Mommy Marathon Training Plan Week 6

Mommy marathon

Hopefully your week of training has gone well for you. Last week my husband spent the latter part of the week out of town at a youth camp so my training day’s got completely mixed up. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do my long run on Saturday so I bumped it to Thursday and adjusted the day’s accordingly. Don’t be afraid to adjust your workouts to fit your needs as a wife and a mother. This program after all, was created with you, the parent in mind. If you have ANY questions on ANYTHING be  sure to send  an email and we will answer it in depth by the following week. Remember, you are strong and you can do hard things.  Put the miles in and do something for yourself! 

Mommy Marathon Week 6


You’re right, the mommy marathon program does have a “prescribed workout” rather than just logging more and more miles. This is because each day you run, when you follow the mommy marathon program, is working on a different aspect of becoming a better distance runner. You see, becoming a great distance runner isn’t just about how much endurance you have. Jack Daniels, whom Runner’s World has named “Best Coach”, explains there are 6 primary components to distance running; namely:

  • Cardiovascular System
  • Muscular System
  • Lactate threshold
  • Aerobic capacity (VO2 max)
  • Speed
  • Economy of running

Therefore, before every workout you should ask yourself “What is the purpose of the workout today?” Through the “whys” each week, I hope to educate you about the purpose behind every workout. So that you understand which component you are trying to train and improve each time you run.

Developing a strong cardiovascular system is a vital component to being a distance runner. As you strengthen your cardiovascular system you are striving to improve:

  • How strong and powerful your heart is
  • How much oxygen a unit of blood can carry
  • How well blood flows through your blood vessels
  • How efficiently your body distributes blood to where you need it (ie- the working muscles rather than the digestive system)

As an exercise physiologist, we examine your cardiac output to determine these things. Your cardiac output is the amount of blood pumped in a given amount of time. It is determined by multiplying your stroke volume (how much blood is pumped out of your heart in one beat) and your heart rate (how fast your heart is beating).

An average non-trained person has a stroke volume of 70 mL of blood and a resting heart rate of 70 beats per minute. This is means the average non-trained person has a cardiac output of 4,900 mL (4.9 L) of blood pumped per minute.

After training for about 1-2 months, on average the stroke volume of an individual can improve to 80 mL of blood. This is because your heart is getting stronger and so it can pump more blood with each beat. Now in order to have the same cardiac output of 4.9 L, your resting heart rate only needs to be 61 bpm. 80 x 61 = 4, 880 mL (4.9 L). This means that with training your heart rate will decrease, meaning it can do the same about of work without as much effort!

You can test your progress by recording your resting heart rate now and then again after you have completed your training program. The best way to measure your resting heart rate is in the morning. When you wake up (without the help of an alarm clock), find your pulse on the side of your neck. Then begin counting the number of beats for 1 minute.

Easy effort runs are the best way to improve your cardiovascular system with the least amount of stress. That is one reason why the mommy marathon program prescribes a trail run day, a long run, and cross-training days. Because improving this area of distance running can occur simply by running is why many marathon training programs focus on this type of running, especially, if your goal is to BE ABLE to finish a marathon.

The mommy marathon program is designed to take the distance runner to the next level. We hope that you want to not only finish the marathon, but to reach your time goal, set a new PR, qualify for Boston, or simply make it a little bit easier on race day!

The program is also designed for mommy’s who don’t have hours every day to log lots and lots of easy runs. Therefore, we take an educated risk by increasing the intensity of our workouts. The risk is that you will be stressing your body more. We do this in an educated way though so that your risk of becoming injured is low if you follow our advice about warming up, cooling down, cross-training, etc. The benefit is that we can spend less time to get the same benefits. The general rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous intensity (think tempo runs and interval workouts) is equivalent to 2 minutes of moderate intensity (easy runs and cross-training). That is one reason why we include “prescribed workouts” at a higher intensity.

Sunday: Recovery day! Plan your workouts for the week, use a foam roller, go for a walk, and take a nap!

Monday: 35 min trail run.

Tuesday: 35 min cross-train. Continue your cross-training plan or try an ACE Fitness workout like this one created for runners: Ace Fitness

Wednesday: Warm-up by walking or jogging 1.5 miles. Then do 2 x 1600m (which is 1 mile) at interval pace. Pace for the interval workout (the mile) 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: 35 min cross-train. Continue your cross-training plan or try something new like playing baseball with your kids.

Friday: 3 mile downhill tempo run. Warm up by jogging or walking 10 minutes. Then either find a one-mile downhill with a 4-5% grade or drive 2-3 miles up a canyon and run down. If you can’t find an appropriate hill, you may adapt the workout to do a 3 mile tempo run. Run downhill at a tempo run pace (which is your 5k race pace plus 20-45sec) for 3 miles. This pace should feel SOMEWHAT HARD. If you are doing this workout as reps take a 3 minute rest in between or as long as it takes for you to walk up the hill. Then cool down for 1 mile.

Saturday: Long Run 7 miles (Half-marathon 4 miles). Pace is your 5k race pace plus 90-120sec. The pace should feel EASY.

*If you are training for a half-marathon do the same work-outs except your long run is shorter this week.        

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One Response to Mommy Marathon Training Plan Week 6

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