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See Improvement During Your Training with these 9 Tips

Incorporate these 9 things runners do every day to see improvement

There’s always room for improvement. This includes everyone, from beginners to elites! But you need to see the improvement you’re making. How else will you know? If you’ve started training for the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon, make sure you incorporate these 9 tasks so you can see your improvement!

Keep a running log

Track your Austin Marathon training with the MapMyFitness app to see your improvement!

Use the MapMyFitness app during your Austin Marathon training to see improvement.

How will you know you’re improving if you don’t track your progress? Write down your mileage and time in a notebook or track that data via an app to see your improvement. We recommend Under Armour’s MapMyFitness.

Schedule runs like meetings

Be prompt. Invite friends. Meet at a certain spot. Start on time! If you think hard enough you’ll find ways to delay the start of your run. Just get started! Invite friends so y’all can hold each other accountable. Note: this doesn’t mean you have to run every day.

Eat right

Your body needs the proper fuel in order to complete the tasks you ask of it. If your body doesn’t have the proper fuel, it won’t run as well as you want. Eat healthier foods, increase your hydration, and make sure you eat at appropriate times. Eating right can also help you recover from your long runs faster. Use our long-run recovery timeline!

Have a running buddy

Runners cross the 2019 Austin Marathon finish line and see each other's improvement.

Train with a friend for Austin Marathon and see each other’s improvement on race day!

We can’t stress accountability enough! It’s a major factor in making sure you get that run/workout done. You can also catch up with your friend(s), discuss upcoming events, and talk about training. You’ll both benefit. Having a running buddy is also a great tactic to ensure you get out of bed in the morning. Here are 5 more tips to help you make your morning run!

Cross-train

Swim, bike, lift weights, do goat yoga, row! If you just run, you use your muscles in one way and one way only. Cross-training forces you to use all of your muscles in different ways. This can increase your strength and decrease the chance of injury.

Stretch/foam roll

Runner foam rolls after 2019 Austin Marathon, a great tip to see improvement during training!

Foam roll often during Austin Marathon training so your body can recover quicker!

Take care of the muscles that take care of you. Stretching and foam rolling allow fresh blood to flow to the muscles. This speeds up recovery and helps prevent lactic acid from settling in.

Rest

Probably the most important way you can take care of your body. Proper and well-timed rest allows your body to repair itself. If your training plan calls for a rest day, take it!

Stay consistent

Consistency is key. This goes for all runners, from beginners to elites. Follow your training plan and stay true to it. Consistency prepares your body for what you’re asking of it. Remember, life happens. If you have to miss a day try to switch it up with a planned off day. Don’t try to make up the missed workout by pairing it with another workout.

Set goals

Make sure you have something on the calendar that you’re working towards. This is a great motivator and helps you keep your eyes on the prize. If your goal is the Austin Marathon, create bi-weekly or monthly goals that will get you to your big goal. This prevents burnout and feeling like your goal is unattainable.

If you’re consistent and stick with it long enough, you’ll see improvement! That’s what excites runners and keeps us training for our goals. Is there a way you see improvement that we didn’t mention? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

4 Reasons to Have a Training Partner

The right training partner can make all the difference when preparing for longer distances

Don’t train alone! Finding at least one training partner can make all the difference. Perhaps it’s your neighbor, your best friend, or someone you meet through the Austin Marathon Facebook Group. However you met, your training partner just might be the most valuable asset in your training regimen.

So if you don’t have a training partner yet, read the four reasons you need one below.

1. Accountability

Being held accountable provides the extra jolt needed to get all your workouts in, this is especially beneficial if you’re adjusting your schedule to incorporate new training times. You’re less likely to hit the snooze button if you know someone is supposed to meet you for your morning run. Accountability is more than just meeting up to run. It should also include taking care of your body by incorporating proper nutrition and recovery.

2. Positive reinforcement

During training, there are a lot of smaller goals to meet before you reach the start line. Celebrate those achievements! A training buddy will be there for you with a high five when you finally hit a faster pace or when you reach your new long run goal. It also feels good to be there for someone else and to know that you are helping them meet their goals.

3. Push the boundaries

It’s easier to be complacent if you’re training alone. A training buddy will be there to push you. You can set up challenges for each other and help push the envelope of what you thought possible. Nothing like some friendly competition.

4. It is more fun

It really is that simple. Keep running as part of your life if it is something you enjoy.

Looking for someone to be your training buddy? Try posting in the Austin Marathon Facebook Group.

How to Pick A Training Plan

How to pick a training plan.

 

Pick the training plan that’s right for you

Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K registration opens on Friday, June 1st. 10 months remain until race day and most training plans call for a 16-30 week buildup. Now is the perfect time to start Phase 1 of your training. Here are some important things to consider when picking your training plan.

1. Be honest with your goals

Many training plans are based on training for one event. If you have other goals along your journey be sure to keep them in mind. For example, wanting to run a fast 10K three months out from your half marathon in February may cause some changes to your earlier training, like focusing on speed work instead of just endurance.

2. Be realistic about your time commitment

If a plan has you running long runs on Saturday mornings, but that is when your son’s baseball games are, that might not be the plan for you. Starting your training further out leaves you more time to adjust for when “life happens.” Shorter plans are great for feeling the pressure and for those who find themselves losing interest after a period of time.

3. Build upon what you’re running right now

Find a training plan that matches where you are right now in your running. If a plan has more miles than you are ready for, you may be on the road to injury instead of training.

4. Check The Author

Look for a certified coach with experience in your goal distance. Don’t trust a random website with such an important goal (like running a marathon!). Look for a local group or club in your city, like Austin Runners Club.

5. General or personal plan?

Decide if you want to invest in a personal plan or do you just want to follow a general plan. A general plan may be great to start and then switch to a more personalized plan once you feel you are ready to take it to the next level.

6. Include cross training

Some plans are strictly running while others incorporate other activities like yoga, cycling, or weightlifting. Cross training can be great for building strength, reducing injuries, and for preventing burnout.

7. Rest days are a necessity

Don’t follow a plan that does not include recovery. Training for long distance running is a challenge and your body will be stronger if you give it the proper time to recover. If you want to give your workouts an extra kick, you might also want to do some research into the best supplements to boost testosterone.

8. Be kind to yourself and allow change

Life happens. You miss a run because you’re sick, your sister comes to town, you went out for drinks with friends and only ran three miles instead of five. That’s fine! Just reset and focus on the next workout. Also if you pick a plan and don’t like it — drop it and get a new one.