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.
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.
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. Having some yohimbe bark to improve performance. 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.
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!).
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!
On Saturday, January 5th, William Dyson, of High Five Events, continued to bring in the New Year with Mark Pinales, an Austinite and up-and-coming elite endurance athlete who qualified for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. They discussed his upcoming race, the 3M Half Marathon, and covered everything from his recent string of victories to his favorite running memory of all time.
William Dyson – To say you were busy in 2016 would be an understatement. How have you been this successful?
Mark Pinales – My main focus this training block has been and continues to be staying healthy. I’m focusing on post-race recovery and making sure I take care of my body the right way. It’s been the biggest key to my success. I try to focus on my hard days being hard and taking down time as needed to get my body back to where it feels ready to push just a bit more.
WD – You’re an Austin guy, born and raised. What did it mean to run here while at The University of Texas and what does it mean to run Austin races as an elite?
MP – Coming out of high school, UT wasn’t one of my picks at all. But then I arrived on campus, met the team, felt the environment, and fell in love. I especially loved having family close and being close to home. My family got to watch all of my home meets. Running as an elite here in Austin is perfect. I get to have some local races under my belt and become acquainted with Austin roads. 2016’s goal was to stay here, make my name bigger in Austin running community. In 2017, I want to branch out and test my ability at races across the country.
WD – You’re participating in the Austin Runners Club’s Distance Challenge. Why did you sign up for that instead of focusing on a select few key races?
MP – My mom and dad are runners. My mom has been really getting back into it running lately. She registered for the 80s 8K. I knew Iram from some previous engagements. He basically told me to do ADC, I checked into it and built ADC into my running schedule. The main goal for this series of races was to prepare for the Austin marathon on the home course and use them as solid training races.
WD – As a part of the Austin Distance Challenge you’ll run the 3M Half Marathon. But this is also the final long distance race that you’ll use as a tuneup for the Austin Marathon. Without giving away any top secrets, what’s your plan for downhill to downtown?
MP – There are no real big secrets. In the beginning I will probably follow the pack, make sure my gears are moving the way I want, hit my paces. If I’m feeling good I might pick it up to get the feel for the end of a big race. My ultimate goal is to come out healthy and ready to go for the Austin Marathon.
WD – Austin Marathon presented by NXP. February 19, 2017: Your marathon debut. After hearing that out loud, tell me what immediately goes through your head.
MP – I get this feeling of excitement, sprinkled with a little bit of nerves. The nerves have more to do with my nutrition plan, potential bathroom breaks, and how to properly pace myself for a 26-mile race. If I can go in healthy and prepared, I’ll be ready to go.
WD – Congratulations on being accepted into the Austin Marathon’s Elite Athlete Program! How’s your marathon-specific training so far and what are your race-day goals?
MP – My training has been going well. Lately, it has been down with holidays, travel, etc. The break has actually been beneficial as I’m notorious for over preparing. To win my first marathon during my debut, especially in Austin, would be phenomenal. I’m looking forward to a battle with the other talented runners in the Elite Field. In the end, I will run my own race, do my own dance. I want my own game plan that gets me close to the time I want.
WD – The RunLab Elite team won the 2016 Marathon Relay with a time of 2:23:36. Has it sunk in that Mark Pinales wants to run the Austin Marathon faster than that by himself?
MP – HA! Not really; I’m just excited about the opportunity, especially with this being my marathon debut. I’m still unsure of what to expect, but I feel supremely confident with the my training,
WD – How are you training mentally to race your first marathon?
MP – Essentially training by myself. Sometimes I’ll run with Leo (Manzano) and Gilbert’s Gazelles (casually). The great thing about training in Austin is there’s always someone to run with. I do my workouts on my own for the most part. They are long and intense. I like to push myself mentally so I can stay mentally tough during the race. I’m making it as difficult on myself NOW, so that I’m prepared for anything on race day. I hope to run with the pack, but I know that doesn’t happen all the time.
WD – After the Austin Marathon, what race is next on your spring calendar?
MP – I’ll take at least two weeks of easy running afterwards. I’m aiming for March 11, Gate River Run (15K USATF Championships), and April 29,OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon (USATF Half Marathon Championships).
WD – Some people give advice to their future self in preparation for a race. Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time, what advice would you give your high school running self?
MP – I’d tell myself to figure out the work-to-running balance in college (much sooner); give yourself more time; don’t expect the world so quickly; understand everything is a process; don’t regret anything. I’m grateful of where life has led me to where I am today.
MP – Hands down, it has to be a run with now current girlfriend (Katie) in Seattle (all through the bayside, city, seas). We knew each other, went off on a long run, got to know one another, and truly bonded. Out of all the wins, that run sticks out the most.
WD – You’ve got a great, flexible job and sponsorships with Skechers Performance and RunLab Austin. What does that do for an athlete both mentally and physically?
