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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!

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.

Is There Really a Right Way to Run?

Go beyond the shoe and learn about the right way to run

Learning about the right way to run for yourself can make all the difference in the world. It can improve efficiency and reduce injury.  RunLab’s, Dr. Kimberly Davis breaks down the myth and the reality about the right way to run. She includes reasoning and how you can learn more about your running form. If you want to learn more or have an injury looked at, give RunLab a call today!

by: Kimberly Davis, RunLab

The Myth

There is a “right” way and a “wrong” way to run.

The Reality

There are many right and wrong ways to run, walk, and even squat. Your ideal way depends on your unique structure, range of motion, strengths, limiters, injury history, and goals. Seem like a lot to consider?! It is!

There are more runners and triathletes hitting the trails than ever and that, unfortunately, means more injury. Many studies estimate that upwards of 90% of runners will end up injured in any given year. Given the fact that millions upon millions of dollars have been spent on shoe design over the last 50 years, why are injury rates still the same, or even higher, than they ever were?

The answer? It’s not about the shoe.

Misinformation about running form

There is a lot of misinformation out there about running form. People constantly find their way into RunLab™ with stories about their struggles to “fix” their heel strike, run with higher cadence, get their “glutes to fire”, to “stop overpronating”, etc. But the problem lies in the fact that most of these runners have very little understanding of how their bodies are built. Despite their best intentions, they have even less idea why they are trying to change things, other than the fact that they read somewhere that what they are currently doing is “wrong.”

There are thousands of variables that go into a person’s ideal movement pattern. A person’s gait is as unique as their fingerprint! Furthermore, changing the way you move isn’t necessarily taking away the load. It simply means you are moving the load around to another area of the body that can be more, or sometimes less, equipped to handle that stress.

Movement analysis

This is where movement analysis comes into play and why it is vital to look at the full body both statically and in motion from multiple planes. It is important to understand the unique way you are built, your current range of motion, strengths and limiters, and the way your body has adapted to move through them.

Our brains are amazing at creating workarounds for even the slightest weakness. When we layer compensation pattern over compensation pattern (even as non-runners) for years, there is a lot that goes into unraveling the ball of biomechanical yarn. This is true for runners dealing with injury and uninjured runners looking to prevent injury or improve efficiency.

To illustrate the point, creating an increased range of motion in one area can create stability problems in another. This can cause that area to develop compensatory hypertonicity (tightness).

One common scenario we see in runners occurs when they have more flexible hamstrings than they think they do and constantly spend time stretching them, ignoring their hip flexors. Since most of us sit all day, the hip flexors can cause the pelvis to roll forward and pull on the (already flexible) hamstrings. This creates a perception of tightness which leads to, you guessed it, more stretching. Low back pain frequently results. This is one of a million examples but illustrates the way the body adapts and why we end up chasing pain in the wrong places for years if we don’t understand our unique underlying biomechanical picture.

Take-home message

If you don’t understand your unique structure, range-of-motion, strengths, and limiters, it is very easy to get pulled down the rabbit hole by the mountain of information from articles, underqualified “experts,” wearable technology, and your running friends who “read somewhere that you should run with your feet facing forward.”

Understanding your body should be the springboard to any good training plan and is vital to preventing injury. More importantly, this information arms you with the knowledge to decide which recommendations for “better form” are actually relevant to you.

And remember, shoes matter. But there isn’t a shoe in the world that can replace working on your biomechanics. The right shoes will aid your body’s ability to move naturally and as efficiently as it can in its current state. However, no amount of shoe technology can permanently solve for a weakness in the body.