If you’re at a desk all day, these stretches for runners will keep the blood flowing

For people who love to be active, a desk job can be disadvantageous. Not only does it limit your active time, but also creates muscle stiffness and lethargy. Runners, in particular, need to be agile and swift. Although you would warm-up before a run, long hours of sitting can still result in chronic stiffness and affect your form. All you need is a few minutes away from the computer every few hours. These 4 stretches for runners can help reduce muscle stiffness if you are sitting all day. 

Pro tip: if you have a foam roller use it correctly and avoid these mistakes.

Knee hug

This is one of the easiest and most satisfying stretches for most people. Lie down on your back. Make sure the surface you are lying on is firm. Bend both your knees and grab them with your hands. Gently pull your knees closer to your chest. With your back flat on the ground and your knees close to your chest, hold this position for about 30 secs. Then slowly lower your legs back to the ground.

You can repeat this stretch a few times. It doesn’t require too much effort and is easy on your muscles. This is a great stretch for the lower back and helps release the tension from these muscles. Pro tip: stretching is also a great way to speed up the recovery process after your long run.

Forward fold hamstring stretch

Hamstrings are one of the biggest muscles in the legs. They play a crucial role in supporting your body during runs and workouts. To stretch your hamstrings, you don’t really need to leave your desk. While sitting on your chair, put your leg straight out with your heel placed on something elevated. Keep your foot flexed. It could be a box, a shelf under your desk, or a footstool. Place the other foot firmly on the ground. Sit up straight and slowly bend forward hinging at the hips. Keep your abdomen tucked in, pulling your navel towards your spine.

To move it up a notch, you can try and reach the toes of your extended leg and hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Repeat the same on the other side.

Seated pigeon stretch

The pigeon stretch is great for opening up your hip flexors. Here’s a modified seated pigeon stretch for runners who sit at their desk for the majority of the day. Sit straight on your chair and place your right ankle over your left knee. Flex the right foot. You should feel a stretch in your outer right hip. To intensify the stretch, hinge at the hips and try to fold over the right leg.

Hold for 20 -30 seconds and then repeat on the left side.

Seated twist

This is another very satisfying stretch for the back. You can do this on the floor or even on your chair. If you are on the floor, sit up straight and extend your left leg forward. Cross the right foot over the left leg and place it next to your outer thigh. Hug the right knee with your left arm and place your right hand on the floor behind your back. Slowly twist to the right and look over your right shoulder.

Hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Slowly come back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Most importantly, move around

Moving around is a great addition to these stretches for runners who sit for the majority of the day. Get up from your chair every few hours and walk around. Prolonged sitting can not only affect your running but leave long term impacts on your overall health. Make sure you take time to get up and move around no matter how busy your day is. These stretches for runners are a great addition to these 8 ways to prevent shin splints!

12 tips that could make running easier

Would you like to improve running? Are factors like motivation, stamina, and ability holding you back? Did you know jogging or running on a regular basis can reduce your chances of acquiring diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes? If you’re a nervous beginner, here are some helpful tips that can make running easier for you. Make sure you have these 7 essential items you need before training begins.

Pro tip: when you start adding long runs to your training, follow our long-run recovery timeline!

  1. Start with walking.

Before you break out into a run, start with a walk. It will warm up your muscles, joints, and bones and serve as the starting point for your run. Make it a habit to walk for the first five minutes before your run. This will help you get accustomed to running.

  1. Pair running with an activity you enjoy.

If you have a hard time leaving the house for a run, pair running with an activity you like doing such as listening to a podcast or your favorite playlist. While engaging in your activity, start your run. Keep yourself occupied with the activity throughout your run. This will help you enjoy your new-found workout.

  1. Set small distance goals.

If the run time feels daunting, set small distance goals. For example, you can do a 1K run or a jog around the park to start. Set small challenges that are achievable so that you will feel determined to continue.

  1. Enlist a running partner.

Even though some people prefer to run alone, you can opt for a running buddy. It will help if this person enjoys running. Running with a friend can make this exercise a pleasurable experience.

  1. Keep track of your progress.

Keep a record of how much and how long you run. At periodic intervals, go over your record. You will be able to see a steady improvement in your time and distance. This will inspire you more to run.