MP – I’m appreciative of all the backing from Skechers and RunLab. Without them I wouldn’t have the support system I need or be as healthy as I am. I’m glad they’re in my corner. As for my job, the flexibility truly helps with devoting time to both my career and running goals.
WD – What’s the toughest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as a runner?
MP – The mental barrier. I just recently discovered the ability to push myself past my comfort zone. Running comes naturally for me. I enjoy my great workouts, but during a race, pushing past my comfort zone is tough. There have only been two times where I’ve felt completely out of my comfort zone: Stanford 10K as freshmen and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half in 2015 in which I qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials. I’ve begun to embrace becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable.
WD – You’re fresh out of college and still relatively young. What are your future running and life goals?
MP – Running goals: I haven’t set any precise long-term goal as of yet. I feel like I have five to seven years of elite running left. Generally speaking, I want to get faster, win bigger races, place high at bigger races, and create a respectable legacy. Life goals: be successful career-wise, be at high enough position to live comfortably, run financial services firm, and eventually open up my own office.
WD – What motivates you to run?
MP – Katie (girlfriend) is a big motivator. My parents are big motivators as well. I want to make them proud and don’t want to fail them. Failing my parents scares me. I want to do right by them and create a legacy for the family both in running and in life. I’m one of the last males with the last name Pinales and my grandfather, another motivating factor, is pumped at what the Pinales name has been able to achieve in life so far.
MP – Running has given me an avenue to reinvent myself, build something more than what I originally was. Running has given me ability to improve, push past my limits, grow as a person. Running has provided me with internal and external discipline. The planning, the scheduling, being consistent, it all transfers and is applicable to my life. Running has helped me grow and mature more than I ever imagined.
WD – Favorite place to run in Austin?
MP – This is a good one. I’d have to say running through the hills of Austin. Stratford is a good example. I love going out there to run and look at all the beautiful homes.
WD – Favorite non-running activity?
MP – There are several! I really like to play guitar. Reading, especially self-development stuff. I really enjoy learning new things, so any time I can absorb something new I jump at the opportunity. Lastly, music… I enjoy R&B, both listening and playing. Avant and Musiq Soulchild are a couple of my favorites.
WD – How do you relax and unwind?
MP – I relax and unwind by doing absolutely nothing. Lounging around is one of my favorite things to do! Naps, when available, are perfect for relaxing. I have a rule: anything less than two hour naps aren’t considered real naps!
WD – Favorite in-race (training) hydration/nutrition.
MP – For hydration – water and Gatorade. I constantly making sure I have enough electrolytes. For nutrition – Clif Shots – vanilla. Christina with Clif Bar introduced me to them and I’ve been enjoying them ever since!
WD – Favorite Austin restaurant?
MP – Pint House Pizza (38th St.) and there’s no second-guessing.
WD – Describe the perfect post-race meal (in Austin).
MP – Anything that’s not relatively healthy. Give me all the pizzas, burgers, cookies, and brownies I can handle!
WD – Morning or evening runs?
MP – Morning for sure. While I don’t like waking up early, I do like getting my morning run out of the way. If my schedule allows, I’ll double up in the evening if possible.
MP – I prefer solo runs. They build up mental toughness. I enjoy listening to music while running alone. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy people and being around them, but when it comes to serious running, solo runs are me.
WD – Mark, thanks again for coming by our office. It’s been great getting to dig a little deeper into who Mark Pinales is and who Mark Pinales will become. You’re making quite a name for yourself and I’m appreciative of you giving us your time. You’ve got a bright future ahead and we’re excited to see what you can do! We’ll see you at the Downhill to Downtown start line this Sunday.
MP – William, thank you and High Five Events for having me over. I enjoyed our conversation. I’m really looking forward to giving my best at the 3M Half Marathon (1/22) and the Austin Marathon (2/19). I can’t wait to no longer say “marathon debut!” We’ll see you this Sunday. I look forward to running with the other elites. Should be a great race!
Staying Vertical is an interview session with various individuals within the endurance community hosted by William Dyson, High Five Events Communications Manager. Staying Vertical will showcase the perspective of runners, triathletes, sponsors, partners, event producers, and volunteers to understand what makes them tick. We will highlight their involvement and give the endurance community an inside look into the individuals that are just like you and me.
Awards and Recognitions –
2016 – Decker Challenge Champ (1:08:13 – course record)
2016 – San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Champ (1:05:25)
2016 – YMCA Dallas Turkey Trot Champ [8 Miler] (40:21)
2016 – Run for the Water Champ (51:56)
2016 – 80s 8K Champ (26:56)
2016 – Marathon Relay Champs (2:23:36 – RunLab Elite)
2016 – Olympic Trials Qualifier
Two-time All-Big 12, cross country (The University of Texas)