I've written before about the website Another Mother Runner. I was featured as one of their Mother Runners back in February, which was such an honor. I actually became aware of their wonderful website last year when I connected with Sarah Bowen Shea on Twitter. SBS, as she goes by, is one of the two authors/creators of their books and website, as we bonded over our shared injury of plantar fasciits. She and her friend, Dimity McDowell (also a Twitter friend of mine) have created this wonderful forum and community for mother runners, not just on their website and Twitter feed, but also on their Facebook page and their podcasts.
I had the privilege of meeting SBS last year at the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas expo. I stopped by her booth so I could finally meet her in person. I ended up buying a cute shirt that says "are my kids still chasing me?" (I swear I wear this ALL THE TIME, sometimes when I'm not even running! It's so cute and I love the fit) and their first book, Run Like A Mother. SBS even signed it for me.
I love this book so much...it is full of stories, tips and inspiration, not only from SBS and Dimity but from scores of other mother runners. So, you can can imagine my delight when I was contacted by them to ask if I would read and review their new book, Train Like A Mother. I jumped at the chance.
This book, subtitled "How to Get Across Any Finish Line--and Not Lose Your Family, Job or Sanity" is the perfect companion to their first book, and an indispensable guide to any woman (or man, frankly) who is looking for a training plan for a race. They have training plans for running a 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon. Additionally, they have chapters on strength training, injuries, nutrition, and more. Like their first book, this one is not only written by both Dimity and SBS, but is peppered throughout with real-life advice from other real-life mother runners.
Although I have completed tons of races (countless 5ks, 11 half marathons, 1 full marathon and 6 triathlons so far, with my 12th half marathon coming up this weekend) I have never actually followed a training plan. I have always made up my own, mainly consisting of doing a short run (3 miles) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a long run on the weekends (long being anywhere from 5-11, depending on where I am in the training and/or taper cycle). Other days I cross train with swimming and biking. So I eagerly flipped to the half marathon training section, and started reading.
Each race distance section comes with 2 training plans. The first is the "finish it" plan, which is for the runner who just wants to complete the race; maybe a runner who is a beginner to the distance, or wants to cross that distance off their bucket list, for instance. The second is the "own it" plan, which is for more experienced or intermediate runners/racers who want to better their time, set a personal record, and/or wants to do more than "just" finish a race. I love how this is broken down, as every runner, no matter what distance they are doing, is looking to either finish or own the race.
The excellent training plans make up the meat of the book, but for me, the real gold are the nuggets of advice from SBS, Dimity and other mother runners. I totally related to "The Five Stages of Grief" when dealing with an injury, and loved the Race-Day Checklist. And their "Top Ten Training-Related Questions" (How do I determine race pace? Is the treadmill the same as running outside?) is a great reference. Most of all, I love the casual, humorous and informative tone of the book. Both of their books are easy reads, and I finished both being even more inspired to run and proud to be a part of the running community. I think they should be on every (mother) runner's reading list.