  1. Listen to your favorite tunes.

Music is a great exercise accompaniment. Make a compilation of energetic tunes or listen to ours. On your next run, put on your ear pods and listen to this list. The music will stimulate you to adjust your speed and pace. You’re also more likely to enjoy the run.

  1. Invest in good shoes.

Your footwear matters when you run. Avoid the temptation of buying cheap shoes. They can seriously damage your feet, joints, and back. Spend the extra money on a pair of good runners. Pro tip: follow our advice to pick out the right running shoes.

  1. Progress gradually.

Avoid progressing in your training too quickly. This can rapidly demotivate you and even injure your body. Follow your training plan and take advantage of your rest days. This tip is applicable for a beginner, novice, and a pro.

  1. Reward yourself.

Hard work deserves to be rewarded. Each time you complete a goal, treat yourself.

  1. Join a runner’s group/forum.

What better way to encourage yourself than to talk to other runners. They can provide valuable tips and suggestions to improve running.

  1. Positive self-talk.

Your mind is your biggest obstacle when it comes to running. In fact, you’ll find it easier to come up with reasons not to run versus pushing yourself to get out the door. This is where you have to repeat positive affirmations like:

“I’ve got this!”

“I can do this.”

“One run at a time.”

“I’m one step closer.”

  1. Follow a training plan.

This is especially helpful if you’re a beginner. There are 30-day beginner programs that will help you build your endurance and confidence. Many of them gradually progress from walking to running.

Running isn’t about losing weight or getting fit. It’s a lifestyle. The first two weeks may feel like an uphill battle, but if you apply some of these tips, you can make running easier.

These tips can help you increase your speed as a runner

Whether you’re a first-time runner or not, you will eventually want to increase your speed. This is the best way to set new PRs! You’ll have to put in the work though. It takes hard work and dedication to increase your speed. Below are 7 different ways that you can increase your speed and chase those PRs. The more of these tips you integrate, the better. Pro tip: make sure you effectively warm-up before any run or workout.

Interval training

This means exercising with periods of high and low intensity to run faster. Running an interval involves running faster than your everyday pace. The intervals revamp the efficiency of the oxygen delivered to your body. This will help increase your speed and efficiency. Learn more about how interval runs and these 6 other types of runs can help increase your speed.

Interval workout example

  • Jog for three minutes
  • Sprint for one minute
  • Repeat this cycle four more times, resting in between each repeat

Use the treadmill

If you want to run faster, you need to practice. Buy a treadmill and use it as a source for you to keep yourself motivated during bad weather days. Especially if they keep you from going outside for your daily run. The treadmill assists with leg turnover, making it easier to run faster. Push the pace as much or as little as you want. Increase your speed over time to see improvements.

Run hill repeats

This can be challenging, but it’s worth it. Running hills is a form of resistance and running mechanic training. You’ll increase your muscle strength, especially your glutes and calves. The muscles needed to sprint across the finish line! Pro tip: get the right running shoes for you with our helpful insight.

Add strength training

How you increase your speed is not just about running. You need to keep yourself active and functioning. Strength training involves physical exercises that improve strength and endurance. It is associated with the use of weights but can take a variety of different forms, like booty bands. Start with small weights and increase your goal gradually. If you manage to beat your record, you are doing great. 

Try yoga

Yoga has extensive benefits beyond our imagination. Add yoga to your daily or weekly training plan and you won’t be disappointed. A study showed that twice-weekly yoga sessions increase flexibility in your joints and improve the balance of your body. The added stretching could also prevent injuries like shin splints.

Be steady and focused

Things take time, so don’t get off the track. You won’t achieve your big goal overnight. Set up smaller, weekly goals along the way. Take it easy on yourself. Slow and steady may win the race, but fast and steady builds speed! Take challenges and try running faster than the day before.

Eat right

Let’s turn to optimal fueling. We can talk about making sure you have enough to eat before you run and eating enough to recover properly. Just don’t let your sugar cravings overtake your goals! Eating healthy and hydrating properly will help you work harder. 

These are some of the most tried and valued running techniques. You can have your unique ways to help you increase your speed. Do you have any unique ways that have helped you increase your speed or have you tested any of the above out? We would love to hear.

Avoid these simple training mistakes and keep things running smoothly

Training for a half marathon is not an easy task, especially if you’ve never run the distance before. But you can do this and we’re here to help! For first-timers and veterans alike, there are 5 simple training mistakes to avoid. This will keep you on track with your runs and help you maximize your training. Life happens, we get it. Focus on what’s in your control. That mindset and avoiding these simple training mistakes will set you up for success during your next 13.1-mile race.

