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High Five Events cancels 3M Half Marathon, April 25th is new date for the Austin Half Marathon

High Five Events postpones the 2021 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour and cancels the 2021 3M Half Marathon presented by Under Armour. The collaborative decision was made after meetings with the City of Austin and Austin Public Health. Registered participants of both events have numerous options available, including participating in the Austin Marathon’s new date, April 25, 2021. The new date will consist of the Austin Half Marathon, KXAN SimpleHealth 5K, and Manzano Mile.

“These were difficult decisions to make, but the health and well-being of our participants, staff, and community will always be our first priority,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Our team has worked overtime to create the best experience for our participants and will continue to do so with the new date.” 

New event date and deferral options

High Five Events is optimistic that the April 25th event can be held in-person based on the conversations and collaborative efforts with The City of Austin and Austin Public Health. Extensive mitigation plans for the new event date have been completed and are based on the Austin-Travis County COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines Stages 1-4. These plans are in addition to the months of work and organizing that have been underway creating an event experience that participants have come to love.

Registered participants of the Austin Marathon can transfer to the April 25th Austin Half Marathon or defer based on the updated policies. Deferral options include the 2022, 2023, and 2024 Austin Marathons. Registered participants of the 3M Half Marathon can transfer to the April 25th Austin Half Marathon or defer based on the updated policies. Deferral options include the 2022, 2023, and 2024 3M Half Marathons. All of these options are available at no extra cost to those already registered.

These options apply for both in-person and virtual registrations. Regardless of the option participants choose, they will retain access to the extremely popular Run Austin Virtual Series. Plans are underway to extend the series through April.

Advice to prevent injury and improve your downhill running technique

Jogging uphill can be a difficult feat from a cardio perspective, but running downhill is a lot more challenging for your body. Why? Muscles shorten and lengthen or contract concentrically and eccentrically. Eccentric contractions require more energy and experience more wear and tear. The downhill running technique uses a lot of eccentric contraction, especially on the lower leg muscles and quadriceps. By mastering your downhill running technique, you will improve your form and put less stress on your body. Pro tip: make sure you complete those hill workouts with this advice to maintain your training during the holidays.

Tips to improve your downhill running technique

Remember, it’s important to properly warm-up before any run, especially a hill workout. This 10-minute warm-up will get you started!

Look ahead, not at your feet

The human brain is adept at instantly interpreting what the eyes see ahead. Proprioceptors in muscle, fascial, and connective tissues send direct signals to the brain about where you are on the hill. When you look ahead, it gives your body and brain enough time to respond. This allows you to use gravity to your advantage. Take a few seconds to stand and look six feet ahead of you. Now look down at your feet and get a sense of what’s happening to your hips. They’re probably behind your center of gravity. Benefits include:

  • contract and shorten the quad muscles before movement
  • strengthen big muscle groups like hamstrings, glutes, and quads
  • strengthen hips to stabilize joints and maintain alignment

If you look ahead and engage your core your hips will stay in your center of gravity. It’s easier to absorb force, propel forward, and stabilize from this position while running downhill. Pro tip: running downhill provides a great opportunity to recover and build your mental toughness.

Engage your core

What is the core and what role does it play in your form? The core is a set of muscles that connects the lower and upper body. From the deepest to the top layer: transverse abdominus, internal obliques, rectus abdominus, and external obliques. These muscles work together to provide you with stability while helping you propel forward in your running technique. If these muscles are not working properly, the large muscles try to offer stability but with a lot of tension and alignment issues. This can worsen your injuries. When you have a strong core, you will develop a good posture. This can help maintain your center of gravity as you dart down the hill. Keep in mind, running surfaces change as you stride downhill, especially on long runs. A strong core will help you move nimbly. Pro tip: recover faster with this long-run recovery timeline.

Perform running downhill drills

Forward or lateral hops

This drill will help you develop a stable core and quick tempo. Try to stay tall the entire time while keeping your feet together. Begin by practicing for 20 seconds and work to 45 seconds.

