13.FUN Challenge: Join the Half-Marathon Action!

Isn't this what being a mother runner is all about? This is Joan with her two kiddos admiring her medal and Proved it tee from our challenge that is just wrapping up.
Isn't this what being a mother runner is all about? Joan with her two kiddos admiring her medal and Proved it tee from our Challenge that is just wrapping up.

Mother runner: You need to take part in 13.FUN, our upcoming running Challenge.

But don't just take our word for it: Take a gander at what some of the ladies who did the AMR Strava Prove It Challenge, our first Challenge, had to say about the support-and-train-you-on-all-levels and shower-you-in-swag program:

"I signed up for the sole purpose of accountability and I ended up with an incredibly rich and rewarding experience with some of the most amazing, strong, positive, supportive women in all the land. I love this tribe and am forever grateful to our matriarchs, thank you for this opportunity S & D!"

woman running 10K
Jen earned her 10K Prove it medal--and a thumbs up from SBS--at Saturday's Hippie Chick race near Portland, Oregon.

"Going through this training plan on Strava with the Tribe was the BEST part! I've been part of Daily Mile before and it always felt so competitive to me. This isn't like that at all! The support, Kudos and honest posts from the women I'm training with has been worth every dollar, mile and sore muscle. I'm going to miss them all when this plan is over."

"I love SBS and Dimity. Anything you do, I follow. I don't want you, or this community to go away! I loved the daily accountability, the fun, the challenge, and the expertise!"

Nancy proved her 10K mettle--and earned her Prove it medal--in her homeland of New Zealand. (Yes, international mother runners, you're welcome to join in the 13.FUN.)
Nancy proved her 10K mettle--and earned her Prove it medal--in her homeland of New Zealand. (Yes, international mother runners, you're welcome to join in the 13.FUN.)

"The sisterhood with all the ladies is amazing!"

Like the 400+ gals who just completed the AMR Prove It Challenge, we were sad to see it end. So we're kicking off a new one we've dubbed 13.FUN. A 15-week challenge that will run from July 7 to October 19, 13.FUN will--you guessed it--focus solely on training for a half-marathon, the sweet spot for mother runners.

Woman running 10K
Thanks to the AMR Challenge--and her homegrown cheering squad--Laura PR'd by 17 seconds in her race.

Get Your 13.FUN on in Two Easy Steps:

1. Sign up to either run/walk a half-marathon, run a half-marathon, or race a half-marathon. The run/walk plan has run/walk intervals through the entire training cycle; the running plan focuses on getting across the finish line with a smile on your face; the racing plan aims for a Personal Record (PR). (There is just one place to enter, then you can pick the training plan that matches your goals best.)

The fee for each training plan is comparable to many half-marathon race fees, but this is so much more than just two-ish hours of support you get between the starting and finish line. With 13.FUN, you get 4+ months of support from experts and your fellow mother runners + unique training plans + four strength workouts + a tee + a medal + a goodie bag + Train Like a Mother, a book + four chances to win a mother runner pendant...but more on these details below.

2. Start training on Monday, July 7 to complete your first, strongest, or fastest half-marathon on (or about) Sunday, October 19. The final race can be virtual—you run the distance on the route of your choice—or you can join in an organized event. If your race is within a few weeks leading up to October 19 or a few weeks after it, we can tweak the training plans so you'll have your best race possible.

Even if you cover all your miles solo, you won't be alone during the 15-week training plan. The 13.FUN Challenge offers support in spades; we—and all the other runners in the Challenge—will be rah-rah-rahing for you and helping you out the entire way.

What You Get When You Take Part in 13.FUN

Strong, fun, and fashionable: Every 13.FUN participant gets this exclusive tee. It's  super-soft, flattering Bella triblend tee like the other lifestyle tees in our store.
Strong, fun, and fashionable: Every 13.FUN participant gets this exclusive tee. It's super-soft, flattering Bella triblend tee like the other lifestyle tees in our store.

☆ A mother-runner-friendly, 15-week, half-marathon training plan, designed by Coach Christine Hinton, the genius behind the popular and successful plans in Train Like a Mother.

There are three half-marathon training plan options:
1. The Run/Walk It plan, which integrates run/walk intervals through the entire training cycle;
2. The Run It plan, which is perfect if your main goal is to finish with a smile on your face;
3. The Race It plan, which will help you grab a Personal Record.

