Posts

Tips for Balancing Life and Training

Stay on track with this advice on balancing life and training

Marathon and half marathon training can be the perfect way to get physically fit and optimize mental health. Studies show running reduces anxiety and depression, promotes relaxation, and even prevents aging of the brain. As we all know, life can get in the way and take your focus off your training routine. Remember, it’s never too late to get back on track. Here are some simple tips for balancing life and training so you can reap running’s wonderful benefits.

Pro tip: make sure you have these essential items before you begin training.

5 helpful tips below

Make the most of your morning

There’s no escaping the fact that marathon training places a huge demand on your time. You need to dedicate a number of hours each week to training. This includes tempo runs, long runs, cross-training, speed workouts, and recovery. The key is to utilize the time you have before heading out for work, just as 36-year-old Michele King Gonzalez does.

The social media star has not let her marriage, children, or her hectic full-time career get in the way of running. She has a fine-tuned routine where she wakes up at 4:00 a.m. on most days and hits the pavement at 5:00 am. She utilizes that one hour to fix lunches and knock out other tasks.

Prepare to save time

Planning ahead helps you streamline your week’s activities and squeeze out more time for marathon training. On Sunday, Gonzalez chooses her jewelry and helps the family pick their outfits for the entire week ahead. The weekend is when Gonzalez also prepares meals for the week ahead. Pro tip: use these 4 stretches for your pre-run routine to save time.

Keep recovery meals simple

When you juggle multiple things in your day-to-day life, preparing recovery meals can be an uphill task. Simplify your recovery meals by just including a low fat, high protein drink such as chocolate milk. Munch on nutritious snacks throughout the day such as nuts or protein bars.

Expect disruption

No matter how well you plan and prepare, disruptions can and will occur. Instead of stressing about these, the key is to expect them and leverage the opportunities created by them to enhance your training. For instance, run on the treadmill at home in case of bad weather. You can also flip workouts or runs if one day offers less time than expected. Handling adversity is also a great way to build your mental toughness.

Involve your family

When we asked about tips for balancing life and training on Facebook, this was a popular response. Bryan Golz said, “…make it a team effort. When the family is involved nobody feels left out.” Train with your family on shorter runs, during workouts, or recovery sessions. Brian Pfeiffer said, “ Buy a jogging stroller and train with your kids!” This is a great point, especially if you can’t leave your kids at home. Your training runs will be much slower, but you’re also getting stronger. You’ll fly when you run without the stroller!

Relax and reward yourself

Adequate sleep helps rejuvenate you and boosts recovery. Just don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve smaller training goals every week. These can be as simple as getting a massage, watching Netflix, or just spending time with family.

The key is to effectively manage your time. Life happens, just don’t let it slow you down! By planning ahead you reduce the amount of time needed later to achieve the same tasks. When this happens you create more time for yourself, your family, and effective recovery. 

Guide to Enjoying Outdoor Spaces in Austin

Take advantage of the beautiful weather at these outdoor spaces in Austin

Finally, the Texas summer is over. While our evenings get darker earlier, there is still plenty of time during the day to enjoy many outdoor spaces in Austin. There are tons of great locations, but we’ve narrowed it down to some of our favorites. From coffee to cocktails and paddleboarding to parks, our list has you covered! Pro tip: this list is a great way to reward yourself or spend your rest day if you’ve started to increase your mileage.

Austin’s murals

Image of the I Heart Queso mural in Austin. It's one of the Austin Marathon's favorite on-course murals.There are countless amazing murals around town. We’ve showcased some of our favorite murals along the Austin Marathon course, but that’s just the tip of the paint can! Cycle around town, visit some of the murals, and take a selfie with them. Check the mural for the artist’s handle so you can give them a shoutout on social media. Pro tip: the earlier you get there the better the chances you won’t have to work with traffic or other visitors.

Mozart’s 

Start your morning at Mozart’s, one of the best places in Austin to get coffee. While you’re there, post up on the massive deck and enjoy the Lake Austin views. With plenty of outdoor space, Mozart’s is also an ideal place to work for a few hours or watch the Austin sunset. Mozart’s is on the Austin Marathon course.

Cosmic Coffee 

From breakfast to dinner, Cosmic Coffee has it all. And there is a ton of outdoor space. Start your morning next to waterfalls with a latte and a bagel. Or you could visit the chickens or coy pond before grabbing lunch from one of the food trucks. Pro tip: when it gets really chilly they light the fire pits so you can snuggle up next to a fire with a hot cup of coffee.

Kayak/paddleboard

Austin is fortunate to have Town Lake, a massive body of water downtown that offers so much. Now that the sun isn’t blazing hot, it’s time to get out on the water and really enjoy yourself! Whether you’re into kayaking or stand up paddleboarding, there are plenty of places to get started. Pro tip: this is a great way to spend your rest day. No running, but you’re still outdoors, getting a workout, and enjoying the fresh air.

Gibson Street Bar

Grab a beer and enjoy the outdoor space at Gibson Street Bar. They’re located off Lamar and offer 16 craft beers, cocktails, and wine. There’s something for everyone. Don’t feel like cooking dinner? Visit Luke’s Inside Out trailer for appetizers and burgers. This is a great place to wind down your day.

The Wheel

If you’re in East Austin looking for a neighborhood bar with ample outdoor space, look no further. The Wheel has a rotating selection of local and craft beers. Visit their outdoor beer garden and you’ll be greeted by a beer fountain! The Wheel is on the Austin Marathon course.

Austin Parks

From the world-famous Barton Springs Pool and Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail, Austin is known for its green spaces. It’s truly a benefit to our city. Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic. Finish the book you’ve been reading. Go for a trail run or bike ride. There are so many ways you can enjoy Austin’s parks. Visit the city’s site to find a park near you.

Stargazing

The stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Austin! Even the lights of Austin can’t keep all the stars from shining. Take some time after dinner to gaze at the night’s sky and search for shooting stars. Two places to get you started involve a short walk. Visit Mt. Bonnell or the overlook near the 360 Bridge. Both offer sweeping views of the Texas sky. Mt. Bonnell has steps and a longer walk, while the 360 Bridge Overlook is a shorter, more rocky climb. Want to get away from Austin’s light saturation and really see the stars? Visit Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg.

Sour Duck Market 

Their outdoor seating is ideal for relaxing in the cool air and enjoying happy hour. Sour Duck Market have an on-site smoker and smoke their own meat. Looking to start your day with some coffee and fresh air? Swing by for breakfast and get something from their coffee shop and bakery. Sour Duck is on the Austin Marathon course.

Comedor

Take your upscale dining outside or enjoy craft cocktails on Comedor’s patio. Chefs Gabe Erales and Philip Speer have truly elevated the food game in Austin. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, from appetizers to dessert. Don’t sleep on their mouth-watering Bone Marrow Tacos! Their outdoor space is a relaxing oasis in the middle of downtown. Comedor is also home to Austin’s newest running club, Comedor Run Club. Their purpose is to create an inclusive space for Austin’s food community to connect and live a healthier lifestyle.

With so many outdoor spaces in Austin, the only problem you should have is deciding what to visit first! Many of these you can combine into an epic day. Start off with some coffee, kayak for a few hours, enjoy happy hour, and grab some dinner. And you can do this all outdoors! Make sure you take advantage of the amazing Austin weather and visit these outdoor spaces in Austin.

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.