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Ride and Run Austin with Project Connect

How Project Connect can help make Austin an even better city

For the past several years, High Five Events, owners and producers of the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, have worked in tandem with CapMetro. We’ve partnered to ensure that runners and fans can move about promptly and safely on big race days. But our partnership with CapMetro goes beyond that. High Five Events and CapMetro have a shared vision of what the future of Austin can be—cleaner, safer, faster, more equitable. We believe Project Connect will achieve that

Austin runners number in the hundreds of thousands. Most of the time our daily run starts and ends right outside our front door. But it’s beneficial, even essential, for fitness, training, and emotional health to have some variety. The solution is to run through any of Austin’s iconic environs like circling Ladybird Lake, flying past foliage on the Barton Creek Greenbelt, or tackling the difficult terrain of the Brushy Creek Trail. 

Bettering Austin

If you’ve been a runner here for a few years, you know that those places are harder and harder to get to. It takes longer to get there and back, probably longer than the run itself. Austin traffic pollutes the air we breathe. Traveling, whether by car or on foot, is not as safe. Traveling by rail will help to reduce traffic fatalities.

If runners across Austin support Project Connect and Prop A, we’ll all reap the same benefits. More access to trails, greenbelts, and parks. Cleaner, more breathable air. And a safer run or bike ride along often-used corridors. A good example of improving safety is the planned construction of a new bridge over Ladybird Lake. The plans will reduce foot and bike traffic along Pleasant Valley Road and Longhorn Dam.

Thinking about the future

Austin’s runners often travel on weekends to events around the country and that, too, will return once the pandemic is over. Project Connect makes getting to the airport much less of a Heartbreak Hill, no matter where in Austin you live. 

For running families, our children are facing a real challenge if they want to continue to live here. Two million additional people will move to Austin by 2040, four million total. Austin can certainly remain the best place in the country to work and live. However, we need to think about what life will be like in 20 years if we don’t act now to solve our traffic problems. 

If you want to learn more about Project Connect and how you can offer your support, visit TransitNowATX.com

High Five Events has long worked with CapMetro and the City of Austin transportation department to create event plans and race routes that minimize disruption to the transportation network. CapMetro planners collaborated with High Five Events on the redesign of the Austin Marathon route, which was introduced in 2018. The new route resulted in a significant decrease in the number of affected bus stations and allowed for less disruption to the overall bus network.

Booty Bands: 4 Reasons Why You’ll Love Their Benefits

The resistance from booty bands can make you a stronger runner

Booty bands: funny name, legit benefits. Running by itself is great. But if that’s all you do you might experience burnout or have an overuse injury. That’s why we’re always talking about cross-training! The benefits runners can see from cycling, swimming, and yoga are endless. Now you can add booty bands to the list! They’re inexpensive, lightweight, and you can work out with them anywhere. We breakdown what they are, talk about their benefits, and provide some of our favorite workouts. They’re especially helpful for first-time runners!

Booty bands explained

https://youraustinmarathon.com/booty-bands-benefits/Booty bands are small loop bands that can be made from different materials including rubber, cloth, and elastic. These bands usually come in sets with different weights and resistance. They can add additional resistance to natural movements like squats, lunges, slides, and kicks. While they are great for targeting your core and lower body, they can also be used for shoulders and arms. Also known as resistance bands, mini bands, butt bands, and hip bands. They’re a great compliment to your training, especially when you’re increasing your mileage.

Do they work?

Heck yeah they do! Once you work out with them you might realize that you’ve been slacking on working out certain muscles. Because of the added resistance, you will use more stabilizing muscles and feel the burn. They’re one of the simplest additions to your training/workout routine. They’re also great for preventing painful injuries like shin splints. Pro tip: add these endurance circuit workouts to your training too!

