Avoid these 6 Simple Training Mistakes and Stay on Track

Stay on track to achieve your goal when you avoid these simple training mistakes

Training for a marathon or half marathon is no simple task, especially if it’s your first time to run one of those distances. You can do this and we’re here for you every step of the way! For first-timers and veterans alike, there are 6 simple training mistakes to avoid. This will keep you on track with your training and help you maximize your runs and workouts. Life happens, we get it. Focus on what’s in your control. The more you do that, the better off you’ll be! That mindset and avoiding these 6 simple training mistakes will help you arrive at the start line healthy and ready to crush your goals. Download our helpful infographic for a daily reminder!

Failing to eat healthily and hydrate properly

You ask a lot of your body when you begin training for a marathon or half marathon. You have to take care of it by providing it with the fuel it needs to complete the tasks ahead. This could mean fewer sweets and junk food and more fruits and vegetables. Training also takes up more of your time, which could lead you to think you have less time to eat the right foods. Check out these healthy weeknight recipes that don’t take that long to prepare.

And don’t forget to hydrate. Hydration is energy for your muscles and can help prevent cramps. You should hydrate throughout the day to prepare for your next run or to replace the electrolytes lost during training. Make sure you know these 5 things about hydration and learn more about its benefits.

Running too far, too fast

Increasing your mileage during training too fast can put a lot of stress on your body. This can lead to injuries. For that reason, increase your training distances gradually. Start with a solid foundation of low miles and build from there. Depending on your fitness level, this base could be 1 mile or 5 miles. Some runners recommend the 10% rule, where mileage is increased by less than 10% each week. Follow this advice to increase your mileage, create a solid foundation, and grow from there.

Developing speed too soon

Build speed slowly and in a consistent way. Trying to run fast intervals at the beginning of the training program is likely going to put too much pressure on your body, which is not recommended. After you’ve built a solid base with your distance you’ll get more comfortable running. Now you can start incorporating things like running the last couple of miles of your workout slightly faster. Speedwork also uses muscles differently, which can help strengthen them. These 7 tips can help you increase your speed effectively.

Avoiding cross-training

Cycling is a form of cross-training that can help you improve as a runner. Credit – Scott Flathouse

Obviously, running is the main and most important part of training. However, if running is your only form of exercise during training, this can result in injuries or even burnout. It’s important to mix up your training with other activities such as strength training, swimming, cycling, or yoga. This helps balance your muscle groups, build strength, and increase flexibility. It also switches things up and keeps your training exciting. 

Skipping rest days

One might think that during training there is no time for rest. But there is! Increased running and exercise do not lead to an increase in preparation. Rest is just as important as running. It allows your body to repair itself and avoid overusing muscles, which can lead to injury. Make sure you follow a training plan that includes rest days. Pro tip: Be intentional about giving your body the rest it deserves. If you’re experiencing one of these 6 signs, you should take a day off from running.

Ignoring pain

It is normal for your muscles to be sore after your runs during training. However, pain is not normal. Pain that gets worse as your run progresses is an indication that something might be wrong. Usually, taking time off helps alleviate pain and prevents an injury from getting worse. However, if the pain doesn’t improve after some time off, seek professional help. Our friends at Ascension Seton Sports Performance can get you back on track or help keep you there in the first place! The more simple training mistakes you make, the higher your chance for injury.

Your training plan is meant to gradually get you to your goal. There will be bumps in the road. Every runner will tell you that. But if you avoid these simple training mistakes you’ll make your journey that much easier. Include cross-training, take advantage of your rest days, and provide your body with the fuel it needs.

Runcation: 6 Signs You Need a Running Vacation

These 6 indicators mean it’s time to start planning your runcation

Runners can’t help it, we’re hard-wired to run as often as possible, even while on vacation. Many runners take this to the next level and plan their vacation around a marathon or half marathon, aka runcation. Runners love this combo because you enjoy all the perks of vacation and get to experience something you love in a new place! If you’re thinking about your next runcation, chances are you’re experiencing at least one of these six signs. If you are, register for the 30th annual Ascension Seton Austin Marathon today and begin planning your Austin runcation!  

Plan your next runcation in Austin! Credit – Pat Wong

6 signs you need a runcation

  • Experiencing burnout

Burnout is real. So is stress and anxiety. Whether it’s personal, professional, the day-to-day grind, or all of the above, burnout can have negative consequences on your mental and physical health. We know that running can reduce stress and anxiety.

Build your training plan and take a few days for yourself or plan a weekend getaway with your partner. Set your out-of-office auto-responder and start to unplug and unwind. Come to Austin, enjoy some live music, visit the on-course murals, and allow yourself to recharge. Remember to enjoy the sights and sounds when running Austin’s streets. Pro tip: stop and reward yourself if you come across a bandit mimosa and/or bacon aid station!

  • Want a change of running scenery

You’ll love all of the amazing on-course murals.

