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.

Retire your current pair and replace them with these Under Armour shoes

When looking for a new pair of shoes you want to make sure they’re right for your feet. The right pair of shoes can help protect your joints and muscles. We spoke with our friends at Under Armour and recommend the following Under Armour shoes. Make sure they’re right for your feet. Then visit our friends at Fleet Feet Austin to get your new pair today. This MapMyRun blog post informed this piece and has more helpful tips for finding the right running shoes.

Are your shoes wearing out? Is their mileage count running high? Wear and tear beginning to show? Sounds like you need a new pair of running shoes. Our helpful blog post will tell you how to test your old shoes and break in your new Under Armour shoes!

We recommend these Under Armour shoes

HOVR Velociti 2

The Velociti 2 is designed for those who want a light shoe for racing, speedwork, or daily training. They offer Under Armour’s patented HOVR cushioning technology. Track your mileage and log your workouts when you sync their Bluetooth version with the MapMyRun app. Best for efficient runners who don’t overpronate.

HOVR Infinite

Under Armour shoes like the cushioned Infinites are great for those who have moderate-to-high arches, strike midfoot or forefoot when running, and need maximum midsole cushioning and minimum medial (arch-side) support. They offer Under Armour’s patented HOVR cushioning technology. Track your mileage and log your workouts when you sync their Bluetooth version with the MapMyRun app. Not recommended for overpronators.

HOVR Guardian

Shoes like the Guardians are best for runners who are mild-to-moderate overpronators and need extra support and durability. They provide good arch support and midsole cushioning. They offer Under Armour’s patented HOVR cushioning technology. Track your mileage and log your workouts when you sync their Bluetooth version with the MapMyRun app.

These Under Armour shoes can replace your retired pair or be your second pair when you alternate. Either way, make sure they’re right for you and fit your foot. They can help you keep crushing your 3M Half Marathon training! Don’t forget to visit our friends at Fleet Feet Austin or underarmour.com to purchase your new pair of Under Armour shoes today. Images courtesy of 3M Half Marathon presenting sponsor, Under Armour.

What is foam rolling and why should runners do it?

According to Wikipedia, foam rolling is: a lightweight, cylindrical tube of compressed foam. It may be used for many reasons, including increasing flexibility, reducing soreness, and eliminating muscle knots. Foam rolling is a method of self-myofascial release.  Studies show that the best results occur when the foam roller is used for 30 to 90 seconds on each muscle and combined with static stretching.  Rollers come in different sizes and degrees of firmness. The firmness (often identified by the color) can range from soft to firm, soft being best for beginners.

Runner is taking advantage of foam rolling and its benefits.

Top 4 reasons runners should foam roll.

Top 4 Reasons Runners Should Foam Roll

Increases Range of Motion and Relaxation

1.) Increase range of motion – It can help break the knots in our muscles, which restrict our range of motion. Foam rolling can help use our full range of motion. Range of motion is important for flexibility and performance. Regular use of foam rollers for myofascial release can alleviate muscle tightness, ensure optimal joint range of motion, and enhance overall movement.

2.) Increase feelings of relaxation – Part of the reason people love getting massages is because it helps them unwind and feel better. Foam rolling is like giving yourself a massage that takes only a few minutes each time but leaves you feeling much more relaxed.

Decreases Injury Risk and Recovery Time

3.) Decrease injury risk – It can help prevent common injuries. Tight muscles can be more prone to injury, so self-release of muscles and fascia can help loosen everything up and increase your overall performance.

4.) Decrease recovery time – Helps speed up recovery because it promotes better circulation of blood throughout the body. This helps in the natural healing process. No one wants to feel sore for long periods of time. Using a foam roller will help make the uncomfortable feeling go away faster so you can start training again with less soreness.

We at 3M Half Marathon prefer TriggerPoint foam rollers since it started in Austin, where this awesome race takes place. They were also a past partner of the race. There are now numerous creators of similar products you can explore and test out.

Grab one soon, if you don’t already own one, and get to foam rolling ASAP!

4 reasons runners should foam roll.

Infographic on benefits of foam rolling.

These taper tips are crucial for race day performance

The Taper. For those unfamiliar, tapering is referring to the reduced volume and intensity of workouts before race day. While some runners find it hard to scale back after so much time dedicated to training, others find themselves glued to their favorite couch. But doing too little or too much during this time period can compromise all your hard work. Make sure you are at the top of your game by following these tips between now and race day.

SleepImage result for happy sleeper

This may be the best thing you can do for yourself at this time. Experts recommend sleeping eight to nine hours per night. To start, choose a consistent time that you are in bed, this may or may not include actual sleep. This will signal to your body that rest is important and hopefully lead to more shut-eye.

