Everyone wants to put a label on themselves these days. Whether you want to be this or that doesn’t matter. What matters is what you’ve actually done. I hate labels. To this day, I still don’t really refer to myself as a “runner”. As a matter of fact, whenever someone refers to me as a runner, it doesn’t register. The truth is, I am indeed a runner. I ran a marathon. I’m not the strongest, or the fastest, but I’m a runner.
Over the last year I’ve gotten extremely good at depending on myself to formulate a plan when it comes to my training, whether it’s in the weight room, or out on the road. I’ve figured out what has worked, and disregarded the rest. A lot of the programs out there are written by people who have never been in my shoes and will never be in my shoes. That’s why it was important to figure out what worked for me (at that time). After all, I never saw any headlines targeting overweight new moms.
There’s articles that tell you how to go couch to 5k, or even couch to half marathon. There’s not a whole lot that will tell you that you can go from not being a runner at all, to being a marathon runner. I’m here to tell you that the impossible is surely possible. I hate the cliché saying, “if I can do it, you can too!” Most times when people say that to you, they’re shooting a giant middle finger in your direction and sending you down a path full of traps and failure.
I’m here to tell you, that I mean it when I say, if I can complete a marathon, anybody can. Instead of going couch to 5k, I decided to put my big girl pants on and go for the 26.2 just 8 months’ post-partum. Go big or go home right?
Just because this is doable, doesn’t make it easy. Just in case you have run off and assumed this was going to be a walk in the park.
You’re going to be able to complete a MARATHON. And you’re going to come out on the other side a better, stronger, individual.
Here’s how you can go couch, or stirrups to 50K
Week 1: Monday: 1 Mile Wednesday: 2 Miles Friday: 1 Mile Saturday: 3 Miles
Week 2: M: 2 Miles W: 3 Miles F: 2 Miles S: 4 Miles
Week 3: M: 2 W: 4 F: 2 S: 5
Week 4: M: 3 W: 4 F: 3 S: 6
Week 5: M: 3 W: 5 F: 3 S: 6
Week 6: OFF (This week is to help you recover so you don’t get stress fractures.)
Week 7: M:4 W: 6 F: 4 S: 8
Week 8: M: 4 W: 6 F: 4 S: 8
Week 9: M: 4 W:6 F: 4 S: 10
Week 10: M: 4 W: 6 F: 4 S: 12
Week 11: M: 4 W: 6 F: 4 S: 14
Week 12: M:4 W: 6 F: 4 S: 16
Week 13 M: 4 W: 6 F: 4 S: 18
Week 14 M: 4 W: 6 F: 4 S: 18
Week 15 M: 4 W: 6 F: 4 S: 20
Week 16 M: 4 W: 6 F: 4 S: 20
Week 17 M: 2 W: 3 F: 2 S: 6
Week 18: Marathon Week! M: 1-2 Miles W: 1-2 Miles F: 1-2 Miles S: 1 mile walk and stretch
Cross training is essential for all runners, but especially for new runners. The key is to increase strength in the posterior chain. Your quadriceps are going to inevitably get stronger because of all the running, but the strength of your backside needs to match it. The stronger your muscles, the better your posture is while running.
Here are several exercises that you can utilize in the weight room:
1.) Squat/Front Squat
2.) Snatch Grip Deadlift/ Convential Deadlift
3.) Front & Reverse Lunges
4.) Barbell Rows
5.) Bicep Curls
6.) Hip Thrusters/ Glute Bridges
These are just a few of my favorites. The key here is to gain strength so focus on lower rep ranges and higher weight to increase overall strength. (Example: 5×5, 6×3,3×3, etc.)
Attention New Moms!
If you’re a new mom, there’s a few tools that will make life a whole lot easier on you. Investing in a quality jogging stroller is key. The BOB is a gift from God and to this day has made running less stressful on me. They also sell an insert that is compatible with all different kinds of click connect car seats. So even the newest of babies can face you while you’re running. Baby gets to see Mama, Mama gets to see baby and all is right in the world. It doesn’t matter what kind of shape you’re in, when you look into the eyes of your precious babe, a fire gets lit under you and anything is possible.
A Few Helpful Bits
There’s some events that take place when you’re running distance that I unfortunately had to discover on my own. I don’t want you to suffer the same fate. Here are several tools that help enhance your running experience (if you will…).
1.) Petroleum Jelly AKA Vaseline: This comes in handy because you will chafe in places that you didn’t know you could chafe in.
2.) Nipple Guards: Just to add on to the whole chafing subject…this includes your nipples. Protect them. I promise you, blisters on your nipples are excruciating.
3.) Camelback (or some form of hydration that you don’t have to physically hold): Camelback’s come in handy for convenient hydration, and to hold your goods while you run.
4.) Replenishing snacks: I preferred gummies and beans, but a lot of people choose gu or other different snacks. You’re going to be running a long time and your body will thank you for refueling it when it wants to quit.
5.) Headphones: Some people opt out of listening to music. However, I swear by a good playlist.
6.) Running Shoes: I love saucony, but everyone has different feet. Spend money on a quality pair of sneakers. Your feet will thank you for it.
What are you waiting for?
Nothing beats the feeling of crossing the finish line of a marathon. Only 1% of the population has completed one. There’s nothing stopping you from being a part of those proud few.