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9 Beginner Running Tips to Get You Ready for Austin

Get on the right track with these beginner running tips 

Every runner begins at square one. Whether you’re just starting out or returning from a long break from running, these nine beginner runner tips will get you started. Some might not need all nine, but everyone will use at least one to get them going. Remember to have fun, running should be enjoyable.

Don’t track distance

Run on the Boardwalk to track your time, a helpful beginner running tip!

Run/walk on the Boardwalk so you can track your time and be near the water.

Track time instead. Focus on time on your feet when you begin. Start off with a time that’s comfortable for you and increase that amount over time. For your first time out, try running/walking for 15 minutes and see how that feels. If you feel fine, increase it by 3-5 minutes next time! After a few weeks when you get more comfortable being on your feet you can begin tracking mileage.

Take walk breaks

When starting out, your heart rate will increase quickly. You’re asking a lot of your body when you first begin running. Your body will adjust accordingly. Taking walk breaks will allow your heart rate to come back down and catch your breath. When you’re on your first 15-minute run, alternate running and walking every 60 seconds. The next time you’re out, run for 90 seconds and walk for 60. Eventually you’ll eliminate walking altogether!

Run in a location you’ll love

Austin runners can run on the Greenbelt, trail running is a helpful beginner running tip.

If you love nature, try running/walking on the trail when you first start out.

Love nature? Go to the trails. Like a certain coffee shop? Run near the shop and reward yourself. Enjoy being near water? Check out the Boardwalk. Running at a location you love helps you have a better experience when you first start out.

Get fit for running shoes

You’re running, get running shoes! Fit matters. You want shoes that fit your feet, provide comfort, and look good. Visit our friends at Fleet Feet Austin. They’re the Official Running Store of the Austin Marathon. You can use their state-of-the-art foot scanning machine to get fitted with the shoes that’s best for you.

Start slow

Don’t start like you’ve been shot out of a cannon. Begin at an easy, comfortable pace. You don’t want to wear yourself out or elevate your heart rate too soon. Your effort shouldn’t be stressful. Starting slow allows your body to warm up and helps prevent injury.

Track your progress

Group photo of friends before running the 2019 Austin Half Marathon. Running with friends is a great beginning running tip.

Run with friends and track your progress all the way to the finish line.

As mentioned above, don’t track distance, track time. Keep a log of the amount of time you spent on your feet. Track the amount of jogging and walking and how many times you alternate. This will inform you what your next workout should be, how much you run/walk, and how much time you spend on your feet. 

Lower your expectations

If you’re just starting out, you won’t run a 5K right off the bat. Every runner, from elites to beginners, starts at square one. Make sure your expectations and goals are attainable. If you set lofty goals and don’t achieve them you can get burned out and lose interest. Start off small and work your way up!

Listen to music you love

Make a running playlist that you’ll love! Don’t have the time? Check out our #WeLiketheSoundofThat playlist on Spotify! Listening to music you love will help pass the time, act as a timer for your workout, and help distract from the task at hand. Feel free to sing out loud if needed! If using headphones, make sure the volume is low enough to hear your surroundings.

Run with a friend who is at your level

This tip is beneficial for two reasons: accountability and camaraderie. You’ll hold each other accountable, meaning you’re less likely to hit snooze for that early morning run if you know your friend is waiting for you. Additionally, you can push one another when needed, compare training progress, and congratulate one another when you do something great!

Beginning to run can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t break it down. The benefits of running are endless and these beginning runner tips will get you on the right track.  Use them to get ready for the Austin Half Marathon or Austin Marathon KXAN SimpleHealth 5K! Did you use a specific beginner running tip when you first started running? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Self-Imposed Challenge Accepted

If he can do that, so can I; self-imposed challenge accepted

Michael ran the 2017 Cap10K after he accepted his self-imposed challenge.

Michael ran the 2017 Cap10K after he accepted his self-imposed challenge.

Michael Coffey was a cyclist. He self-admittedly didn’t consider himself a runner, even though he ran to cross-train. His story of how he became a runner is next on our My Running Story series. Coffey started out like most runners, talking with someone else about running. He believed in himself and next thing you know… self-imposed challenge accepted. Read how Coffey went from a 10K to the start line of the 2018 Austin Marathon

Not really a “runner”

My name is Michael. I never really considered myself a “runner.” I would run some when I was big into cycling, but never ran road races of any kind. This all changed in April 2017. Someone mentioned they were running the Cap10K. I thought, if he can run a 10K, I can run a 10K. BOOM!! Self-imposed challenge accepted. 

I trained for two weeks. Everyone said I would finish around 1:30-1:40. My goal was to just finish injury-free. Race day came and I was nervous. I finished my first 10K in 1:07:30 at 51 years old. I was hooked. The race day environment was exciting and special. 

Self-imposed challenge accepted

Shortly after that race, our son suggested I try a marathon. Sure, why not, I said. Self-imposed challenge accepted. While researching marathons, I found the Austin Marathon in February 2018. I immediately registered. I started training in July 2017, a 32-week beginner training plan. Training went well. In February 2018, I completed my first marathon in 5:26:09 at 52 years old. 

Since that self-imposed challenge in April 2017, I’ve completed multiple 5K & 10K races, one half marathon, three marathons, and the Trivium Hill Country 50K. I have logged about 1,700 training and race miles. I’m now in training for my first 50-mile run in November (Wild Hare) and am again registered for the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Self-imposed challenge accepted. I LOVE TO RUN😎

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Submissions will be accepted through August 16, 2020. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson and Kirsten Pasha.

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.