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How to Run: Useful Advice for First-Time Runners

Our advice for first-time runners will start you off on the right foot

Did you just discover running? Welcome! Did you start running again after a long layoff? Glad to have you back. Are you returning from injury and ready to get back in a groove? Great news! The information contained in this blog post is geared towards first-time runners. But if you’re returning to running or have finally recovered from an injury, you can use this information too!

Remember: every runner starts at square one. You are about to embark on an amazing journey. It will include countless miles, early mornings, new friends, and plenty of finish lines! Take our advice for first-time runners and apply it to your journey!

Set a goal, find a training plan

Image of a runner posing in front of a 2020 Finisher backdrop after completing the 2020 KXAN Simple Health 5K. First-time runners should set a goal and find a corresponding training plan, like the free 5K training plan in this blog.One of the first things you want to do is set a goal. That could be a distance, a race, or a specific distance at a certain event. If you’re just starting out, an ideal goal race would be the Austin Half Marathon. The distance, 13.1 miles, is a great intro to the sport. Plus, you have plenty of time to follow this free half marathon training plan!

Set a larger goal and train for the Austin Marathon. Going from 0 to 26.2 is a great undertaking, but one that you can accomplish with help from this free marathon training plan. Want to begin with a smaller distance and get to the 3-block-long finish line festival before everyone else? Then the KXAN Simple Health 5K is right up your alley! The 5K distance is perfect if you don’t have that much time to train. Bonus points for getting friends and family to join you. Make sure you download this free 5K training plan and share it with whoever’s joining you.

Learn how to run your best

Running is simple, you put one foot in front of the other. But there are so many ways for you to run better and see improvement. Take proper care of your body, especially when you’re just beginning. Getting more sleep, taking time off, and hydrating properly are just a few of these 7 tips that’ll help you run your best!

Utilize these summertime tips

Summer heat saps everyone’s energy, most especially first-time runners. But you’re just starting out and are ready to keep running! Make sure you follow these summertime running tips to beat the heat like protecting yourself from the sun and learning why it’s important to adjust your running schedule.

Keep your motivation motor running

Image of runner from Mexico with his right arm flexed during the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. This blog post have tips for first-time runners, like how to be relaxed and run your best.Some times the motivation just isn’t there. The chances of skipping a run or missing a workout are higher with first-time runners. But you’re not alone! All runners face this dilemma. One of the best ways to keep your motivation level high is to find an accountability partner. This person will meet you early in the morning and make sure y’all complete the run. Yes, you guessed it, you’ll hold them accountable too! Here are 5 additional tips for staying motivated.

Tips for running in the rain

You might not know it yet, but running in the rain is an absolute treat! Just make sure you’re prepared so a fun run in the rain stays fun. These 7 tips will keep your training on track despite the weather. Just make sure you check the weather before you take off. Don’t run if there’s lightning!

Don’t miss your morning run

Getting up for your early morning run can be difficult, especially for first-time runners. Completing an early morning run really sets up the rest of your day nicely! But the battle with your alarm clock is real. This is the case for veteran runners too! Implement some or all of these 6 tips. They’ll help you get out the door for your morning run.

Long-run recovery timeline

You’re logging miles. Crushing your early morning run. Your weekend long runs are getting longer. What’s left? Learn how to properly recover from your long run with this recovery timeline. This long-run recovery timeline will help expedite the recovery process and help get you ready for whatever’s next!

This useful advice will help put first-time runners on the road to success. But if you’re returning from a long break or recovering from an injury, this information is just as beneficial. Get ready for an amazing running journey! Hey veterans, if there’s something that worked for you as a first-time runner let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Tips For Running in Cold Weather

We’ve all been there. One day you’re running on a mild 60-degree day with the sun beaming down on you, then seemingly overnight the weather drops to near-freezing levels and the wind is howling outside your window. 

When the temperatures dip it can be challenging to get outside, but as long as your gear and mindset are up for a slight challenge you’ll find yourself crushing those runs like never before! We spoke to some seasoned runners and asked them what their best cold-weather-running advice was, and they delivered!