Each plan has you vanquishing a 10K about halfway through the plan. (There's just one place to sign up, but once you do, you can pick which training plan works best for you and your goals.)

In late June, just before the kickoff of 13.FUN training on July 7, you'll receive a signed-by-SBS copy of Train Like a Mother, the ideal training bible.
Before the kickoff of 13.FUN training on July 7, you'll receive a signed-by-SBS copy of Train Like a Mother, the ideal training bible. (Not to mention a $15 value!)

 Four 20-minute strength-training routines that can be done at home with minimal equipment. As we've learned in our own races, honing strength helps you move faster--and helps keep injuries at bay. During each month of 13.FUN, you will receive a fresh strength workout to keep your muscles--and mind--engaged.

☆ A private club on Strava to log your miles, chart your runs, cheer each other on, complain, strategize, find a running buddy, and maybe, on occasion, gripe. On Strava, a running app for smart phones, we have created a private 13.FUN Challenge Club, so you’ll be connecting with women who are doing the exact same workouts as you. (If you don’t have a smart phone, you can also access Strava via computer, so this isn’t a deal-breaker. Also, you’ll be invited to the club once you commit to the the Challenge.)

Four chances to win a 13.1 mother runner pendant, a reminder of the goal you are striving toward.
Four chances to win a 13.1 mother runner pendant, a reminder of the goal you are striving toward.

☆ Weekly emails to keep your mojo high. Each Sunday, we’ll email out the plan for the week, plus Q+A’s with Coach Christine, and other useful tips to keep you motivated and moving. (Never fear: You’ll already have the full plan in your possession from the get-go, but each email will be a week-at-a-glance reminder of what's on tap.)

Monthly webinars you can listen to on your phone, watch online—we can't promise we'll always wear make-up, though—or listen to after the fact, via your headphones. During the webinar, you can ask questions, celebrate your runs, figure out your ideal pace, gripe about the weather, talk about fueling, keep your momentum going. Coach Christine will be a part of each webinar, and we'll usually have another expert will join us. (The more the merrier!)

S-W-A-G. And lots of it.
On June 1, we will start shipping signed copies of Train Like a Mother to all 13.FUN Challenge participants. Although there will be no required reading, it's a good to pick up when you have a training question, crave a good laugh, or are at your daughter's gymnastics practice and need some reading material. In addition, two training plans in the Challenge will be modified versions of the Half-Marathon: Finish It and Half-Marathon: Own It plans. Finally, in your book package will also be some training goodies, including samples of GU, Nuun, LÄRABAR, and Hyland’s. (Oh, and if you already own TLAM, you can pay it forward to a friend.)

In early October, each participant will be mailed a 13.FUN shirt (available in sizes S-2XL, as well as Missy XL and Missy XXL) and  13.FUN medal to commemorate all the fun, fun miles you've completed. There are also chances to win 13.1 mother runner pendants and Strava gear along the way.

☆ Loads of help and answers. For instance, here a few answers to inevitable initial questions:

—Ideally, you run your final race on the weekend of October 18-19, but if you sign up for an organized race on date close to then, we will offer training-plan modifications.
—If a issue or injury pops up during the training and you can’t finish it, you can still claim your prizes. (But you’ll have to wait until early October when we mail them.)
—The plans are suitable for runners of all abilities, from novice runners up to fasties looking to set a new personal best.

Woah, this post is basically as long as a half-marathon! (Hope you GU'd a few times while reading it...) But we hope you are still with us--and want to join us.

The 15-week 13.FUN Challenge is currently $95; on June 24, the price increases to $120. We'll accept entries until midnight EDT on July 6. Then, on Monday, July 7, the fun in 13.FUN officially starts.

Sign up for 13.FUN Challenge here

Any questions? Ask in comments below or email us at runmother [at] gmail [dot] com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

PLEASE NOTE: Books and training goodies will begin shipping the first week of June. In addition, a link to all three half-marathon training plans as well as the Strava private clubs will be live—and shared with 13.FUN participants—by June 15. All in plenty of time to have you raring to go on July 7.