Benefits

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Lightweight and easy to pack/store
  • Adds a variety to workouts
  • Great for different levels of fitness

How to use them

Search booty band workouts on Google. You’ll discover so many options that you could literally do a new one each day. That is how versatile they can be. Here are some that caught our eye and that we added to our own workout lineup:

As you can see, we still take cross-training seriously. If we don’t have time to rock climb or ride our bike, we bust out our booty bands. There are times where we even add them to our warm-up routine. Do you already use booty bands and have a favorite workout? Let us know in the Austin Marathon Facebook Group or on Twitter!

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How Long Will it Take You to Finish a Marathon?

Know the 6 factors that may impact your marathon finish time

A marathon is 26.2 miles (42.2K) long. While most elite runners can finish a marathon in the 2-hour range, age group runner’s finish times vary greatly. We review the average finish times for different ages below. Runners usually have 8 hours to complete the designated 26.2-mile distance.  There are several factors that can influence how long it can take you to finish a marathon. If you already know your running pace, use this helpful pace chart to help predict your finish time or set a new goal!

Training and pace

Runner Pace Chart for 5K Half Marathon and marathon finish time predictionLike every competition, preparation is critical for a marathon. The amount of training you put in every day before the race is crucial to how your body acclimatizes itself to running long distances. You can roughly calculate how long it could take you to finish a marathon by taking your mile time and comparing it with a marathon pace chart. For example, if you’re completing a mile in 15 minutes then you would likely reach the finish line in about 6.5 hours.

If you don’t know your base pace, you can calculate it. There are tons of different pace calculators available on the internet. Another good way to figure out your base pace is to run a 5K. Your pace in the final mile is a good place to start for predicting your pace. Since you are planning a longer distance you will want to add anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute to calculate your full marathon pace.

Many marathons will have pace groups for certain times to help guide finishers. These pace times can differ from race to race but many times include the required qualifying times for the Boston Marathon. The Austin Marathon is a Boston Marathon Qualifier with hundreds of people getting their BQ each year. 

  • Pace groups available: 2:59, 3:05, 3:10, 3:15, 3:20, 3:25, 3:30, 3:35, 3:40, 3:45, 3:50, 3:55, 4:00, 4:05, 4:20, 4:35, and 4:50
  • The pace group leaders will run “even splits.” This means that every mile will be run at approximately the same pace
  • Think of them as a moving finish line with your goal time pinned to the back of their shirts

Age and gender

Although age and gender do not restrict your ability as a runner, there are considerable differences in the stats in these categories. On average, men complete a marathon in a little more than 4 hours, while women take roughly 4.5 hours. The marathon running population is typically 30-40 percent female and 60-70 percent male. People of all ages complete a marathon, though the bulk are between 30 and 50 years of age. 

Average finish time by gender and age group from the 2020 Austin Marathon

Average Finisher Times based on age group for the austin marathon

These stats are important to know so that you can plan accordingly and maybe even take home an age group award. Age group awards are usually presented to the top 3 male and female overall in each age group. Categories begin with 19 & under and end with 85+. Groups increase in five-year increments.

Awards for the Austin Marathon (for male and female) include:

  • Overall champion
  • 2nd place
  • 3rd place
  • Age Groups: 19 & under 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-85, 85+

Terrain and weather

One part that can affect how long it takes to finish a marathon is the course’s terrain. The flatter the course, the lesser the effort required to run on it. But terrain does not necessarily dictate success or make a course hard or easy. With proper training for a course, you can set a PR (personal record) on all different styles of course. Pro tip: Try and run the course before race day. Practice some of your long runs on the course if you can!

As much as terrain decides the intensity of the challenge, weather can significantly impact how long it will take you to finish a marathon. If it is warmer than normal, your energy could drain faster. Your body consumes more energy to perform the task at hand and keep your body cool. Participants normally prefer the cooler temperatures in the winter months. But as with everything, if it gets too cold this could impact your time because it could take longer to warm up at the start.

Knowing about these factors and how they can impact how long it could take you to finish a marathon will help on race day. Keep a record of your time and work to improve it at your next marathon. With proper training and dedication, you could set a brand new marathon PR! How do you prepare for these factors during your training? Have they impacted how long it took you to finish a marathon? Let us know in the Austin Marathon Facebook Group or on Twitter.