Staying Warm

  • I start chilly and use my effort to warm up. In those temps, I wear a pair of tights, a long shirt, glove liners, and a headband that covers my ears. No jacket is necessary unless it is windy or raining.
  • I dress a layer below what I would normally wear around. For example, I usually wear a hoodie and maybe a light coat over that when going around, but to run I would just wear a long sleeve and maybe a t-shirt as well. Even if you feel chilly before you start running, that’s fine. You’ll warm up quite a bit when you get going.
  • Experiment with layers. Everyone feels temperatures differently. Layers allow precise adjustment. Maybe different materials and thicknesses of long sleeve t-shirts and a vest. Thin cap or gloves if needed. 
  • When it hits 50 for me, I wear gloves. I also get cold very quickly so anything 60ish and below I wear tights. My tops depend on the wind honestly.
  • Try out the website dressmyrun.com; it uses your location, time, weather, and any factors ( such as if you get cold easily ) to tell you how to dress. I used it when I first started running and it was very helpful. 
  • A good hat, socks, and gloves will go a long way in keeping extremities warm. Don’t skimp on those.
  • Hands. Getting proper running gloves this winter was a game-changer.
  • Thin gloves are what I find the most helpful in staying warm during the winter runs.
  • I will typically wear 3/4 running tights or a long-sleeved shirt, a headband to cover my ears, and running gloves. I take the gloves on and off to help regulate my temperature. Below 0 degrees, I wear both the tights and the long-sleeved shirt.
  • You will need less clothing than you think. Last week, I ran 18 miles in 16-degree weather wearing a long sleeve thermal tech shirt, a long-sleeve t-shirt, a wind jacket, and running tights under my shorts. At times, I was almost too hot (the sun helped).
  • It’s only cold at the beginning. The hardest part is getting over the cold mentally. I always say that I can quit after one mile if I’m too cold. I never do.

Staying Visible

  • Not really about the dress, but worth mentioning that colder weather means shorter days. Plan your runs keeping in mind that the sun sets sooner and quicker.
  • When it gets dark visibility is key. A good headlamp is vital in these situations. I can’t tell you how many times when I started hiking and running I would misjudge my timing and end up in the dark.

Staying Healthy

  • Warm-up EXTRA well. Stretch well. Make sure you don’t take your warm-up clothes off until the last minute before your run. Keep moving even when they’re off
  • Make sure the legs will stay warm, the face is covered but breathable, ears are covered and hands are covered.
  • Stay hydrated. Cold, dry air pulls moisture from your lungs and you will still sweat. If you carry a water bottle, be careful, the water may freeze.
  • Transitioning to cold weather running usually brings injuries to new runners as suddenly they run faster and longer. Follow the rules of not progressing too fast and for too long of a distance. Your tendons and ligaments adapt slower than your cardio.
  • If it’s possible, do some warm-up stuff indoors before you head outside. Things like ankle/hip activation or strengthening. Make sure you protect your ears, hands, and neck. I like using a buff/neck gaiter for my neck and my ears if it’s that cold outside. Layers are your friend, if you have too many just tie them around yourself.

5 Reasons It’s Important to Add Running Variety to Your Training

Adding running variety to your training is critical to your growth as a runner

Everyone’s fitness goals vary, but one thing that remains common in all forms of training is the goal to accomplish growth. Most beginner runners train with the same routine every day. Even running the same route gets monotonous. This is exactly why adding running variety can tackle that boredom and help you become a better runner in the process. Below are five reasons why you should add running variety to your training! Pro tip: when building your training plan, add in variations of these 9 different types of runs.

Build endurance

If you’re running the same course every day at the same speed there is little to no chance for growth. It will keep you fit, but it won’t help you grow. Incorporating different types of running and using different routes will slowly build your endurance. You’ll work and strengthen different muscles which will help with your ability to run for longer periods of time. Use these 10 healthy recipes for busy runners to provide your body with the fuel it needs to build endurance.

