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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.

These 7 valuable tips will help you run your best and get the most out of training

Run your best when you follow these 7 tips! There are some things that are out of our control, like the weather. But when you execute the things you can control, you truly run your best. These tips are as easy as relaxing while you run and as technical as checking your cadence. Keep these tips in mind when you’re training during the summer months. Need a reminder? Click the infographic below to download for yourself. Take your training to the next level when you take care of yourself with this vital advice!

Relax

Downloadable infographic highlighting 7 tips you should follow to run your best.Sounds simple, but we can unknowingly put a strain on our body in an effort to produce mileage or a certain pace. Really focus on relaxing your body. Unclench your fists and loosen your shoulders and jaw. You can even begin your run or workout at a slightly slower than normal pace to really dial in your breathing. Slowly increasing your heart rate at the beginning will help with relaxation.

Check your cadence

The average runner’s cadence should be 160-170 steps per minute. You don’t have to count this in your head! Every runner is different, especially if you’re just starting out or have been running all your life. Under Armour makes knowing your cadence seamless. Their Bluetooth connected shoes, like Under Armour’s HOVR Velociti 2, send the information from your run directly to their MapMyRun app. The app even provides personalized coaching tips! Tracking your cadence, mileage, pace, and other running-related data will help you see improvement.

Focus on your stride

This coincides with the first tip to relax. Your stride improves when you relax. Don’t overstride or run on your tippy-toes. You want your stride to be smooth and comfortable. This better optimizes the energy your body uses and helps avoid injury.

Take time off

Listen to your body, whether you suspect an injury or just don’t feel good. The last thing you want is to have something minor become a major issue. If you have to take more than a day or two off, visit a specialist at the Ascension Seton Sports Performance and get checked out. If you think something is wrong get it diagnosed so you can build a plan to get back to running. 

Get more sleep

Feeling a little sluggish since you’ve increased your mileage? Add one extra minute of sleep per night for every mile you run that week. If you run 30 miles per week, add 30 minutes of sleep. Your body repairs itself when you sleep. Make sure you give your body enough time to recover when you begin asking more of it.

Hydrate

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s extremely vital. At a minimum, you should drink 60-80 ounces every day. The more active you are, the more you should increase that amount. Make sure you have a good balance of water and an electrolyte-infused fluid, like nuun hydration.

Cross-train

Don’t run every day, mix it up. Cross-training is important to prevent overuse injuries. Try swimming, cycling, yoga, lifting weights, or online workouts. You’ll work different muscles and build strength. When lifting weights, focus on a lighter weight with more reps. Here are 8 reasons to include cross-training with Camp Gladiator!

You will ask more of your body as you increase your mileage. It’s important that you take care of your body. Incorporate these tips so that you can run your best. Do you have a tip that helps you run your best? Let us know on Facebook or 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.

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.

Get out the door for your morning run with this helpful advice

You hear that? That’s your alarm clock going off earlier than normal. Your schedule calls for an early morning run. Now the internal battle begins because your bed is so comfortable and you were really enjoying sleep. Every runner battles themselves in some way every morning. Use one or all six of these tips to make your morning run!

Runner gives two thumbs up during 2019 3M Half Marathon while listening to music. Runners can make their own playlist to help them get up in the morning for their morning run.

Make a playlist that you’ll give two thumbs up!

Create a playlist you love

If you listen to music, knowing you’ll jam during your morning run will help you get up. Set the playlist to coincide with the duration of your run or make a list and put it on shuffle. Singing along will help get you going and make the miles fly by. Need some song recommendations? Follow us on Twitter and check out our #WeLiketheSoundofThat campaign. We’re compiling the songs on this Spotify playlist!

Sleep in your running clothes

Simplify your morning routine and sleep in your running clothes. Take this a step further and put your running shoes and socks by the door. Pack everything you’ll need for the day if you don’t plan to come home after your run. Pro tip: before you get in bed make sure the clothes are clean and weren’t previously used on a run!

Go to bed early

Getting more sleep is a great way to wake up refreshed and ready for your morning run. It also helps get you in a daily rhythm. Wake up early, complete your run, have a great day, go to bed early, repeat. If you have trouble going to sleep try eating dinner earlier, watch your favorite show before you lay down, or read a book in bed. Try to avoid looking at any screens an hour before bed. 

Put your alarm out of reach

Place your alarm somewhere where you have to get out of bed to turn it off. This tactic gets your body moving and reduces the chances that you hit the snooze button. Put it next to your toothbrush, in the kitchen, or in your running shoes. Just make sure the alarm is set and the volume is loud enough to hear in the bedroom. Pro tip: if you use your phone, set your favorite song to go off when it’s time to get up.

Simplify your run

If you’ve just started running, start small and work your way up. Longer runs can seem daunting at first, increasing the chances you stay in bed. If you’ve just started running, alternate running and walking. Eventually, you’ll eliminate walking. You can also start out by running 15 minutes and increase your time on subsequent runs. Plan your route, know it, and make sure someone else knows the route. This increases your safety and provides benchmarks so you know how much running remains.

Reward yourself

Quite possibly our favorite tip for getting up early for a run! Your reward can be as simple as indulging on your favorite snack or as grand as a massage at the end of the month. Eventually, you’ll need to make the rewards more difficult to achieve. This will help you progress in your training and keep you from spending so much money.

Completing an early morning run gets your day started and knocks one more thing off your to-do list. Use one or all of our tips to jumpstart your morning. Is there a trick you use that we didn’t mention? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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.

