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4 Taper Tips: Focus on Controlling What You Can Control

Get to the start line ready to roll with these taper tips

The Taper. If you’re unfamiliar, tapering refers to the reduction in volume and intensity of your workouts leading to race day. You’ve been running for months, increasing your mileage, getting better and better. Your body is in training mode and it can be difficult to turn that off. Follow these taper tips to effectively utilize the extra time you now have. Continue to follow your training plan, implement these taper tips, and get to the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon start line ready to run your best

Take care of yourself

This is vital and something you should’ve been doing since you began training! However, it becomes even more important leading up to Feb. 16th. Your training has introduced more miles than normal, early wake-up calls, and a reduction in time for yourself. Tapering your miles means you’ll have more time for self-care. Spend an extra 30-60 minutes a day foam rolling and stretching. Schedule a massage. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep.

Dial-in your nutrition/hydration

Keep an eye on your calorie intake! You burned more calories during training than you will when you taper. Adjust accordingly so the pounds you shed during training stay off! Focus on a balanced diet of moderate carbs, quality protein, and healthy fats. Start hydrating NOW. You should drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Continue including electrolytes like you’ve done during training. Carry a tube of Nuun with you, pop a tablet into your reusable bottle, and make your water count! Make sure you try the on-course fuel, GU Energy Labs.

No new workouts

Just like nothing new on race day, no new workouts when tapering. This includes everything from a pick-up basketball game to lifting heavy weights at the gym. You don’t want to run the risk of spraining your ankle or pulling a muscle. Stick with what’s comfortable. If that’s running or cross-training (swimming, cycling, etc.), focus on less-intense and lower-volume workouts. 

Sidetrack yourself

An increase in your mileage could mean you’re behind on your favorite show. Maybe you haven’t read those new books you got for Christmas. Now’s the time to distract yourself from the fact that you aren’t running as much as you have been. Spend a couple of hours binging your favorite show. Grab that new book and read at your favorite park. If you find yourself getting antsy because you’re not moving, try to foam roll or stretch while watching your favorite show. Or try reading your book while riding a stationary bike.

Follow these taper tips so the taper doesn’t frustrate you or stress you out. The sudden addition of extra time and the feeling that you should be running can be confusing. Follow these taper tips and focus on controlling what you can control. What do you do to get to the start line ready to roll when you taper? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Don’t Miss these 2020 Expo Highlights at the Austin Marathon Expo

Keep up with these 2020 expo highlights so you know what booths to visit

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon Expo & Packet Pick Up will take place on Feb. 14th-15th! The expo is a chance for participants to visit our sponsors and partners and check out what they have to offer. The 2020 Austin Marathon Health & Fitness Expo will have more than 100 vendors introducing or selling all sorts of runners’ goodies. From on-course hydration to Official Austin Marathon Under Armour gear, below are the 2020 expo highlights you can’t miss. There are tons of prizes, giveaways, and discounts too.

The expo is open to the public on Friday, February 14th, from  1:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m and Saturday, February 15th, from 10:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m. Start making note of the 2020 expo highlight that you can’t miss!

Get in the Groove 2021 Tour 

It is never too early to get excited about running the 30th annual Austin Marathon! Get in the groove with us as we spread our love of Austin and running during our tour in our 1972 Winnebago, nicknamed Winnie. Come meet Winnie at the 2021 Austin Marathon booth!

Ascension Seton

Ascension Seton is part of the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and their doctors and nurses will be on course and at the finish line tent. They will also volunteer throughout the expo and be available on course. Say hi! Stop by their booth to talk about taking care of your body as your train, get free blood pressure readings, and more.

KXAN

On Feb. 16th, KXAN will stream FloTrack’s live coverage of the 2020 Austin Marathon to all locals looking to watch from home. At the expo, they’ll provide healthy living and wellness tips and information from expert medical professionals as part of their Simple Health initiative. You will have the opportunity to learn hands-on CPR training. If you’re running the 5K make sure you say hey to the title sponsor of the KXAN Simple Health 5K benefiting Paramount Theatre!

Official merchandise

Visit our friends at Fleet Feet Austin and snag your Official Austin Marathon Under Armour gear before it’s gone! The official merch is awesome and will make you smile when you remember running the Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon. Check out the shirts, jackets, pint glasses, coffee mugs, and more!

Jumbotron and pacer booth

Take a seat and watch the big screen as we go over both the marathon and half marathon courses. Have questions or a goal time you are looking to meet? Be sure and stop by the Pacer booth and talk to our amazing pacers. There are 17 different pace groups available. Pace groups run based on marathon finish times and will run the first part of the course with the half marathon.

Smile at these photo opportunities

The Insta opportunities are at an all-time high at this year’s expo. There will be several fun photo opportunities set up throughout the expo including our GIF photo booth, a larger than life-size version of this year’s finisher medal, course maps, and more. Be sure to visit them all and tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Shopping & Giveaway Highlights

  • SPIbelt will have a spinning wheel out sporadically during the event where people can spin to win! Stop by, say hey, learn about their new products, and spin to see what you could win.
  • nuun hydration will be sampling a ton of their flavors including Orange Mango, which will be at all aid stations on race day.
  • Kerrville Triathlon – from awesome trucker hats to free shirts, The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas will have a prize wheel full of great giveaways.
  • fitppl – while reducing plastic and cleaning the world, these superfoods combine plant-based protein, spirulina, alkalizing grasses, and phytonutrient-packed fruits creating a wholesome, all-in-one, nutrient-dense shake.
  • Jack’s Generic Triathlon – if you love generic giveaways you don’t want to miss this booth. Plenty of goodies and a sweet expo deal just for you!
  • Rookie Triathlon – make this sprint triathlon the first tri of your life or the first tri of your 2020 season. Visit their booth, test your skills at bag toss, and see what goodies you’ll win.

More 2020 vendors

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.