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Parents provide insight on how to run with a stroller

Half marathon training has begun for many runners! Maybe you just signed up for your first half marathon. Perhaps you’ve returned to running after taking some time off. “But what about my kids?” you may ask. Take them with you! While strollers aren’t allowed on course during the 3M Half Marathon, that shouldn’t stop you from training with them. We asked the 3M Half Marathon Facebook community for advice on how to run with a stroller. Half marathon training is beginning and we want you to learn how to run with a stroller from the experts. Pro tip: this advice pairs perfectly with these 5 training mistakes you need to avoid.

The stroller

Image of Samantha, a runner and a mother, running with a stroller on the Town Lake Trail with the Austin skyline in the background. She contributed some of the information in this blog about how to run with a stroller.

Credit – Samantha Santos

Several runners recommended the Bob or the Double Bob. Whatever model you settle on, you want it to be lightweight! Also, make sure you have good wheels. Just like your car or bike, check that they’re properly inflated and have a decent amount of tread before every run. Check that your stroller comes with a wind/rain shield. It’ll protect your kid from water if a rainstorm appears. The windshield will also help keep them warm in the winter. Don’t forget to incorporate our summertime running advice!

What to carry

Everything! In the beginning, make a list before you take off and check it twice. Pack enough diapers, wipes, sunblock, extra clothes, snacks, and hydration. Make sure you have your stuff too! One mom recommended that you get a sippy cup leash and take your kid’s shoes off before the run. Kids think it’s funny to throw stuff out of the stroller during the run!

Form and pace

Image of Samantha, a runner and a mother, running with a stroller with the Greetings From Austin mural in the background. She contributed some of the information in this blog about how to run with a stroller.

Credit – Samantha Santos

Don’t focus on pace when starting out, focus on miles. Obviously, you won’t hit the paces you normally hit when not running with a stroller. You want to start off slow, get comfortable, and build your endurance from there. Think of running with a stroller as a different form of strength training. Slow it down when going uphill and make sure you remain in complete control when coming downhill. Pro tip: maintain your original running form as much as possible. Don’t slump over the handle and switch your arms out if they get tired.

Plan your route

For your first few runs, stay close to your house or your car (if you parked at a park). You want to be close should you forget something or need to return quickly. If your kid is potty training, plan your route to run near bathrooms. Put a towel underneath them and make sure you bring extra clothes, just in case. Plan your route to entertain your kid! Pro tip: pretend you’re at the zoo and try to locate and name as many animals as possible!

Bribery

Sometimes searching for animals at the zoo isn’t enough. You might have to bribe your kids! Some moms recommended having stroller-only toys, starting/ending at a park, pool, splash pad, or running with other moms and their kids (when possible and safe). Starting and ending at a park provides two options – you can let your kid play beforehand and get tired or reward them after the run is over. Pro tip: one mom makes tablet time stroller-only as an incentive for her kid.

Begin your half marathon training and take your kids along for the ride. The above advice will have you prepared to run with a stroller! Is there a stroller running tip you want to share? Let us know in the 3M Half Marathon Facebook Group or on Twitter.

Special thanks Samantha Santos for her contributions and photos. Thanks to the following runners for their advice and insight: Heather Harris, Andrea Albrecht, Molly Scott, Alana Walter Willis, Alma Christensen, Brittany Dino, Molly Scott, Brittany Dino, Michaela Aiken, and Terri Wallace.

Armadillo 5K announcement coincides with 3M Half Marathon’s July 30th price increase

Earlier this month, 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour and Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour created the Run Austin Virtual Series. The 6-event series began with the Wildflower Mile. It will continue with the Armadillo 5K, which launches on Tuesday, August 4th. Registration for all six events is free to participants of the 3M Half Marathon or the Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K. Registration for the 2021 3M Half Marathon, currently at $99, will increase tonight, July 30th at 11:59 p.m. CST.

“I’m loving the Run Austin Virtual Series because I can set monthly goals and feel confident in each increase in distance as we make our way through training for the 3M Half Marathon,” said Kat Green, 2021 3M Half Marathon Ambassador. “It’s motivating knowing others are out there training and running the same virtual races as me and I just might see them on the course in January!”

Run Austin Virtual Series leads up to 3M Half Marathon

August features the Armadillo 5K, the second event in the 6-event Run Austin Virtual Series. The series will continue through December. The remaining four virtual runs will increase in distance each month, finishing with a 10-miler. The virtual series was created to provide monthly milestones for 3M Half Marathon registrants. The goal is to keep everyone motivated in their journey to the start line. Participants who register after previously released events will have the opportunity to complete those events.