We know you love your routes, roads, and trails at home. But sometimes you need a change of running scenery! A runcation is the perfect answer. Even though you check the course map 100 times, you still never know what to expect on race day. We might be a little biased, but the Austin Marathon course has it all! Every step has amazing downtown views, live music on course, countless spectators, bandit aid stations providing mimosas, beer, bacon, etc., beautiful murals, and so much more.

  • Planning a ladies/guys/kid-free runcation

Is the group text alive with chatter about the next trip with your girlfriends? Are you looking for a different bachelor party idea? Do you and your partner need a kid-free weekend? Yep, an Austin runcation is an excellent answer to all of these questions! There’s something for everyone, no matter what you want to do. Your trip can be as action-packed or relaxed as you want. Explore the Greenbelt, shop on South Congress, eat at some of Austin’s best restaurants, jump in Barton Springs, or relax at the spa. Just remember: the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon start at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday!

  • Itching to explore a new city/state

Get your crew together and Run Austin! Credit – Ed Sparks

Or re-visit a city/state that you absolutely love, like Austin, Texas! Maybe your goal is to run a marathon or a half in all 50 states. Perhaps you love crossing the finish line and celebrating at the Austin Marathon’s 3-block-long finish line festival complete with a beer garden, local food trucks, and live music. Either way, Austin is the perfect place for your runcation! We’ll help you get started. Check out the hotels near the start and finish lines, a local’s guide to Austin’s best views, and runner-recommended places to carb load.

  • Missing friends and family

If you haven’t been able to visit friends and family, do just that during a running vacation. Don’t let distance get in the way of reconnecting with loved ones in-person and discovering a new city. This is one of the better ways to plan your runcation because they’ll know the best places to eat, shop, see, and run. Better yet, you can possibly stay with them and not have to book a hotel! Once you have a plan, set your training goals accordingly.

  • Can’t remember your last one

Plan your Austin runcation and make this your next finish line.

If you have to think for more than 5 seconds about your last vacation, it’s been too long. Whatever your reason for a running vacation, start planning your next one today if you haven’t had one in quite some time. Whether you’re flying solo, with your partner, or friends and family, this is your next opportunity to make new running memories. Don’t want to travel alone? Follow our advice and convince your friend to train for the Austin Half Marathon and join you.

  • Bonus: Why the Austin Marathon is the Perfect Runcation

    • Start and finish lines downtown
    • Spectacular views of Austin
    • Tons of post-race freebies
    • Thousands of cheering spectators
    • 3 different distances (marathon, half marathon, 5K)
    • Belt buckle finisher medals

Plan your next runcation and get ready to visit a new place, recharge your batteries, visit friends/family, make new memories, or all of the above! That’s the beauty of a running vacation, it’s all up to you, including the distance you run.

You Know You’re a Runner When You Do These 10 Things

10 ways to know if you’re a runner

Runners are quirky and habitual. We’re particular and proud of our accomplishments. Really proud! Our community is thriving. It’s the backbone that keeps you training and chasing your goals. Whether you’ve been running for years or are training for your first event, you’re a runner. But there are few other indicators that really let you know if you’re a runner. We recently conducted some important Facebook research and asked you how you know if you’re a runner. There were many great responses, but we selected our 10 favorite and posted them below. Not sure if you’re a runner? You’ll know soon enough! 

Indicators that confirm what we all suspect

Elle Esochea Grunert

  • When everything is a countdown!

We’re starting a list, so why not start it with a countdown too? Nine more ways to tell if you’re a runner in 3… 2… 1…

Raquel Lozano McCain

  • You point out to your friends and family all the roads you run on while y’all are in the car.

This is definitely more fun with other runners in the car. Because we’ve done this with non-runners (and that’s the Austin Marathon start line!) and they just turn up the volume or try to change the conversation.

Brian Karl Pfeiffer

  • You say “I only went on a 5-mile run this morning.”

We’re all guilty of this. While other runners will ask you where, your pace, and what taco you had after, non-runners will have a shocked look on their face and questioningly repeat the distance.

Samantha Guajardo

  • Talk about bowel movements more than others!

Does this one really need a description?!

Whitney Greene

  • Keep a pair of running shoes in your car, just in case.

Because you never know what might happen throughout the day. We also keep an extra set of clothes with our shoes. And if it’s hot outside, a towel and an extra set of clothes.

Lesley Shearer

  • Wake up early on your day off… so you can run.

Have you ever sworn that you’re going to sleep in on an off day? Yeah, we have too…

Jimmy Allen

  • You’re on family vacation and all you care about is where you’re going to run or if there’s a local run taking place nearby.

Runners are habitual, vacation included. This is often the best way to explore a new city! And if you’re up early, you’ll often have your route to yourself or run into local runners.

Mary Hickson

  • Run past your house to even out time or mileage.

Alright, we admit, this isn’t all runners. But there’s a large segment of our community that will jog circles if needed just to get to an even number.

Patti Grant

  • Slow down when driving to see if the runner you’re passing is someone you know.

