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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.

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.

Runners – meet Nuun and learn how to make your water count

Meet Nuun, the Official Hydration of the 2020 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour. Nuun Endurance will be available on race day at all aid stations. It’ll hydrate thousands of runners chasing their 13.1-mile PR or completing their fist half marathon. We encourage all of our participants to train with what will be on course. You will find Nuun and their new products at our Packet Pickup & Expo.

Who/What is Nuun?

Nuun stands for Nutrition Uncompromised. We have chosen to partner with them because their product is designed and formulated by athletes, for athletes. All Nuun products are vegan, gluten-free, and low calorie. This means that when you hydrate with Nuun, your body reaps all of the hydration benefits without consuming any extra junk and artificial ingredients.
Hydration is rad!

Hydration is important whether you’re running a marathon or a marathon of errands! A consistent intake of water throughout the day is the easiest way to start living a healthier lifestyle. Hydrating correctly can lead to increased energy levels, support healthy body function, and ensures your body is absorbing all of the nutrients from the food you consume every day.

Water + Nuun = Hydration Bliss

Make your water count! Did you know that there is better way to hydrate than with just water alone? Nuun products have been designed based on the science of fluid absorption. The right blend of electrolytes facilitates optimal water absorption. Nuun’s propriety blend of electrolytes + water replenishes what your body craves after your workouts.  

Visit their website to learn more about Nuun. Use the code below to train with what’s on course and save 25%!