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AMR #FindYourStrong Marathon Challenge: Registration Open!

Find Your Strong ATP pic badge

STRONG:
having, showing, or able to exert great bodily or muscular power; physically vigorous or robust. 

Yep, sounds about perfect for our first ever AMR Marathon Challenge, suitably titled #FindYourStrong. Through training for 18 weeks for marathon, you'll definitely find your physical strong. Your legs are going to carry you a ridiculously far way; your lungs are going to become more capable and efficient; your blood will pump more efficiently as ever cell in your body gets marathon-ready. (And if I were a biologist, I'd somehow link this to the badass ATP tattoos above, but alas, I'm not.)

But you're going to find so much more, including an amazing community that gets you up, pushes you out the door, and eventually over a 26.2-mile finish line; a bunch of bonding and laughs; BRFs you can run with all over the country (and world!); and the knowledge that you've set yourself up for your best marathon ever, whether it's your first or your fourteenth.

Here's what's included in the AMR #FindYourStrong Marathon Challenge

A mother-runner-friendly marathon training plan. Designed by Coach Christine Hinton, the genius behind the popular and successful plans in Train Like a Mother, the 18-week plan is (much) more flexible than our hamstrings: Each week, there’s a workout you can bail on and one that’s integral for your success. Plus, on a handful of workouts, there is an optional component (think miles at race pace or a strong finish). Finally, we're going to send you off in five "waves," so you'll train with focus for exactly 18 weeks, which mitigates the risk of getting burned out, overtrained, or injured.

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A snapshot of the first two weeks of the #FindYourStrong plan.

Since we know you're curious, here's little plan background: The plan is designed for both first-time and experienced marathoners who can currently run eight miles, and have been training consistently for at least six months. Runs are scheduled for four to five days a week, but the fifth weekly run is always optional. There is one 18-20 mile long run, and one straight-up 20 miler. The highest weekly mileage is 34-40 miles.

(If you're looking to qualify for Boston, this plan likely isn't rigorous enough for you. And if this doesn’t sound right for you, think about joining #FindYourStrong 10K or Half-Marathon Challenge, which will open for registration on June 1 and start on June 22.)

Shirt and Medal with yellow border

An exclusive #FoundMyStrong participant tee and medal, mailed in early October. Tee specs: Flattering scoop neck. Yummy soft 50% polyester, 50% cotton. Women’s cut and sizing. Available in sizes XS-4XL.

A badass, supportive community with a #FindYourStrong private club on Strava, a running app for smart phones, and a private #FindYourStrong Facebook group.  The members of each club are fellow Challengers following the same plan: As you log your miles, chart your runs, and find your strong, you’ll also cheer each other on, ask and answer questions, throw up a pic or three, set up some training runs and pre-race meet-ups, and maybe bitch a little bit about the workouts. (Note: Totally up to you whether you take part in Strava club and Facebook group: offered for bonding purposes, not break-your-back obligations!)

Accountability galore. Every morning, you’ll get an email from TrainingPeaks, which has today’s—and tomorrow’s—workout. Or you can view the plan, upcoming workouts, or your past accomplishments on the TrainingPeaks website or free mobile device app. Also, on TrainingPeaks, you can download your runs, slice and dice your miles, and see your strong surge.

You’ll also receive a weekly Challenge newsletter in which we preview and explain the upcoming week of workouts that's tailored to your starting wave, as well as have a Q+A with Coach Christine, gear giveaways galore, and discounts on training essentials.

Entertainment and advice with three exclusive bonus AMR podcasts. During the #FindYourStrong Challenge, we will release three bonus podcasts available exclusively for Challenge participants. We’ll field your questions—nothing is too basic or TMI—prior to recording, then answer them along with guest experts during the podcasts. Entertainment *and* enlightenment for your long runs!

No-Limits-Challenge-swag-870x1024-1 

Best.Swag.Bag.Ever. In July, you will receive a package stocked with $25 worth of training essentials, including a tube of Nuun, packets of GU, a pair of Balega socks, and Hyland's Homeopathic products. There are also chances to win giveaways from AMR partners along the way. Lots of goodies to keep you going strong!

Ready to find your marathon strong?
Sign up here. 

#FINDYOURSTRONG header

FAQ's

How do I know if this is the right training plan for me?
To thrive on the #FindYourStrong Marathon Challenge plan, you should be able to complete an eight-mile run and have been running regularly for at least six months; ideally 9-12 months. You should also be injury free.

