Posts

These taper tips are crucial for race day performance

The Taper. For those unfamiliar, tapering is referring to the reduced volume and intensity of workouts before race day. While some runners find it hard to scale back after so much time dedicated to training, others find themselves glued to their favorite couch. But doing too little or too much during this time period can compromise all your hard work. Make sure you are at the top of your game by following these tips between now and race day.

SleepImage result for happy sleeper

This may be the best thing you can do for yourself at this time. Experts recommend sleeping eight to nine hours per night. To start, choose a consistent time that you are in bed, this may or may not include actual sleep. This will signal to your body that rest is important and hopefully lead to more shut-eye.

If you have a favorite show that you just don’t want to miss, see if you can record it to watch after the race. It will be great to have something else to “marathon” after your race.

Instead of focusing on trying to get a good night sleep the night before, try for two nights before. Pre-race jitters can sometimes leave us with the “I am not even sure if I slept at all” feeling the night before. But don’t let this bother you. One poor night’s sleep shouldn’t affect your performance if you have tapered well in other aspects.

Reduce work stress

While it might be out of our hands, setting yourself up with an easy week at work can have a big impact on your energy going into race day. So if there is a project that needs to be done put in the extra effort now or see if it can be completed after race day. Take time to find a quiet place to meditate for 10-15 in the morning or evening.

Image result for under armour runNo new workouts

Now is not the time to get a weird sore spot under your ribs because your friend convinced you to try the new barre class. Stick to what you know and focus on less intense and less volume for each workout. Keep your runs to under 30 minutes. It’s fine to do some easy cross-training on non-running days, as long as the activity doesn’t make your muscles sore or have the potential to cause injury. If you don’t want to exercise on days you don’t run, that’s okay, too.

Example of a week out workout: 10-min warm-up jog / no more than 3 miles at half-marathon goal pace / 10-min cool-down jog

Nutrition

Skip the pizza and beer for now. Focus on a diet that balances moderate carbohydrates from whole food sources, quality protein, and healthy fat. You may also want to keep a close eye on your calorie intake. While you are used to high-intensity training and the extra food that comes with it, if you don’t watch what you eat, the pounds can sneak on in these last weeks, which is less than optimal for race day.

Avoid eating that can affect your sleep quality. This includes eating large meals within 1.5 hours of going to bed as well as spicy foods or large amounts of protein.

Now is also a good time to make sure you are well hydrated. It is recommended to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. You can also add electrolytes from nuun, to get your body ready for race day hydration. You can also try the on-course fuel with Gatorade Endurance gels.

Race Morning

By starting now, you are setting yourself up to be ready race morning. The last advice we have is to arrive at least 90 minutes before the start. Walk around as a light warmup, and then follow the Camp Gladiator trainers as they lead a pre-race warm-up at 7:15 at the start line.

Get to know your 2019 pacing group

You’re registered. You’re training. You have a goal time in mind. This is your first half marathon. You want to PR. You want to beat last year’s time. Whatever your race day goals, the Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club pacing group will guide you. Meet your 2018 3M Half Marathon pace team, learn where to find them on race day, and read a few dos and don’ts of running with a pacing group.

Find your pacing group:

Look for the Twenty-Six Two pacing group in the starting corrals holding pace signs. Those signs correspond to the paces designated by signs in the corrals. There will be two pacers per each pace group (finish times of 1:301:351:401:451:501:552:002:052:102:152:20, 2:25, 2:30). The pacers will also be wearing matching running outfits that say “PACER” or otherwise designated them as official 3M Half Marathon pacers.

1:30 Anthony Jacobs Ryan McLagan
1:35 Joe Terracina Leland Mangum
1:40 Charlie Werth John Golden
1:45 Karim Elmrabet Talaya Frazier
1:50 Jennifer Goetz Jose Reyes
1:55 Paul Carmona Kara Levy
2:00 Eric Johnson Laura O’Connor
2:05 Steve Pina Summer Smith
2:10 Katie Carmona Eva Oleksy
2:15 Fran Roda Priscilla Norosky
2:20 Ted Kvapil Sam Gammage
2:25 Jessica Mangrum Jillian Baaklini
2:30 Shannon Arriaga Molly Stapleton

Pacing group dos: 

  • DO ask questions before the start about your pacing group’s race plan. Most will run slightly slower at first, and then pick up speed in the middle miles of the race. However, each pace group is slightly different, so make sure to ask any questions before the race begins.
  • DO drink at water stations along the way if you normally take water or sports drink during the race. The pacing group will slow down slightly to allow runners to catch up after water stops.
  • DO ask questions or introduce yourself during the race if you are inclined. The pacers are all accustomed to racing at paces faster than what they are pacing, so they should be able to answer your questions.

    pace team

    Summer (4256) and Steve (4530) will lead the 2:05 group for 2018. Claire (5241) will lead the 2:15 group for 2018.

