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3M Half Marathon is one of the fastest point-to-point courses

Courses come in many different flavors: loops, out-and-back, and even lollipops. A favorite flavor amongst many runners is the point-to-point course. Unlike most courses, point-to-points don’t finish where they started. The logistical challenge of getting athletes back to the start after the race makes them rare, but for the runner, there are many things to love.

3M Half Marathon is considered one of the fastest 13.1-mile, point-to-point courses in the country.

Check out 3M Half Marathon’s point-to-point course!

The 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour is one of the most popular point-to-point runs in the country. Dubbed “Downhill to Downtown,” it boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. Starting in North Austin, the course takes athletes on an unforgettable tour of Austin. The finish line is right on the edge of The University of Texas near the Texas State Capitol within walking distance of downtown Austin.

300 ft. net elevation drop

Most courses start and finish in the same location so any elevation drop you enjoy will have to be made up for with an uphill. 3M Half Marathon participants can take advantage of a net elevation drop of almost 300 feet. There’s enough climbing to keep you honest, but the inclusion of several long, steady downhills gives a well-trained runner the opportunity to crush their personal best. And, let’s face it, there is a certain thrill in running 13.1 miles and actually getting somewhere as opposed to just finishing where you started. Pro tip – incorporate these downhill running tips to save your legs!

When asked to list their favorite thing about the 3M Half Marathon most runners immediately mention the world-famous 3M swag bag. But coming in a close second is the amazing course.

A survey of some of our running friends yielded these opinions of point-to-point racing and the 3M Half Marathon:

  • I like any course that doesn’t take you within the line of sight of the finish line until you are actually finishing. – Holly
  • I loved the run down Shoal Creek. It was a beautiful winding street with lots of spectators. Gave me that extra wind to finish. – Melanie
  • It’s fun to finish somewhere different than you started and know that there’s little to no overlap. – Iram

There are many reasons to love a point-to-point course. What makes 3M Half Marathon a favorite is the net elevation drop and finish near downtown Austin. Is there a specific reason you love 3M Half Marathon’s point-to-point course? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

The 2020 May running playlist is the anthem you need to chase your 13.1-mile PR

We’ve got more tunes for you because Austin is The Live Music Capital of the World. We’re sharing our favorite tunes with you every month so you can train for and chase your half marathon PR. Often times one song (or several!) can power you through a tough time during an intense workout or a long run. Trust us, we speak from experience! Jam out to the entire May running playlist or take your favorites and make your own list. The 2020 May running playlist has the music you need, from the guitar-shredding Tash Sultana to Austin’s next big music act, Black Pumas. We share every song on the massive #WeLiketheSoundofThat playlist and Twitter. Follow us so you know what’s next!

Playlist pro tips:

1) drag the 2020 May Running Playlist to your ‘Playlists’ section for quick access

2) click the download button so you can listen even if you’re offline

Utilize the May running playlist and these 5 self-care tips to maximize your training. Keep the volume at a level where you can pay attention to your surroundings. It’s important to know what’s going on around you! Is there something you like that we didn’t list? Let us know on Facebook and 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.

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.

10 lucky moms will get a FREE SPIbelt during our Mother’s Day giveaway

Moms give so much, it’s time to give back to them! They act as role models, care for us, and make sure we have what we need. All while they train to achieve their next goal at the next finish line. Nominate whomever you call mom and tell us why they’re awesome and deserve a new, FREE SPIbelt. We’ll randomly select 10 lucky moms the day before Mother’s Day (May 9th). Their new gear should ship the following week. Who knows, we just might stuff a couple running-related goodies in the SPIbelt for this Mother’s Day giveaway! You can tell your mom about this if you want, but we’ll keep your nomination a secret so she’ll be surprised. What y’all should discuss – training for and completing the 2021 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour together! Pro tip: yes adults can help younger kids submit their nomination!

Image of a mom posing with her son and husband at the 2019 3M Half Marathon finish line. Nominate your mom in this blog post for the Mother's Day giveaway!Let us know how she stands out from the rest! Perhaps they live near you and help watch their grandkids. Maybe they live across the country and provide that calming voice on the other end of the phone. They could be keeping you in line at this very moment all while reading this blog post! Whomever you call mom, they mean something to you. But running also means something to them. When you submit your nomination, tell us what makes your mom special. Nominations will remain open through the end of Friday, May 8th.

