Runcation: 6 Signs You Need a Running Vacation

These 6 indicators mean it’s time to start planning your runcation

Runners can’t help it, we’re hard-wired to run as often as possible, even while on vacation. Many runners take this to the next level and plan their vacation around a marathon or half marathon, aka runcation. Runners love this combo because you enjoy all the perks of vacation and get to experience something you love in a new place! If you’re thinking about your next runcation, chances are you’re experiencing at least one of these six signs. If you are, register for the 30th annual Ascension Seton Austin Marathon today and begin planning your Austin runcation!  

Plan your next runcation in Austin! Credit – Pat Wong

6 signs you need a runcation

  • Experiencing burnout

Burnout is real. So is stress and anxiety. Whether it’s personal, professional, the day-to-day grind, or all of the above, burnout can have negative consequences on your mental and physical health. We know that running can reduce stress and anxiety.

Build your training plan and take a few days for yourself or plan a weekend getaway with your partner. Set your out-of-office auto-responder and start to unplug and unwind. Come to Austin, enjoy some live music, visit the on-course murals, and allow yourself to recharge. Remember to enjoy the sights and sounds when running Austin’s streets. Pro tip: stop and reward yourself if you come across a bandit mimosa and/or bacon aid station!

  • Want a change of running scenery

You’ll love all of the amazing on-course murals.

We know you love your routes, roads, and trails at home. But sometimes you need a change of running scenery! A runcation is the perfect answer. Even though you check the course map 100 times, you still never know what to expect on race day. We might be a little biased, but the Austin Marathon course has it all! Every step has amazing downtown views, live music on course, countless spectators, bandit aid stations providing mimosas, beer, bacon, etc., beautiful murals, and so much more.

  • Planning a ladies/guys/kid-free runcation

Is the group text alive with chatter about the next trip with your girlfriends? Are you looking for a different bachelor party idea? Do you and your partner need a kid-free weekend? Yep, an Austin runcation is an excellent answer to all of these questions! There’s something for everyone, no matter what you want to do. Your trip can be as action-packed or relaxed as you want. Explore the Greenbelt, shop on South Congress, eat at some of Austin’s best restaurants, jump in Barton Springs, or relax at the spa. Just remember: the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon start at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday!

  • Itching to explore a new city/state

Get your crew together and Run Austin! Credit – Ed Sparks

Or re-visit a city/state that you absolutely love, like Austin, Texas! Maybe your goal is to run a marathon or a half in all 50 states. Perhaps you love crossing the finish line and celebrating at the Austin Marathon’s 3-block-long finish line festival complete with a beer garden, local food trucks, and live music. Either way, Austin is the perfect place for your runcation! We’ll help you get started. Check out the hotels near the start and finish lines, a local’s guide to Austin’s best views, and runner-recommended places to carb load.

  • Missing friends and family

If you haven’t been able to visit friends and family, do just that during a running vacation. Don’t let distance get in the way of reconnecting with loved ones in-person and discovering a new city. This is one of the better ways to plan your runcation because they’ll know the best places to eat, shop, see, and run. Better yet, you can possibly stay with them and not have to book a hotel! Once you have a plan, set your training goals accordingly.

  • Can’t remember your last one

Plan your Austin runcation and make this your next finish line.

If you have to think for more than 5 seconds about your last vacation, it’s been too long. Whatever your reason for a running vacation, start planning your next one today if you haven’t had one in quite some time. Whether you’re flying solo, with your partner, or friends and family, this is your next opportunity to make new running memories. Don’t want to travel alone? Follow our advice and convince your friend to train for the Austin Half Marathon and join you.

  • Bonus: Why the Austin Marathon is the Perfect Runcation

    • Start and finish lines downtown
    • Spectacular views of Austin
    • Tons of post-race freebies
    • Thousands of cheering spectators
    • 3 different distances (marathon, half marathon, 5K)
    • Belt buckle finisher medals

Plan your next runcation and get ready to visit a new place, recharge your batteries, visit friends/family, make new memories, or all of the above! That’s the beauty of a running vacation, it’s all up to you, including the distance you run.

You Know You’re a Runner When You Do These 10 Things

10 ways to know if you’re a runner

Runners are quirky and habitual. We’re particular and proud of our accomplishments. Really proud! Our community is thriving. It’s the backbone that keeps you training and chasing your goals. Whether you’ve been running for years or are training for your first event, you’re a runner. But there are few other indicators that really let you know if you’re a runner. We recently conducted some important Facebook research and asked you how you know if you’re a runner. There were many great responses, but we selected our 10 favorite and posted them below. Not sure if you’re a runner? You’ll know soon enough! 

Indicators that confirm what we all suspect

Elle Esochea Grunert

  • When everything is a countdown!

We’re starting a list, so why not start it with a countdown too? Nine more ways to tell if you’re a runner in 3… 2… 1…

Raquel Lozano McCain

  • You point out to your friends and family all the roads you run on while y’all are in the car.

This is definitely more fun with other runners in the car. Because we’ve done this with non-runners (and that’s the Austin Marathon start line!) and they just turn up the volume or try to change the conversation.

Brian Karl Pfeiffer

  • You say “I only went on a 5-mile run this morning.”

We’re all guilty of this. While other runners will ask you where, your pace, and what taco you had after, non-runners will have a shocked look on their face and questioningly repeat the distance.

Samantha Guajardo

  • Talk about bowel movements more than others!

Does this one really need a description?!

Whitney Greene

  • Keep a pair of running shoes in your car, just in case.

Because you never know what might happen throughout the day. We also keep an extra set of clothes with our shoes. And if it’s hot outside, a towel and an extra set of clothes.