Grassy hill

Go to a grassy area such as a park or golf course. Start with a hill that’s easy to tackle. Run down this hill with quick feet. Begin with quick repeats, anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. This will give you more confidence and help your brain build new movement patterns.

Supine marching

This exercise engages and strengthens your core. While lying on your back, pull your belly button in, toward the spine. Engage in marching steps.

Mastering the downhill running technique is easily accomplished if you practice downhill drills, engage your core, and practice forward gazing. Better your technique and incorporate these 12 tips to make running that much easier.

Training during the holidays is tougher, don’t let it slip with our advice

The holidays are around the corner and your training is going well. You’re progressing nicely and increasing your distance as planned. You’re feeling well, eating healthy, and have a nice routine. Don’t let any travel, excess food, or additional plans alter your training during the holidays. Maintaining your training during the holidays will lead to greater success in 2021. Pro tip: if you find yourself feeling stiff, loosen up with these 4 simple stretches.

Have a plan

You already have a training plan. Stick with it! Even if you have to adjust your training schedule, stick with it as best as you can. If you normally complete your long run on Saturday but can’t one weekend, switch it to Sunday. It might throw you off a bit, but sticking to your plan closely is beneficial. Either way, make sure you follow our long-run recovery timeline. Pro tip: if needed, flip your rest day with a run day to better fit your schedule.

Get an early start

If you’re used to running early, this is perfect! If you’re not, this is normally the best time to run, especially during the holidays. There’s less going on early in the morning. This gives you a better shot at knocking out that run or workout. Plus, when you get an early start you get it out of the way for the day! Training during the holidays can be tough. Chances of not completing your run increase as the day goes on. Make sure you properly warm-up.

Find a partner

Accountability is huge. Find someone to run with you and be your partner during the holidays. If you’ve already got a few training partners and can’t run with them because of travel, schedule a quick FaceTime before your run. Even a virtual get together is a great way to hold each other accountable. You can even chat afterward just like you would if you were together. 

Prepare

Planning ahead is a great way to keep up your training during the holidays. If you’re traveling, take your gear with you! Make sure you have clothing that’s appropriate for the weather. Take your preferred hydration and nutrition with you. Don’t forget the smaller items like your booty band, running belt, watch, or headphones. Even if you aren’t traveling, the holidays can be time-consuming. Make sure the clothes you’ll need are ready and that all of your items are fully charged.

Reward yourself

This is the best part! The holidays can often mean great food and amazing desserts. Don’t feel bad about rewarding yourself, especially when you are training during the holidays. Don’t go overboard and affect your diet. You still want to maintain a healthy balance. But at the end of the day, rewarding yourself with that dessert you’ve been eyeing is an excellent motivator.

There are many ways that your training during the holidays can be derailed. This advice will keep you going, give you the flexibility to adjust, and make sure you stay on track to accomplish your goals.

If you’re at a desk all day, these stretches for runners will keep the blood flowing

For people who love to be active, a desk job can be disadvantageous. Not only does it limit your active time, but also creates muscle stiffness and lethargy. Runners, in particular, need to be agile and swift. Although you would warm-up before a run, long hours of sitting can still result in chronic stiffness and affect your form. All you need is a few minutes away from the computer every few hours. These 4 stretches for runners can help reduce muscle stiffness if you are sitting all day. 

Pro tip: if you have a foam roller use it correctly and avoid these mistakes.

Knee hug

This is one of the easiest and most satisfying stretches for most people. Lie down on your back. Make sure the surface you are lying on is firm. Bend both your knees and grab them with your hands. Gently pull your knees closer to your chest. With your back flat on the ground and your knees close to your chest, hold this position for about 30 secs. Then slowly lower your legs back to the ground.

You can repeat this stretch a few times. It doesn’t require too much effort and is easy on your muscles. This is a great stretch for the lower back and helps release the tension from these muscles. Pro tip: stretching is also a great way to speed up the recovery process after your long run.