If you have a favorite show that you just don’t want to miss, see if you can record it to watch after the race. It will be great to have something else to “marathon” after your race.

Instead of focusing on trying to get a good night sleep the night before, try for two nights before. Pre-race jitters can sometimes leave us with the “I am not even sure if I slept at all” feeling the night before. But don’t let this bother you. One poor night’s sleep shouldn’t affect your performance if you have tapered well in other aspects.

Reduce work stress

While it might be out of our hands, setting yourself up with an easy week at work can have a big impact on your energy going into race day. So if there is a project that needs to be done put in the extra effort now or see if it can be completed after race day. Take time to find a quiet place to meditate for 10-15 in the morning or evening.

Image result for under armour runNo new workouts

Now is not the time to get a weird sore spot under your ribs because your friend convinced you to try the new barre class. Stick to what you know and focus on less intense and less volume for each workout. Keep your runs to under 30 minutes. It’s fine to do some easy cross-training on non-running days, as long as the activity doesn’t make your muscles sore or have the potential to cause injury. If you don’t want to exercise on days you don’t run, that’s okay, too.

Example of a week out workout: 10-min warm-up jog / no more than 3 miles at half-marathon goal pace / 10-min cool-down jog

Nutrition

Skip the pizza and beer for now. Focus on a diet that balances moderate carbohydrates from whole food sources, quality protein, and healthy fat. You may also want to keep a close eye on your calorie intake. While you are used to high-intensity training and the extra food that comes with it, if you don’t watch what you eat, the pounds can sneak on in these last weeks, which is less than optimal for race day.

Avoid eating that can affect your sleep quality. This includes eating large meals within 1.5 hours of going to bed as well as spicy foods or large amounts of protein.

Now is also a good time to make sure you are well hydrated. It is recommended to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. You can also add electrolytes from nuun, to get your body ready for race day hydration. You can also try the on-course fuel with Gatorade Endurance gels.

Race Morning

By starting now, you are setting yourself up to be ready race morning. The last advice we have is to arrive at least 90 minutes before the start. Walk around as a light warmup, and then follow the Camp Gladiator trainers as they lead a pre-race warm-up at 7:15 at the start line.

Get to know your 2019 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 2019 3M Half Marathon pace team, learn where to find them on race day, and read a few dos and don’ts of running with a pacing group.

Find your 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 1:301:351:401:451:501:552:002:052:102:152:20, 2:25, 2:30). The pacers will also be wearing matching running outfits that say “PACER” or otherwise designated them as official 3M Half Marathon pacers.

1:30 Anthony Jacobs Ryan McLagan
1:35 Joe Terracina Leland Mangum
1:40 Charlie Werth John Golden
1:45 Karim Elmrabet Talaya Frazier
1:50 Jennifer Goetz Jose Reyes
1:55 Paul Carmona Kara Levy
2:00 Eric Johnson Laura O’Connor
2:05 Steve Pina Summer Smith
2:10 Katie Carmona Eva Oleksy
2:15 Fran Roda Priscilla Norosky
2:20 Ted Kvapil Sam Gammage
2:25 Jessica Mangrum Jillian Baaklini
2:30 Shannon Arriaga Molly Stapleton

Pacing group 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 2018. Claire (5241) will lead the 2:15 group for 2018.

  • 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.

Pacing group 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.

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 help guide you. Meet your 2018 3M Half Marathon pace team, learn where to find them on race day, and read a few do’s and don’ts of running with a pace team.

Find your pacing group: look for the Twenty-Six Two Pacers in the starting corrals holding pace signs that correspond to the paces designated by signs in the corrals. There will be two pacers per each pace group (finish times of 1:301:351:401:451:501:552:002:052:102:152:20, 2:25, 2:30). The pacers will also be wearing matching running outfits that say “PACER” or otherwise designated them as official 3M Half-Marathon pacers.

1:30 Anthony Jacobs Brandon Ostrander
1:35 Joe Terracina Steve Chase
1:40 John Golden Leland Mangrum
1:45 Karim Elmrabet Talaya Frazier
1:50 Jennifer Goetz Laura O’Connor
1:55 Paul Carmona Kara Levy
2:00 Eric Johnson Stephanie Swanzy
2:05 Steve Pina Summer Smith
2:10 Katie Carmona Eva Oleksy
2:15 Ted Kvapil Claire McGuinness
2:20 Jenny Yee Maria Hermon
2:25 Juanita Bowling Corina Felan
2:30 Shannon Arriaga Molly Stapleton

A few do’s and don’ts: 

  • DO ask questions before the start about your pace 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 pacers 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 2018. Claire (5241) will lead the 2:15 group for 2018.

  • 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 pacers guide you! They are trained to finish at (or slightly faster than) their designated finish times.
  • 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 pace 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 pacers are 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.