WHY DOES THE MOMMY MARATHON PROGRAM INCLUDE TRAIL RUNNING?
There are many reasons why the mommy marathon training plan includes trail running so I have created my list of Top Ten Reasons- which are a mix of “exercise physiologist” reasons and “mommy” reasons!
10. Trail running adds variety to the type of surface that you are running on. This is important for injury prevention. The soft dirt of a trail is a welcome change from the repetitious pounding on asphalt. Therefore, if you don’t live near a trail, get creative about how you can add variety to the surface you run on. For example, you can run on grass for awhile, then the cement for awhile, and then back to the asphalt.
9. There is something very satisfying about finishing a run absolutely filthy. It’s as though you finally have PROOF of the hard work you just went through.
8. The soft dirt of a trail increases the intensity of your workout. You may have noticed that when you run on a trail your pace is slower than your runs on asphalt even though the “effort” stays the same. This slower pace is definitely okay! Your body is working harder running on the dirt and so a slower pace is to be expected.
7. Trail runs are adventurous and exciting! It seems like there is always some crazy story to share after a trail run. What’s your favorite trail run story?
6. Generally, trails add rolling hills to your run. This means that during your run you will get the benefits of uphill training and downhill training! If you don’t live near a trail, plan a route that includes some uphills and downhills.
5. You don’t need to map out rest rooms that you could use during your run. If nature calls, just find a bush. (If you can’t relate to this one, just wait, it’s part of “endurance running” initiation!)
4. You get a day off from worrying about mileage! Trails vary so greatly that rather than prescribing a specific mileage, you are given a “time”. This is a great day to leave the GPS at home. There’s no need to worry about pace or distance; rather, focus on your effort and time spent running.
3. Trail runs are so much fun that they are worth getting out of bed early for! Ideally, you should do at least one run each week close to the start time of your race. Most marathons begin early morning so even if you aren’t naturally an early riser, try to get your body use to running at this time of day. Monday mornings are the ideal days for getting up early because you are motivated and rested after your Sunday Recovery day.
2. Trail running helps to put things in perspective. Being surrounded by nature helps to quiet all the noise and gives you time to escape the pressures of life.
1. It’s the PERFECT way to start off another week of training. It eases you back into another week of training. You work hard, but the sense of accomplishment that follows is worth the effort. It empowers you to keep working hard in the days ahead.
Sunday: Recovery day! Plan your workouts for the week, get a massage, go for a walk, and take a nap!
Monday: 35 min trail run.
Tuesday: 30 min cross-train. Continue your cross-training plan or try a kickboxing class or video!
Wednesday: Warm-up by walking or jogging 1.5 miles. Then do 8 x 400m at interval pace. Pace for the interval workout (the 400s) should be your 5k race pace and then subtract 10-20sec. You should feel like you are working HARD. In between each interval, rest by walking 200m (or about 3 minutes). Then cool-down by jogging or walking 1 mile.
Thursday: 30 min cross-train. Continue your cross-training plan or try something new like a fitness video game. My favorite it Dance Central with the X-box kinetic!
Friday: Long Run 10 miles (Half-marathon 8 miles). Pace is your 5k race pace plus 90-120sec. The pace should feel EASY.
Saturday: 3 mile tempo run. Warm up by jogging or walking 1.5 miles. Then increase pace to tempo run pace (which is your 5k race pace plus 20-45sec) for 3 miles. This pace should feel SOMEWHAT HARD. Then cool down for 1 mile.
*If you are training for a half-marathon do the same work-outs except your long run is shorter this week.