And when you recognize them you slow down even more, roll down the window, quickly cheer for them, and honk loudly as you drive off. If this has happened to you while running you all about the jolt of energy you get and the smile that crosses your face!

Rochelle Ray

  • You get FOMO every time there’s a running event you didn’t sign up for.

This happens. Every. Time. This is why we’ll take a moment to say don’t get FOMO for the 30th annual Ascension Seton Austin Marathon! The marathon distance, beer garden, and post-race live music will be back on February 20, 2022. The only thing we need is all you runners to help us celebrate! Who knows, you might discover more ways to know you’re a runner on your journey to the finish line!

It should be pretty clear that if you’ve made it this far you’re a runner. So now what do you do? It’s obvious! Go for a run, keep going until you reach an even number, tell someone about it afterward, and make plans to join us for our 30th anniversary!

Get Off Your Phone: Turn Screen Time Into Workout Time

Advice on how to get off your phone and spend that time working out

According to a 2017 study published by Cross-Platform Future in Focus, people spend nearly three hours per day on their phones. That’s like working a part-time job! Whether it’s personal or professional use, you’re checking email, replying to texts, visiting social media, reading articles, etc. While some of this time spent on your phone might be useful, most of it can be cut out or reduced. Get off your phone and create something beneficial for you: workout time. Follow our advice, get off your phone, and turn screen time into something that’s more productive and will help you reach your goals!

6 tips to reduce screen time

  1. Disable “raise to wake” feature

Disabling the raise to wake feature on your phone can reduce your screen time.

This iPhone feature uses internal sensors to figure out when you lift your device. Once you do, the screen turns on. This allows you to check for notifications, encouraging you to open them up and spend time on your phone. Once disabled, you’ll be prompted to press a button or two to access your phone. This might take longer to access your phone, but in the long-term it’ll change your habits. Instead of checking for notifications every time you lift your phone, plan to check it every 60-90 minutes. This can reduce your overall screen time while ensuring you keep tabs on anything you might need to check.

  1. Stop pooping with your phone

Don’t take your phone to the bathroom with you! We’re all guilty of this. What should be a quick trip to the bathroom turns into a spiraling journey down a rabbit hole about the latest running shoes. Next time you need to go, leave your phone behind. Instead, focus on the task at hand. Get in and get out. Depending on your previous habits, you could add an extra 30-60 minutes of extra time to your day. Perfect for a cross-training workout or adding an extra half hour to your run. Even if you just add 10 minutes, that’s enough time to add these 4 stretches before your run.

  1. Inform your friends and family

Save that text/call for the next time you run with your friend. Credit: Scott Flathouse

You’re trying to break a bad habit. The best way to do this is by telling the people you text and chat with the most. Save it for when they see you in person. If you’re visiting with them, have them discourage you from repeatedly checking your phone. Take it a step further and pay them $1 every time you check your phone. Nobody likes to lose money! Pro tip: tell your friends to save that text or that call for the next time you run together.

  1. Avoid using your phone as an alarm clock

Using your phone as a wake-up call defeats the purpose of reducing screen time. Once you turn it off, what are the chances of you checking email or text messages? Pretty high. Use an old-fashioned alarm clock instead.

If you prefer to use the alarm clock feature, these tips can help ensure you don’t immediately dive into screen time.

  • place it somewhere where you have to actually get out of bed to stop it
  • once you turn it off, immediately jump into your morning routine (washing hands, brushing teeth)
  • set your running gear/shoes in the vicinity
  1. Customize screen time settings

Learn how much time your spending on your phone before adjusting your screen settings.

Before doing this, check the reporting feature that shows you how you’re using your phone and how often you’re using it. Once you realize how you’re spending your time you can make various adjustments.

  • Downtime – only phone calls and apps that you choose to allow are available
  • App limits – set daily limits that’ll help reduce the time spent in a specific app
  • Always allowed – this might be reserved for a couple of apps that you need constant access to regardless of other settings
  1. Add apps that offer free and/or quick workouts

All you need is 7 minutes with the Seven App.

Turn time on Instagram or Tik Tok into a workout! Make the most out of screen time by downloading quick or free workout apps. We recommend the following:

  • Seven – All you need is seven minutes with this app. Get in and get it done because small habits can lead to big changes! This app provides plenty of motivation, trained instructors, and customized workouts. Available on Apple and Android.
  • Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer – Another great app that offers quick and specialized workouts. It offers exercises that tone major muscle groups without special equipment. Available on Apple and Android.
  • Daily Butt Workout – Want to focus on your glutes? This app is a great way to get you off your butt (literally) and do just that. Available on Apple and Android.
  • Daily Yoga – 50 million yogis can’t be wrong! Plus, yoga is a favorite cross-training method for countless runners. This app offers personalized yoga classes from beginner to advanced, all taught by professional instructors. Available on Apple and Android.

While using your phone is not necessarily a bad thing, spending too much time on it can be. Get off your phone and turn screen time into a positive habit with our advice. Work your way to become a better runner in as little as seven minutes.