  • DO ask what your splits should be at each mile marker, and compare the pacers’ times with your watch or GPS device. You want to make sure that you are “in sync” with the pacers’ official times.
  • DO relax and let the pacing group guide you! They are trained to finish at (or slightly faster than) their designated finish times.

Pacing group don’ts:

  • DON’T struggle to stay right next to or behind the pacers, especially at the beginning when it is crowded. As long as you are near them along the way, you will have plenty of time to stick with them after a few miles.
  • DON’T try to start out with a pacing group that is significantly faster than you are accustomed to running. Find the pace group that is right for you, and enjoy the race as the pacers lead you to the finish line.
  • DON’T forget that the pacing group is targeting a finish that corresponds to their own chip time, not the official “gun time.” If your pace group crosses the start line several minutes after the race begins, the pacers will be following their own chip time, not the “clock” time at the finish. Make sure to ask along the way what the pacers’ time is, and compare it to your own time. If you are unsure whether you are “ahead of” or “behind” the pacers’ time, ask them! They will answer your questions.

Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club (TST) is an Austin-based nonprofit group that provides low-cost training to men and women marathoners and half marathoners throughout the year. Since 2005, TST has trained hundreds of runners for races in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, San Antonio, and many other cities (and countries). TST’s Pace Team provides pacers for races year-round and is comprised of club members who have run multiple marathons and half-marathons.

Virtual option allows runners to participate in award-winning half marathon from anywhere in the world

Registration for the virtual 2019 3M Half Marathon opens today, Wednesday, August 14th. The 25th annual 3M Half Marathon will take place January 20, 2019, in Austin, Texas. Last year, more than 7,000 runners participated in the event. The virtual 3M Half Marathon allows runners to participate without running the course on race day.

“The 3M Half Marathon saw record participation in 2018 and we’re excited to produce the 25th edition in 2019,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “This race is well-known for its fast course, however, we want to provide runners who cannot run the streets of Austin the opportunity to celebrate our 25th anniversary with us.”

Register today!

Registration for the virtual 3M Half Marathon will be $55. Virtual participants will receive a custom, 25th anniversary spinner finisher medal and swag bag filled with 3M goodies. They will also receive a tube of nuun hydration, downloadable race bib, and finisher certificate. They will also have the option to purchase a custom-designed race shirt at time of registration. Runners will receive their gear prior to January 20, 2019. Results must be submitted by March 4, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. to receive a  finisher certificate.

A virtual race is a perfect way to run the half marathon distance or train for another upcoming race like Austin Marathon or Half Marathon. Virtual run participants will have six weeks to complete 13.1 miles. Registration and rules can be found on the race website.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. They’ll celebrate their 25th year running in 2019. 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. Registration is currently open for all options.

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.

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.

Get out of that training rut with these motivational running quotes

Sometimes we love running and other times we are like “meh”. But there are some quotes that every time we read them we are motivated to get back out on the road and give it everything we have. Here are our favorite running quotes a read the next time your training hits a bump in the road or you have a bad race.

“Only those who risk going too far, can possibly find out how one can go.” – T.S. Eliot

“A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.” – Joe Vitale

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham

“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” – Les Brown

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“Celebrate what you accomplish, but raise the bar a little each time you succeed.” – Mia Hamm

Utilize Map My Run for your 3M Half training

Registration is open for the 2019 3M Half Marathon and you’ve got your sights set on January 20, 2019. Running Downhill to Downtown and earning your half marathon PR is a massive achievement. We’ve got your back every step of the way. Whether this is your first or tenth half marathon, you’ll need a training plan. Proper preparation is critical to race day success. Map My Run can get you to the finish line. It’s an excellent tool to use during your 3M Half Marathon training.

Use Map My Run during your 2019 3M Half Marathon training.

Use Map My Run during your 2019 3M Half training.