Once you’ve submitted your nomination for the Mother’s Day giveaway, contact mom and tell her what you just told us. Remember: keep the giveaway a secret if you want her FREE SPIbelt to be a surprise. Best of luck to all the moms! Massive thanks to our friends at SPIbelt, the Official Race Belt of the 3M Half Marathon. Follow them on Instagram!

Check out the shows your fellow runners say you have to watch

We needed some new show recommendations. So we turned to the experts. A few weeks ago we asked our Facebook friends what show they most recently binge-watched. We had already watched some of the recommended shows (hello Tiger King!), but some we hadn’t. Of course, we added them to our Watch List! If you’re plowing through shows when you’re on the treadmill or indoor bike, refill your queue with these show recommendations from your fellow runners. We even categorized them for you based on the responses. Pro tip: watching shows is also a great distraction when stretching and foam rolling!

Most recommended show

Screenshot of 3M Half Marathon Facebook post asking for binge-worthy shows from your fellow runners.Ozark – Netflix released Season 3 in late March. Fans of the first two seasons quickly gobbled up the next installment (us included). Ozark follows the Byrdes, a family in deep with a cartel. The twists and turns of their life quickly “normalize” what they’re doing. Season 3 sees the family try to legitimize what they’re doing, but they quickly find it’s not that easy to break up with a cartel. Recommended by: Pat Serafine, Melissa Ruano, Charles Woods.

Show that never gets old

The Office – Need a quick laugh? Turn on an episode of The Office. Want to respond on social media using something funny? Search for a GIF of The Office. The dynamics and shenanigans of this show are what make it hilarious. Need a challenge? Start from Episode 1! Who knows, you just might start a beet farm by the final episode. Recommended by: Elo Mascorro.

Scariest recommended show

The Outsider – You know a TV show will be scary when the story is taken from a Stephen King novel. Open your mind and try to follow the investigation of a supernatural being who makes duplicates of others and commits heinous acts. Recommended by: Carol Schumm, Brenda Miller Atchley.

Yeah, Tiger King

Tiger King – It’s a near certainty that those who have watched Tiger King far outweigh those who haven’t watched. The slow-motion trainwreck follows some unbelievable, real-life characters who breed big cats and exploit those willing to pay money to see them. Recommended by: Andrea Albrecht, Jared Chism, Nina Johnson Janise,

Funniest show (that we’ve seen)

Schitt’s Creek – This show is full of six seasons of hilarity. The Roses, a wealthy family, buy a small town called Schitt’s Creek as a joke. Now they’re completely broke and find themselves having to live in the town. The show has some touching moments, but get ready to laugh so much you can consider watching this show a core workout. Recommended by: Travis Kasper.

Shows we added to our queue

Looking for more shows to add to your Watch List? Make sure you visit this Facebook post and check out what your fellow runners recommended.

Thanks for all the submissions! These show recommendations from your fellow runners should keep you busy for a while. Now you just have to choose what show you watch first! Have you watched something new that we need to add to our Watch List? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

If they had to choose, here’s what the staff at High Five Events would listen to forever

Imagine you can listen to one thing through your speakers/headphones from now on. What would you choose? It could be podcasts, audiobooks, music, or whatever else the kids are listening to these days. The staff at High Five Events break down what they would listen to forever. Music seems to be the main choice, but there are some good podcasts listed as well as an audiobook series. They just might come in handy if you’re training for 3M Half Marathon!

William

Image of Alabama Shakes' album Sound & Color on clear vinyl. This is one of three albums William Dyson would listen to forever.Give me these three albums on vinyl on rotation!

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
ZZ Top – Tres Hombres
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color

Laura

I’d listen to the following podcasts:

Bobby Bones Show
4 Things With Amy Brown
Work, Play, Love

Emily

The following music makes my top three.

Danny Malone – We the Tigress, They the Wildebeast
Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova – Once
Les Miserables

Stacy

This is pretty much an impossible question for me since I love so many albums. Because of that I will select the album I could listen to forever from the last full year of music creation (2019).

