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Tight Shoulders? Try These Stretches

Tight shoulders can be very painful.

They are often seen in athletes because they use their shoulder muscles and ligaments too much. Tight shoulders can also affect the neck region and sometimes the whole upper body. If you don’t warm-up and stretch properly before muscle training, the chance of having tight shoulder blades increases. A tense shoulder blade restricts your movements and makes you feel anxious because it causes a lot of discomfort. It can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep and make it hard to do everyday activities.

Let’s check out some stretches that can give you relief from tight or stiff shoulders:

 

Neck Stretch– Bend your head towards your left shoulder so that your left ear touches the shoulder. Placing your left hand over the right side of your temple, gently pull your head to the left. Maintain this position for nearly thirty seconds. Then repeat the same for the right side. 

Crossbody Arm Stretch– Keep one of your arms straight and hold it across your chest with the other hand. Pull the upper part of the crossed arm towards your body gently for ten seconds. Relax and repeat by switching the arms. 

Shoulder Rolls– Stand or sit in a proper posture. Keeping your arms straight, roll the shoulders up, forward, and down in sync. Swiftly continue this movement to the count of ten. Then repeat the same rolling movement backward. 

Chin Retraction– You can do this exercise while sitting or standing. Maintain a proper posture of the body and move your chin to the front (as far as possible without causing strain). Then tuck it back into your neck.

Arm Circles– Position your upper body properly while standing straight near a wall. Move one arm slowly in a circular motion. Keep making big circles with the arm till the count of 10 in each direction. Then turn the around to repeat the same exercise with the other hand. 

Back Hand Clasp– Keep your hands over your lower back, both the palms touching each other. Slowly angle your upper back so that the shoulder blades are tucked together.

Neck Rolls– Rotate your head by using forward and sideways movements of the neck. You can do it by making a semicircular shape with the movement of your neck by moving it from one side to the other. Stop and repeat in reverse after 5 rotations.

These shoulder exercises can help you by relaxing your shoulders so that you can quickly resume your training. 

 

The Benefits of Training with a Group

Doing activities alone may not always yield the desired results. But when you join a group, the same activities may turn out to be more enjoyable, motivating, and productive, and this can be especially true for running.

If you are contemplating participating in the Austin marathon, half marathon, or 5K, training for it solo may not be beneficial. So to extract the maximum benefits out of it, joining a training group is essential. 

They help you stick with it

Starting training may be easy but sustaining it over a period requires grit, determination, and above all, inspiration. So when you join a training or running group you automatically start feeling motivated because you see people around you doing the same thing. After all, running is a different ball game. It can be easy to tire out or lose enthusiasm. But when your fellow runners heap praise on you for successfully executing your training, you become supercharged. You’ll be ready to infuse more energy and perseverance into your running. This in turn also inspires others to perform with similar gusto. 

Helps give you a purpose 

When several people come together, there is a creative exchange of ideas. You learn from others while others learn from you. The group, therefore, helps in fostering a sense of camaraderie and companionship that you slowly begin to cherish. You may also be required to mentor other runners in the group which may give you a sense of purpose. 

Helps build relationships 

Group training may be the perfect way to give you purpose while also expanding social circles, be they personal or professional. As you grow closer with running mates, you may find yourself sharing joys or venting frustrations about your life in a safe and supportive environment. Running also offers an opportunity to get to know your coworkers and bosses on more than just a work level, which can help make you enjoy coming in every day, or even help in advancing your career.

They help you learn from failures 

Failures are a part of any sport, but how you learn from your failures and turn them around to your advantage is the true test of an athlete. If you are alone, you may feel frustrated at those failures. But if you have a great support group, you can take lessons from your failures and convert them into success. Having a group that supports you is important if you want to transcend the barriers and reach the pinnacle of success. 

In group training, your team is like a pillar of strength. They guide and encourage you to be your best self. Running together bonds you as a team and cultivates teamwork skills that will last long after the run is finished.

 

Best Brunch In Austin

The best way to fuel your body after a long run is with some good old-fashioned carbohydrates and protein. And what better meal than brunch at one of Austin’s fabulous restaurants?

If you’re feeling peckish during the Austin Marathon festivities, don’t worry! There are plenty of nearby places that will satisfyingly fill up those empty stomachs. From quick tacos and benedicts to pancakes and lattes, our staff has some great options for you to enjoy all around Austin. 

 

Cisco’s

1511 E 6th St.
Austin, TX 78702

The migas plate at Cisco’s is a fantastic go-to. No frills, quick, inexpensive, and absolutely delicious. Cisco’s has been a staple of East Austin for over 6 decades. In fact, it has been said that many of the deals made in Texas government occurred in the back room of Cisco’s over coffee, biscuits, migas, and huevos rancheros.

 

 

Cafe No Se

1603 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704

The Cowboy Breakfast is a spectacular and hearty spin on a full English breakfast (the cilantro butter, YUM). For a sweeter tooth, you can’t go wrong with their gluten-free pancakes, either. 