After taking part in the AMR Challenge, Jacqueline was ready to race--and how: She knocked 7 minutes off her 10K time.
After taking part in the AMR Challenge, Jacqueline was ready to race--and how: She knocked 7 minutes off her 10K time.



54 responses to “13.FUN Challenge: Join the Half-Marathon Action!

  1. Excellent post. Keep writing such kind of info on your blog.

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  2. After signing up for the Prove It Challenge, I couldn’t pass up the chance to do my first half with AMR – and this time I roped in one of my sisters (a 13.1 vet, but an AMR rookie)!! Although we live about 4 hours away, we love that we’ll get to connect over our training and do a few runs together on our family beach week in August. And the timing couldn’t be better, once our three brothers and my hubby do the Mens Health Urbanathlon on October 18th, we’ll do our half on the 19th with all of our family there to support us (and potentially pick me up off of the pavement!) – can’t think of a better way to show our kids the importance of family and fitness…

    Thanks so much for all you do, Dimity and Sarah!! The AMR Tribe rocks!

  3. I had the same question as Catherine, I’m doing a half the first weekend in October on my way to the NYC marathon. I also have a coach so I would be joining for the support more than the training plan. All those long runs alone do become a bit of a challenge mentally.

  4. Signed up and a little worried about summer heat training:( Hope we get lots of warm weather advice…

  5. I’m planning on signing up. I live in Utah now but, we move to Japan in mid August. Will I still be able to get my stuff shipped there? I don’t even know yet what our address will be.

  6. Hooray! I am signed up.
    Boo! I am injured (again) because I think I have been pushing too hard. Is someone going to come out and sit on me if I do not listen to what my body tells me? Because that would be really helpful.

    1. I don’t think you want me to sit on you, Mary+Lisa, but I am definitely down for telling you to slow down and tune into your bod. Because if you don’t, your miles will be limited—and they won’t be FUN. 🙂 Heal up and follow the plan and we’ll get you running strong!

  7. I’m all signed up, and registered to run the Amsterdam half-marathon on October 19th. Can’t wait for the challenge to begin!

  8. I’m registered for The Brooksie Way Half on Sept. 28 is this too early to join? I will be training for my first full- the Detroit Free Press Marathon which is Oct. 19.

  9. Definitely beginner. I’ve been trying to start run/walking, but it’s hard to keep motivated when I’m doing it by myself:)

    1. If you’re a true beginner, Kacie, I think it’s best if you don’t sign up for this Challenge; 13.1 is a long way to go, and I want to make sure you stay injury-free, and more importantly: enjoying (a relative term) the process. We’ll have another Challenge next spring/winter and would love to have you join us then!

  10. To clarify: I was part of the PROVE IT challenge. Geesh. I should really proofread before I post! (And as of this writing, my entry to the 13.FUN is signed, sealed and…paid for!).

  11. Unsolicited Praise! As I have done a fair number of half marathons, I felt guilty spending the money and wondered if it would be worthwhile. But, I signed up anyway figuring it would be help bring me out of a funk from a tough winter. Plus, it being a Dimity and SBS production (always good!) which came with a kickin’ t-shirt pushed me over the edge. I seriously underestimated the fun and immense mental and physical benefits I was going to take away and am still enjoying from this challenge. Whether you are approaching your first half marathon or you have lost count of how many you have done, SIGN UP! I’ll be on the roster again. Thanks, ladies!

    1. This is SUCH a nice note, Karen: thank you! Love the “immense mental + phsyical benenfits” part. Glad we’ll be seeing you again: get ready for more benefits!

  12. Would a half on sept 14 be too early for this plan? The race is point to point and ends within walking distance of my house so too good not to to do as my second half and would love the support to improve!

    1. Hey Rachel–
      That might be a little too ambitious since that’s giving you a 10-week plan, instead of 15. That said, if you want to start it five weeks early on your own and then just be 5 weeks ahead of the group, that’s an option that we’re definitely down with. The Strava Groups will start towards the end of June, so you won’t be alone for too long. 🙂 (We’ll get you the plan in enough time so you can start.) Email us at runmother at gmail dot com and we can set it up for you if that’s interesting to you. Thanks—Dimity

  13. Best bang for your buck, ever! As a “Prove It!” graduate I can attest that these plans are fantastic, the support is amazing and it really is so fun. If you are even considering, you should do it! SBS + Dimity and coach Chrisitne will be virtually by your side every step of the way. Not to be missed!