Forward fold hamstring stretch

Hamstrings are one of the biggest muscles in the legs. They play a crucial role in supporting your body during runs and workouts. To stretch your hamstrings, you don’t really need to leave your desk. While sitting on your chair, put your leg straight out with your heel placed on something elevated. Keep your foot flexed. It could be a box, a shelf under your desk, or a footstool. Place the other foot firmly on the ground. Sit up straight and slowly bend forward hinging at the hips. Keep your abdomen tucked in, pulling your navel towards your spine.

To move it up a notch, you can try and reach the toes of your extended leg and hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Repeat the same on the other side.

Seated pigeon stretch

The pigeon stretch is great for opening up your hip flexors. Here’s a modified seated pigeon stretch for runners who sit at their desk for the majority of the day. Sit straight on your chair and place your right ankle over your left knee. Flex the right foot. You should feel a stretch in your outer right hip. To intensify the stretch, hinge at the hips and try to fold over the right leg.

Hold for 20 -30 seconds and then repeat on the left side.

Seated twist

This is another very satisfying stretch for the back. You can do this on the floor or even on your chair. If you are on the floor, sit up straight and extend your left leg forward. Cross the right foot over the left leg and place it next to your outer thigh. Hug the right knee with your left arm and place your right hand on the floor behind your back. Slowly twist to the right and look over your right shoulder.

Hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Slowly come back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Most importantly, move around

Moving around is a great addition to these stretches for runners who sit for the majority of the day. Get up from your chair every few hours and walk around. Prolonged sitting can not only affect your running but leave long term impacts on your overall health. Make sure you take time to get up and move around no matter how busy your day is. These stretches for runners are a great addition to these 8 ways to prevent shin splints!

Runners love running. But sometimes running doesn’t always love runners back. It’s important to remember why we run and be grateful that we can. A good laugh can also help, especially when one of the running memes below hits close to home! Check them out, share them on social and with your friends, and check […]

12 tips that could make running easier

Would you like to improve running? Are factors like motivation, stamina, and ability holding you back? Did you know jogging or running on a regular basis can reduce your chances of acquiring diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes? If you’re a nervous beginner, here are some helpful tips that can make running easier for you. Make sure you have these 7 essential items you need before training begins.

Pro tip: when you start adding long runs to your training, follow our long-run recovery timeline!

  1. Start with walking.

Before you break out into a run, start with a walk. It will warm up your muscles, joints, and bones and serve as the starting point for your run. Make it a habit to walk for the first five minutes before your run. This will help you get accustomed to running.

  1. Pair running with an activity you enjoy.

If you have a hard time leaving the house for a run, pair running with an activity you like doing such as listening to a podcast or your favorite playlist. While engaging in your activity, start your run. Keep yourself occupied with the activity throughout your run. This will help you enjoy your new-found workout.

  1. Set small distance goals.

If the run time feels daunting, set small distance goals. For example, you can do a 1K run or a jog around the park to start. Set small challenges that are achievable so that you will feel determined to continue.

  1. Enlist a running partner.

Even though some people prefer to run alone, you can opt for a running buddy. It will help if this person enjoys running. Running with a friend can make this exercise a pleasurable experience.

  1. Keep track of your progress.

Keep a record of how much and how long you run. At periodic intervals, go over your record. You will be able to see a steady improvement in your time and distance. This will inspire you more to run.

  1. Listen to your favorite tunes.

Music is a great exercise accompaniment. Make a compilation of energetic tunes or listen to ours. On your next run, put on your ear pods and listen to this list. The music will stimulate you to adjust your speed and pace. You’re also more likely to enjoy the run.

  1. Invest in good shoes.

Your footwear matters when you run. Avoid the temptation of buying cheap shoes. They can seriously damage your feet, joints, and back. Spend the extra money on a pair of good runners. Pro tip: follow our advice to pick out the right running shoes.

  1. Progress gradually.

Avoid progressing in your training too quickly. This can rapidly demotivate you and even injure your body. Follow your training plan and take advantage of your rest days. This tip is applicable for a beginner, novice, and a pro.