 

 

 

True Food

222 West Ave
Suite HR100
Austin, TX 78701

Delicious, fresh, clean food that will make you feel as good as it tastes! The gluten-free banana pancakes are pretty mind-blowing. True Food aims to deliver healthy, clean, locally sourced food and honestly, they deliver!

 

 

 

Phoebe’s Diner

533 W Oltorf St. Austin, TX 78704
408 W 11th St. Austin, TX 78701

The fluffy buttermilk biscuits in Phoebe’s Benedict will draw you in but it’s the killer hashbrown casserole that will keep you coming back to Phoebe’s. Also recommended: their cornbread muffins. Delish!

 

 

 

 

Manana

1603 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704

Located at the gorgeous South Congress Hotel, Mañana has incredible coffee drinks to give you that extra pep you’re looking for. The Chocolate Fronks Milk Latte or the Nitro Cold Brew is the way to go. Why not also treat yourself to a vegan banana snickerdoodle while you’re at it. 

 

 

 

Hank’s

5811 Berkman Dr
Unit 100
Austin, TX 78723

You know what they say; If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Keep it simple, classic, and delicious with Hank’s Breakfast: 2 eggs, bacon or sausage, breakfast potatoes, sourdough toast & jam.

 

 

 

Snooze 

1700 South LamarAustin, TX 78704
1109 East 5th StAustin, TX 78702
3800 North LamarAustin, TX 78756

Treat yourself to their signature pancake flight: Pineapple Upside Down, Blueberry Danish & Sweet Potato pancakes. Better yet, choose your own flavors! You can’t go wrong with pancakes at Snooze. 

 

 

 

Valentina’s

11500 Menchaca Road
Austin, Texas 78748

The Real Deal Holyfield breakfast taco will change your breakfast game forever. A warm and fluffy tortilla gets piled with smoked brisket, bacon, a fried egg, tomato-serrano salsa, beans, and potatoes. Don’t be surprised if no other breakfast taco can live up to this bad boy. 

 

6 Tips for Staying Motivated Until Race Day

Keep your training momentum high with these tips for staying motivated

For many, running is an integral part of their day. Consistently running will prepare you for your distance, but there are factors out there that can sap your motivation. Don’t let that happen! Be diligent, keep your motivation cranked up, and race day will be here before you know it. The tips for staying motivated that you’ll need are below!

Track your progress

Friends pose the 2019 Austin Half Marathon finish line. Accountability is a great tip to stay motivated.

Friends hold each other accountable and keep them motivated all the way to the finish line.

Motivation can be quickly lost when you don’t see progress. It’ll feel like you’re not going anywhere. Track your progress to stay motivated! You can see the data for each workout, improvement from week-to-week, and total mileage once you cross the finish line. We run with Under Armour’s MapMyFitness. The insights are tremendous, it lets you know about everything, including stride and cadence.

Find accountability

We can’t stress this enough. Running with a friend or your local running group ( like RAW or Austin Runners Club) will elevate your motivation. The accountability factor is real and it benefits everyone. Everyone wants to cross the Austin Marathon finish line and you want to help each other get there. Accountability will keep that pact intact, especially if you have trouble getting up in the morning

Reward yourself

One reason people lose motivation is they focus on the big goal – the Austin Marathon finish line. That’s fantastic, but it shouldn’t be your only goal because that one goal will produce only one reward. Set up monthly, weekly, or daily goals and reward yourself! Get out of bed for that early morning workout? Get your favorite coffee. Complete your weekend long run? Reward yourself with brunch from your favorite spot.

Prep your stuff the night before

Lance Armstrong, the Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, at the 2019 Austin Marathon finish line. Running on behalf of Austin Gives Miles is a great tip to stay motivated.

Lance Armstrong was the 2019 Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, lending his legs and his miles!

Your alarm goes off, you roll out of bed, just trying to get out the front door. The last thing you want to do is think about what you need for your run or to pack a bag so you can shower at the gym. Knock all this out the night before and set your bag near the front door. This will save time in the morning and ensure you don’t forget something important, like soap, deodorant, or your underwear! Pro tip: sleep in your running clothes to save even more time!

Find a cause to support

Run for someone or something other than yourself! A great place to look is Austin Marathon Gives – the Austin Marathon’s philanthropic program. Austin Marathon Gives supports Central Texas nonprofits, helping them raise funds and increase awareness for their cause. There’s a range of causes for runners to choose from! Pick a nonprofit you love, lend your legs and miles, and make a difference with your training. You can also run and fundraise on behalf of your favorite charity! Plus every dollar you raise is matched by the Moody Foundation, up to $10,000 per charity!

Sign up for a race

There are benefits to registering for another race. It’ll act as another goal for you to work towards, you can test your hydration/nutrition plans, and eliminate some of those race-day jitters. 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour on January 23rd is the perfect tune-up race for the Austin Marathon. It has one of the fastest half marathon courses in the country and is 4 weeks before the Austin Marathon. 

Keep your momentum levels on HIGH. The more you have fun during your runs and workouts, the more likely you are to continue the next day. Incorporate these tips for staying motivated throughout your training. Do you have a tip that keeps you motivated during your training? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.