playlist! We also share every song on Twitter. Hit the ‘Follow’ button on Twitter so you know what’s next! The 2020 July Running Playlist has everything you need, including Austin’s guitar virtuoso Stevie Ray Vaughan and the beloved and uncompromising Lizzo. Pro tip: having a playlist that you love is a great motivational tool to get you out of bed for your morning run!

Playlist pro tips:

1) In Spotify, drag the 2020 July Running Playlist to your ‘Playlists’ section for quick access

2) Then click the download button so you can listen even if you’re offline

Click play on the 2020 July Running Playlist before you take off for your next run. These songs can pump you up, allow you to catch your breath, or help you focus on the warm-up/cool-down. However you incorporate music, just make sure you can still hear your surroundings. It’s important to know what’s going on around you! Is there something you like that we didn’t list? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Your Insider Advice on Austin’s Top Running Trails

Take your next run on one of Austin’s top running trails

Every Saturday morning, Austin runners take off on their run. Distances range from short to ultra.  They run solo, with friends, or with their group or club. Runs are completed in just about every condition imaginable. Trail Roots does the same, except they can be found on Austin’s trails. Erik Stanley created Trail Roots in 2014. The former collegiate standout and professional runner wanted to provide support and training for Austin’s growing trail running community. Throughout the years, Trail Roots has covered just about every Austin trail. So when we wanted to know Austin’s top running trails we went to the experts. Trail Roots lays out Austin’s top running trails and what makes them so good for trail running.

Pro tip – trail running provides the perfect opportunity to log training miles and beat the summer heat!

Austin top running trails as voted on by Trail Roots

1) Barton Creek Greenbelt

Image of runners running one of Austin's top running trails. Credit to Trail Roots.

Credit – Trail Roots

The Greenbelt offers the most miles out of all of our local trails. This is surprising because it’s the most central of all the trails. Runners can access the trail in downtown Austin. What our runners also liked about this trail is its accessibility and diverse terrain. You can run the main trail, which is fairly flat, for 7 miles. You could run the west (or backside) of the Greenbelt trails to get in more climbing and add an additional 20 miles! With more than eight well-known access points and trailheads, you can stage water or focus your running on specific trail portions with no problem. 

2) Lakeway / Canyonlands

This West Austin trail is a favorite for its diverse terrain and the number of trails offered. It offers a terrain similar to many of Trail Roots’ Hill Country trail races. While it’s a decent 30+ minute drive from downtown Austin, it is definitely worth it. Also, this trail has some great scenic overlooks and lots of hill climbing. While new neighborhood construction is, unfortunately, slowing eating away at the current trail system, there are still 15-20 miles of trails (when connecting Lakeway, Canyonlands, and Bee Cave Preserve trails). While not at the trailhead, there are about two restroom stalls roughly a half-mile onto the trail.

3) Forest Ridge Preserve

Forest Ridge Preserve is an Austin favorite because of its central location. It also connects to multiple trail systems like St. Edwards Trail and Bull Creek Trail. This offers runners more than 15 miles of trail. Bull Creek also flows most of the year offering a nice place to dip in, cool off,  and take a break from trail running. With plenty of elevation and climbing on these trails, you will get your heart rate up in no time.

Looking for a trail closer to you? Trail Roots has you covered with this helpful map! The one downside of Austin’s top running trails (and just about all of Austin’s trails) is that there aren’t any maps or many markings on the trail to help you find your way. This is a great reason to run with Trail Roots. They can help you navigate and learn these trails! Their goal is to get you comfortable on the trail so you can hop on any Austin trail and feel comfortable. Learn more about Trail Roots and contact their coaches today.

Run the Tangent: Fastest Way to the Austin Marathon Finish Line

Complete the shortest distance possible when you run the tangent

You’re at the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon start line. The start line gong is struck. You cross the start line and begin chasing your goals. But what’s the quickest way to one of those goals: the finish line? Run the shortest distance possible aka run the tangent! You won’t run any further than you have to when you run the tangent. Learn what it means to run the tangent and utilize our tips. BONUS: run the tangent and you’ll get to the 3-block-long finish line festival that much faster!

What is tangent? Oxford Dictionary defines tangent as “a straight line or plane that touches a curve or curved surface at a point.” Most road courses are created with turns and curves along the way in order to get to the proper distance. When we are running, our natural tendency is to follow the natural curve of the road. There is a shorter way: run the tangent!

The shortest distance between two points

The Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon courses are USATF-certified. That means the Austin Marathon is exactly 26.2 miles. The Austin Half Marathon is exactly 13.1 miles. When the course is certified by the USA Track & Field, the course measurers are instructed to measure the shortest course possible. What does this mean? The measurer will measure the course using the straightest line possible. That person will run the tangent. As the saying goes, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The diagram below from the USATF Course Measure Manual illustrates this point.

Infographic informing runners how to run the tangent during the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and what it means.

So it would make sense that we should run the same course that the course measurer measured. On your next training run, try to run the tangent by looking ahead to the next curve. Visualize the straightest possible path by following the inside of the curve. If you want to add distance to your run, do the opposite, follow the outside of the curve.

Race day tips

  • Study the course map and become familiar with the turns and curves on the course
  • Look ahead to the next turn or curve, run the straightest path to the inside of the turn or curve
  • Have fun! 

Fun thing to try: after your next track workout, count the number of steps it takes you to walk one lap of the track at the inside, middle, outside lanes. Which route is the shortest?