“I’ve had to do more solo running this year as I train for my 5th 3M Half Marathon,” said Scott Firth, 2021 3M Half Marathon Ambassador. “It’s great to have the Run Austin Virtual Series provide milestones along the way, maintain my motivation, and keep things fun!”

Participants of the Run Austin Virtual Series will receive themed, downloadable personalized bibs, digital finisher medals, and finisher certificates. Participants will also enjoy fun extras like an online finisher photo booth and virtual reality filters for social media. Registration is open for each of the events for $18. Free entry to the entire six-event series, a $108 value, is available to participants of the 2021 3M Half Marathon or the 2021 Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K. Limited-edition merchandise customized for each event is available for purchase.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. It will celebrate its 27th year running on January 17, 2021. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running. The 13.1-mile course showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Participants start in north Austin and finish near the Texas State Capitol. Many participants set their 13.1-mile PR because of the 300’ net elevation drop.

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!

Run your first half marathon and enjoy the benefits along the way

Have you ever thought about running a half marathon? Training for 13.1 miles is an investment, but the rewards are tremendous! You probably know friends and family who have completed a half marathon or marathon. They might’ve crossed the 3M Half Marathon finish line. Whether you’ve talked with them about the experience or cheered for them on race day, you can do the same. Join an exclusive club when you run your first half marathon. BONUS: Choose 3M Half Marathon as your first half marathon and learn about all the sweet perks you’ll enjoy!

Learn more about yourself

Image of a male and female runner showcasing their 2020 3M Half Marathon finisher medals at the finish line festivals. Run your first half marathon at 3M Half Marathon and cross your first 13.1-mile finish line and join runners like these two.

Two proud finishers of the 2020 3M Half Marathon.

If you plan to run your first half marathon get ready to learn even more about yourself! Like most of what you achieve in life, this is earned. You have to train your body to run the distance. That takes patience, self-belief, and dedication. At some point, every long run leading up to race day will be your longest run. But like the shorter distances, what was once difficult will become easier. Remember when you were happy to complete a 5K run? Well, now you’re just starting to feel good when you reach 5K. Throw in early morning runs and completing workouts you want to skip and you’ll learn a great deal about yourself. Just wait until you cross the finish line!

Improved health benefits

You’ll see some improved health benefits if you just started running or plan to increase your mileage. You more than likely won’t run 13.1 miles right off the bat. You’ll work up to that amount. Along the way, you might lose some weight or become more tone. You might experience a reduction in stress levels or the ability to think more clearly. There’s no doubt you’ll strengthen your heart and expand your lung capacity. Every runner doesn’t experience the same health improvements, but all runners will improve their health. Pro tip: these 7 tips will help you run your best.

Discover your city

There’s no better way to discover your neighborhood and your city than by running! Everything slows down. You see that mural for the first time. A restaurant you drive by and never notice now looks appetizing. That park your friends talk about becomes a part of your route. You should always have a plan when you go out for a run. But there are times when you learn the most by getting lost! Pro tip: make sure you have several reference points so you can always work your way back to familiarity.

Inspire others

Why are you planning to run your first half marathon? Do you know someone who inspired you to run? Are you running to support a local nonprofit like Central Texas Food Bank? Maybe your just running to get healthier or show your children what’s possible. Whatever your reasoning, you just might inspire someone else. You never know who’s watching and taking notes! You’ll definitely make a difference in your own life. But running becomes even sweeter when you inspire others.

3M Half Marathon perks

Image of the 2020 3M Half Marathon with the finish line in the background. Run your first half marathon at 3M Half Marathon and this commemorative spinner finisher medal is just one of the perks you'll receive!

2020 3M Half Marathon finisher medal.

Know someone who has completed 3M Half Marathon? Then you’ve certainly heard about the world-famous gear bag stuffed with 3M products! Every year features different items, from Post-it Notes to scissors, and Command Hooks to a dozen different types of tape. Like every great infomercial, that’s not all! Participants receive a custom Under Armour participant shirt that they proudly wear year-round. Cross the finish line, earn your commemorative spinner finisher medal, and head to the finish line festival! Celebrate with friends and family at the beer garden, enjoy live music, and visit an Austin food truck.

