AMR Virtual 5K: Let’s Get It Started + Everything You Need to Know

Lori and BRF Julie running the Towpath 10K in Cleveland last October.
Insert yourself here. (You can just hear their laughter, right?)

Welcome to the First (Annual? Maybe. We'll see.) AMR 5K, a training program and run where we, righteous, fierce badass mother runners that we are, will all push each other out the door and across the finish line.

Here's the 4-1-1- necessary to get your 5K on:

Why are you doing this?
Taking a wide view, because we know that the more mother runners there are in the world, the better place it is.

Focus in, and we've heard from plenty of you that you need some tough love and a gentle shove (hey: that rhymes). You want to figure this running thing out, but for some reason—time, schedule, motivation, inspiration, frustration—it's just not working for you. The collective strength, support, and just general amazingness of the mother runner tribe, we're confident, can get you on the regular running habit. We're all here to push you out the door—and hold you accountable, cheer you on, and toast to your success with a bottle of nuun.

Why should I do this?
If you can commit to 10 weeks of dedicated workouts, chances are, you'll soar across the finish line. This program isn't just about the 3.1 miles, though; they're about making running an integral and coveted part of your life. Commit to these 10 weeks, and you’ll see running—and yourself— in a whole new light.

Become a runner, and you too can wear coordinated, adorable outfits with your BRFs.
Become a runner, and you too can wear coordinated, adorable outfits with your BRFs.

Ok, enough of the inspirational talk. What are the details? Training plan? Dates? Other info?
If you are someone who:

*is having a hard time figuring out how to become a runner
*is sputtering; you stop, you start, you hit a speed bump, you stop again
*is coming back from a serious injury (out for at least 6 weeks)
*has recently had a child come into her life and have lost your groove

we recommend that you follow the 5K: Finish It Plan (a .pdf file) from Train Like a Mother. It's a walk/run plan that builds up your running and confidence in a safe, smart fashion.

If you're farther along in your running, follow any other TLAM plan. (See the distance question below.) We don't want to get bogged down in too many details; our overarching goal is to throw miles of support and inspiration into the universe, so all levels of mother runners can succeed.

The 5K: Finish It training plan is bookended by two of  our favorite holidays: it starts today (Sarah's birthday: HBTY SBS!) and ends on May 11th, Mother's Day. That's 10 weeks.

We are going to posting the daily workout in our AMR Connect Forums, under the beginners section. There's already a small army of mother runners who have posted there and are ready for this party to start. Don't be shy about chiming in and introducing yourself, talking about your workout (my no-whining policy that I try to institute in my house does not apply), generally chatting each other up. You never know who you may connect with--or inspire.

Can I switch up my workouts?
Yes, you can move your workouts around in a week as much as you need to. Our only bit of advice: don't backload your week if you can help it. There's something delicious about knocking out one sweat session on Monday morning, if your situation allows.

High 5's all around for the AMR Virtual 5K.
High 5's all around for the AMR Virtual 5K.

What if I miss a workout or a week?
No biggie. Just pick up as quickly as your life and health allows, and keep on going. If you're not sure if the sniffles should excuse you from a workout, the AMR Connect Forums is a great place to ask. Just be prepared to maybe not like the answer so much. ("Sniffles? Lace up, lady. I mean that in the nicest way possible.")

Can I train for a longer distance?
Absolutely. The more miles—and mother runners—the merrier. There are already a handful of ladies in the AMR Connect Forums who are gunning for 10K's and Half-Marathons.

Is there a real AMR race on May 11th?
Nope. So you can sign up for a local 5K (or other distance) and have at it. (Here's a list of women's races if you need help finding one.) You can also just run 3.1 miles from your house and celebrate Mother's Day in blissful silence. Or you can go somewhere in between: invite a couple pals to run with you, then head home and celebrate with your offspring. Your call.

Mother's Day: babe + race. Perfection.
Mother's Day: babe + race. Perfection.

Oh, and there's something special here that I can't think of a fake question for:
We are going to record our first-ever, 60-minute podcast out just in time for the AMR Virtual 5K. We're going to have tunes (or snippets of much as copyright laws allow) and pacing tips and a bunch of other fun stuff, so if you're running alone you don't have to be, you know, running alone.

What if my race or run can't be on May 11th?
Do it on May 10th or 9th or 12th...we're not super strict around here.

