Trying to do anything with young kids is just hard! Especially, if you are trying to train for a half marathon with young kids! So how do you do it? How is it possible to find time to put in the miles and miles of training and take care of your kids at the same time?
Here are 5 tips for training for a half marathon with young kids.
1. Create A Schedule
Signing up to run a half marathon is a big deal! Especially, if you're not a great runner like me! I wish I was like my husband and could go out and run 10 miles without even thinking about it, but that's not my reality! I have to put a lot of sweat and miles into being able to accomplish a half marathon!
I am currently in the midst of training for my second half marathon. I completed my first half marathon a year after I had my first daughter and when I had our second daughter, I set the same goal to run another half marathon a year after giving birth to her. Crazy, I know! It's amazing what you think you can accomplish when you have all those hormones racing through you after childbirth!
If I thought training with one child was hard enough, training with two seems nearly impossible, especially when they are three and one years old! So how do you do it? How is it possible to find the time when you have little ones who require all your time, not to mention working, cleaning, ballet, etc.... you know the mom list!
The first thing you have to do is create a schedule and be realistic about it. Sit down with your calendar and look at when you have an hour free and you can squeeze in a run. For me, I know my second daughter naps usually for 2 hours each morning so that's the perfect time to sneak a run in.
This is a great opportunity for my oldest daughter to work on her independent playing skills. Luckily, our treadmill is in our basement right next to all her toys. So I run, she plays and also cheers me on, which of course makes me run faster! 😊
2. Use A Training Program
If this is the first half marathon you are training for, I really recommend using a training program! Running 13.1 miles is a long run (in my book) and if you're like me, it takes a while to train up to that! I absolutely love Jeff Galloways "Run-Walk" philosophy and I use it for every training run or race I do! I struggle with running for miles and miles so a run-walk sounded perfect to me.
This app coaches you through each of your training runs and tells you when to run and when to walk. You can also change the intervals to match where you are at as a runner. I personally run for two minutes and walk for one. And the amazing thing is that the longer I run the better I feel. The walk breaks really help your muscles recover and by the time you are supposed to run, you're ready to run again. Please, check out this program! Especially, if you are new to running! You won't regret it!
3. Schedule Your Long Runs In Advance
I hate to break it to you, but eventually, you're going to have to run past the 3-mile mark and nap time or independent play time may not be enough time for you. In Jeff Galloways "Run-Walk", day 4 is considered the long run. The distance varies week to week, but it is usually over 4 miles, which is too long to do during nap time. So how do you get in those long runs? If you're able to take your kiddo's along, do it! If not, make a deal with your partner or support system!
Talk with your partner or support system and schedule your long runs each week. Let them know how important this is to you and that you need their help to accomplish this awesome goal! Chances are they'll be cheering you on and will be happy to watch your little ones! Also, don't feel guilty! Let this be your "me time" and put in those earphones and remind yourself that you are accomplishing an amazing goal and also teaching your kids a valuable lesson!
4. Understand That You'll Get Behind
Let's just face the music now! There is a REALLY good chance you are going to miss a run... or two... or three! That is just the reality of life and especially of being a mom. Don't allow it to discourage you! Don't let it defeat you! Just pick up where you left off and continue!
I ended up taking over a month off of training after getting sick and injuring my foot and I had to make the conscious choice to continue! I just picked up from where I left off and started putting in those miles again. Don't be hard on yourself! Remember... this is a marathon, not a sprint! 😉 The important thing is that you enjoy the journey and are proud of what you are accomplishing!
5. Pick A Fun Race
I am naturally not a runner, but it's something I want to improve at! Because this isn't naturally easy for me, I need something fun to look forward too! That is why I have done my half marathons at Disney World! Disney World is already the most magical place on earth, but add in tens of thousands of people on a runners high and it's pretty amazing!
What I love about Disney races is that they pretty much entertain you the entire way!!! From marching bands, hot air balloons, characters, running through parks and the best.... running through Cinderella's castle, you almost forget you are even running! Disney knows how to create atmosphere and a Disney race doesn't disappoint!! I may never run a half marathon anywhere else! They are just too much fun!!
Running a Disney race may not be possible for you, but find a race that you are excited to do! There are so many half marathons around the U.S. and some great courses to run. Take a look at them and see what excites you and will motivate you! Having something to look forward to will give you that extra motivation you need during your training runs!
Well, there you have it! 5 Tips for half marathon training with young kids. It can be done and you can do it!!! Remember to plan, be intentional and don't give up! You will be so proud of yourself the moment you cross that finish line! Way to go!!!
Have an amazing race! We'll be cheering you on!