    1. Hey Kacie–

      By in the same boat, do you mean a beginning runner or wanting to do the Avenger race in mid-November? Sorry, the way the comments “fall” on this page make it hard for me to tell which one you’re referring to. Let me know and I can clear it up–or you can scan through the other comments/responses to see if one of them helps. Either is cool with me! Thanks for you interest!

  14. I am currently registered for the Twin Cities 10 miler in early October and would love to improve my time. Do you think this plan would be on track for that race? I can always find a half in mid October to add to my schedule.

    1. That should line up really well, Shelly. If you want to add a half-marathon a few weeks later, that’ll work too. I LOVE that 10 miler, btw. —Dimity

  15. I am so excited about this! Quick question – I am trying to decide if I want to do the run/walk plan or the beginning running plan. It looks like we will have access to all three, so I could start with the all running and change to the run/walk if I needed to, but I want to make sure this is the case. Also, just to make sure – an 11/15 race is not too late? THANKS so much!

    1. Hey Katie–
      An 11/15 race is not too late. We’ll tweak plans until 11/23. And yes, you can change plans midstream, no problem. You will have access to all 3, so if you need to download another plan and dial it back, no biggie. We want you to succeed, so whatever plan(s) will get you there, we’re all in. 🙂 Glad you’re joining us! Dimity

  16. My first race is a 10K in January (Disney Marathon Weekend), followed by the Princess Half in Februrary and Tinker Bell Half in May. Should I wait for a later group in the winter/spring?

    1. Hey Kimberly–

      Yes, I would wait for the spring, when we’ll offer another half-marathon training plan. If your first true race is a 10K, I’d focus on that before jumping into a 13.1 training plan. In Train Like a Mother, we have a 10K Finish It plan, which would align nicely with your first 10K race (the goal with the Finish It plans is simply to finish injury-free and with a smile on your face.) We’ll see you at Disney next spring!

  17. Blah!!! Running in the middle of the summer in Florida is just yucky. Plus my first half is at the end of November. I would guess that is too late to make this challenge feasible? Totally bummed.

    1. Yvonne: We can tweak the training plans to races as late as 11/22 or 11/23. We’d still want you to start in early July, but if that feels crazy ridiculous, you can just start your training at race minus 15 weeks and join us on Strava in the meantime. We can make it work for sure…but guessing the treadmill might become your BRF. 🙂 Hope you’ll join us! Dimity

    1. If it’s the Disney Avenger race you’re talking about, Shay, the yes, we can defeinitely tweak the plan to have you racing strong on 11/16. We’ll tweak the plans up through races on 11/23. Hope you’ll join us!

  18. Love this idea! I need something to keep me on track for my sub 2:00 hour goal and race day is Oct 19 so it works out perfectly. Is this open to Canadian mother runners?

  19. I am SO in!! Already signed up. Thank you. I never, never ever thought that I’d even be interested in run/walk or even crawling a half marathon.
    I will complete the 10K AMR Strava Prove It Challenge program this Sunday with my own 6.1 mile run. Thank you for the challenge and thank you for the support. It has been a fantastic 18 weeks.

    1. Christie: SO glad you’ll be joining us again. Just one minor detail: if you want credit on Strava, the 10K is 6.2 miles. Not sure if that was a typo or just misinformation, but definitely 6.2 or a little over to get your 10K Prove It Badge!

  20. Perfect timing for an end of Oct half – I need to get something on my calendar and this would do it.

    And this may be more of Strava question – I seldom run with my phone and my garmin is dead. I checked Strava FAQs and it looks like you can manually track your runs in Strava, but I can’t figure out how. Do you know how to do that? Seems like the Strava group is a big part of the challenge fun.

    1. Yes, you can manually enter your runs, Jo. You might start running with your phone more when you join the Challenge: it’s oddly fun to see your routes show up on Strava. Just a thought.

  21. I have been anxiously awaiting the news on this challenge. I am already signed up for the Disney Avenger half on 11/16 – can I still make this work?? I do most (if not all) of my training solo and this would be an enormous boost to have the community behind me during those hot training months.