Just to repeat: The plan is designed for both first-time and experienced marathoners who can currently run eight miles, and have been training consistently for at least six months. Runs are scheduled for four to five days a week, but the fifth weekly run is always optional.There is one 18-20 mile long run, and one straight-up 20 miler. The highest weekly mileage is 34-40 miles. (If you're looking to qualify for Boston, this plan likely isn't rigorous enough for you.)

(If this doesn’t sound right for you, think about joining #FindYourStrong 10K or Half-Marathon Challenge, which will open forregistration on June 1 and start on June 22. )

How much does the Challenge cost?
$126.20. (Yep, we tried to be clever.)

Does the registration fee include a race?
No. The registration fee is for the comprehensive training plan, support, and gear we listed above, which will help you achieve a strong 26.2. Come fall, you will participate in the organized marathon of your choice.

Wait, so I have to pay for this Challenge and marathon entry fee?
Yup. We did the math, and this entire plan costs you $1/day, which is way cheaper than a private coach and way more fun—and motivating—than training solo.

What we've said with all our Challenges is especially true with this marathon one: The actual race is the victory lap; the challenging part is staying committed and motivated during the days, weeks, and, yes, months —4.5 of them, if you’re counting—of training. A marathon is a mother of a race, and this Challenge will nuture, support, and give you tough love when necessary so that you can whoop it up come race day.

Will that nifty welcome swag package contain the training plan, too?
No. Challenge participants will access the plan online by signing up for a free TrainingPeaks account. You can also print out the plan from a PDF we'll provide.

What if my target race isn’t October 3 or 4?
No worries! Because 18 weeks is plenty long enough to be on a focused training plan, we are going to stagger the starts so you all run the exact same plan. That way, you won't get overtrained, burnt out, or injured, if we have anything to say about it. We’ll send out emails to you that correspond with your week of training, so you’ll be on track in every way.

Wave 1: June 1-October 3-4
(Races that weekend include St. George, Twin Cities, Portland, Wineglass Marathons, among others)

Wave 2: June 8-October 10-11
(Races that weekend include Hartford, Chicago, Long Beach, Newport Marathons, among others)

Wave 3: June 15-October 17-18
(Races that weekend include Indianapolis, Duke City, Empire State Marathons, among others)

Wave 4: June 22-October 24-25
(Races that weekend include Napa Wine Country, Marine Corps Marathons, among others)

Wave 5: June 29-October 31-November 1
(Races that weekend include Raleigh, New York City Marathons, among others)

You’ll sign up for a wave after completing this basic registration.

What if my race doesn’t align with those dates? Can I still enter?
Of course. Most of the support will end by mid-November, but we’ll be with you in spirit as you cross 26.2—and of course, we still want to hear all about it. We can also accomodate those with an earlier marathon date in September, but the aforementioned support won't start until June 1.

What if I want the support of the Challenge, but want to use a different plan?
Totally fine too. We’re here for you whether you run/walk or run much faster than we ever could.

I'm in: Now can you help me find a marathon to register for?
Sure. Head here, where they sort marathons by race weekend.

Ready to find your marathon strong? 
Sign up here. 

Any other questions? Hit us up at runmother [at] gmail [dot] com or ask in the comments below, and we’ll help you out!

51 responses to “AMR #FindYourStrong Marathon Challenge: Registration Open!

  1. I know I’m late to the party….but I have 4 kids and my head has been spinning with end of year events and well, I’m behind. My question is I’m thinking about signing up for this and wanted to know 2 things. One ” CAN” I still sign up? 2) I was going to follow the Own it plan. Do you all send out a plan like that or something else? I’m running NYC. Many thanks in advance.

    1. Hey Freedom–
      Yes, you can definitely still sign up–and we’d love to have you. The Marathon training plan is a blend between Finish it and OWn it, with optional elements like race pace during runs and strong finish at the end of runs. New York City runners start with Wave 5, which hasn’t kicked off yet, so you’d be good to go. In addition to the plan, you’ll get weekly emails, a private Strava and Facebook page, swag, tee + medal and more support than you knew possible. Thanks for asking!

  2. I finally got through to pay pal and fixed it. I’m registered! I am planning on doing the MCM on October 25.

    1. Hey Tamara–Sorry for the hassle, and so glad you’re able to join us! Just FYI next time, you can pay with credit card. It should be an option on the payment page. Again, sorry for the hassle and your time…Dimity

  3. Hi! I would love to purchase this but I am having problems with pay pal (on the phone for almost an hour trying to straighten this out, which I normally would not do except I would really like to participate in this challenge!). Is there a way to buy this with a regular credit card? Thank you!!