How will you know we did it?
We are going to make up some virtual bibs, and we want to see a picture of you either pre-, during or  post-run with your bib on.If you're in a real race, just hold your virtual bib up for a pre- or post-race...we want you to wear your race number. Once we see that, we'll be happy to send off our version of a medal: your very own BAMR sticker.

If you have a camera malfunction or just can't happen, no worries: we trust that you did it.


Huh? BAMR sticker?
Yep, these beauties, a testament to your ability to set a goal and work your badass off to reach it, are not even for sale yet. Send us a pic and your address, and we'll officially dub you a BAMR. (Oh, and BAMR means Badass Mother Runner, in case you weren't sure.)

What else?
We'll use #BAMR5K on Twitter (we also have #motherrunner and #TLAM2013 as frequent tags, so feel free to throw those puppies on as well). We're going to profile mother runners taking on the 5K here, as well as have regular updates over the next 10 weeks, so rest assured: there will be plenty of coverage.

If all of this feels too overwhelming, here again are the basics:
1. Start training today with the 5K: Finish It Plan.
2. Check in regularly in the AMR Connect Forums for support and accountability.
3. Finish at least a 5K on (or around) May 11th.
4. Send us a picture of yourself with our AMR virtual bib, and we'll send you a BAMR sticker!


63 responses to “AMR Virtual 5K: Let’s Get It Started + Everything You Need to Know

  1. Love the sticker and can’t wait to get my hands on one after I run on Friday! ‘Cept in this house…no cussing is allowed, so to me, BAMR = Be Another Mother Runner. Happy training all!

  2. Ran and FINISHED my 3rd half marathon this past Sunday!!! Managed to slash 7+ minutes off my previous PR, so it is a great day!!!

  3. Almost there! Coming back from shoulder surgery on December 31st. Cleared to run again beginning April 10th. I lost so much conditioning!

  4. I run 5Ks regularly and am excited to be a part of this virtual 5K! Now all I need is my hubby to get a new job so I can have a more reliable running partner (my doggie is reluctant about all this running business) and I will expand my horizon to 10k!

  5. I am in. I just finished today’s workout. I’ve been coming back from issues with my IT Band. I’m excited and registered for a race May 11th with my BAMR BFF from work 🙂

  6. I am in!! I Just completed the Nike 10k virtual race a week ago. How do you receive the virtual bib? I cannot wait to work my way to a fabulous run Mother’s Day!

  7. Is it too late to sign up for the training? I am just getting back to the sport after an injury and it feels so good to get back out there!!

  8. Love the idea of a virtual 5k!! I really hope I’m not late to join, I have plans of running a few 5k’s this year, so your training plan will be a great help!!

  9. I’m in! Just came back from a run this morning….feels good. But I’m confused…how do we get the virtual bib?

  10. I’m in! Been training for a 1/2 marathon on April 20th, but I’m also running a 5K on Mother’s Day, Run Like a Mother in Chicago.

  11. I’m training for a full marathon on April 27, but also doing a full marathon as my long training run on April 7 (my 22-miler falls on that day and I had signed up for the earlier marathon before I found out about the one on the 27th). I don’t know if I can afford physically or financially to do a 5K around Mother’s Day. Will my April marathon(s) count for this?

  12. So excited about this and shared with my friends. It was such a blessing to meet you gals at the Disney Princess run expo and be able to thank you for your encouragement in person! I can’t wait for my BAMR sticker to sport while driving around Colorado Springs!!

  13. I love it! Going to redeem my DNS from last year’s injury/boot at this year’s 25k on May 11th! (or, at the very least, I’ll run the 10k). Can’t wait to get that sticker 🙂

  14. I got 3x 4walk 2 runs in today.I will be doing my 5 k a little early on May 3 at the flying Pig in cinn. Ohio.This is my first 5 k since having my daughter.The last one was Sept 2011.

  15. Well, I didn’t think it was going to happen, but I did get the workout in today! I ran outside for the first time ever today, just so I could say I did the workout today. It was cold, and the sun was down, and it was snowy and muddy, but I ran for 10 minutes and walked for 10. Yea me!

  16. Just started C25K (again!) three weeks ago after finishing my first half marathon last April – never to run again. I am going to continue with that training, but am so excited to check in with a group here! Thanks! Hoping to make this a life change – I am a runner!

  17. Thank you! Mom of four kids, I started running when I was 39, was injured last year and am gearing to get ready again. Looking forward to this.

  18. My husband’s cousin and I talked earlier today about her starting to run, so this challenge came at the perfect time! I just sent her the link and even have a 5k we can do together. Do it, Lori!! You can!! I believe in you!!

