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6 Tips for Staying Motivated Until Race Day

Keep your training momentum high with these tips for staying motivated

For many, running is an integral part of their day. Consistently running will prepare you for your distance, but there are factors out there that can sap your motivation. Don’t let that happen! Be diligent, keep your motivation cranked up, and race day will be here before you know it. The tips for staying motivated that you’ll need are below!

Track your progress

Friends pose the 2019 Austin Half Marathon finish line. Accountability is a great tip to stay motivated.

Friends hold each other accountable and keep them motivated all the way to the finish line.

Motivation can be quickly lost when you don’t see progress. It’ll feel like you’re not going anywhere. Track your progress to stay motivated! You can see the data for each workout, improvement from week-to-week, and total mileage once you cross the finish line. We run with Under Armour’s MapMyFitness. The insights are tremendous, it lets you know about everything, including stride and cadence.

Find accountability

We can’t stress this enough. Running with a friend or your local running group ( like RAW or Austin Runners Club) will elevate your motivation. The accountability factor is real and it benefits everyone. Everyone wants to cross the Austin Marathon finish line and you want to help each other get there. Accountability will keep that pact intact, especially if you have trouble getting up in the morning

Reward yourself

One reason people lose motivation is they focus on the big goal – the Austin Marathon finish line. That’s fantastic, but it shouldn’t be your only goal because that one goal will produce only one reward. Set up monthly, weekly, or daily goals and reward yourself! Get out of bed for that early morning workout? Get your favorite coffee. Complete your weekend long run? Reward yourself with brunch from your favorite spot.

Prep your stuff the night before

Lance Armstrong, the Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, at the 2019 Austin Marathon finish line. Running on behalf of Austin Gives Miles is a great tip to stay motivated.

Lance Armstrong was the 2019 Austin Gives Miles Charity Chaser, lending his legs and his miles!

Your alarm goes off, you roll out of bed, just trying to get out the front door. The last thing you want to do is think about what you need for your run or to pack a bag so you can shower at the gym. Knock all this out the night before and set your bag near the front door. This will save time in the morning and ensure you don’t forget something important, like soap, deodorant, or your underwear! Pro tip: sleep in your running clothes to save even more time!

Find a cause to support

Run for someone or something other than yourself! A great place to look is Austin Marathon Gives – the Austin Marathon’s philanthropic program. Austin Marathon Gives supports Central Texas nonprofits, helping them raise funds and increase awareness for their cause. There’s a range of causes for runners to choose from! Pick a nonprofit you love, lend your legs and miles, and make a difference with your training. You can also run and fundraise on behalf of your favorite charity! Plus every dollar you raise is matched by the Moody Foundation, up to $10,000 per charity!

Sign up for a race

There are benefits to registering for another race. It’ll act as another goal for you to work towards, you can test your hydration/nutrition plans, and eliminate some of those race-day jitters. 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour on January 23rd is the perfect tune-up race for the Austin Marathon. It has one of the fastest half marathon courses in the country and is 4 weeks before the Austin Marathon. 

Keep your momentum levels on HIGH. The more you have fun during your runs and workouts, the more likely you are to continue the next day. Incorporate these tips for staying motivated throughout your training. Do you have a tip that keeps you motivated during your training? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

How to Run: Useful Advice for First-Time Runners

Our advice for first-time runners will start you off on the right foot

Did you just discover running? Welcome! Did you start running again after a long layoff? Glad to have you back. Are you returning from injury and ready to get back in a groove? Great news! The information contained in this blog post is geared towards first-time runners. But if you’re returning to running or have finally recovered from an injury, you can use this information too!

Remember: every runner starts at square one. You are about to embark on an amazing journey. It will include countless miles, early mornings, new friends, and plenty of finish lines! Take our advice for first-time runners and apply it to your journey!

Set a goal, find a training plan

Image of a runner posing in front of a 2020 Finisher backdrop after completing the 2020 KXAN Simple Health 5K. First-time runners should set a goal and find a corresponding training plan, like the free 5K training plan in this blog.One of the first things you want to do is set a goal. That could be a distance, a race, or a specific distance at a certain event. If you’re just starting out, an ideal goal race would be the Austin Half Marathon. The distance, 13.1 miles, is a great intro to the sport. Plus, you have plenty of time to follow this free half marathon training plan!

Set a larger goal and train for the Austin Marathon. Going from 0 to 26.2 is a great undertaking, but one that you can accomplish with help from this free marathon training plan. Want to begin with a smaller distance and get to the 3-block-long finish line festival before everyone else? Then the KXAN Simple Health 5K is right up your alley! The 5K distance is perfect if you don’t have that much time to train. Bonus points for getting friends and family to join you. Make sure you download this free 5K training plan and share it with whoever’s joining you.

Learn how to run your best

Running is simple, you put one foot in front of the other. But there are so many ways for you to run better and see improvement. Take proper care of your body, especially when you’re just beginning. Getting more sleep, taking time off, and hydrating properly are just a few of these 7 tips that’ll help you run your best!

Utilize these summertime tips

Summer heat saps everyone’s energy, most especially first-time runners. But you’re just starting out and are ready to keep running! Make sure you follow these summertime running tips to beat the heat like protecting yourself from the sun and learning why it’s important to adjust your running schedule.

