How to Train for a Marathon with Small Children

How to Train for a Marathon with Small Children

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by the J.M. Smucker company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Prior to having children, I ran road races multiple times per year. After having children, running races each summer and fall went by the wayside. My priorities shifted to being a mom and that is where a majority of my time is focused.

While training for and running races is not a top life priority now, I haven’t completely given up. I still try to run at least one road race per year, unless I am pregnant or have a newborn…so I have skipped a few races over the last 6 years. It’s not easy to fit the race in some years and it can feel like a lot of work, but it is completely worth the time and effort!

Running a marathon was a goal of mine. When our oldest daughter was one, my husband and I decided to train for our first marathon. It is such a time-consuming endeavor! The entire summer of 2012 was spent figuring our training schedules, shuffling our 1-year-old around during long runs, running, eating (so much!), and recovering from the many miles we were running.

It was such a fun summer of training and the marathon was a blast. We were both excited to hit our goal times. While I would not take the time to train for a marathon every year with small children, I am so glad that we decided to make it a priority for one summer.

If you want to train for a marathon or an alternate time-consuming (and bold!) adventure with young children at home, here are a few tips:

Write out a schedule

You cannot fly by the seat of your pants when training for a marathon. There are too many miles that must be fit into a week for that to work, especially when planning the runs around work schedules (my husbands) and a one-year-old. I made a rough 16-week training plan for both of us. We had weekly meetings to figure out when we would get our training runs in. There was no way we would have been able to log the miles and get in the long runs if we didn’t sit down to schedule out our runs each week. (It made me wonder why I didn’t do my first marathon pre-kiddo. It would have been much easier to get all the miles in!)

How to Train for a Marathon with Small Children

Find a training or accountability partner

I am so glad that my husband and I decided to train for the same marathon. Yes, it meant that every weekend we BOTH had to get our long runs in. If we both had to run 20+ miles at separate times in the day, that would take up much of our day! (We would then be completely wiped out for the remaining time.)

It was so helpful to have a training partner. We did a few runs together when it worked out to have someone watch our daughter. It was also nice to train for the same race as much of our daily conversation was around our running schedule, training runs, goal paces, rest, aches and pains, injuries, what we were eating, and everything else running related. If only one of us had been training, all the running talk might have gotten old for the non-running partner.

It also held us accountable as we had to do many of our runs early in the morning. Accountability is so helpful!

Commit!

Training for a marathon is hard work and time-consuming. While I enjoyed it, I am not going to say that it was always easy to do with a child at home. If she was awake at night, it was hard to force myself to get up early to run. It was also hard to have the energy to be a fun mom after running a long run. I just wanted to take a nap! It’s only because I was committed to the marathon and had a goal time in mind that kept me going.

Enlist in help

It was nice to schedule a few of our long runs when grandparents could watch our daughter. It was so helpful! It made our long runs more enjoyable because my husband and I could run a portion of it together…until he decided to take off at a quicker pace. It also took much less time to get our long runs in when we could do them at the same time.

Use your morning time wisely

We could not have completed our training schedule without using the morning time. We often switched off on who would run in the morning and who would run in the evening. When running for fun instead of actual marathon training, it would be fine to just roll out of bed and be out the door in just a few minutes. That doesn’t work so well when you have training goals and need to get a solid run completed in the morning!

If I had more than just a slow recovery run planned, I had to get up in plenty of time to wake up and enjoy coffee and breakfast. Enjoying the morning quiet with my coffee was the perfect way to start my morning prior to tying on my running shoes to get outside.

How to Train for a Marathon with Small Children

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Dunkin’ Dark coffee contains 30% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee and can be found in grocery stores nationwide. Whether pursuing a lifelong dream (like I was with my marathon) or mixing up your daily routine, Dunkin’ Dark coffee is the perfect bold blend. Learn more here. 

How to Train for a Marathon with Small Children

Regardless of whether or not I am training for a running race, my morning time with a mug of coffee is one of my favorite parts of my day!

Have you ever run a marathon or considered training for one? What bold adventure do you want to plan?

The post is brought to you by Activate by Bloglovin and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
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September Mini Goal: Plan Out Morning and Evening Schedules

September Mini Goal: Reset Morning and Evening Schedules

This post is part of my 12 Mini Goals Challenge.

Small daily habits can make a big difference over the course of a few weeks, months, or even longer. In 2016, I am going to focus on a new habit or mini goal every month. In January, I focused on Daily Movement or Exercise. In February, I focused on cutting down on evening snacking. In March, my goal was 30 days of pilates. In April, my goal was to clear my kitchen counters every night. In May, I attempted to clear out my closet 3 items at a time. In June, my goal was to reset my mornings and wake up earlier. In July, my goal was to drink more water. In July, I wanted to track our daily reading.

As a stay-at-home mom, I have been able to make our own schedule for the past five years. Now that my oldest is going to kindergarten this fall, I will have to abide by a school schedule. This will be a big change!