  4. I am running the Disney marathon in January…I’d like to sign up. I am currently running 10 miles on the weekend and want to ease myself into the marathon idea. I have already complete multiple half marathons…is this right for me? Thanks!

  5. I’m in! Finally!! Looking forward to running my first ever marathon in NYC in November and meeting up with some BAMRs in the big apple. WOOT.

  6. Dimity – I am feeling the love!!!! Thank you so much! This will be my first Marathon and I really wanted to do it
    with my BAMRs…. crying tears of joy!!!

    1. So glad you’re feeling it, Stephanie! We can get this done…I’m so excited to watch so many first-time marathoners spread their 26.2 BAMR wings! Kinda wish it would just start already…not really, because, you know, overtraining and such, but still. YAY!

    1. Hey Richelle–

      We’ve got another runner who is also running that weekend, so I already asked if that’s cool. Coach Christine will help add two weeks to your schedule so you get your long runs in the right places and your taper spot on. Sign up for Wave 5, and once the Challenge starts, email us at [email protected] and we’ll get you set up perfectly!

      Thanks!
      Dimity

    1. Hey Katheryn–

      We’d love to have you. Shipping is $20 to international runners, but other than that, it’s all the same! Thanks! —Dimity

  7. Yeah, I’m in! I just registered and can’t wait. I’m running the Marine Corp in Oct and I will definitely need the help, support and humor for the upcoming training.

  8. I really wish I could do this but I am planning on running the Seattle Marathon on November 29th…. anyone else in the same boat?

    1. Hey Stephanie–

      So we can help you do this–and we’d love to help you get to Seattle. The only glitch: you’ll be training for 22 weeks, which isn’t unheard of for a marathon, it’s just a long time to be on a training plan. If you’re cool with that, you’d sign up for wave 5, and then email us at [email protected] when the Challenge starts and we’ll add four weeks to your program so you’re tapered in the right place and ready to go come race day. If that sounds good, go ahead and register and it’ll work out! Thanks– Dimity

  9. Bummer- not the answer I wanted. I am pretty sold on the Dayton, OH Air Force Marathon if I do one since it’s so close to home. I’ll give it some more thought and maybe do it on my own since the dates don’t work out so well with the challenge. Thanks!

  10. Excited to hear that there will be a half marathon challenge soon. I missed the recent challenge, but I’m not ready to start training for a full yet. My 30th birthday is in June and I already sent my husband a link explaining why the registration for the half challenge would be a perfect birthday gift. Let’s hope he listens.

    1. Glad you’ll be joining us, Amy! (Putting good vibes out into the universe to have your husband listen. :))

      FYI: 10K: Registration opens on June 1; 15 weeks of training starts on June 22 for races anytime between October 3-4 and October 31/November 1.
      Half-Marathon: Registration opens on June 1; 15 weeks of training starts on June 22 for races anywhere between October 3-4 and October 31/November 1.

  11. Hey- it’s Laura from the retreat. I am considering (maybe sorta kinda) my first marathon on Sept. 17, way earlier than the AMR schedule. I am running another half in June so my mileage is already increasing- will this work? I may be on vacation about 7 weeks prior to the race- either in FL or on a cruise ship in July- can I do two of my really long runs 10 days apart as long as I keep up with the short and medium runs? I cannot fathom running 18-20 miles in FL in July! Also if I get injured prior to the race in the summer (hopefully not but it happens) can I jump to the half marathon group? Can you tell I’m nervous??? 🙂

    1. Hey Laura–First of all, don’t be nervous! You’ve got this! Let me check in with Coach Christine and see what she thinks. Stay tuned and we’ll figure it out!

      1. Hey Laura–So here’s the word from Coach Christine:
        This seems like a lot of balls in the air. I would hate for Laura’s first marathon training and race to be extra stressful and complicated.
        If possible, I would advise a later marathon, so she can build safely (no injuries) and not feel as nervous about training with all the other stuff going on. I hope that makes sense…

        could you look for one at a later date so you won’t have to compromise your time on the cruise or be extra stressed?

