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7 Tips to Help You Run Your Best

These 7 tips will help you run your best and get the most out of training

Run your best when you follow these 7 tips! There are some things that are out of our control, like the weather. But when you execute the things you can control, you truly run your best. These tips are as easy as relaxing while you run and as technical as checking your cadence. Keep these tips in mind when you’re training for the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon.

Runner runs relaxed during the Austin Half Marathon, one of our tips to run your best!

Stay relaxed and keep your body loose during your run.

Relax

Sounds simple, but we can unknowingly put a strain on our body in an effort to produce mileage or a certain pace. Really focus on relaxing your body. Unclench your fists and loosen your shoulders and jaw. You can even begin your run or workout at a slightly slower than normal pace to really dial in your breathing. Slowly increasing your heart rate at the beginning will help with relaxation.

Take time off

Listen to your body, whether you suspect an injury or just don’t feel good. The last thing you want is to have something minor become a major issue. If you have to take more than a day or two off, visit a specialist and get checked out. Ascension Seton’s Dr. Martha Pyron specializes in sports performance. If there’s something wrong she’ll diagnose it and help you build a plan to get back to running. 

Get more sleep

Feeling a little sluggish since you’ve increased your mileage? Add one extra minute of sleep per night for every mile you run that week. If you run 30 miles per week, add 30 minutes of sleep. Your body repairs itself when you sleep. Make sure you give your body enough time to do what it needs when you begin asking more of it.

Runners hydrate with nuun at the Austin Marathon expo. Proper hydration is one of our tips to run your best.

People try different nuun hydration flavors at the 2019 Austin Marathon expo.

Hydrate

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s extremely vital. At a minimum, you should drink 30-50 ounces every day. The more active the are, the more you should increase that amount. Make sure you have a good balance of water and an electrolyte-infused fluid, like nuun hydration.

Lift weights

Don’t run every day, mix it up. Cross-training is important to prevent overuse injuries. You work your muscles differently and build strength when you lift weights. When lifting weights, focus on a lighter weight with more reps. If you can’t make it to the gym, build your own workout that includes push ups, sit ups, squats, and lunges. Not a fan of lifting weights? Cross-train with these five non-running activities.

Check your cadence

The average runner’s cadence should be 150 steps per minute. You don’t have to count this in your head! Every runner is different, especially if you’re just starting out of have been running all your life. Under Armour makes knowing your cadence seamless. Their bluetooth connected shoes, like the UA HOVR Velociti 2, sends the information from your run directly to their MapMyFitness app. The app even provides personalized coaching tips! Tracking your cadence, mileage, pace, and other running-related data will help you see improvement.

Focus on your stride

This coincides with the first tip to relax. Your stride improves when you relax. Don’t overstride or run on your tippy toes. You want your stride to be smooth and comfortable. This better optimizes the energy your body uses and helps avoid injury.

You will ask more of your body as you increase your mileage. It’s important that you take care of your body. Incorporate these tips so that you can run your best. Do you have a tip that helps you run your best? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Follow this Recovery Timeline After Your Long Training Run

Recover from your long training run faster with our advice

Your Ascension Seton Austin Marathon or Half Marathon training plan is certain to include long runs. They’re the core to building the endurance needed to achieve your goals. But just like any other run, you need to recover after your long training run and prepare for what’s next. Our timeline will help expedite the recovery process, from the moment you stop your watch until you lay down for a well-deserved nap. Take our advice, adjust it to your schedule, and make sure you’re ready for whatever is next on your training plan. Having trouble getting up in the morning for your long run? These 6 tips are sure to jump-start your morning!

Rehydrate (within 5 minutes)

nuun display at Austin Marathon expo. nuun is the perfect drink for your long training run.

nuun has the electrolytes you need after your long training run! Credit – Deborah Cannon

You lose fluids during your run when you sweat. This is the price you pay so your body can stay cool during the run. It’s important to drink at least 16 ounces of an electrolyte-enhanced drink (like nuun!) when you’re done. Drinking this will begin the rehydration process and restore needed nutrients Pro tip: prepare a drink that’s specifically for after your run before you begin.

Stretch/foam roll (within 5-15 minutes)

You’re pushing your body further and further, reward it with stretching and foam rolling. Whether you’re increasing your distance or lowering your time, you’re asking a lot of your body. 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.

Eat a snack (within 15-30 minutes)

Grab some fruit, beef jerky, or your favorite protein bar. Eat something that won’t upset your stomach or dry out your mouth. You need to replace the energy your body consumed during your long training run. Plus, it’ll give you a nice little energy boost. Keep hydrating!

Cool off (within 30-60 minutes)

Barton Springs is a great place to cool off after your long training run.

Cool off in Barton Springs after your long training run.

Take a cold shower or jump in a cold body of water like Barton Springs (stay no more than 15 minutes). The cold water can help your body’s core temperature return to normal and reduce inflammation. 