Running too far, too fast

Image of female runner smiling during the 2020 3M Half Marathon. She's enjoying race day because she avoided simple training mistakes. Increasing your mileage during training too fast can put a lot of stress on your body. This can lead to injuries. For that reason, increase your training distances gradually. Start with a solid foundation of low miles and build from there. Some runners recommend the 10% rule, where mileage is increased by less than 10% each week. 

Attempting to develop speed too fast

Build speed slowly and in a consistent way. Trying to run fast intervals at the beginning of the training program is likely going to put too much pressure on your body, which is not recommended. After you’ve built a solid base with your distance you’ll get more comfortable running. Now you can start incorporating things like running the last couple of miles of your workout slightly faster. Try basic interval training or fartlek runs

Not cross-training

Obviously, running is the main and most important part of half marathon training. However, if running is your only form of exercise during training, this can result in injuries or even burnout. It’s important to mix up your training with other activities such as strength training, swimming, cycling, or yoga. This helps balance your muscle groups, build strength, and increase flexibility.

Skipping rest days

One might think that during half marathon training there is no time for rest. But there is! Increased running and exercise do not lead to an increase in preparation. Rest is just as important as running. It allows your body to repair itself and avoid overusing muscles, which can lead to injury. Make sure you follow a training plan that includes rest days. Consider taking Epsom salt baths, getting a massage, or including an extra stretch session on your days off. Pro tip: Be intentional about giving your body the rest it deserves.

Ignoring pain

It is normal for your muscles to be sore after your runs during half marathon training. However, pain is not normal. Pain that gets worse as your run progresses is an indication that something might be wrong. Usually, taking time off helps alleviate pain and prevent an injury from getting worse. However, if the pain doesn’t improve after some time off, seek professional help. Our friends at Ascension Seton Sports Performance can get you back on track!

Your training plan is meant to gradually get you to your goal. There will be bumps in the road. Every runner will tell you that. But if you avoid these simple training mistakes you’ll make your journey that much easier. Cross-train, take your rest days, and seek professional help if you become injured. Have you encountered any simple training mistakes that others should avoid? Let us know in the 3M Half Marathon Facebook Group or on Twitter!

Make the most of your return to running with our advice

Lace-up your shoes and let’s go! Now is the right time to return to running. Whether you’ve been out for six weeks or two years, start today! Remember: once a runner, always a runner. 

Eventually, during everyone’s running journey there comes a time when a hiatus from running happens. It might be from an injury, work, school, burn out, etc. Life happens to all of us and that’s okay. It doesn’t matter if you took a short or long break from running, what matters is you are ready to return to running! We are here to encourage you to take the first steps back in confidence both physically and mentally. Take one small step for your running journey and one giant leap for YOURSELF. Utilize our summertime running advice if you’re making your return when the temps are higher.

 

In the beginning, avoid the following

  • doing too much 
  • going too fast 
  • returning too soon 

These are the three most common mistakes that lead to injury during one’s return to running. Too much volume, too fast of a pace, too early in the training program. As runners, we have a tendency to want to jump back in where we left off.

We must remember that our bodies are highly adaptive to how we train. They need time to build back up when we take off. All the energy systems, muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons need to adapt to the increased stress that running requires of them to stay healthy. Consider the amount of time you have taken off and where you want to go. This will help you find a training program that is right for you.

Change it up during your return to running

Stay healthy during your return to running by switching it up. Include cross-training, strength training, and training with friends. Cross-training is anything other than running you can do for cardio. For example, biking, swimming, cardio circuit, hiking, elliptical, versa climber, rowing, etc. Cross-training uses different muscles and adjusts impact to avoid overuse injuries. Adding in strength training can help your body adapt and prepare for running’s impact. Proper strength training helps the body stay resilient. 

The running community provides endless benefits! Including training sessions with friends can be good for the soul and push you further. Solo workouts are important too, but training with friends provides undeniable accountability. Switching up your training can keep you healthy, help you get stronger, and keep you on track with your plan.

