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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.

Run the Tangent: Fastest Way to the Austin Marathon Finish Line

Complete the shortest distance possible when you run the tangent

You’re at the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon start line. The start line gong is struck. You cross the start line and begin chasing your goals. But what’s the quickest way to one of those goals: the finish line? Run the shortest distance possible aka run the tangent! You won’t run any further than you have to when you run the tangent. Learn what it means to run the tangent and utilize our tips. BONUS: run the tangent and you’ll get to the 3-block-long finish line festival that much faster!

What is tangent? Oxford Dictionary defines tangent as “a straight line or plane that touches a curve or curved surface at a point.” Most road courses are created with turns and curves along the way in order to get to the proper distance. When we are running, our natural tendency is to follow the natural curve of the road. There is a shorter way: run the tangent!

The shortest distance between two points

The Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon courses are USATF-certified. That means the Austin Marathon is exactly 26.2 miles. The Austin Half Marathon is exactly 13.1 miles. When the course is certified by the USA Track & Field, the course measurers are instructed to measure the shortest course possible. What does this mean? The measurer will measure the course using the straightest line possible. That person will run the tangent. As the saying goes, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The diagram below from the USATF Course Measure Manual illustrates this point.

Infographic informing runners how to run the tangent during the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon and what it means.

So it would make sense that we should run the same course that the course measurer measured. On your next training run, try to run the tangent by looking ahead to the next curve. Visualize the straightest possible path by following the inside of the curve. If you want to add distance to your run, do the opposite, follow the outside of the curve.

Race day tips

  • Study the course map and become familiar with the turns and curves on the course
  • Look ahead to the next turn or curve, run the straightest path to the inside of the turn or curve
  • Have fun! 

Fun thing to try: after your next track workout, count the number of steps it takes you to walk one lap of the track at the inside, middle, outside lanes. Which route is the shortest?

Dedicating His First Marathon Will Push Him to the Finish Line

This runner is dedicating his first marathon to his biggest supporter

Runners dedicate their training and running to others all the time. Their dedication can show loved ones how much their support means. They can also dedicate their running to supporting a charity of Austin Gives Miles presented by Moody Foundation, the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon’s philanthropic program. Rene Arguello is dedicating his first marathon, the Austin Marathon, to his wife Veronica. She’s his biggest supporter. Read Rene’s edition of My Running Story to see how much he and his wife has been through recently and why he’s dedicating his first marathon to her. Are you dedicating your Austin Marathon to someone specific? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Time to sign up for the Austin Marathon

Image of Rene Arguello and Veronica, his wife, next to a Christmas tree. He's dedicating his first marathon to her!

Rene and Veronica.

I started running about 15 years ago when someone told me that I would never finish my first half marathon. Is that reason enough to prove someone wrong? The real reason I run is to be an example to my family. I want to show them that running has great health benefits. Every now and then my wife and daughters will join me on a run. Currently I’m training for my first marathon. I have completed ten half marathons and everyone says it is about time I sign up for a marathon. 

I usually like to dedicate my training and racing to someone. When you dedicate a race to someone it gives you the motivation to finish. I am dedicating my first marathon, the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, to my wife. Veronica  is my biggest supporter. She always waves to me or blows a kiss when I am on a training run. My wife even goes to every running expo with me. She knows exactly where I am on any given racecourse and pops up to say “Hi!” on any given street corner. Veronica knows my running so much that she know what foods I need to eat during training and what gear I should wear based on the weather and the distance. 

My wife has been through a lot recently. Her favorite cousin recently passed away from a drowning accident in Port Aransas. Prior to that, her uncle passed away. My wife helped coordinate her uncle’s funeral and the music, no questions asked. 

Running with a heavy heart

This year I am running with a heavy heart, but still staying positive about my training. I like to keep loved ones on my mind and dedicate miles to them during the race. My overall training has been going well. I am following a racing plan and definitely have been enjoying my long runs. Running is contagious. I have several coworkers that have started running and have already signed up for races. They say that I turned them into runners. Maybe I have turned them into runners because I am always talking about it and I am always happy to answer any running-related questions. 

It’s funny, whenever I tell someone that I am running my first marathon I always get a crazy look. I know I will finish my first marathon. I have no doubt about it, especially since I’m dedicating my first 26.2 miles to my wife.

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, Angela Clark, Rebecca Galvan, Jeremy Tavares, Axel Reissnecker, Blair Nagel, and Brittany Drennan.