  1. Reward yourself.

Hard work deserves to be rewarded. Each time you complete a goal, treat yourself.

  1. Join a runner’s group/forum.

What better way to encourage yourself than to talk to other runners. They can provide valuable tips and suggestions to improve running.

  1. Positive self-talk.

Your mind is your biggest obstacle when it comes to running. In fact, you’ll find it easier to come up with reasons not to run versus pushing yourself to get out the door. This is where you have to repeat positive affirmations like:

“I’ve got this!”

“I can do this.”

“One run at a time.”

“I’m one step closer.”

  1. Follow a training plan.

This is especially helpful if you’re a beginner. There are 30-day beginner programs that will help you build your endurance and confidence. Many of them gradually progress from walking to running.

Running isn’t about losing weight or getting fit. It’s a lifestyle. The first two weeks may feel like an uphill battle, but if you apply some of these tips, you can make running easier.

Recover faster with our 6-step long-run recovery timeline

Your 3M Half Marathon training plan will include long runs which will progressively increase over time. They’re the core to building the endurance needed to achieve your goals. Just like any other run or workout, you need to recover and prepare for what’s next. This long-run recovery timeline will help expedite the recovery process, from the moment you stop your watch until you lay down for a well-deserved nap. Follow our advice, build it into your schedule, and make sure you’re ready for whatever is next on your training plan. Wait, before you even start the long-run recovery timeline, make sure you avoid these five simple training mistakes.

Pro tip: adjust the timeline as needed to fit your schedule.

Rehydrate (within 5 minutes)

Runners lose fluids during runs and workouts when sweating. This is the price you pay so your body can stay cool during the run. It’s important to drink at least 16 ounces of an electrolyte-enhanced drink (like Nuun Hydration) when you’re done. Drinking this will begin the rehydration process and restore needed electrolytes and nutrients Pro tip: have a drink ready before you begin that’s specifically for after your run.

Stretch and foam roll (within 5-15 minutes)

You’re pushing your body further and further, reward it with stretching and foam rolling. Whether you’re increasing your distance or lowering your time, you’re asking a lot of your body. Take care of the muscles that take care of you. Stretching and foam rolling allow fresh blood to flow to the muscles. This speeds up recovery and helps prevent lactic acid from settling in. It can also help you avoid the pain from shin splints. Pro tip: check out these other reasons runners love to foam roll.

Eat a snack (within 15-30 minutes)

Grab some fruit, beef jerky, or your favorite GU Energy Chews. Eat something that won’t upset your stomach or dry out your mouth. You need to replace the energy your body consumed during your long training run. Plus, it’ll give you a nice little energy boost. Keep hydrating!

Cool off (within 30-60 minutes)

Take a cold shower or jump in a cold body of water like Barton Springs (stay no more than 15 minutes). The cold water can help your body’s core temperature return to normal and reduce inflammation. If it’s cool outside or slightly windy, take your stretch session outside.

Eat a meal (within 1-2 hours)

Time to eat! By now your snack is wearing off and your stomach is beginning to rumble. Depending on your mileage, your body probably burned thousands of calories. Time to replace them! Grab something to eat, whether it’s a pre-cooked meal, something you prepare, or you go out to a restaurant. 

Nap (within 2+ hours)

The ending to a perfect long run, a nap. You’ve stretched and foam rolled, eaten, hydrated, and showered. It’s time to let your body do some repair work. Find somewhere that’s dark and cool. A 30-60 minute nap is perfect, depending on what you have to do for the rest of the day. It’s not a bad idea to stretch/foam roll one more time and drink some more electrolytes before your nap. 

Some runner’s recovery timeline might differ. You can adjust this to fit your schedule. But the core of this long-run recovery timeline will assist in repairs your body needs. This will help you get ready for whatever is next on your training schedule.