One foot in front of the other 

As much as running is physical, almost every runner will admit there’s a mental component too. The first few runs back can feel frustrating and daunting. During your return to running, tell your ego to be quiet. It is easy to get distracted by thinking

  • “I used to run this time and now I am running this”
  • “Will I ever be able to run that pace again” 
  • “This feels uncomfortable how did I do this” 

Take a deep breath and remember, “YES!” You can run those times again, you will return to running longer distances, you will feel more and more comfortable. After you have built up a running base once the next times are easier. Half the battle is showing up. So show up, blast some tunes, and put one foot in front of the other during your return to running! Share your return to running story with us on Facebook or Twitter.

These 7 valuable 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 during the summer months. Need a reminder? Click the infographic below to download for yourself. Take your training to the next level when you take care of yourself with this vital advice!

Relax

Downloadable infographic highlighting 7 tips you should follow to run your best.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.

Check your cadence

The average runner’s cadence should be 160-170 steps per minute. You don’t have to count this in your head! Every runner is different, especially if you’re just starting out or have been running all your life. Under Armour makes knowing your cadence seamless. Their Bluetooth connected shoes, like Under Armour’s HOVR Velociti 2, send the information from your run directly to their MapMyRun 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.

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 at the Ascension Seton Sports Performance and get checked out. If you think something is wrong get it diagnosed so you can 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 recover when you begin asking more of it.

Hydrate

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s extremely vital. At a minimum, you should drink 60-80 ounces every day. The more active you 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.

Cross-train

Don’t run every day, mix it up. Cross-training is important to prevent overuse injuries. Try swimming, cycling, yoga, lifting weights, or online workouts. You’ll work different muscles and build strength. When lifting weights, focus on a lighter weight with more reps. Here are 8 reasons to include cross-training with Camp Gladiator!

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.

Get the most out of your upcoming training schedule with these self-care tips

A key to crossing the 2021 3M Half Marathon finish line and securing a new half marathon PR is to maximize your training. Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming long run or recovering from a speedy track workout, these 5 self-care tips will help you get the most out of your training! BONUS – we did some shopping for you and found some great deals on some of our favorite items.

5 self-care tips

Pay attention to your surroundings

We get it, we love listening to music during our runs and workouts too! That’s why we’ve built this massive #WeLiketheSoundofThat playlist. But it’s imperative that runners pay attention to their surroundings. We like the Titanium Open Ear Headphones from AfterShokz because they allow for the best of both worlds. They allow you to jam out and hear what’s going on around you!

Wear headgear and sunglasses

Running with a hat and sunglasses can make all the difference. Hats can keep sweat out of your eyes and help your head stay cool. Sunglasses can help you see better by reducing that random glare and protecting your eyes from dust and other debris. We like Under Armour’s Launch Run Cap because of its breathability, keeping your head cool. Check out the Zone Sunglasses from Under Armour. They’re lightweight, wrap comfortably around your head, and have polarized lenses.

Image of female running listening to Aftershokz headphones while running. She can listen to music and her surroundings, an important self-care tip in this 3M Half Marathon blog.

Shorten your stride when running downhill

The downhill portion of your run is coming up and you’re ready to fly! But wait… don’t pick up so much speed that you lose control. You also don’t want to put unnecessary strain on your quads with the extra pounding. Shorten your stride and keep your feet underneath you. You’ll still pick up speed, but you’ll be in more control and will save your legs for the rest of your run. Pro tip: read more downhill running tips.

Hydrate

We know what you’re thinking, you hear this all the time. But it’s absolutely vital. Proper hydration provides energy for your muscles, helps you fuel better, and aids in recovery. Consuming 60-80 ounces daily is recommended. You should drink more if you’re more active. Don’t forget to include an electrolyte-enhanced drink. Water alone does not fully hydrate you! Check out Nuun and their rainbow of flavors. You simply pop a tab or two in your water and voila, you have electrolytes!

Foam roll

High mileage can take its toll on your body. You’re asking a lot from your muscles. Make sure you take proper care of them by foam rolling every day, even if it’s for a few minutes before bed. Setting aside a dedicated daily foam rolling session increases the chances that you follow through. Foam rolling can decrease injury risk and your recovery time, getting you ready for the next run. Set an appointment with Fleet Feet Austin today and check out all the different recovery options they have available.

