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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.

The 2020 June 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 June running playlist or take your favorites and make your own list. The 2020 June running playlist has the music you need, from Survivor’s classic anthem to Austin’s own Ghostland Observatory. 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 June 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 June 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.

Running 13.1 miles is an impressive feat, it’s not just a half marathon

Every year thousands of participants chase their half marathon PR at 3M Half Marathon. Whether you earn a new PR or not, you’ve still completed a magnificent achievement. Crossing the finish line marks the completion of 13.1 miles, not just a half marathon. High Five Events’ Emily Stevens tells her story of completing 13.1 miles and achieving her goal.

Have to run marathons

When I started investing in my running hobby, by paying to be coached, I thought the only way to justify spending the money was if I ran marathons. For two years I ran marathons and was completely dedicated to a strict weekly running schedule. Fortunately, I had the luxury to plan my life around that schedule. I joined a running group and set mileage and speed goals with my coach every week. Marathons were my focus and I had no interest in “just halves.” I was committed 100% and my family fully supported me. 

In year two I had some upper thigh pain while running, but barreled through. I kept stretching, rolling, icing, heating, sports massage, and cryogenics. Injury didn’t fit into my plans of training for more marathons. Unbeknownst to me, my last marathon was to be on January 13, 2013. The race was super fun for the first 15 miles. The rest was so increasingly painful, it was like nothing I had ever experienced before or since, and I’ve birthed a child! I did finish, but I was barely walking.

Injury opens a new door

It turns out that the vast amount of miles I had run to prepare for what would be my final marathon caused a stress reaction in the neck of my left femur. Running was trying to chip away at my bone. The day after that marathon I was diagnosed and prescribed crutches to use for 10 weeks. I was told that if, after I healed, I continued running that amount of mileage I could end up needing plates in my thigh bone to hold it together. The news was devastating, but more so it was really scary!  Running marathons was my pride and joy. 

As my leg was healing, I was forced to get inside my head and re-evaluate things. I was anxious to get back to running, but I was not willing to destroy my leg. By the time I could run again I was so thankful to be able to run for five minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes. The first time I ran a full mile I actually teared up. I was slow and steady and if I ever felt the slightest twinge I quit. Instead of being upset, I commended myself for trying and listening to my body. Once I was able to run four or five miles I decided it was time to set a spectacular goal. I was going to run a half marathon. I was more excited to achieve that goal than any of the marathons I ran.

Running 13.1 miles, not just a half marathon

Six months later I ran a half marathon. It was the most rewarding race of my life. I ran 13.1 miles. I RAN A HALF MARATHON. 

There is never a reason to denigrate running 13.1 miles. It’s not just a half. It’s in a category that has nothing to do with a full marathon. A half is 21.1 kilometers and takes more than 30,000 steps. That’s three times the daily recommended amount for exercise. A half marathon is an excellent goal and a sweet achievement!

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.

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!

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.