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PROfile: Allison Macsas, 2018 Austin Marathon female champion

Allison Macsas qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials at 2018 Austin Marathon

Allison Macsas becomes back-to-back Austin Marathon female champion.

Allison Macsas becomes back-to-back Austin Marathon female champion in 2018.

Update on Allison Macsas – I just spent six weeks in Morocco guiding a running trip. I’m also planning my wedding and deciding where to move to and actually move before June! Read her 2018 Austin Marathon recap and watch her post-race interview.

I’ve been a mileage junkie since the age of 15 when I was convinced to (reluctantly) join my high school cross country team. That decision has led to a life built around running: a successful collegiate career at the University of Tampa, 2012, 2016, and 2020* Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers, a coaching position with Rogue Running here in Austin and, most recently, a 2017 and 2018* Austin Marathon win, and an FKT on the 93-mile Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier.

In 2012, I co-founded Rogue Expeditions, an adventure travel company for runners. I currently balance my training and racing with a packed travel schedule and the demands of running (literally) a small business. This unorthodox approach has worked well for me so far. I’ve run my 10K, half marathon and marathon PRs (34:11, 1:13:02 and 2:39:41) within the past couple of years, all while bouncing between short bouts of structured training and long stretches of guiding and trail running all over the world.

*Macsas earned “B” standard for 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials at 2018 Austin Marathon (2:43:11)

Marathon PR (2:39:41)

Allison Macsas draped in the American flag after winning the 2017 Austin Marathon.

Allison Macsas draped in the American flag after winning the 2017 Austin Marathon.

Training tip 

Embrace discomfort! Nothing about running 26.2 miles is comfortable, and any number of things could happen on race day: hot weather, rain, wind, a bad night of sleep, a sour stomach. I think that it’s good to have these things happen in training because it gives you a chance to figure out a solution or an adjustment. Then if something goes wrong on race day, you can deal with it – you’ve done it before.

Race day tip

Focus on efforts, not paces. This course is covered in rolling hills, and your pace is naturally going to be faster while descending; you’ll drive yourself crazy if you keep checking your watch! The more important thing to do is to pay attention to how you feel, and make sure that you feel relaxed for the first half – any faster is likely to cause problems in the later miles! I personally like to check my watch in 3-4 mile intervals, to get a more realistic idea of my average pace.

Upcoming races for Allison Macsas: Planning for 2018 CIM (Dec. 2nd) for an A-standard attempt

Returning for 2019 Austin Marathon: It’s on my radar, but TBD

Social media: Facebook and Instagram

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.