  12. I’m very tempted by this, as I’m running NYC (as marathon #2), and could easily join wave 5. I have a couple of questions:

    1. I’ve never used Training Peaks–do you have the option to look at the training plan as a whole or do you ONLY have access to today’s and tomorrow’s workouts? I’m such a type-A person and often need to shift things around b/c of kids’ activities/vacations/dr appts, etc. Plus, I need to know several days in advance just how long a workout will be so I can arrange for adequate childcare.
    Also, I shift the whole week’s workouts one day early (starting on Sunday and using Saturday as my rest day), so the emails will not exactly correspond with what I’ll need.
    2. I’ll admit, I’ll have to convince the penny-pinching hubby that paying $126.20 on TOP of the hefty NYC race entry (when I trained for free for my first marathon, lol) is worth its weight in gold, but I assume I have some time?
    If I plan to start in wave 5, do I have until June 29 to sign up, or do all waves have to be signed up by June 1?
    THANK YOU!

    1. Hey Angela–
      We’d love to have you! Yep, in Training Peaks you can see the whole plan as well as slice and dice it. We also give you a PDF of the full 18 weeks so you can print that out and see exactly how it aligns with your schedule. While the weekly newsletters won’t be exactly spot on, everybody will likely have to adjust their schedule a bit to accomodate, you know, life, so that should work.

      Yes, you do have time to sign up. We’ll definitely have the Challenge registration up until end of May, and we’ll likely extend it for the extra waves…we just haven’t gotten that far. We realize it’s an extra expense, but we promise: you’ll get back your investment in spades. Not only will you be supported through every training mile, but you’ll also find a bunch of women who are also running NYC, I’m guessing.

      Hope you can join us!

  13. I’m with Kristy – I’d love to join as well but have signed up for the Philly marathon which is towards the end of November. Would be great if the plan could be tweaked to suit the end of the fall marathon runners. Thanks!

    1. Hey Kimberly–

      We can help you too. The only issue, if you’re cool with it, is that you’ll be training for 21 weeks. We’d put you in Wave 5, and then Coach Christine will add a few appropriate weeks into your training so that you get your long runs and your taper timed perfectly. If that works for you, sign up, then email us at [email protected] when the Challenge starts and we’ll get your (and Kristy’s) training plans tweaked so that you’re good to go!
      Thanks–
      Dimity

  14. I’m signed up! I’m running the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 27 and Training Peaks says I start May 25. I’m still finishing up the half-marathon challenge because my half is May 31. Overlapping challenges, gotta love it!

    1. Sweet, Kim! So cool you’ll be laufen in Deutschland. (My few German skills I have left.) I assume you joined Wave 1…if you need help adjusting your training at all, let us know and Coach Christine can help!

  15. I have been anxiously awaiting this Marathon challenge. I participated in the 1/2 challenge last year and it was amazing. Unfortunately, I am already signed up for the Richmond Marathon on 11/14. Will I be able to use this challenge for a race date that late or should I just follow the Marathon Finish It plan from the book?

    1. Hey Kristy–

      Let me check with Coach Christine to see if she’s willing to tweak your schedule for two more weeks (you’d start in wave 5). Stay tuned! Dimity

      1. Hey Kristy! It’s a go! Coach Christine will help add two weeks to your schedule so you get your long runs in the right places and your taper spot on. Sign up for Wave 5, and once the Challenge starts, email us at [email protected] and we’ll get you set up perfectly!

        Thanks!
        Dimity

  16. So excited to be training for my first marathon with the AMR Community! I share the question about the waves, and also wanted to ask if there was somewhere where I could indicate shirt size?

    1. Hey Laura–

      Thanks for joining us! You should indicate your shirt size on the first registration page. If you didn’t have a chance to do that, the default size is XS. If you’re not an XS, please email us at [email protected] and with the correct size and we’ll get you set up.

      Also, we had the wrong link for your email list…yep, one of those Monday mornings. We are going to send you a link with the correct mailing list, which is where we’ll grab your wave.

      Thanks for joining us! We’ll cross paths soon!
      Dimity

  17. I’m registered! So excited to participate in my first AMR challenge! Quick q: it didn’t ask me which wave I’d like to join after I registered. Will that information be in a separate email or will I put that in at a later date?

    1. Hey Catherine:

      Thanks for joining us! You should indicate your shirt size on the first registration page. If you didn’t have a chance to do that, the default size is XS. So please email us at [email protected] and with the correct size and we’ll get you set up.

      Also, we had the wrong link for your email list…yep, one of those Monday mornings. We are going to send you a link with the correct mailing list, which is where we’ll grab your wave.

      Thanks for joining us–and sorry for the few hassles! We’ll be rolling smoothly in no time.
      Dimity

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