The perfect running shoes can make all the difference

Ensuring you have the right running shoes for you is vital to your training. The right running shoe can help prevent injuries and ensure that your training remains on track. The wrong shoes could cause discomfort, pain, and injuries that can prevent you from achieving your fitness goals. Find a pair that’s just right for you and they can help prevent one of the more painful injuries, shin splints. Let’s take a look at some factors you should keep in mind while shopping for the perfect running shoes for you.

  1. Find shoes specifically for running

Running shoes should not be confused with sneakers or any other footwear. Most running shoes contain wearable technology that allows you to track your training. They’re also designed to support your foot and provide cushioning while running. Make sure they provide the proper energy response, meaning your shoes should provide a “bounce back” feeling after your foot strikes the ground. If they don’t and your legs feel tired and heavy, that’s an indication you need a new pair. Pro tip: learn the reasons why your running shoes should be used for running only.

  1. Wear shoes to see if they fit 

It’s always better to try shoes on rather than roll the dice and purchase them online. There are several ways to determine the right shoe for you. Since feet tend to swell throughout the day, try shoes in the evening to see if they fit. Your foot should feel comfortable and be centered on the shoe’s platform. Walk around or jog lightly in them and see if movement causes you any discomfort.

  1. Invest in quality shoes 

Female runner during the 2019 3M Half Marathon. She's running towards the finish line in running shoes specifically for running. Use our tips to ensure you pick the right running shoes for you at https://downhilltodowntown.com/right-running-shoes-for-you/Most shoes have premium technology like GPS tracking, lightweight materials, or breathable fabric that provide more value. Improved materials and fabrics can help them last longer and accrue more miles. However, these shoes can be more expensive. A cheaper pair might be an option, but they may not be best suited for logging high mileage. Pro tip: take care of your running shoes and keep them organized with these storage hacks.

  1. Pick what’s right for you

Become familiar with all the different elements before you buy a pair. All parts located above the sole are called the upper. Look for an upper with the same shape as your foot. A strong ankle collar, which wraps the top of the shoe opening and holds your heel down in place, will prevent your heel from slipping. A saddle that fits and holds your foot in a secure way is essential.

  1. Talk to an expert 

Consult with a professional before buying your next running shoes. Our friends at Fleet Feet Austin can use their system to scan your feet and make recommendations on the right running shoes for you. They’ll also factor in your goals, running style, and anticipated mileage. The specialists at Fleet Feet Austin can also provide exercise tips and help you get the most out of your shoes. Schedule an appointment with them, they know a lot!

Use our tips when picking out the right running shoes for you. The last thing you want are uncomfortable shoes that make blisters and create shin splints. Do you have a certain tactic you’ve used to pick the pair that’s right for you? Let us know in the 3M Half Marathon Facebook Group and Twitter.

Taking the next step: how to transition from walking to running

If you’re a casual walker looking to intensify your exercise, you should give running a try. It can burn more calories, strengthen your heart, and lower your cholesterol levels. Running can also reduce stress levels and lead to developing a healthier lifestyle. Most importantly, running nourishes your mind and soul by helping you clear your head and find peace within yourself. But how do you even begin to transition from walking to running? Our advice below will get you on the right path, the path to completing your first half marathon! This is a journey that will take time. Just remember, you’re not alone on your journey! We’re here to help you transition from walking to running. Here’s an excellent playlist for your journey!

Running gear

Your transition from walking to running may not be as difficult as you think. Make sure you have a pair of comfortable running shoes. You can extend the life of your running shoes (and save money) by only running in them. Proper fitting running shoes can also help prevent painful shin splints. Here are 7 more tips to avoid shin splints and keep your transition from walking to running on track! Wear workout gear that allows you to move freely, is lightweight, and wicks sweat. Keep a water bottle nearby to stay hydrated and replenish lost fluids. We’re fans of nuun hydration and their tablets. It’s easy to carry and help replace lost electrolytes. 

Begin your journey from walking to running

Let’s assume you walk four or five days every week and want to begin running. That’s a great start! Even if you don’t walk that much, the steps below will help you during your transition from walking to running. Pro tip: you can always take breaks in between if you are out of breath or feel exhausted.