  19. So, I started the 5K plan today…again. One thing different this time: my husband is doing it with me while my mom watches my daughter. (Woo hoo for Nana!) I am hoping this will strengthen my marriage while also strengthening my body/willpower.

    A question (after a statement): This week is totally doable. However, I look ahead to next week and the plan has doubled the running time and cut the walking time in half…after just 3 “runs.” WTF? I am scared of next week. Can someone provide me a little perspective/insight?

    1. You can do it! When I did C25k six months ago I would look ahead and think “I won’t be able to do that!”. But I always did. Don’t let it be an option not to succeed. Since starting it six months ago I’ve raced in four 5ks and I am now going to start the 10k Finish it training plan. Also lost 29 pounds. You can do it!!

    2. I graduated from this program about a week ago. It is totally mental. Slow down, put one foot in front of the other, and find a mantra (I love “I don’t quit when I’m tired, I quit when I’m done!”). Oh, and breathe! You will be surprised by what you can do! Remember too, the awesome feeling you feel when it’s done! Go! Go! Go! Good luck to you both!

  20. This couldn’t be more perfect timing! I am 8 weeks post pardum with baby #2, and the double jogging stroller arrives tomorrow. I was hoping to be 5k ready for a Mother’s Day 5k (called moms rock!), exactly 10 weeks away! We’re you reading my mind?

  21. Do u have another “medal” option for those that don’t use profanity? Not trying to be insulting, but I would hate to have to explain my sticker every time someone asks, thanks!

    1. Get the BAMR sticker and come up with your own saying-kinda fun! It’s what I did last night when I had trouble sleeping!! Blissed Away MR; Baby and MR (if you run with a kiddo); Born Again MR; Blues Away MR; Blessed Always MR; Being Awesome MR. (You could do this all day!)

  22. Such a great idea…I have “Sole Sisters”, runner friends, that inspire me to get out and run, however I do not run the distances they do, but knowing there is this forum for runners like myself is incredible!!!

  23. I’m running part of a marathon relay (6 or 7 miles) the weekend before this virtual event and then a half marathon the weekend after this virtual event. Perfect timing to keep me motivated!

  24. Somehow managed to get in a run in the small window without snowfall here in Denver! Glad I didn’t blow it off!

  25. last week I started the c25k training plan thing and running (more like waddling) for only one minute almost killed me. I’m tempted to say there is no way in the world I’ll be able to run for 2 minutes. So….. what do you do if you are soooooo unbelievably out of shape that 2 minutes isn’t an option?

    1. Good job for trying! Keep at it! Try to add 30 sec intervals instead of one minute. Taper it as necessary. Repeat for a while until you are confident before moving to the next level. Repeating at least 3 days a week should also help.
      You can do it! Dont forget to celebrate small successes! You got this!

  26. Hi,
    The footnotes refer to page 112 and page 116. Any chance we can get a peek at what’s on those pages for those of us who don’t have the book yet?

  27. I could totally use this. After the birth of my 1st child I joined the Memphis Women’s Running Group and learned to run. I loved it and I stuck to running for quite a while. I stopped running when I got pregnant in 2011 with my son. I haven’t been able to really pick running back up because I have been so exhausted (still not sleeping much of the night). I have gained weight due to breastfeeding and I know it will fall off when I stop feeding him but I would like to start feeling stronger now. I have a wedding to go to in May and this would be perfect to get my butt moving.

  28. I just discovered your podcasts and have been catching up on them. Love them! Do we just stay tuned here to get get the virtual bib?

  29. I have 15 ladies who started a beginning group next week. We discovered that the hardest part was to show up that first day. The timing on your virtual 5K training is perfect for us too!
    Thanks for the extra motivation!

  30. I DID IT! Only 2 miles, but I did it. I almost cried at how out of shape I am and those 2 miles were hard….and COLD….but I did it. I got my butt out there before the sun was up and the rest of my house was asleep AND I DID IT! Thank you for inspiring me!

    1. WooooooooHooooooooooo!!!! Congratulations! It sounds like you are in the same boat as me…but I did NOT run two miles today.

      Again, congrats…and good luck!

      1. I did not RUN the whole two miles, trust me. ;-). I am just so proud of getting out there! We can do this!

  31. Awesome plan! I passed it onto my beginning friends.

    On another note, I’m a bit starstruck! That’s a picture of me and my baby, Nora, inside an AMR article!!! 🙂 Love you girls!

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