Increase muscle definition

Keeping true to your everyday training is certainly good. But the problem arises when you hit a plateau with your training and there are no visible changes in your body. This can be disheartening for some. Runners notice an increase in the definition of their leg muscles when adding high-intensity sprints to their training. Follow these 7 tips to increase your speed when you add speed training.

Reduce fatigue and injuries

When we run, our muscles experience fatigue. Runners can tackle fatigue or avoid cramps by simply changing their running type. If you run the same route all the time you’ll use the exact same set of muscles. You won’t activate other muscle groups. When the time comes to use muscle groups that haven’t been worked your chances for injury increase. If you experience fatigue that might be a sign you need to take a day off from running.

Keep it interesting

Boredom is something that can make us dislike even things we like. Running is no exception. When you add running variety there is a kind of excitement associated with it. You find yourself looking forward to the run. You might explore a new route, visit a different part of your city, or run past an amazing mural.

Build a well-rounded plan

Incorporating running variety into your training program ensures every day presents something different. Your body won’t know what to expect and that is exactly what makes variety bear fruit. Different types of runs have varying effects on our body and when combined, our bodies evolve as a whole instead of targeting a single part.

Well, now you know the benefits of adding running variety to your training. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at these 9 types of runs you can include in your routine. Once you’ve planned that out, it’s time to get running!

Boyer Helped Fundraise Thousands, Cruised Through Austin Marathon

Boyer helped fundraise more than $21,000 for Dell Children’s Heart Program

On Saturday morning, Feb. 13, Nate Boyer toed the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon start line ready to take on his first 26.2-miler. He was joined on that sub-freezing morning by Austin Marathon staff on bikes and the Ascension Seton support truck. Despite the Austin Marathon’s original February date being postponed until April 25th, Boyer remained committed to his goal of completing his first marathon and fundraising for Dell Children’s Heart Program. Boyer’s official time was 3:12:37. To date, he has helped fundraise $21,091 thanks to a generous matching grant from Moody Foundation, presenting partner of Austin Marathon Gives

“When things got tough, I ran with my heart knowing the money I helped fundraise will give kids the opportunity to follow their heart later in life,” said Boyer, former Green Beret, Texas Longhorn, and Seattle Seahawk. “I can’t thank the High Five Events’ staff and the Ascension Seton professionals enough. They helped keep me safe, reach my goal, and most importantly, stay on course!”

How others pitched in and opened their hearts

Nate Boyer covers his heart with his right hand as the National Anthem played before he ran 26.2 miles on Austin’s streets. Boyer helped fundraise more than $21,000 for Dell Children’s Heart Program.

Boyer and his efforts were supported in several different ways, including the $10,000 matching grant from The Moody Foundation. Individuals donated to his fundraising page, participants signed up to virtually run with Nate, and limited-edition Run Austin Love Austin gear was sold. High Five Events, owners and producers of the Austin Marathon, donated proceeds from registrations and the gear to Nate’s campaign. The limited-edition Run Austin Love Austin gear is still available. Everyone who has registered received a virtual goody bag. The virtual good bag featured exclusive offers from partners like Fleet Feet Austin, SPIbelt, nuun, and GU Energy. Other well-known Austin establishments like Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, Home Slice, and Hula Hut provided deals too.

“This was a great way to recognize the 30th annual Austin Marathon’s original weekend, support Nate’s efforts, and fundraise for the new Dell Children’s Heart Program,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “We’re equally as excited for the Austin Half Marathon on April 25th and the participants who will continue to fundraise for Austin Marathon Gives nonprofits.”

The April 25th date will feature the Austin Half Marathon and KXAN SimpleHealth 5K. The start and finish locations are just a few blocks apart. They are within walking distance of many downtown hotels and restaurants. The finish line is in front of the picturesque Texas State Capitol. The Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Registration for the in-person event on April 25th is open. Runners can also select from virtual half marathon and 5K options.

Additional photo credits given to Ari Perez and Mike Thompson.