Map My Run is a free app that you can download to your phone. You can upgrade to the MVP subscription to eliminate ads, access personalized training plans, and use live tracking. Either way, you can discover the best running routes within your city, save and share your favorites, and connect with a community of more than 50 million runners. This helpful running app is ranked #21 in the Health & Fitness section of the iTunes App Store and has a rating of 4.8.

Benefits

  • discover running routes around the world while traveling for work or vacation

  • access stats like pace, route, distance, calories, and elevation

  • connect with 400+ devices to import and analyze data in one place

  • track shoe mileage with Gear Tracker

  • UA Record Equipped connected shoes can automatically sync data with app

  • sync data with many popular apps and wearables

  • share workouts on Facebook and Twitter

  • Join Challenges to compete with others, climb the leaderboard, and win prizes

Download the app today and begin analyzing your running data. Connect with your local runner friends and make new friends from around the world. Then execute your training plan on January 20, 2019! Follow Map My Run on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You’re registered. You’re training. You have a goal time in mind. This is your first half marathon. You want to PR. You want to beat last year’s time. Whatever your race day goals, the Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club pacing group will help guide you. Meet your 2018 3M Half Marathon pace team, learn where to find them on race day, and read a few do’s and don’ts of running with a pace team.

Find your pacing group: look for the Twenty-Six Two Pacers in the starting corrals holding pace signs that correspond to the paces designated by signs in the corrals. There will be two pacers per each pace group (finish times of 1:301:351:401:451:501:552:002:052:102:152:20, 2:25, 2:30). The pacers will also be wearing matching running outfits that say “PACER” or otherwise designated them as official 3M Half-Marathon pacers.

1:30 Anthony Jacobs Brandon Ostrander
1:35 Joe Terracina Steve Chase
1:40 John Golden Leland Mangrum
1:45 Karim Elmrabet Talaya Frazier
1:50 Jennifer Goetz Laura O’Connor
1:55 Paul Carmona Kara Levy
2:00 Eric Johnson Stephanie Swanzy
2:05 Steve Pina Summer Smith
2:10 Katie Carmona Eva Oleksy
2:15 Ted Kvapil Claire McGuinness
2:20 Jenny Yee Maria Hermon
2:25 Juanita Bowling Corina Felan
2:30 Shannon Arriaga Molly Stapleton

A few do’s and don’ts: 

  • DO ask questions before the start about your pace group’s race plan. Most will run slightly slower at first, and then pick up speed in the middle miles of the race. However, each pace group is slightly different, so make sure to ask any questions before the race begins.
  • DO drink at water stations along the way if you normally take water or sports drink during the race. The pacers will slow down slightly to allow runners to catch up after water stops.
  • DO ask questions or introduce yourself during the race if you are inclined. The pacers are all accustomed to racing at paces faster than what they are pacing, so they should be able to answer your questions.

    pace team

    Summer (4256) and Steve (4530) will lead the 2:05 group for 2018. Claire (5241) will lead the 2:15 group for 2018.

  • DO ask what your splits should be at each mile marker, and compare the pacers’ times with your watch or GPS device. You want to make sure that you are “in sync” with the pacers’ official times.
  • DO relax and let the pacers guide you! They are trained to finish at (or slightly faster than) their designated finish times.
  • DON’T struggle to stay right next to or behind the pacers, especially at the beginning when it is crowded. As long as you are near them along the way, you will have plenty of time to stick with them after a few miles.
  • DON’T try to start out with a pace group that is significantly faster than you are accustomed to running. Find the pace group that is right for you, and enjoy the race as the pacers lead you to the finish line.
  • DON’T forget that the pacers are targeting a finish that corresponds to their own chip time, not the official “gun time.” If your pace group crosses the start line several minutes after the race begins, the pacers will be following their own chip time, not the “clock” time at the finish. Make sure to ask along the way what the pacers’ time is, and compare it to your own time. If you are unsure whether you are “ahead of” or “behind” the pacers’ time, ask them! They will answer your questions.

Twenty-Six Two Marathon Club (TST) is an Austin-based nonprofit group that provides low-cost training to men and women marathoners and half marathoners throughout the year. Since 2005, TST has trained hundreds of runners for races in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, San Antonio, and many other cities (and countries). TST’s Pace Team provides pacers for races year-round and is comprised of club members who have run multiple marathons and half-marathons.

