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Does Training on Different Surfaces Matter? 

Runners often train in areas that are in or near their neighborhoods. This can include sidewalks, parks, or roads close to their homes. However, you should consider training grounds other than roads. When you train on different surfaces, your scenery changes often. The kind of workout you need to do, as well as the amount of energy you need to expend changes as well.

This provides runners with a break from their monotonous routines. If you change the venue you’re training in, it can also provide a boost to your overall fitness levels. Consider running on different surfaces types, such as on grass, through sand, or even on trails. You can also practice running in your swimming pool. Running on different surfaces can help you prepare for a marathon as well.

Running on Different Types of Surfaces 

When you run on surfaces like grass or sand, then the pounding experienced by your legs, as you run, is reduced. This can also reduce the risk related to injuries. When you push off on surfaces that are softer, you can better strengthen your muscles. This will later translate to increased speed when you’re running on roads. Here’s how you can adapt your running routine to different surface types:

Grass

When you run on grass instead of surfaces like concrete or asphalt, up to 17% less pressure is felt by your feet. This was reported in a study in the Journal of Sports Sciences. So if you’re a runner who is looking for a surface that is forgiving, before heading back to roads, consider grass. You can also reduce the risk of injury while improving your intensity and mileage.

The grass is good for speedwork. Take for example a football field. It’s an ideal place to warm up. Run for around three minutes, then run for two minutes, and then one. Do it with such intensity that you aren’t able to speak more than two words while running. Begin with two sets or three sets, and then move on to five.

 

 

Sand

Sand has a surface that is unstable. Running on sand can help you strengthen the muscles located in your feet, ankles, hips, legs, as well as your core. Running on sand can also feel like an aerobic challenge. Should you be recovering from an injury or have limited flexibility, then you should avoid running on sand. This is because sand puts more pressure on your legs as well as your calves.

 

 

 

 

 

Trails

When you run on trails, you’ll need to pay careful attention to your movements. This is because there are rocks, roots, trees, and other obstacles that you need to stay safe from. Due to this, you’ll be able to turn your attention in a direction that is inward. You’ll need to work on maintaining both control as well as balance.

You’ll also need to shift gears constantly, and your leg muscles will experience various different kinds of workouts from just running.

 

 

 

Water

If you want to develop muscle strength, then running in water can be ideal for you. Keep in mind that water is a lot thicker when compared to air, about 800 times thicker. It also provides resistance continuously. Your muscles will have to push through the water as you try to move forward. This helps your muscles build strength.

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion 

Running on a new surface type is ideal for runners training for any race distance. If you want a change of scenery, or want to try a new running routine, then consider training on different surfaces.

 

The Benefits of Training with a Group

Doing activities alone may not always yield the desired results. But when you join a group, the same activities may turn out to be more enjoyable, motivating, and productive, and this can be especially true for running.

If you are contemplating participating in the Austin marathon, half marathon, or 5K, training for it solo may not be beneficial. So to extract the maximum benefits out of it, joining a training group is essential. 

They help you stick with it

Starting training may be easy but sustaining it over a period requires grit, determination, and above all, inspiration. So when you join a training or running group you automatically start feeling motivated because you see people around you doing the same thing. After all, running is a different ball game. It can be easy to tire out or lose enthusiasm. But when your fellow runners heap praise on you for successfully executing your training, you become supercharged. You’ll be ready to infuse more energy and perseverance into your running. This in turn also inspires others to perform with similar gusto. 

Helps give you a purpose 

When several people come together, there is a creative exchange of ideas. You learn from others while others learn from you. The group, therefore, helps in fostering a sense of camaraderie and companionship that you slowly begin to cherish. You may also be required to mentor other runners in the group which may give you a sense of purpose. 

Helps build relationships 

Group training may be the perfect way to give you purpose while also expanding social circles, be they personal or professional. As you grow closer with running mates, you may find yourself sharing joys or venting frustrations about your life in a safe and supportive environment. Running also offers an opportunity to get to know your coworkers and bosses on more than just a work level, which can help make you enjoy coming in every day, or even help in advancing your career.

They help you learn from failures 

Failures are a part of any sport, but how you learn from your failures and turn them around to your advantage is the true test of an athlete. If you are alone, you may feel frustrated at those failures. But if you have a great support group, you can take lessons from your failures and convert them into success. Having a group that supports you is important if you want to transcend the barriers and reach the pinnacle of success. 

In group training, your team is like a pillar of strength. They guide and encourage you to be your best self. Running together bonds you as a team and cultivates teamwork skills that will last long after the run is finished.

 

Convince Your Friend to Train for a Half Marathon with You

5 ways to convince your friend to train for a half marathon with you

Maybe you have a race coming up and you don’t want to train alone. Perhaps you need some motivation to get your running groove back. Or you could have a friend who’s talked about running a half marathon, but has yet to commit. Regardless of the reason, it is time to convince your friend to train for a half marathon with you. Training with a buddy is not only fun, but inspiring as well. You can encourage each other while training for the upcoming 13.1-miler. If they’re still on the fence, convince your friend to train for a half marathon with you using the 5 tips below. Remember, running is contagious!

