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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.

Implement these 3M Half Marathon pro tips for a smooth race week

The 25th annual 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour is less than three weeks away. Can you feel the excitement? There no better time like the present to take a look at some race week pro tips. These pro tips range from week of tips to what we strongly encourage you do once you cross the finish line. Whether this is your first 3M Half or your 13th, these pro tips will set you up for success! 

Customize race day

  • Let the professionals from FinisherPix capture your race day memories. Take advantage of the pre-race prices and order your photos today. Once the race begins prices go up! BONUS – follow these tips to get your best race-day photos.
  • Show off that PR! Customize your commemorative 25th anniversary 3M Half Marathon spinning medal. Learn how you can personalize it with your name and finishing time. 

The expo’s first hour is always the busiest

  • It’s no secret, the first hour of expos is always the busiest. There’s an energy because of race weekend, the opening of the expo, and the industry’s top vendors gathered all in one place. Add the buzz from amped participants wanting their Under Armour shirt and world-famous 3M Half swag bag and you have a recipe for a busy first hour! 
  • Participants must pick up their own packet at the expo. Don’t forget your photo ID and confirmation number!

Stay near the start line

  • Get a good night’s sleep before race day, wake up feeling refreshed, and walk to the start line! Book your hotel today and utilize the great rates secured by onPeak, our hotel partner. Just think, you won’t have to worry about parking race morning!
  • Want something specific at the finish line? Don’t forget to drop off your gear bag. We’ll take it to the finish line for you, for FREE!

Run with the pacers

  • The excitement at the start of the 3M Half Marathon is undeniable. Don’t get caught up and go out too fast! Running with the professional, Austin-based Twenty-Six Two Pace Team is an excellent way to reign in your desire to lay down the hammer.

Post-race transportation

  • If you stayed near the start line, shuttles will take you from the finish line back to the start line after the race. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for you to celebrate with friends and family at the finish line festival! Shuttles will be located on San Jacinto Street between 11th and 12th Street. NOTE – shuttles are not available prior to the race.

You know about hydration, now learn about how it helps your body

nuun is the official hydration partner of the 3M Half Marathon. They know a thing or two about hydrating athletes. The experts at nuun are constantly gathering information about how athletes can better fuel their bodies. This blog post was written by the experts to educate athletes and provide them with the information needed to be successful during training and racing.

1. Hydration is energy (for your muscles)

nuun: official hydration of the 3M Half Marathon.Most people think that the main purpose of hydration is to help prevent dehydration (and to replenish electrolyte stores that may be lost via sweat). Although both of those are true (recent studies have shown that electrolytes may play greater roles in fluids absorption than sweat replenishment), the fundamental goal of hydration is to deliver oxygen to working muscles. Try to think about the fluid you are consuming as a way of helping your muscles breathe, which in turn gives them the energy they need to perform.

2. Water does not hydrate you

Yes, you read that correctly! While water does fundamentally provide your body with fluid, it does not truly hydrate you. Water needs to be in a specific concentration (composing of carbohydrates and electrolytes) to exit the stomach and move into circulation where it can be used by the body. Our water needs to contain sodium to ensure proper fluid absorption. To make matters even more complicated, your “water” should contain different amounts of carbohydrates and electrolytes before/during/after your workout! It is highly recommended that rather than using tap water, you purchase a filter to ensure all the bad chemicals are removed from it. Having a look a sites such as reviews by Best Products Pro to help you find the best and most beneficial filter possible. You may also benefit from investing in a water softener to improve the quality of the water in your home – click to see.

3. Proper hydration will help mitigate gastric distress during exercise

To put it simply, when you are exercising, your body (stomach) is under stress. There are ways you can eat and drink to mitigate that stress or to encourage it. When it comes to hydration, if the ratio of carbohydrates to fluid is too high or the electrolyte profile is too low, the delivery of fluid slows down and sits in the stomach. That’s what causes sloshing and GI issues during racing.

4. Hydration will help you fuel better

This builds on the previous point. With proper hydration you can help eliminate the GI issues that can come with it and allow faster and more efficient fueling. This is achieved by not overloading your system and using multiple pathways to absorb fluids and carbohydrates.

5. Hydration aids in recovery

One area that is very crucial to the recovery process is rehydrating. Rehydrating not only replenishes fluids lost during exercise, but it also aids in replenishing the electrolytes that were also lost. Keep in mind: drinking too much too fast can degrade the potential gains of the workout, here’s why: your body, over time, has developed a strong immune system that helps repair itself when it is under the stresses of exercise. Therefore, naturally you want your body to begin repairing itself, slowly rehydrate, and continue to hydrate throughout the day.

nuun hydration is our official hydration partner. Head over to nuunlife.com to stock up and train with what will be on course.

***Press release

High Five Events, one of the largest privately owned event production companies in the United States, is excited to announce a two-year agreement between the 3M Half Marathon and nuun and company, the pioneer of electrolyte enhanced drink tablets that turn water into an optimally balanced sports drink. The 3M Half Marathon will take place on January 21, 2018, and feature nuun’s signature electrolyte-enhanced tablets at all aid stations.

“There may be no better place to seek your personal best than the 3M Half Marathon,” said Kevin Rutherford, nuun President and CEO. “This course is the perfect match for nuun hydration, as nuun is designed to hydrate you better so you can perform at your best.”

As the exclusive hydration for the 3M Half Marathon, nuun will provide nuun electrolyte tablets (lemon-lime and tri-berry) to all participants on course. The tablets are growing in popularity within the endurance community because they’re packed with electrolytes and are more easily absorbed during peak performance. nuun will also be available at the start and finish lines. In addition, nuun and the 3M Half Marathon will increase community engagement and product awareness by offering free samples and product discounts, sampling nuun at running stores, and supporting various demo runs around Austin.

“nuun fueled hundreds of PRs at the 2017 3M Half Marathon and we expect the same outcome in January 2018,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Additionally, this two-year agreement will allow us to take our community engagement opportunities to the next level by partnering with groups and clubs year-round.”

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 24th year running in 2018. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Starting in north Austin and finishing near the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate a 306’ net elevation drop. Participants can register on the website.