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Half or Full?

By Kristen Horler, CEO & Founder of Baby Boot Camp

I was never a runner. During pregnancy and for the next few years, I learned to love walking. I walked miles and miles and miles with my kids in their double stroller. When we moved from California to Florida in 2005, I started jogging my kids to pre-school in their double stroller... mostly because we were running late. But the flat, paved path from our house to their school was a nice way to spend the morning together, while they enjoyed their breakfast.

I have continued to enjoy running without my children and, while I may not be the fastest runner, or have my sights on training for the Boston Marathon, I still enjoy the mind-body detox that I get from a good run.

To get started, you’ll need to select an event distance. If you’ve run several 5K’s and 10K’s, you may be ready to train for a half marathon (13.1 miles). Unless you’ve run a couple of half marathons, finished feeling fabulous, and have the time required to commit to properly train for a full marathon (26.2 miles), I recommend to most moms with stroller-aged children to stick with the half… at least until your little ones start Kindergarten.

Training for a half marathon requires a time commitment of at least twelve weeks. I trained for my first half marathon with my two and four year old's in their double stroller, making race day a relatively easier push to the finish. Two things kept me going as my training mileage increased:

  • I gave birth to these children. Therefore, I can do anything.
  • If I can run for two hours, pushing 80 pounds of child and stroller, I can certainly finish 13.1 miles without the stroller.

Once you’ve selected your event, at least twelve weeks out, select your training days and your rest days. I recommend running three days each week (not back-to-back days), and cross-training (anything other than running) two days each week. Mix up your three run days so that you have two shorter runs that focus on speed work or intervals, and one long run, where you focus on achieving your desired distance.

Although your race day mileage will be over 13 miles, you will only need to train up to 11-12 miles. Working with the end in mind, you will follow a format similar to the one attached. You will see the mileage begins to taper the week prior to race day. Also use this time during your last two weeks of training to decrease your cross training activities and allow your body time to rest in preparation for race day.

WEEK    APPROX. DISTANCE
     1                   3 miles
     2                   4 miles
     3                   5 miles
     4                   6 miles
     5                   7 miles
     6                   8 miles
     7                   9 miles
     8                  10 miles
     9                  11 miles
    10                 12 miles
    11                  8 miles
    12               13.1 miles

Before you embark on a distance run, make you have clearance from your physician and your stroller has gone through a tune up at your local bike shop too. Keep in mind most long distance events do not allow strollers or music for safety reasons, but it’s a terrific way to train for your event. 

Happy Training!

Kristen Horler is CEO and founder of Baby Boot Camp, offering prenatal and postpartum fitness and nutrition program for women. With over 12 years of professional fitness experience, Kristen is a continuing education provider for the American Council on Exercise and author of Baby Boot Camp: The New Mom’s 9-Minute Fitness Solution (Sterling 2010).
For more information visit babybootcamp.com
Mountain Buggy terrain is the official jogging stroller for Baby Boot Camp.

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