I know that I will need to manage my schedule much differently as I am not used to getting my girls out the door early in the morning. This will not be easy on me. I will miss out on much of my morning alone time and I will have to be much more strict about bedtimes and morning routines. I will need to stop fitting in that One Last Thing that can make me late.

I am starting in on my September mini-goal early. I am going to force myself to schedule my evenings and mornings until I form the habits we need. I know that it’s key for my daughter to be well-rested and also have a non-rushed morning. Our mornings will go so much smoother and attitudes will be better if she doesn’t feel rushed!

September Mini Goal: Plan Out Morning and Evening Schedules

My September Mini Goal: Plan out morning and evening schedules to help me stay on track

I created a morning and evening schedule printable that I plan on using until I get a handle on our new school routine. Forcing myself to write on an actual schedule helps me plan my time better. I am less likely to attempt to fit in too much for the time allowed.

Reset Morning and Evening Schedules

Your September Mini Goal: Plan your morning and/or evening schedules.

If you want to join me, print off the Morning and Evening Schedule Printable

If you want to take this a step further and need to reset your mornings for back-to-school, consider checking out: Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings. I will be running a morning accountability group in September, so pick the eBook up and join me if you need to step back and take a look at your morning schedule.

Let me know if you decide to join! What do you struggle with in your morning and evening schedules? Do you find it helpful to write out your schedule?

 September Mini Goal: Plan Out Morning and Evening Schedules. With printable schedule for mornings and evenings. 

I would love to have you join the 12 Mini Goals Challenge. Sign up for my mailing list if you want to be e-mailed the challenge each month. If we get to a month where the goal doesn’t fit into your life, you can always tweak it to be a mini goal that works for you.

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First Day of School Printable

First Day of School Printable. Free Printables.

It’s almost time to go back to school!

I cannot believe that back-to-school affects me this year. My oldest is going to kindergarten, so this is the first year of school visits and shopping for back-to-school supplies. I think I enjoyed school supply shopping as much as she did. In a few days, she will be holding this sign!First Day of School PrintableI created a full set of First Day of School printables to share with you today.

First Day of School Printable. Free Printables.

The full PDF includes pre-school through eighth grade. I realize that you may be hard-pressed to get your seventh or eighth grader to hold a sign…but figured I would include it just in case.

Print off the full PDF here: First Day of School Printables

Or PIN the printables for later.

First Day of School Printable. Free Back to School Printables.

Having to abide by a school schedule is new to me. As a stay-at-home mom, I have been able to make our own schedule for the past five years. This will be a big change for me!

I know that I will need to manage my schedule much differently as I am not used to getting my girls out the door early in the morning. If you are in the same boat as me and need to reset your mornings for back-to-school, consider checking out: Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings. I will be running a morning accountability group in September, so pick the eBook up and join me if you need to step back and take a look at your morning schedule.

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings will guide you from start to finish. It includes worksheets to help you organize and plan along the way.

This step-by-step guide will help you:

  • Visualize your ideal morning
  • Decide your morning priorities
  • Plan your morning routine
  • Create a morning schedule
  • Make the most of your evening time
  • Decide on an accountability plan
  • Motivate you to use your mornings best to achieve the entire day that is your ultimate goal!

This eBook contains worksheets to help you as you make your morning plan.

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings

Do you want to reset and maximize your mornings? Do you feel like you are waking up behind? Waking up scattered and tired? Do you have the desire for alone time? Do you have goals you want to fulfill or habits you want to create? Do you feel that you are using your mornings the best that you can? Introducing Your Morning Manual: A Guide and Workbook for Resetting and Maximizing Your Mornings

I am here to help you walk through the process of developing a new morning. This handbook will guide you from start to finish. Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings includes worksheets to help you organize and plan along the way!

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting and Maximizing Your Mornings

If you have the desire for alone time, goals you want to fulfill, or habits you want to create, morning can be the perfect time.

People are often more focused, more alert, and more creative in the morning. Morning people are also said to be more productive. Mornings are such a quiet and beautiful time of day.

When you decide to be intentional with your morning time, you have the opportunity to set your priorities instead of someone setting them for you.

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings. Show me how to reset my mornings!

Why should you reset and maximize your mornings? So you can…

  • Feel more in control
  • Enjoy a more peaceful day
  • Get more organized
  • Take care of yourself, or
  • Have the time for your dreams, passion projects, blog, or a side business

Think about what it would mean for you to reset your mornings. Determine what you want to achieve and what success would look like.

  • Is success losing 10 pounds by doing morning workouts?
  • Do you want to write an eBook?
  • Do you desire a 10% increase in your home business?
  • Is success found in being a more patient mother?
  • Is your sole desire to spend 15 minutes in devotional time to start your day off on the right foot?
  • Is your primary goal to start your morning in a more relaxed, less hectic state?

What would it mean to achieve your goal? What would it mean to decide it’s not worth trying?

