Getting Mom Back Into Shape
I was approached this weekend to help someone train for the Baltimore half marathon in October of this year. This person, a mother of two boys ages 7 and 8, is an active mom who has an active exercise history. As a runner, she runs but has not been consistent in her training-mostly because she is a working mom with two active kids in sports practically year-round. Where is the room for training in this lifestyle? The answer should be clear – virtually nowhere.
That’s not to say that Kristen does not have a chance to get out there and run – but after gaining a few pounds and becoming frustrated that she could not get herself on a schedule, she asked me if I’d like to train for the race. A race is a great fitness goal because it gives you an excuse to put some things aside and prioritize your day to get your training run complete – but this takes dedication and planning – something Kristen has.
Now I don’t mind training with Kristen but we don’t live in the same state – not that we are too far away, but training “together” in the physical sense will be impossible most days. Therefore, I told her that for our training relationship to work she had to be committed to run on her own and that I’d join her every other weekend or so (we live about an hour apart). I was not going to just email her a training plan and expect her to do it, however. She had to show me she was committed by emailing me with her progress.
On Monday, she knew she was supposed to run three miles at a 10 minute pace – we had discussed that first milestone over the weekend. Not only did she complete her three miles yesterday, but today she signed up for the half marathon and sent me the link. I congratulated her and emailed a training schedule for this week.
Which Training Schedule is Right?
When it comes to training for any race, the literature out there is extensive. You could go to virtually any running Web site to find training schedules for any race. There are books on racing and races schedules as well. In fact, the Baltimore half marathon Web site offers its own training program.
Since the race is only 3 months away, however, it can become daunting to just look at a scheudule and mere follow it. I need to be strategic in focusing on increasing Kristen’s distance slowly over time, avoiding injury and helping her manage weight loss all at the same time. Her kids are gone for three weeks to Grandma’s so now is a good time to establish healthier eating habits.
What I will probably do with Kristen is send her a weekly schedule so she does not look ahead and say, “Man, next month, I will have to do 8 miles on a Saturday!” Instead, we’ll just move there gradually and we’ll discuss some basic weight loss techniques, which for most of us is to decrease the junk, but understand when it is important to eat, and what to do on those days where all of a sudden, you want to eat your arms and legs off because you cannot satiate your hunger – those days do happen and they are frustrating because you feel you are going against your plans to loose weight. In fact, you probably will. Your body just needs a refill.
I am excited to see Kristen get through this race. One of my neighbors lost 60 pounds after I put her on a training schedule and looked like a rock star – mostly because she stopped purchasing a gingerbread latte and muffin at Starbucks everyday. Now, she’s lost weight AND can afford to put her kids through college with the money she’s saving (this last phrase is a little joke but REALLY, if you are spending over $6 a day at Starbucks we need to have a little talk).