Training has begun. Now it’s time to maximize your efforts so you can stay healthy. These self-care tips can protect you from the elements, speed up your recovery, and reduce your chances of injury. Is there a specific self-care tip that you use to maximize your training and prevent injury? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Our summertime running advice will keep you moving during the summer months

Texas has already experienced some days where it felt like summer was already here. Make sure you take advantage of the few cool days and mornings that we have left! You’ll know summer has arrived by the humidity in the mornings and the soaring heat in the afternoons. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely stop running. Embrace the challenge to make yourself a better runner and stay safe with our advice. Implement this summertime running advice to beat the heat. 

Protect yourself

Image of two women running on a shaded trail. They're following the 3M Half Marathon's summertime running advice to beat the heat while they run.

Trail running is a great way to beat the heat!

If you run when the sun is out, protect yourself from its rays.

  • apply sweat-proof sunscreen 15-20 minutes before your run or workout
  • wear a hat or visor to protect your face
  • rock the shades (protect your eyes from the sun’s rays and glares from other objects)
  • wear light-colored clothes (dark colors absorb more heat) and sweat-wicking material

Hit the trails

Get off the roads and hit the trails! Austin is crawling with amazing trails that you can run on. Running with nature gets you away from the asphalt (absorbs heat), away from cars and their exhaust, and closer to the trees (that provide shade) and creeks (where you can cool off if needed). Pro tip: if you run with your dog on the trails, obey all city ordinances and make sure you pack water and a bowl (or that the creeks have running water).

Adjust schedule

It’s no secret that the mornings and evenings are cooler than the afternoon. Running/working out when it’s 15-20 degrees cooler can make all the difference. The last thing you want to do is overheat your body. Pro tip: these six tips will help ensure you make your morning run.

Hydrate

Oftentimes the most overlooked tip. Not because people don’t hydrate, but because people don’t hydrate enough. 60-80 fluid ounces is recommended daily depending on body weight. If you’re more active you’ll need to increase the amount. Make sure to incorporate a nice balance of water and a liquid with electrolytes. Adequately hydrating on a daily basis ensures your body has what it needs when you begin sweating during your run/workout.

Cross-train

Yes, cross-training can help you improve as a runner!  You don’t have to stop running, but your mileage will decrease when you implement cross-training. This can be as simple as riding your bike on these shaded trails. You could try online yoga, Camp Gladiator workouts, or rock climbing. Remember to apply sunscreen if you’re outdoors. Benefits: increase lung capacity, recover from a hard run, strengthen muscles, and increase flexibility.

Summer is on its way, but you don’t have to stop running. As you can see, there are many ways to beat the summer heat and stay in shape. You can apply this summertime running advice if you live outside of Austin.

5 blogs that will help you continue to grow as a runner

Sometimes all it takes is a new tip or some helpful advice to help you grow as a runner. And this isn’t just for beginners. This blog is for runners of all ages, speeds, and abilities. From different types of runs to understanding the data behind your run, this compilation blog post has what you need to continue to grow as a runner and see improvement.

7 Types of Runs

Creating structure around your workouts helps you get better. This means knowing what type of run you’ll execute the next time you lace up your shoes. Normally you don’t follow up a long run with another long run. You follow it up with a recovery run. Make sure you know what you’re running and how to execute the specific run. This will allow your body to get stronger and recover when needed. Remember: knowledge is power.

6 Tips to Make Your Morning Run

Hitting the snooze button is oftentimes easier than getting out of bed and knocking out your morning run. But there’s no better way to start your day than with a good run! If you have trouble getting up in the morning for your run implement one or all six of these tips!

Analyze the Data

In order to grow as a runner you need to understand the data behind your runs. How far did you go? What was your pace? Did you start off too fast? Did you negative split? This is where Under Armour’s MapMyRun app comes into play! This app provides many benefits, from tracking to seamlessly syncing with your Under Armour shoes. Plus, it can track your pace, route, distance, calories burned, and elevation gain. Start digging into the data and discover what works for you!

4 Downhill Running Tips

Becoming a better runner means understanding how to prepare for certain runs and different routes. You’ll run faster downhill than you will running uphill. But you can also blow up your legs if you don’t run downhill properly! This could negatively affect the rest of your run and potentially cause injury. These downhill running tips will improve your form and save your legs.

