Race day is all about believing in yourself and your training.

Whether you’re running the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon or Half Marathon or maybe another full or half-marathon in the next few weeks, you’ve put in months of training to get in your best shape for the big. You want to make it count and walk away happy with your race effort. Race day is all about believing in yourself and your training. That’s why thoughts and words matter. With that in mind, here are some great race-day tips from elite athletes who will be competing in either the Austin Marathon or Half Marathon on Sunday.

  • Ryan Normand (2:29:13 marathon best and second at the 2020 3M Half Marathon): “Come in with a plan and stick to it. This helps reduce pre-race anxiety and decreases the chances of going out too fast and hitting the wall.”
  • Sarah Jackson (Fourth Place 2020 3M Half Marathon): “The Austin Marathon course is known to have some hills, but there are flat sections and downhills that can play to your advantage. Familiarize yourself with the course so that you are mentally prepared for the fluctuating terrain.”
  • Keri McEntee (2:41:19 Marathon best): “Practice as many details as you can. A good thing to do is eat your ‘night before the race’ meal the night before your long runs. This will allow you to figure out how your GI system responds on days when it doesn’t matter as much.”
  • Ben Sathre (1:04:30 half-marathon best): “Believe in yourself and have confidence in your training.”
  • William Bertrand (29:48 10K best): “Get up early to have some breakfast before running a marathon. You can’t run 26 miles on an empty stomach!”
  • Allan Sumrall (1:06:53 half-marathon best): “Racing should be a much harder effort than training. Taper in the week leading up to the race, and then put yourself in a position to surprise yourself.”
  • Maura Tyrell (Half-marathon best of 1:22:45): “I get very stressed about hitting certain times on race day. It helps to be grateful for the ability to run and to experience life in this way, to take in beauty from your surroundings and energy from the spectators and smile to change your mindset!”
  • Rebecca Marrou (Half-marathon best of 1:24:18): “In all that you do, be the best version of you! There are so many variables you have no control over on race day, so focus on the things you can control!”
  • Ben Munguia (Half-marathon best of 1:16:01): “On race day, make sure to get in a good warm-up. I know you may be thinking that you have 26 miles to warm-up, but be sure to do something to get the blood flowing. It can be a slow jog for five to 10 minutes or dynamic stretches like lunges and skips. Just do something.”

Upcoming Races: Sunday, February 16 The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon & Half Marathon at 7:00 a.m., downtown Austin. Saturday, February 22 at 8:00 a.m., Pedernales Trail Run 50K, 25K, 10K at Pedernales Falls State Park, 2585 Park Road 6026 in Johnson City. Saturday, February 29 at 8:00 a.m., the Bobcat Bonanza 5K, at 4950 Jack C Hays Trail in Buda.