You have to put in the work if you want to run your first half marathon. When you finally make that decision you’ll be rewarded in many ways! From the sweet perks you receive to improving your health, you’ll reap the benefits when you train for and complete your first half marathon. Is there a specific reason you decided to run your first half marathon? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

In selecting Central Texas Food Bank, 3M Foundation continues support of Austin organizations with a significant community impact

3M Foundation selects the Central Texas Food Bank as the beneficiary of the 2021 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour. This grant will allow the Central Texas Food Bank to continue its mission of nourishing hungry people and leading the community in the fight against hunger. 3M Foundation continues its support of Austin organizations that positively impact the local community. The 27th annual 3M Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, January 17, 2021, in Austin, Texas.

Image of Central Texas Food Bank worker in a mask and hi-vis vest holding a sign saying, "Don't worry, we got you." The Central Texas Food Bank is the beneficiary of the 2021 3M Half Marathon.

“3M is playing a unique and critical role in the fight against COVID-19 and it’s a responsibility we take seriously. Part of that is to assist with alleviating hunger and providing basic needs and support for vulnerable populations. Choosing the Central Texas Food Bank as the beneficiary of the 2021 3M Half Marathon is the perfect match for how we want to help here in Central Texas,” said Stacey Claessens, Community Relations Manager of 3M Foundation. “It supports our initiative to invest in the most critical local needs of our hometown operating communities and especially during these challenging times.”

Supporting Central Texas

The Central Texas Food Bank is one of the leaders of hunger relief. They help nearly 50,000 people each week through a network of approximately 300 Partner Agencies and mobile food pantries. Though headquartered in Austin, they serve 21 counties in Central Texas. That equals an area about twice the size of Massachusetts. In addition to the grant, their staff will have a booth at the expo. They will also support an aid station on race day. While registering online for the 3M Half Marathon, participants have the opportunity to further support the Central Texas Food Bank and add an additional donation.

“We’re thrilled to be named as beneficiary of the 2021 3M Half Marathon,” said Mark Jackson, Chief Development Officer of the Central Texas Food Bank. “Responding to the unprecedented need created by the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched our resources to the limit. Every dollar donated will help us in our ongoing mission of providing nutritious food for our neighbors in need.”

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. It will celebrate its 27th year running in 2021. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running. The 13.1-mile course showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Participants start in north Austin and finish near the Texas State Capitol. Many participants set their 13.1-mile PR because of the 300’ net elevation drop. Participants can register on the website.

Planning is underway for the 27th annual 3M Half Marathon

Registration for the 2021 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour is open. Every year, thousands of participants take on one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country in search of their half marathon PR. Participants receive a custom Under Armour shirt and the world-famous swag bag filled with 3M products. Pricing begins at $89 for those who take advantage of Early Pricing. Those who register by Monday, May 11th, will receive a free personalized nameplate with their name and finishing time so they can personalize their 2021 spinning finisher medal. The 27th annual 3M Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, January 17, 2021, in Austin, Texas.

“I’m excited to run the 2021 3M Half Marathon and can’t wait to cross the finish line of this well-known half marathon,” said Austinite Collin Findlay, who will run his first 3M Half Marathon on January 17th. “I’ve run parts of the course and love how fast it is! Can I start training yet?!”

Run fast, then celebrate with friends and family

Participants will earn their commemorative spinner finish medal after crossing the finish line. They can then celebrate with their friends and family at the finish line festival complete with live music, beer garden, and local food trucks. The standalone half marathon will once again feature Austin pacers and professional race-day photography from FinisherFix.

3M Half Marathon, also known as Downhill to Downtown, provides a fully-supported course. The 13.1-mile course features eight aid stations featuring Nuun, a GU Energy Labs Nutrition Station, and thousands of cheering spectators with hilarious signs. Live music acts are placed strategically throughout the course. Both participants and spectators enjoy their experience with The Live Music Capital of the World.

Good times and a good time

The 2020 3M Half Marathon saw nearly 7000 participants travel from 47 states and 22 countries. It showcased a competitive elite field, hundreds of PRs, and continued community support. David Fuentes (1:06:31) and Jessica Harper (1:13:41) were the male and female champions. In conjunction with 3Mgives, $68,000 was donated to the event beneficiary, Austin Youth River Watch.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 27th year running in 2021. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. The course starts in north Austin and finishes near the Texas State Capitol. Runners will appreciate a 300’ net elevation drop. Participants can register on the website.