The National – I am Easy to Find

Scott

I’m jamming to the following three albums and sneaking in these three podcasts…

Albums
311 – The Blue Album
Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium
Podcasts
Joe Rogan Experience
The Pat McAfee Show
2 Bears, 1 Cave

John

Depends on what mood I’m in. I start off with 1 or 2 and let Spotify recommendations take over.

Thievery Corporation
Jazz – Miles Davis, earlier stuff, before the 80s

Joey

When I’m coding I like to listen to bubble gum pop because it helps me get into a flow and doesn’t require much thought. My next two are kind of cheats because I want a variety of artists so I picked out soundtracks.

Ting Tings – We Started Nothing
Pretty in Pink soundtrack (chosen because there was no official soundtrack released for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
Lost Body soundtrack

Dan

These three albums are all I’d listen to.

Tom Petty – Wildflowers
U2 – Josua Tree
Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

Jack

Just give me these two albums and I’m set.

Metallica – The Black Album
Michael Jackson – Thriller

Megan

As you can see these are very random lol. 1 and 2 are rather chill, but when I need to feel extra I must bring out the Houston Diva!

All The Band Camino Songs
Ben Rector
This is Beyonce Spotify Station

Tina

I’m pretty sure these two items would have me covered forever!

My personal “All the Jams” playlist on Spotify
Harry Potter audiobooks read by Stephen Fry

Caroline

Click play on these three albums and I’m good to go!

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
Queen – Greatest Hits
Sublime – Sublime

If you had to choose one thing to listen to from now on what would you choose? And what would make your top three? Let us know what you would listen to forever on Facebook or Twitter.

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.

Refresh your tunes with these March running playlist additions

We’ve got more tunes! Often times one song (or several!) can power you through a tough time during an intense workout or a long run. That’s why we’ve created this #WeLiketheSoundofThat playlist! We share every song on Twitter. Follow us so you know what’s next. We’ve taken 10 recent songs and put them in this convenient blog. Listen to the playlist (100+ songs and counting) and refresh your music with these March running playlist additions. Remember, when training keep the volume low enough or don’t use headphones so you can listen to your surroundings.

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Prepare to skip the warm-up if your running playlist kicks things off with this song. Get ready to get moving when you click plan because you were born this way!

Fly Farm Blues – Jack White

When new school goes old school. When this song first comes on you might think it’s an oldie, but just wait. The electricity pours out and will energize you on your run!

Fancy – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Keep the energy going with this back-and-forth ballad. The drums and guitar take turns while you keep pushing forward, one step at a time.

Highway to Hell – ACDC

This classic is on plenty of running playlists, so of course it’s here! Sing along with the chorus, just make sure your run takes you back to where you started and not to the highway…

Golden Rule – Charles Bradley

Bradley lost his battle with cancer in 2017, but his songs and message live on. He pours his soul into his music and Golden Rule is no different. Perfect for gaining perspective on your next run.

Runaway – Bon Jovi

Your instincts tell you do dance when you hear this song. If that’s how you warm up before a run who are we to stop you? Get those feet moving!

Everything You’re Breathing For – The Parlor Mob

There’s just something about good ol’ rock and roll that gets folks moving. This crew taps into that sensation on this jam and many of their others. Try not to play air guitar or air drums, we dare you…

Wildcat – Ratatat

No lyrics? No problem. If you’re really wanting to focus during a speed workout this song will get you there. Plus, it sounds like a wildcat is chasing you. Pro tip – don’t listen to this while trail running!

Lost In Yesterday – Tame Impala

This is off Tame Impala’s latest album and it’s futuristic sound will make you feel like you’re flying on your next run.

Madness – Muse

Start slow. Let this be your warm up. You’re getting loose. Starting to feel good. Things start picking up around the 2-minute mark. Get ready to pick it up when the electric guitar kicks in at 2:45!

Utilize this running playlist update before you take off for your next run. These 10 songs can pump you up, allow you to catch your breath, or help you focus on the warm-up/cool-down. However you incorporate music, just make sure you can still hear your surroundings. It’s important to know what’s going on around you! Is there something you like that we didn’t list? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.