Lesley Shearer

  • Wake up early on your day off… so you can run.

Have you ever sworn that you’re going to sleep in on an off day? Yeah, we have too…

Jimmy Allen

  • You’re on family vacation and all you care about is where you’re going to run or if there’s a local run taking place nearby.

Runners are habitual, vacation included. This is often the best way to explore a new city! And if you’re up early, you’ll often have your route to yourself or run into local runners.

Mary Hickson

  • Run past your house to even out time or mileage.

Alright, we admit, this isn’t all runners. But there’s a large segment of our community that will jog circles if needed just to get to an even number.

Patti Grant

  • Slow down when driving to see if the runner you’re passing is someone you know.

And when you recognize them you slow down even more, roll down the window, quickly cheer for them, and honk loudly as you drive off. If this has happened to you while running you all about the jolt of energy you get and the smile that crosses your face!

Rochelle Ray

  • You get FOMO every time there’s a running event you didn’t sign up for.

This happens. Every. Time. This is why we’ll take a moment to say don’t get FOMO for the 30th annual Ascension Seton Austin Marathon! The marathon distance, beer garden, and post-race live music will be back on February 20, 2022. The only thing we need is all you runners to help us celebrate! Who knows, you might discover more ways to know you’re a runner on your journey to the finish line!

It should be pretty clear that if you’ve made it this far you’re a runner. So now what do you do? It’s obvious! Go for a run, keep going until you reach an even number, tell someone about it afterward, and make plans to join us for our 30th anniversary!

Get Off Your Phone: Turn Screen Time Into Workout Time

Advice on how to get off your phone and spend that time working out

According to a 2017 study published by Cross-Platform Future in Focus, people spend nearly three hours per day on their phones. That’s like working a part-time job! Whether it’s personal or professional use, you’re checking email, replying to texts, visiting social media, reading articles, etc. While some of this time spent on your phone might be useful, most of it can be cut out or reduced. Get off your phone and create something beneficial for you: workout time. Follow our advice, get off your phone, and turn screen time into something that’s more productive and will help you reach your goals!

6 tips to reduce screen time

  1. Disable “raise to wake” feature

Disabling the raise to wake feature on your phone can reduce your screen time.

This iPhone feature uses internal sensors to figure out when you lift your device. Once you do, the screen turns on. This allows you to check for notifications, encouraging you to open them up and spend time on your phone. Once disabled, you’ll be prompted to press a button or two to access your phone. This might take longer to access your phone, but in the long-term it’ll change your habits. Instead of checking for notifications every time you lift your phone, plan to check it every 60-90 minutes. This can reduce your overall screen time while ensuring you keep tabs on anything you might need to check.

  1. Stop pooping with your phone

Don’t take your phone to the bathroom with you! We’re all guilty of this. What should be a quick trip to the bathroom turns into a spiraling journey down a rabbit hole about the latest running shoes. Next time you need to go, leave your phone behind. Instead, focus on the task at hand. Get in and get out. Depending on your previous habits, you could add an extra 30-60 minutes of extra time to your day. Perfect for a cross-training workout or adding an extra half hour to your run. Even if you just add 10 minutes, that’s enough time to add these 4 stretches before your run.

  1. Inform your friends and family

Save that text/call for the next time you run with your friend. Credit: Scott Flathouse

You’re trying to break a bad habit. The best way to do this is by telling the people you text and chat with the most. Save it for when they see you in person. If you’re visiting with them, have them discourage you from repeatedly checking your phone. Take it a step further and pay them $1 every time you check your phone. Nobody likes to lose money! Pro tip: tell your friends to save that text or that call for the next time you run together.

  1. Avoid using your phone as an alarm clock

Using your phone as a wake-up call defeats the purpose of reducing screen time. Once you turn it off, what are the chances of you checking email or text messages? Pretty high. Use an old-fashioned alarm clock instead.

If you prefer to use the alarm clock feature, these tips can help ensure you don’t immediately dive into screen time.

  • place it somewhere where you have to actually get out of bed to stop it
  • once you turn it off, immediately jump into your morning routine (washing hands, brushing teeth)
  • set your running gear/shoes in the vicinity
  1. Customize screen time settings

Learn how much time your spending on your phone before adjusting your screen settings.

Before doing this, check the reporting feature that shows you how you’re using your phone and how often you’re using it. Once you realize how you’re spending your time you can make various adjustments.

  • Downtime – only phone calls and apps that you choose to allow are available
  • App limits – set daily limits that’ll help reduce the time spent in a specific app
  • Always allowed – this might be reserved for a couple of apps that you need constant access to regardless of other settings
  1. Add apps that offer free and/or quick workouts

All you need is 7 minutes with the Seven App.

Turn time on Instagram or Tik Tok into a workout! Make the most out of screen time by downloading quick or free workout apps. We recommend the following:

  • Seven – All you need is seven minutes with this app. Get in and get it done because small habits can lead to big changes! This app provides plenty of motivation, trained instructors, and customized workouts. Available on Apple and Android.
  • Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer – Another great app that offers quick and specialized workouts. It offers exercises that tone major muscle groups without special equipment. Available on Apple and Android.
  • Daily Butt Workout – Want to focus on your glutes? This app is a great way to get you off your butt (literally) and do just that. Available on Apple and Android.
  • Daily Yoga – 50 million yogis can’t be wrong! Plus, yoga is a favorite cross-training method for countless runners. This app offers personalized yoga classes from beginner to advanced, all taught by professional instructors. Available on Apple and Android.

While using your phone is not necessarily a bad thing, spending too much time on it can be. Get off your phone and turn screen time into a positive habit with our advice. Work your way to become a better runner in as little as seven minutes.

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.