High Five Events announces a partnership between the 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Runners Club. The primary goal of the partnership is to increase the growth of the Austin Runners Club by offering a discounted club membership during the 3M Half Marathon registration process.

“We are proud to host the Austin Distance Challenge and our goal is to get more Austinites running and properly trained for these iconic Austin races,” said Iram Leon, Austin Runners Club President. “We’ve prepared thousands of Austinites for Downhill to Downtown and we’re excited to see that growth continue by working directly with the 3M Half Marathon.”

Austin Runners Club is a nonprofit organization that has been running in Austin since 1974. Participants registering for the 3M Half Marathon have the option of adding an Austin Runners Club annual membership for $25 during the registration process. The Austin Runners Club’s annual dues are normally $30 and free group-based marathon and half marathon training is included in the annual membership. In addition to the training, members receive various discounts to local running stores, recovery services, and other events. The 3M Half Marathon is the fourth event in the Austin Distance Challenge, a series of five running events hosted by the Austin Runners Club.

“New runners and veterans alike search for the level of training Austin Runners Club provides and now you can add their membership during registration,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Hundreds of runners have earned 3M Half Marathon PRs because of ARC’s training and 2018 will be no different!”

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.

***Press Release

On April 23, more than 20,000 individuals will participate in the 40th Annual Statesman Cap10K. Some runners will be elite, some will have completed more than half of all the Cap10Ks, even more will complete the longest distance in their life.

Zach Ryall American-Statesman 04/10/2016

It’s been said that running is addictive. Whether you’re doing a Couch to 10K program or you’ve graduated from 5Ks, pushing yourself to do more than you think is possible is a rewarding endeavour. Maybe you’ve started out using the run/walk approach. Perhaps you’ve joined a running group in town. Whatever the case may be, you’ve got the bug.

However you got to this point, there is a question in the back of your mind: What’s next? What should I do after the Cap10K?

How about a half marathon?

Before you call that idea crazy, think about it: when you first started running a 5K was insurmountable; a 10K was unimaginable. Now you’ve got them both under your belt. The run/walk stage is a thing of the past. You’re comfortable with your running group. You are ready to take on the next level. This isn’t a push to complete a half marathon in Texas during the summer. These next couple of paragraphs will put you on the right track to register for your first half marathon later this fall or the winter, specifically the 3M Half Marathon or the Austin Half Marathon.

Desiree Berry finishing the 2017 Austin Half Marathon.

After the Cap10K, use this time to build your running stamina, increase your body strength, and become accustomed to distances longer than a 10K (6.2 miles). These tasks can be accomplished on your own, with a small group, or with your running club.

Build your running stamina – (two to three times per week) get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Summer running in Texas doesn’t mean long distances (>13.1 miles). This is your time to work on your speed and your form. Incorporate track workouts, work on increasing speed while running shorter distances. These shorter, higher intensity workouts will work your muscles differently and better your body’s ability to consume oxygen.

Increase body strength – (two to three times per week) you’ll need to prepare your body for completing 13.1 miles. Break up running workouts with weight workouts. You don’t need to become chiseled, just focus on lighter weights with higher repetitions. You want to push the body and burn fat, but you don’t want to add too much muscle mass. Working muscles differently than when you’re running is critical. It helps prevent the overuse of the same muscles.

Surpass 6.2 miles – (once a week) on a weekend morning, when it’s coolest, push yourself to go further than 6.2 miles. Do this alone if needed, but group running has tremendous benefits. In preparing for 13.1 miles, you need to slowly teach your body that it’s capable of completing 13.1 miles. The week that you begin, pick a distance, it can be four, five, or six miles. Build out a calendar and add either a half mile or a mile every week from when you begin. You’ll start to see that six miles is hard, but then seven miles is hard and six miles isn’t so bad; then eight miles is difficult, but six and seven are much easier. Slowly but surely increasing your mileage during the summer will put you in a prime position to really lock in your fall half marathon training (and when the weather gets cooler you’ll start feeling even better!).

2017 3M Half Marathon Finishers.

There are many other factors that can impact your new goal of completing a half marathon: diet, hydration, nutrition, cross-training, injuries etc. Those items can be built in or dealt with as you progress. The main takeaway should be that you can’t graduate from a 10K to a half marathon in one day. It’s going to take time, persistence, consistency. This blog post isn’t the perfect plan, but it will get you on the right track.

Now don’t forget the most important part: pick a half marathon and REGISTER!