Mommy Marathon- Week 3

Mommy marathon

It’s about this time that “aches and pains” start creeping up.  The key is we want to keep them as aches and not pain. Be sure to check the Wednesday post on how to keep those aches and pains under control! Good luck!


There are several reasons why the mommy marathon program was designed to have the tempo run and long run back-to-back. 

From the exercise physiologist point of view:

When training for a marathon it is physically and mentally important to train and work hard even when you are tired.  If you have not yet experienced “the wall”, I’m sure you have heard of it!  You will be running along, right on your goal pace, and then suddenly- BAM!- You feel like you have ran right into a brick wall.  Your legs suddenly feel like jello.  You feel yourself slouching forward because your core can no longer keep you upright.  Negative thoughts flood your mind.  You begin hating the person who convinced you to sign up for this stupid race… and quitting sounds absolutely heavenly.  The wall HURTS.  But conquering the wall, well, that’s what keeps people coming back for more. 

Including two hard days in a row, helps to train you physically and mentally to conquer the wall!  Tempo runs and long runs are important for different reasons, but they can be complimentary and combined.  Doing a tempo run before a long run helps prepare your body to work hard the next day.  Doing a tempo run after a long run helps you learn how to push through and work hard when your body is tired and worn down (just like the wall).   That’s one reason why the mommy marathon program alternates between Friday Tempo Runs and then the next week Saturday Tempo runs.

You may also want to combine the long run and tempo run.  This can be intimidating to some runners, but others love the idea because then they get an “extra” easy day run in the week.  If you want to combine the long run and tempo run, all you do is pick up the pace (tempo pace) for the designated mileage.  For example, this week the long run is 7 miles and the tempo run is 2 miles so to combine them begin the long run at an easy pace for the 4 miles then pick up the pace for 2 miles then return to an easy pace for the last 1 mile.  Then the “extra” easy day you would just do an easy 4-5 miles run. 

From the mommy point of view:

Sometimes as mommies things happen that we don’t expect.  To keep this training plan as flexible as possible for those “unexpected moments” we have two hard days in a row that can be combined!  So if we can’t fit in both workouts we can combine them into one and still stay on track.  Using the “extra” easy day as an easy 4-5 mile run is great, but if you can’t fit it in and are just dealing with life the other day that’s good too!

The mommy marathon plan alternates between Friday and Saturday long runs.  As a mommy and a wife, I like this.  I love it when I can use my husband to watch the kids while I take a long run on Saturdays.  But because I don’t want to “burn-out” my husband with being wife-less EVERY Saturday for 17 weeks in a row, so alternating is a good thing too!  I also love getting the long run out of the way on Friday.  My two oldest kids are now 9 and 7 years old so they are old enough to ride their bikes while I run.  So Saturday tempo runs then become a fun run/bike outing with the kids!

Do you need to alternate between Friday/Saturday long runs?  No!  If it works better for you to do all your tempo runs on Friday and all your long runs on Saturday that’s definitely okay to do.  I would suggest occasionally doing an “extra” easy day some Fridays and combining the tempo and long runs so that you are still getting the “conquering the wall” benefit. 

Mommy Marathon Training Plan Week 3:
Sunday: Recovery day- write-out your “plan” for the week, try an icing method, go for a walk, and take a nap!

Monday: 30 min trail run

Tuesday: 30 min cross-train. Continue your cross-training plan or try biking. Biking is great because it is non-weight bearing, and you can get an excellent work-out. Spin classes are AWESOME- especially if you love to sweat.
Wednesday: Warm-up by walking or jogging 1.5 miles. Then do 4x500m at interval pace. Pace for the interval workout (the 500s) 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. Another idea is to play a game soccer with some friends, your spouse, or your kids.

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

Saturday: 2 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 2 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.


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