Running tips that can keep you safe now that daylight saving time has ended

If your clocks didn’t do it automatically, then you just made every clock you own “fall back.” Whether you like it or not, daylight saving time has ended and the sun will set much, much earlier than normal. In general, this means colder temperatures and less sunlight. But like they say, the training must go on! If you’re training for 3M Half Marathon or the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, these 5 running tips will keep you safe now that daylight saving time has ended. If you’re out driving, watch out for runners and cyclists!

Wear reflective clothing/lights

Reflective clothing is a must! In addition to reflective clothing, bright colors work too. Make sure you’re seen by everyone, from drivers to cyclists. Take your safety a step further and add lights. They’re lightweight and can ensure you’re seen from farther away. Depending on your preference, lights can be worn on your shoes, legs, arms, or your head.

Dress in layers

If it’s chilly outside, dressing in layers can help your body maintain its core temperature. This is critical in ensuring you don’t get sick. It also allows you to take off layers if you get too warm and put them back on when you cool down post-run. When dressing in layers, make sure the layer closest to your body has sweat-wicking material.

Adjust your schedule

Whether you like the time change or not, you should adjust your schedule now that daylight saving time has ended. If you can, run when the sun is out, coming up, or going down. This increases the chances that you’re seen by others. You also avoid running during the coldest parts of the day, especially early morning. You should always check the weather before you head out for a run.

Run defensively

Running defensively doesn’t mean you have to run slower. This could mean wearing reflective clothing/lights (like above), avoiding busy roads, or running in areas with high foot traffic. If you do run near busy roads, make sure you run against traffic. Expect the unexpected and briefly slowing down at intersections, parking garage entrances, and apartment/business driveways. As the amount of daylight diminishes, you need to protect yourself from others who aren’t paying attention or might want to cause harm to others.

Tell someone your workout

Before you take off, tell someone (loved one, co-worker, or roommate) your planned route, mileage, and when they can expect you back. Or ask them to run with you! If they don’t, knowing your route and mileage provides an idea of when they can expect you back and where to check should you not come back on time. Turn on the setting that allows someone to know your location, most smartphones have this.

Take your safety into your own hands with our tips. By being proactive, you increase the chances of completing a successful training run. With drivers paying less and less attention, runners need their safety even more seriously. We want you to make it to the 3M Half Marathon start line on January 19th fully healthy! Is there something you do that we didn’t list? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out the 2020 finisher medal you’ll earn

Meet the 2020 finisher medal that you’ll receive at the 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour. You’ll train for months and run hundreds of miles. This could be your first half marathon or your tenth. You might chase your PR or make a comeback from an injury. Above all, you’ll run the streets of Austin on January 19, 2020, with thousands of your newest running friends. After that, you’ll all earn this sweet, commemorative, spinner finisher medal!

Visit us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what number 3M Half Marathon finisher medal this will be for you!

7 tips that’ll help you stay safe during your runs

Running outside has tons of benefits no matter what type of run you’re completing! You can hit up the trails, take in the sights of a new city, breathe fresh air, say hey to folks you know, and so much more! But with those benefits comes some potential harm. There are many ways to ensure you finish your run just as healthy and safe as when you began. Whether you’re running one mile at your local track or 20 miles on your favorite trail, these 7 tips will help keep you stay safe.

Run with a friend

Two runners stay safe by running together and carrying their phone.

Stay safe on your next run when you run with a friend and carry your phone.

The best way to stay safe is to run with a friend. You’re more likely to be visible to vehicles and less likely to be the victim of a crime, think strength in numbers. Should something happen to one of you, the other will be quicker to get help and assist until help arrives. Plus, everyone knows it’s better to train for and run 3M Half Marathon with friends!

Listen to your surroundings

Whether you’re running the roads or the trails, pay attention to your surroundings! Music can help us power through our run, but it can also prevent us from hearing what’s going on around us. If you run with earbuds, keep one out. You can also ditch the earbuds and play your music out loud. If you love new running technology, check out AfterShokz Titanium headphones. They use bone conduction technology with their open-ear design, allowing you to enjoy your tunes and hear what’s going on around you.

Run against traffic

It’s important for you to see drivers and for drivers to see you. Running against traffic allows you to see what’s coming your way. Avoid running against traffic on blind corners, drivers won’t have enough time to react if they don’t see you until the last second. 

Look both ways when crossing the street

This tip goes all the way back to elementary school. When running, you should pay attention to everything. Don’t assume vehicles will stop, chances are they don’t see you. Also, just because you pushed the button to cross the street doesn’t mean it’s immediately safe to cross the street. Pay attention to all signals, when it’s your turn, still look both ways! Even though you think you know the light sequence, it could’ve changed. Don’t assume anything!

Wear reflective clothing

Reflective clothing will help with visibility, which is vital when running outside. You want to be seen by vehicles so they can plan accordingly. Light-weight lights can also be placed on your arms, shoes, ankles, or hat. We recommend SPIbelt’s SPIbeams LED Arm Band. Reflective clothing and lights will also help you be seen by cyclists and other runners.

Carry your phone

Your phone can do more than just play music or track your GPS. It’s the most beneficial tool you can have in the event of an emergency. Make sure your phone is fully charged before you take off on your run. If you’re ever in an accident or come upon one, having your phone available can make a massive difference.

Tell someone your plan

Before you take off, tell someone your planned route, mileage, and when they can expect you back. This person can be a loved one, co-worker, or roommate. This gives them an idea of when to expect you back and where to check should you not come back on time. Turn on the setting that allows someone to know your location, most smartphones have this. Pro tip: vary your route. Switching up your route is not only great for your training, it reduces the chances of someone harming you on your run.

By utilizing one or all 7 of these tips, you increase the chances that you stay safe on your next run. Chances are you already use some of these. Step it up and make sure you’re using them all the time! Is there a tip you use that we didn’t mention? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.