Keep your motivation motor running

Image of runner from Mexico with his right arm flexed during the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. This blog post have tips for first-time runners, like how to be relaxed and run your best.Some times the motivation just isn’t there. The chances of skipping a run or missing a workout are higher with first-time runners. But you’re not alone! All runners face this dilemma. One of the best ways to keep your motivation level high is to find an accountability partner. This person will meet you early in the morning and make sure y’all complete the run. Yes, you guessed it, you’ll hold them accountable too! Here are 5 additional tips for staying motivated.

Tips for running in the rain

You might not know it yet, but running in the rain is an absolute treat! Just make sure you’re prepared so a fun run in the rain stays fun. These 7 tips will keep your training on track despite the weather. Just make sure you check the weather before you take off. Don’t run if there’s lightning!

Don’t miss your morning run

Getting up for your early morning run can be difficult, especially for first-time runners. Completing an early morning run really sets up the rest of your day nicely! But the battle with your alarm clock is real. This is the case for veteran runners too! Implement some or all of these 6 tips. They’ll help you get out the door for your morning run.

Long-run recovery timeline

You’re logging miles. Crushing your early morning run. Your weekend long runs are getting longer. What’s left? Learn how to properly recover from your long run with this recovery timeline. This long-run recovery timeline will help expedite the recovery process and help get you ready for whatever’s next!

This useful advice will help put first-time runners on the road to success. But if you’re returning from a long break or recovering from an injury, this information is just as beneficial. Get ready for an amazing running journey! Hey veterans, if there’s something that worked for you as a first-time runner let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Tips For Running in Cold Weather

We’ve all been there. One day you’re running on a mild 60-degree day with the sun beaming down on you, then seemingly overnight the weather drops to near-freezing levels and the wind is howling outside your window. 

When the temperatures dip it can be challenging to get outside, but as long as your gear and mindset are up for a slight challenge you’ll find yourself crushing those runs like never before! We spoke to some seasoned runners and asked them what their best cold-weather-running advice was, and they delivered!

Staying Warm

  • I start chilly and use my effort to warm up. In those temps, I wear a pair of tights, a long shirt, glove liners, and a headband that covers my ears. No jacket is necessary unless it is windy or raining.
  • I dress a layer below what I would normally wear around. For example, I usually wear a hoodie and maybe a light coat over that when going around, but to run I would just wear a long sleeve and maybe a t-shirt as well. Even if you feel chilly before you start running, that’s fine. You’ll warm up quite a bit when you get going.
  • Experiment with layers. Everyone feels temperatures differently. Layers allow precise adjustment. Maybe different materials and thicknesses of long sleeve t-shirts and a vest. Thin cap or gloves if needed. 
  • When it hits 50 for me, I wear gloves. I also get cold very quickly so anything 60ish and below I wear tights. My tops depend on the wind honestly.
  • Try out the website dressmyrun.com; it uses your location, time, weather, and any factors ( such as if you get cold easily ) to tell you how to dress. I used it when I first started running and it was very helpful. 
  • A good hat, socks, and gloves will go a long way in keeping extremities warm. Don’t skimp on those.
  • Hands. Getting proper running gloves this winter was a game-changer.
  • Thin gloves are what I find the most helpful in staying warm during the winter runs.
  • I will typically wear 3/4 running tights or a long-sleeved shirt, a headband to cover my ears, and running gloves. I take the gloves on and off to help regulate my temperature. Below 0 degrees, I wear both the tights and the long-sleeved shirt.
  • You will need less clothing than you think. Last week, I ran 18 miles in 16-degree weather wearing a long sleeve thermal tech shirt, a long-sleeve t-shirt, a wind jacket, and running tights under my shorts. At times, I was almost too hot (the sun helped).
  • It’s only cold at the beginning. The hardest part is getting over the cold mentally. I always say that I can quit after one mile if I’m too cold. I never do.

Staying Visible

  • Not really about the dress, but worth mentioning that colder weather means shorter days. Plan your runs keeping in mind that the sun sets sooner and quicker.
  • When it gets dark visibility is key. A good headlamp is vital in these situations. I can’t tell you how many times when I started hiking and running I would misjudge my timing and end up in the dark.

Staying Healthy

  • Warm-up EXTRA well. Stretch well. Make sure you don’t take your warm-up clothes off until the last minute before your run. Keep moving even when they’re off
  • Make sure the legs will stay warm, the face is covered but breathable, ears are covered and hands are covered.
  • Stay hydrated. Cold, dry air pulls moisture from your lungs and you will still sweat. If you carry a water bottle, be careful, the water may freeze.
  • Transitioning to cold weather running usually brings injuries to new runners as suddenly they run faster and longer. Follow the rules of not progressing too fast and for too long of a distance. Your tendons and ligaments adapt slower than your cardio.
  • If it’s possible, do some warm-up stuff indoors before you head outside. Things like ankle/hip activation or strengthening. Make sure you protect your ears, hands, and neck. I like using a buff/neck gaiter for my neck and my ears if it’s that cold outside. Layers are your friend, if you have too many just tie them around yourself.

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