Mommy Marathon Week 2

Mommy marathon

Mommy Marathon Week 2

It felt so good to run with a purpose and to train with a plan last week.  I felt as though I was shaking out the cobwebs, and now I am itching for more!  That’s one benefit of easing into training is that you begin the next week feeling refreshed and ready to go.  However, if you didn’t have the same experience this first week, don’t despair.  Keep trying and don’t quit.

 I did my long run at the park this week.  My kids played on the playground and in the sand of the volleyball court while I ran laps around the park.  Our tradition is that they get to do my last lap with me.  My oldest two kids got rollerblades for Christmas and now that warm weather is here they finally get to use them.  The trail around the park began with a downhill.  It wasn’t too steep and was lined with grass so I thought it would be a great beginner rollerblading hill.  My son attempted it first with no problems.  Then my daughter enthusiastically attempted her first hill.  She made it about half way down then hit a crack in the sidewalk that threw her off balance and she crashed.  Tears streamed down her face as she cried that she never wanted to rollerblade again.  I told her to take a few deep breaths, then I gave her a big hug and explained that she is part of our family and we don’t quit.  I reminded her that she can do hard things, and that if she kept going and trying she would get better.  Begrudgingly she continued around the park with us.  By the end of our lap she was beaming from ear to ear and laughing with her siblings.  So if you too crashed on your training, take a few deep breaths, get a hug, and don’t quit.  Remind yourself that you can do hard things.  And I promise that if you keep going and trying you will get better and by the end of this training journey you too will be beaming from ear to ear!


I like to refer to training days as “hard days” and cross-training days as “easy days” so the mommy marathon program follows this pattern:

  • Sunday: Easy day- recovery
  • Monday: Hard day- Hill run/trail run
  • Tuesday: Easy day- cross training
  • Wednesday: Hard day- Intervals
  • Thursday: Easy day- cross training
  • Friday: Hard day- long run/tempo run
  • Saturday: Hard day- tempo run/long run

This is because on training days when you are running and working hard, you are actually breaking down your muscles, tendons, and bones.  Easy days then allow your body to rebuild and become stronger.  So although, you are doing the “work” on training days, without easy days your body won’t be able to rebuild and become stronger.

The general rule of thumb is that you should avoid doing more than two hard days in a row.  Why does the mommy marathon prescribe too hard days in a row?  That’s a question for another day, but yes there is a reason.  Now that you know the rule and the why, you can begin to adapt the mommy marathon training program for your life.

For example, this last week I travelled to Germany to meet my five week old nephew, play with my 3 year old nephew, and help my brother and his wife adjust to having a new baby.  My flight home was scheduled for Wednesday so I knew that I won’t be able to do the interval workout on that day.  So instead I did the hike on Monday (to an amazing castle) and did the interval workout with my brother on Tuesday.  Wednesday then became my cross-training day so I did some Pilates before I got on the plane. 

You too can make changes to the training program.  If you work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday it may be easier to make those your “easy days” and then Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday could be your “hard days”.  My advice is to make sure you plan your changes rather than get into the mindset that it’s okay to miss a workout because you can do it tomorrow.

You may also need to adjust the training program to fit your needs.  My brother is doing the Hartford Marathon on October 11, 2014.  Which is 3 weeks after the Big Cottonwood Marathon this training program is designed for.  Therefore, he will wait 3 weeks before he begins the training program.  Until then, I advise that he begins to consistently run 3-4 times a week for 30-45 minutes.  Keep in mind that the mommy marathon program is 17 weeks long.

What if you don’t have 17 weeks until your race day?  Ideally, you have been running and training before now.  If you have at least 11-13 weeks before your race day you can still use the mommy marathon training program with a few slight changes:

  • For your warm-up before the interval and tempo runs, do 2 miles instead of just 1.5 miles.
  • For your cool-down after the interval and tempo runs, do 2 miles instead of just 1 mile.
  • Add 3 miles to the long runs.
  • Make sure you run a 20 mile long run.  The “last” week you would want to do this is 4 weeks before race day.
  • Begin your taper 2-3 weeks before race day.  You can do this by eliminating the changes described above ie- run the prescribed long runs, only do a 1.5 mile warm up, and a 1 mile cool down. 
  • The week of your race do a 20 min trail run, 6x100m strides on interval day, and jog 3 miles and do 4x100m strides on the day before the race.

If you have 14-16 weeks before your race day, continue to use the prescribed mommy marathon training program.  With the following slight changes:

  • Make sure you run a 20 mile long run about 4 weeks before race day.
  • Begin your taper 2-3 weeks before race day.  You can do this by subtracting 3 miles each week from the long run, and reducing the number of intervals that you do from the prescribed weekly plan.

Mommy Marathon Training Plan week 2

Monday: Warm-up by jogging 1 mile.  Find a grass hill that is about ½ mile long with a 2-3% grade (aka it should be a gradual downhill).  Do 4 x ½ mile downhill intervals at tempo pace effort.  Since you are running downhill this will be faster than your regular tempo pace; however, you should feel like you are working SOMEWHAT HARD.  Don’t resist the speed that you gain, rather, let the hill pull you down by leaning forward from the waist and quickening your turnover.  Recover by walking up the hill and then resting for 30-60 seconds at the top of the hill in between the intervals.  Then cool down by jogging or walking 1 mile. 

Tuesday: Cross-train 20 min. If you found something that worked for you last week, keep that up.  Another cross-training idea is to do yoga.  You can find some great yoga workouts on YouTube (there are several designed for runners)!

Wednesday: Interval workout. Warm-up by jogging or walking 1.5 miles.  Then do 3x400m (that means run 400 meters, 3 times).  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.  Then cool-down by jogging or walking 1 mile.

Thursday: Cross-train 20 min.  Another cross-training workout is to walk around the block with your family.

Friday: 1 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.  This pace should feel SOMEWHAT HARD. Then cool down for 1 mile.

Saturday: Long Run 4 miles.  Pace is your 5k race pace plus 90-120sec.  You should feel like it is EASY.

Sunday: Recovery day.  Pamper your body on Sundays!  Soak in the tub, use the foam roller, massage your arches, eat good food, and/or take a nap.

*Note: whether you are doing the full or half marathon, your workouts are the SAME this week!


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