Weeks 1-3

Develop an exercise schedule if you don’t currently have one. The goal is to become more comfortable being on your feet for extended periods of time.

  • First week – walk 30 minutes/day for four days
  • Second week – walk 40 minutes/day for four days
  • Third week – walk 50 minutes/day for four days

Weeks 4-6

Now it’s time to crank it up a bit! But don’t get too excited just yet. You want to slowly incorporate jogging into your schedule.

  • Fourth week – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 30-second light jog/4-minute walk for 15 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk
  • Fifth week – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 1-minute light jog/4-minute walk for 20 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk
  • Sixth week – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 2-minute light jog/3-minute walk for 25 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

Week 7

When you feel comfortable with this routine, increase your jogging intervals and decrease your walking intervals as you see fit. Set a goal for yourself before you begin. Feel free to pick up the pace during your jog if it feels good. If you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, cut back the time.

  • Seventh week – 5-minute warm-up walk, alternate 3-minute jog/2-minute walk for 25 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

Week 8

If you continue to feel comfortable, extend the duration of your intervals as you see fit. Alternate your jog and walking like previous routines. Continue to set small goals to reach. Feel free to pick up the pace during your jog if it feels good. If you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, cut back the time.

  • Eighth week – 5-minute warm-up walk, alternate 5-minute jog/1-minute walk for 30 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

You did it!

By now, jogging for longer periods of time should become more and more comfortable. Congratulations, you’ve made the transition from walking to running! Continue to extend your jogging time. Maybe even quicken your stride and break into slow runs. You’ll eventually eliminate the walking portion of your intervals. When you feel comfortable running for 30-40 minutes, it’s time to sign up for your first half marathon! Do you have advice for someone who wants to graduate from walking to running? Let us know in the 3M Half Marathon Facebook Group or on Twitter.

5 blogs that will help you continue to grow as a runner

Sometimes all it takes is a new tip or some helpful advice to help you grow as a runner. And this isn’t just for beginners. This blog is for runners of all ages, speeds, and abilities. From different types of runs to understanding the data behind your run, this compilation blog post has what you need to continue to grow as a runner and see improvement.

7 Types of Runs

Creating structure around your workouts helps you get better. This means knowing what type of run you’ll execute the next time you lace up your shoes. Normally you don’t follow up a long run with another long run. You follow it up with a recovery run. Make sure you know what you’re running and how to execute the specific run. This will allow your body to get stronger and recover when needed. Remember: knowledge is power.

6 Tips to Make Your Morning Run

Hitting the snooze button is oftentimes easier than getting out of bed and knocking out your morning run. But there’s no better way to start your day than with a good run! If you have trouble getting up in the morning for your run implement one or all six of these tips!

Analyze the Data

In order to grow as a runner you need to understand the data behind your runs. How far did you go? What was your pace? Did you start off too fast? Did you negative split? This is where Under Armour’s MapMyRun app comes into play! This app provides many benefits, from tracking to seamlessly syncing with your Under Armour shoes. Plus, it can track your pace, route, distance, calories burned, and elevation gain. Start digging into the data and discover what works for you!

4 Downhill Running Tips

Becoming a better runner means understanding how to prepare for certain runs and different routes. You’ll run faster downhill than you will running uphill. But you can also blow up your legs if you don’t run downhill properly! This could negatively affect the rest of your run and potentially cause injury. These downhill running tips will improve your form and save your legs.

5 Vital Taper Tips

If you want to grow as a runner then you need to fully understand The Taper. Whether your first race is approaching or your 20th, you can’t approach race day full-steam ahead. You need to have a plan leading to the start line, just like your training. Executing The Taper will keep your body fresh for your event and allow you to follow your race-day plan.

You’re now armed with what you need to continue to grow as a runner. Utilize one of the morning tips to make your morning run. Begin analyzing the data behind your runs to see improvement. Keep pushing, even when that little voice tells you it’s okay to stop. Is there something specific you do to continue to grow as a runner and get better? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.