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How to Gain Strength and Why It Helps You

Endurance circuits that’ll help runners gain strength

As runners we always want to see improvement. Especially if we started training for the first time! We want to crush our goals. We want to run further and faster. Gaining strength when training for a marathon or half marathon isn’t easy. In order to run longer distances, you must properly prepare your body to run longer distances. Runners need to gain strength, not build muscle mass. That’s why an endurance circuit is beneficial. We break down how it’ll help you gain strength and explain “the why.” Follow the two workouts below to gain strength during your Austin Marathon training! BONUS: gym and weights aren’t needed.

Gain strength and take your fitness to the next level

Image of runner jumping while crossing the 2020 Austin Half Marathon finish line. She's in mid-air making the Longhorn sign with both hands. Read this blog and learn how to gain strength so you can cross the finish line like this!Combine anaerobic and aerobic during your next workout and take your fitness to the next level. This type of workout is different from strength circuit training and requires less time. Strength circuit training is completing a number of different exercises one after the other in quick succession. These types of workouts are good for general health and muscle strength. However, most distance runners aren’t looking to gain muscle mass. They want to gain strength, make running longer distances easier, and improve race performance. 

You can accomplish this by splitting the number of exercises in a normal strength circuit into sets. Try two sets of four (eight total) or two sets of five (10 total) movements. At the start, middle, and end of each set, run at a pace that will get your heart rate to your desired performance (BPM – beats per minute). Use the pace of your shortest distance race (ex. marathoners – run your goal 10K pace, 5Kers run your goal mile pace). Start at a distance that will get your heart rate to the desired BPM and progress from there.  

Intro Endurance Circuit Workout

Warmup: 800m + stretch

200-400m at goal pace for shortest race (70-80% – max BPM)

  • 5 – burpees 
  • 10 – backward lunges (each leg)
  • 5 – pushups
  • 10 – sit-ups 
  • 1-minute plank
  • 30-second break

200-400m at goal pace for shortest race (70-80% – max BPM)

  • 10 – tricep dips “bench dips”
  • 15 – calf raises
  • 10 – squats
  • 10 – bicycle crunch
  • 1-minute plank
  • 30-second break

200-400m at goal pace for shortest race (70-80% – max BPM)

Once you’re comfortable with this workout, increase the distance and number of reps for each movement.  As you progress, you can add second and third sets using the last run in the previous set as the first run of the next set. Mixing up the circuit movements can help you gain strength and improve overall fitness and endurance. Add dumbbell or kettlebell movements to the circuits as needed for an additional challenge.

Advanced Endurance Circuit Workout

Warmup: 800m + stretch

800m at goal pace for shortest race (75-85% – max BPM)

  • 8 – burpees 
  • 10 – backward lunges (each leg)
  • 10 – pushups
  • 20 – sit-ups 
  • 1-minute plank
  • 30-second break

800m at goal pace for shortest race (75-85% – max BPM)

  • 25 – calf raises
  • 15 – tricep dips “bench dips”
  • 15 – squats
  • 20 – bicycle crunch
  • 1-minute plank
  • 30-second break

800m at goal pace for shortest race (75-85% – max BPM)

Preparing your body for marathon or half marathon training is imperative. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. These endurance circuits will help you gain strength over time. Just like your training plan will increase your mileage over time! Are there other ways you’ve learned to gain strength during your training? Let us know in the Austin Marathon Facebook Group or Twitter!

The Best of all the Amazing On-Course Murals

Austin Marathon and 3M Half Marathon Introduce Run Austin Virtual Series

All six events in the Run Austin Virtual Series will have a unique distance and an Austin theme

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour and 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour joined forces to create the Run Austin Virtual Series. Everyone is invited to participate in the 6-month-long virtual series. The Run Austin Virtual Series begins this month with the Wildflower 1 Mile. The series will continue in August with the Armadillo 5K and build up to a 10-miler in December.

Image of female runner during the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Image announces the Run Austin Virtual Series, a 6-event series where the events increase in distance every month.“The Run Austin Virtual Series is a great way for all runners to hold themselves accountable as they prepare to run Austin’s streets in 2021,” said Leo Manzano, Olympic silver medalist and Austin Marathon Celebrity Ambassador. “Even those who aren’t registered can participate and use the monthly events as goals. Plus, they’re starting with my favorite distance!”

Run Austin perks

Participants of the Run Austin Virtual Series will receive themed downloadable personalized bibs, digital finisher medals, and finisher certificates. Participants will also enjoy fun extras like an online finisher photo booth and virtual reality filters for social media. Registration is open for each of the events for $18. Free entry to the entire six-event series, a $108 value,  is available to participants of the 2021 3M Half Marathon or the 2021 Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K. New distances will be launched at the beginning of the month. Limited-edition merchandise customized for each event will be available for purchase throughout the series.

“We’re excited to launch the Run Austin Virtual Series and introduce this virtual opportunity to the running community,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “The six events are milestones in the runner’s journey to their ultimate goals, the Austin Marathon or 3M Half Marathon finish lines.”

Austin’s flagship running event, the Austin Marathon, will celebrate its 30th anniversary on February 14th. It annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 35+ countries around the world. 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 is currently open.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. It will celebrate its 27th year running on January 17th. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running. The 13.1-mile course showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Participants start in north Austin and finish near the Texas State Capitol. Many participants set their 13.1-mile PR because of the 300’ net elevation drop. Registration is currently open.

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.