A few months ago, I wrote a post about my running partner, Jocelyn (read the post here.) We started running together while training for our first half-marathon in 2010. At that time, Jocelyn was the only one of us who was a mommy, and all of our runs were sans kids. Now, she’s got two little munchkins and I have a sweet boy of my own. Jogging strollers have definitely become part of our lives!
When we decided to train for another half-marathon together, we knew we would have to incorporate the strollers into our training. Both of our husbands are super busy with work stuff and trips this summer and we can’t find babysitters for all of our runs. We know it will be challenging to get our training done with full-time jobs and kids, but we’re determined to get it done and looking forward to it! We have signed up for a mini marathon in September and officially started our training this week.
If you are a not an experienced runner, a half-marathon may seem like a pretty intimidating feat… but I’m here to tell you it is not as dauting as it seems! It’s all about being consistent with your training.
When I started training for my first mini marathon, the most I had ever run at one time was 6 miles. Once. Our running guru devised an easy 15-week plan for Jocelyn and I that consisted of running only 3 times per week. I was 17 weeks pregnant on race day, and felt great. Our finishing time was 2:32 I believe. We could have pushed ourselves much harder but were trying to be conservative since I was pregnant and this was our first big race.
Since I’ve had Lucas my runs have become shorter but I also think I’ve had more efficient workouts — especially in my hilly neighborhood. Try pushing a stroller uphill… it’s quite a workout! Here are some tips if you are planning on taking your baby for a ride:
Be prepared for interruptions. Checking on baby, replenishing a snack, grabbing the bottle the baby just threw out of the stroller. It does help to keep snacks on hand. Lucas loves the big old rice chips/cakes like “Kim’s Magic Pops” (he’s holding one in the photo above) and it takes him a while to finish one. Perfect for the stroller ride. Also: invest in a stroller with a good canopy or purchase additional sun shade. Despite the canopy on my jeep stroller and my incessant tries to get Lucas to wear his hat and/or sunglasses, sun would always get in his eyes and he would be very uncomfortable (read: more interruptions). Getting extra sun shade has really helped. I have also purchased a weather shield for rainy (not stormy) days and have yet to try it.
Since runs with strollers tend to be shorter, we have decided to adapt the plan that worked so well for us in 2010. We do plan on enlisting child care for our long runs and maybe some of our weekday runs as well. But most of our short mile days will be with our kiddos. So, we tweeked our plan to stretch out our miles into 4 days per week (rather than 3 x week). I will share the plan here in case someone wants to give it a try.
By the way: seasoned runners may be surprised that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of miles to be logged during week days. But, this is the exact amount of miles we logged per week during our first training and were more than ready for 13.1 by week 15!