Incorporate a stretch routine before all runs and workouts.

Pro tip: it’s important to remember that life happens. Share how you balance life and training with your friend. That and these 5 helpful tips will give them what they need to train successfully.

1. Describe the race-day experience

Sometimes not knowing what to expect on race day can be detrimental. Take this opportunity to let your friend know what happens during race weekend. From packet pickup to the finish line festival, explain the process and what happens along the way. Provide details about the vendor-filled expo, what to expect on race morning, and the party at the finish line. Build this 4-stretch routine into your training plan and make it part of your race morning.

2. Share training information

Share information, like your favorite GPS watch, with your friend.

Share tips about how to train for the upcoming half. Provide guidance for essential items like running shoes, GPS watches, nutrition, training plans, stretching exercises, etc. Communicate what works and didn’t work for you. This is also a chance for you to determine what might be holding them back. Your friend will have lots of questions. You want to make the entire experience as enjoyable as possible for them. Think back to training for your first 13.1-miler and try to anticipate what they might need. Chances are there are a few things that’ll help them that they’re not aware of, like side stitches. Share these side-stitch prevention methods with them.

3. Provide support and encouragement

Keep in mind, running can seem daunting for a first-timer. Offer support and inspiration that’ll help them continue, even during the tough times. Take small steps and set smaller, weekly goals. Incorporate the ABCs of goal setting and they will help you both build-up to the main goal: crossing the half marathon finish line. Don’t throw your friend into full-fledged running, especially if they’ve never run before. Recall why you started running in the first place and try to impart that to your friend.

4. Work at their pace

Your insight will help your friend cross the finish line!

Your enthusiasm for the half marathon might discourage your friend who might feel less-than-ready to run. To counteract this, make your training run sessions fun. Include tunes they enjoy or run in an area they’re familiar with. Be sure to not make them burn out. Keep things at their pace, from running to the information you share. Again, revert back to training for your first half and what worked for you. If your runs are at night because of their schedule, follow these safety tips and enjoy the benefits of running at night.

5. Create friendly competition and give rewards

What better way to stimulate the passion for running than some competition. It is a fun way to challenge each other during training. Rewards can be small and inexpensive, like home-baked cookies or a new pair of socks. It shows your friend that you’re thinking of them and will incentivize them to reach their goal. When thinking about competition, it doesn’t have to be between the two of you. Challenge your friend to run half a mile further than before or a few seconds faster during a speed workout. After all, they’re their own competition.

Running is an exciting way to get fit and have fun. What better way to enjoy this sport and train for the next half marathon than with your friend? This advice will help you get them off the fence and in training mode. Establish a routine, set smaller goals, and create friendly competition to help your friend cross their first half marathon finish line!

Calm Pre-Race Nerves With These 5 Tips

Big race coming up? Maybe tomorrow is the big day. While we know you are excited you are probably a little nervous as well. Whatever distance you may be running, pre-race nerves are common with most people. You are not alone, and there are things you can do to help ease those jitters. 

1. Be Prepared

Stop doubt before it happens. Make

 a list and prepare everything the night before. Have your clothes, shoes, and bib laid out. Leave stuff you don’t need at home or with a member of your cheer crew. Charge your phone all the way to 100% and leave plugged in until you have to leave.

Is your playlist ready to go? We suggest a service where you don’t have to depend on service and can download the playlist like Spotify premium so you don’t have to worry about any interruptions to your tunes. 

2. Set Your Motivation

Why are you here? Remind yourself of your motivation and purpose for signing up.  Maybe you want to try something new to prove you could. Maybe you’re shooting for that PR. Maybe you’re showing your kids that exercise is part of a happy life. Try and embrace the added adrenaline or excitement and use it to perform with confidence in why you’re running today. If you haven’t set a goal yet, check out some tips for setting goals.

3. Stop Thinking About it So Much

We know, easier said than done, but at some point, you’ve got to lace up your running shoes and start your warm-up routine. 

Distract yourself with other things like talking to others around you, taking some pre-race selfies, participating in the pre-race warm-up, dance it out.

Trust us, you’re prepared. Evaluations can wait until much later. In our opinion, you should give yourself a few days to reflect before you jump into a full race report. The journey is the accomplishment.

4. Use the restroom

This isn’t the most glamorous advice but hey, it is important. Always make the attempt before your start time. 

5. Breathe

While it may seem like simple advice, it’s incredibly common to experience an increased heart rate and faster breathing once you get on-site. Take a moment to close your eyes and remember your training. Collect your thoughts and take deep breaths in through your nose and out through the mouth.

You got this!