    1. Kristy,
      Yes, Coach Christine is master of tweaking plan to accommodate different race dates, and we’ll keep Strava group open until November race finish lines are crossed. Join us!

  22. Oh my goodness, I’m so torn. I want to so very badly but I’m really a beginner and wonder if even the walk/run will be too much…are there any other beginners out there who have done this? And I mean beginner as in can’t run a whole minute without stopping to walk 🙂

    1. Hey Erin–

      I totally admire your ambition and would love for you to join us. That said, I really don’t want you to get injured, frustrated, burned-out on running, and I worry that going from a true beginner to 13.1 in 15 weeks is going to be quite a bit for your body and mind to handle. I’d love to have you running a little stronger and longer before biting into a half-marathon; a 5K and then a 10K would be perfect stepping stones for you to get to the 13.1 distance.

      We will have another Challenge in early 2015, when we’ll offer the half-marathon distance again (as well as shorter distances). In the meantime, I invite you (and anybody else who needs a boost for motivation or a community to cheer them on) to join the general AMR club on Strava, a free site and app where there are all paces, distances, and plenty of best running friends.

      Hope our paths cross soon and many happy miles to you, Erin! xo–Dimity

    1. Hey Renee–

      I’m guessing you’re replying to Erin’s comment about being a beginning runner and wondering if this is appropriate for you. If that’s not the case, I apologize for the misunderstanding. I just answered her with an explanation of why it’s probably not the best choice; the worst thing is to get injured or burned out by trying to do too much, too soon. But please join us on Strava in the AMR club ( and we’d love to see you in our next Challenge! Thanks for your interest—Dimity

  23. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!? I’ve been envying the current finishers and wishing you’d do something for a fall race. Then I get your email that you’re doing ANOTHER program that ends the VERY SAME DAY I’ve been hoping to do my VERY FIRST HALF!!!

    I’ve been consumed with doubt about signing up for that Half. I’m not ready. I’m going to have to run/walk it. This particular race means the world to me but what if I fail? But with the Mother Runner tribe in my corner I just know that the scales have tipped in my favor. Rushing to sign up right now!!

    1. We’ve got your back, Jennifer. And by “we,” we mean the entire AMR community on Strava. The tribe is a powerful force and we know you’ve got 13.1 in you!

  24. I am so excited for this challenge. I have my sights set on the Kansas City half on October 18th.

    What can I do now to make sure I am mentally and physically ready to begin the challenge in July? What should my weekly mileage be at the start of the challenge? I want to make sure that I make the most of the weeks leading up to the challenge.

    Thanks for so much for putting this together.
    -Michelle Kellogg

    1. Hey Michelle–

      If you signed up, you should receive an email with some directions, but I’ll also post a slice of them here in case other people are wondering the same thing:

      A couple of you have asked (good, valid) questions about training between now and then. Ideally, your weekly mileage should build to or hover around the mileage expected in the first week. You don’t have to hit it every week, and you can keep your runs easy: no tempo, speedwork, hills required if that’s not interesting to you. (If you’re a little behind, no big deal, but we really want to keep injuries to a minimum, so emphasis on little, please.)

      If you’re thinking about the Run/Walk Plan, the first week calls for 80 minutes of run/walk + 3 miles (the weekdays are in minutes; the weekends, in miles). The run/walk ratio for the first week is 2 minutes of running/4 minutes of walking.

      If you’re thinking about the Run It plan—goal: finish happy and injury-free—the first week starts at 19-21 miles. It would be great if you can run 6 miles continuously before you start. (A few walk breaks thrown in is totally fine.)

      If you’re thinking about the Race It plan—goal: to push yourself or PR—the first week hovers in the 23-mile range. If you can, throw in a couple of 8-mile runs between now and then. (You can go longer, but 8 is a good baseline.)

      Hope that helps–and so glad you’re joining us!

  25. I sent an email as well, but don’t know if this might be a better spot. Could I join this challenge as lead up to the NYC marathon on 11/2? Might keep me a little bit more motivated than banging out those long, long runs all on my own!

    1. Catherine, timing is great for a tune-up half mid-October before NYC 26.2. If you want, you could do 13.FUN a week early (October 11 or 12), then do 20-miler on Oct. 18 or 19. But if your plan has longest run 2 weeks prior to marathon, the timing is perfection! The support is amazing–join us!

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