5 Vital Taper Tips

If you want to grow as a runner then you need to fully understand The Taper. Whether your first race is approaching or your 20th, you can’t approach race day full-steam ahead. You need to have a plan leading to the start line, just like your training. Executing The Taper will keep your body fresh for your event and allow you to follow your race-day plan.

You’re now armed with what you need to continue to grow as a runner. Utilize one of the morning tips to make your morning run. Begin analyzing the data behind your runs to see improvement. Keep pushing, even when that little voice tells you it’s okay to stop. Is there something specific you do to continue to grow as a runner and get better? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Get to know your 2020 pacing group

You’re registered. You’re training. You have a goal time in mind. This is your first half marathon. You want to PR. You want to beat last year’s time. Whatever your race day goals, the Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club pacing group will guide you. Meet your 2020 3M Half Marathon pace team, learn where to find them on race day, and read a few dos and don’ts of running with your 2020 pacing group.

Find your 2020 pacing group:

Look for the Twenty-Six Two pacing group in the starting corrals holding pace signs. Those signs correspond to the paces designated by signs in the corrals. There will be two pacers per each pace group (finish times of 1:30, 1:35, 1:40, 1:45, 1:50, 1:55, 2:00, 2:05, 2:10, 2:15, 2:20, 2:25, 2:30). The pacers will also wear matching Under Armour running outfits that say “PACER” or otherwise designated them as official 3M Half Marathon pacers.

1:30

(6:52 min./mile)

Matt Fletcher John Golden

1:35

(7:15 min./mile)

Joe Terracina Leland Mangrum

1:40

(7:37 min./mile)

Jonathan Garner Jose Reyes

1:45

(8:00 min./mile)

Charlie Werth Talaya Frazier

1:50

(8:23 min./mile)

 

Karim Elmarabet Eliot Franklin

1:55

(8:46 min./mile)

Jennifer Goetz Laura Hitt

2:00

(9:09 min.mile)

Eric Johnson Sam Gammage

2:05

(9:32 min./mile)

Steve Pina Summer Smith

2:10

(9:55 min./mile)

Claire McGuiness Kelvin Lam

2:15

(10:17 min./mile)

Rocio Villalobos Jillian Baaklini

2:20

(10:40 min./mile)

Ted Kvapil Son Ha

2:25

(11:03 min./mile)

Jessica Mangrum Kelly Peck

2:30

(11:26 min.mile)

Devangi Parikh Juanita Bowling

Race day dos: 

  • DO ask questions before the start about your pacing group’s race plan. Most will run slightly slower at first, and then pick up speed in the middle miles of the race. However, each pace group is slightly different, so make sure to ask any questions before the race begins.
  • DO drink at water stations along the way if you normally take water or sports drink during the race. The pacing group will slow down slightly to allow runners to catch up after water stops.
  • DO ask questions or introduce yourself during the race if you are inclined. The pacers are all accustomed to racing at paces faster than what they are pacing, so they should be able to answer your questions.

    pace team

    Summer (4256) and Steve (4530) will lead the 2:05 group for 2020. Claire (5241) will lead the 2:10 group for 2020.

  • DO ask what your splits should be at each mile marker, and compare the pacers’ times with your watch or GPS device. You want to make sure that you are “in sync” with the pacers’ official times.
  • DO relax and let the pacing group guide you! They are trained to finish at (or slightly faster than) their designated finish times.

Race day don’ts:

  • DON’T struggle to stay right next to or behind the pacers, especially at the beginning when it is crowded. As long as you are near them along the way, you will have plenty of time to stick with them after a few miles.
  • DON’T try to start out with a pacing group that is significantly faster than you are accustomed to running. Find the pace group that is right for you, and enjoy the race as the pacers lead you to the finish line.
  • DON’T forget that the pacing group is targeting a finish that corresponds to their own chip time, not the official “gun time.” If your pace group crosses the start line several minutes after the race begins, the pacers will be following their own chip time, not the “clock” time at the finish. Make sure to ask along the way what the pacers’ time is, and compare it to your own time. If you are unsure whether you are “ahead of” or “behind” the pacers’ time, ask them! They will answer your questions.

Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club (TST) is an Austin-based nonprofit group that provides low-cost training to men and women marathoners and half marathoners throughout the year. Since 2005, TST has trained hundreds of runners for races in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, San Antonio, and many other cities (and countries). TST’s Pace Team provides pacers for races year-round and is comprised of club members who have run multiple marathons and half-marathons.