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings. I am ready to maximize my mornings!

This step-by-step guide will help you:

  • Visualize your ideal morning
  • Decide your morning priorities
  • Plan your morning routine
  • Create a morning schedule
  • Make the most of your evening time
  • Decide on an accountability plan
  • Motivate you to use your mornings best to achieve the entire day that is your ultimate goal!

This eBook contains worksheets to help you as you make your morning plan. Some of the worksheets are printables you will be able to continue to use even after you have completed the book. Here is a sample of the Daily Plan printable:

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings. Daily Plan Worksheets

BONUS: When you purchase Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings, you will be invited to join a Morning Accountability group. This is the perfect timing for a back-to-school schedule change!

The Accountability Group will be run within Facebook officially starting September 1. The group will go for one month. Enrollment in the Accountability Group will be limited to keep the group small enough to be effective. You will receive an invite to the group via e-mail. 

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings. Get the Accountability Group BONUS

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings

FAQ:

If I don’t want to spend my entire morning checking items off my to-do list, is this eBook for me?

Yes! The goal here is not productivity for productivity’s sake. The goal is to plan out the morning that YOU want so as to achieve the entire day that is your ultimate goal.

This book is just less than 30 pages…why is this book so short?

I wanted to share actionable steps and worksheets to guide you on the journey to your best morning. I don’t want to waste your time with fluff and extra content. You will just receive the information and worksheets you need to guide you to making your best morning plan.

I cannot join the September Accountability Group. Will there be future groups?

Yes! I plan to lead other groups in the future. At this time, the accountability groups will NOT be run EVERY month. There is a link within the book to signup to be notified when the next group will start. Enrollment in an accountability group cannot be guaranteed with purchase. Future groups will be run based on the demand and interest of book purchasers.

Get Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings!

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting & Maximizing Your Mornings. Visualize your ideal morning. Decide your morning priorities. Plan your morning routine. Create a morning schedule. Make the most of your evening time. Decide on an accountability plan. Motivate you to use your mornings best to achieve the entire that is your ultimate goal! This eBook will help you walk through the process of developing a new morning routine. It includes worksheets to help you organize and plan along the way!

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable

I have heard if you give a kid a wand, it’s just a wand.

If you give a kid a stick, it’s a wand, a sword, a lightsaber, a torch, a staff, a stick, a spoon, a flashlight…it’s whatever the kid imagines it to be.

I enjoy watching this unfold with my five-year-old. The more simple the item is, the less toy-like it is, the more the imagination runs wild. While we have more than enough toys in the house, when we go outside our play is different. We rarely even get toys out when my daughter plays outside. She needs a place to run around and that is all. As soon as she has a place to run and the opportunity for free-play, the creative juices get flowing.

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Teach Healthy Habits. Come Out to Play!

Regardless of the place of play, she is able to imagine and run. She is able to create stories. She is able to make any item into whatever fits into her play. Sand or gravel turns into food, money, or whatever her mind wants it to be.

Watching her imagination is just one of the benefits of unplugging, getting active, and getting outside. She also sleeps and eats better after having plenty of time running around outdoors.

Balanced and active play lays the foundation for a skilled, healthy, resilient, and successful society. Play is disappearing at home, in school, and in communities. 70% of moms played outside when they were kids and just 31% off their kids play outside today. This CLIF Kid video reminds you to Come Out to Play.

Let’s get the kids out to play! They will be happier…and so will mom and dad. It’s also key as the parent to unplug and get outside too. It’s important to be a good example and teach your children healthy habits.

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable

With school around the corner, there are only a few more days or weeks of the freedom of a summer schedule. Use the time to get your children outside!

If your child struggles with free play, or if it’s hard to get them to unplug to get outside, you may need to help encourage their outdoor play. Here are a few tips:

  • Help build an obstacle course.
  • Create a contest or initiate a race.
  • Go on a nature scavenger hunt. (Get the Nature Scavenger Hunt printable!)
  • Think of a movie or set of characters that they like. Encourage them to act out a scene or pretend they are the characters of their favorite movie.
  • Use walking, running, or biking as a way to get to your destination.
  • Find a hill to run up or roll down.
  • Plan a Backyard Olympic event with your neighbors.

When we go to the park, my daughter loves running around the paths more than anything. She loves to run up the huge snow hill close to our home. Expending this energy often makes her hungrier. To fuel her body, I prefer to give her healthy food. CLIF Kid makes nutritious snacks from organic ingredients that are specially-crafted for kids’ developing taste buds and active lives. My daughter enjoys CLIF Kid Zbars as fuel for running around.

I enjoy the convenience of bringing Zbars along when we are on-the-go. I agree with my daughter that they are also tasty!

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Teach Healthy Habits. Come Out to Play!

Check out the CLIF Kid Facebook page.

Print off the printable: Nature Scavenger Hunt

Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable. Outdoor activities for children.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Get Outdoors with Your Kids & Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable

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