Eat a meal (within 1-2 hours)

Now it’s time to eat! By now your snack is wearing off and your stomach is beginning to rumble. Your body probably burned thousands of calories. Time to replace them! Grab something to eat, whether it’s a pre-cooked meal, something you prepare, or you go out to a restaurant. Pro tip: check out some of our favorite East Austin restaurants.

Nap (within 2+ hours)

Ahh, the ending to a perfect long run, the nap. You’ve stretched and foam rolled, eaten, hydrated, and showered. It’s time to let your body do some repair work. Find somewhere that’s dark and cool. A 30-60 minute nap is perfect, depending on what you have to do for the rest of the day. It’s not a bad ideat to stretch/foam roll one more time and drink some more electrolytes before your nap. 

Some runner’s recovery timeline might differ. You can adjust this to fit your schedule. But the core of this timeline will assist in your recovery after your long training run. This will help your body get ready for whatever is next on your training schedule!

Austin Marathon Provides Lasting Memories for Thousands

Thousands celebrate their Austin Marathon accomplishments at massive finish line festival

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon was the epicenter of the running world on Sunday, February 17th, showcasing one of the world’s top marathons. More than 16,000 participants registered for the Austin Marathon, Austin Half Marathon, and 5K. They traveled to Austin from all 50 states and 38 countries. Tens of thousands of spectators lined the Austin streets cheering on runners, waving hilarious signs, and providing endless energy. Joey Whelan (2:17:03) successfully defended his title as Austin Marathon champion. Austin Marathon female champion Heather Lieberg, who has already qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials, ran a B standard qualifying 2:42:27.

“I’m grateful I was able to run the Austin Marathon and earn my second victory in as many years,” said Whelan, who bested his 2018 Austin Marathon winning time by four minutes and 34 seconds. “I appreciate the people of Austin for remembering me from last year and cheering for me and the other thousands of runners.”

FloTrack’s live coverage followed the champions and the men’s and women’s elite fields for the marathon and half marathon. Jameson Mora (2:20:21) and Will Christian (2:22:59) rounded out the men’s marathon field. The male half marathoners finishing in the top three consisted of James Ngandu (1:04:32), Gonzalo Parra Perez (1:05:36), and Austinite Mike Lowe (1:06:36).

“The Austin Marathon was all I thought it was going to be and more,” said Lieberg. “Such a friendly and supportive atmosphere, and despite a few personal hurdles, I was able to pull off a win;  thank you Austin!”

Anita Perez of San Antonio (2:47:56) and Khrystyna Bohomiahkova of Ukraine (2:49:05) finished the marathon second and third respectively. The top three female half marathon finishers were Caroline Rotich (1:13:24), Nicole Roberts (1:16:16), and Sarah Pease (1:16:24).

Aid stations hydrated runners with nuun performance, Gatorade handed out gels and chews at two fuel zones, and runners celebrated with friends and family at the three-block-long finish line festival. When runners crossed the finish line, they were treated to a huge party that consisted of the Under Armour recovery zone, Oskar Blues Austin beer garden featuring Tito’s Handmade Vodka, food trucks, Jumbotron displaying FloTrack live coverage, and hours of live music.

Sunday was a picturesque day in Austin, helping thousands of runners achieve their goals and earn PRs. Participants consisted of first-timers and veterans pushing towards their respective finish lines.

“Crossing that finish line came with a whirlwind of emotions, ranging from excitement, pride, relief, and exhaustion as I was laughing and crying all at the same time,” said Carly Bormann, who finished in 4:18:02, earning an 80 minute and 49 second PR. “It was a moment that I was just grateful to share with so many amazing people who helped get me to that point.”

Lance Armstrong, Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, was the final participant to cross the Austin Marathon start line. He earned money for 28 Central Texas nonprofits for every marathoner he passed. Armstrong began 22 minutes after the ringing of the start gong. He finished in 3:02:13 and passed all but 59 marathoners. Armstrong’s efforts have pushed Austin Gives Miles past their $1 million fundraising goal. Contributions can be made through the end of February.

Participants can see their results on the Austin Marathon website and continue to share their memorable experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Runners can expect their FinisherPix race day photos to be ready in 24-48 hours after the race.

The Austin Marathon would like to thank the volunteers, spectators, and participants who made the race so special. They would also like to thank title sponsor Ascension Seton, Under Armour, Camp Gladiator, Hilton of Austin, nuun hydration, Fleet Feet Austin, Oskar Blues Brewery, KXAN, woom bikes USA, SPIbelt, Dole, Z’Tejas, H-E-B, Gatorade, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Carvana, Life by Spot, Goodwill Central Texas, Alvies Boots, FloTrack, FinisherPix, Austin Massage Company, Boy Scout Troop 49, the City of Austin, Austin Police Department, Department of Public Safety, CapMetro, and Travis County EMS.