(7 customer reviews)

BEST FOR: All levels of runners who want to use heart rate to guide their training. Whether you are coming off the couch, returning from an injury, finding your post-pregnancy groove, or simply wanting to take your fitness to the next level, this program is a healthy, sensible, and fun next step in your running journey.
PREREQS: No running experience, fitness level, or specific athletic background is necessary; this program meets you exactly where you are fitness-wise and helps you become a more fit, efficient runner.

In this Introduction to Running by Heart Rate, you’ll calculate your personal zones with one of two heart rate tests, and use that data to guide your training. You’ll test twice more during the eight-week program so you’ll be familiar with the process and be able to adjust your individual zones appropriately as you gain endurance and work up to a 75-minute run.


The Details

Running by heart rate requires patience and persistence. You will likely run slower than you have in years, and your post-run, “I’m-a-bad*ss” glow may not feel as intense as it usually does.

The thing to keep in mind is that post-run, bad*ss glow is likely from a Zone 3 effort (we explain that in the FAQs below), which leaves you prone to injury + stagnation. What’s more, that glow is temporary, and fleeting euphoric feelings are typically not worth the long-term drawbacks.

We—Coaches Jen + Liz— have trained athletes by heart rate for more than 20 years, and have seen huge gains when they lean in, slow down, and trust the process. This 8-week introduction is the perfect place to start.

BIGGEST WEEK OF TRAINING: Tops out at four hours and five minutes of running over five days; in addition, there is one 50-minute cross-training session that week.

LONGEST RUN DISTANCE: By the end of the program, you will run for 75 minutes continuously. (If you are already able to meet this mark, we can easily help you extend your long runs.)

CROSS TRAINING + STRENGTH TRAINING INCLUDED? Yep. Each week has one or two cross-training days and two strength circuits that you can easily follow. Two strength routines include resistance bands.

WEEKLY OVERVIEW: Four or five runs; one or two cross-training sessions; two strength circuits; one rest day

FIRST AND PEAK WEEKS: (workouts are explained fully in the program)

All your workouts are accessible via a Training Peaks Account. This free training tool will help you chart the nearly daily growth of your endurance base. It also sends you a daily email with your workouts for today and tomorrow so you can plan accordingly.

Coaches Jen and Liz are there to help you over speed bumps and answer your questions—and we promise, they’ll never throw a clipboard or blow a whistle in your face. Not only have the dynamic duo designed every facet of your program from your first step through your finish line, they’ve also written a weekly newsletter filled with advice and tips that corresponds to your training program.

What’s more, there are three ways you can connect with them:
—Ask the Coach column on Facebook: Coach Jen or Liz posts a weekly Ask the Coach column, where you can comment with anything that’s on your mind. (If you’re not a Facebooker, you can
email us with your question.)

—Exclusive Podcasts: Coaches Jen + Liz talk through pacing, injuries, and plenty of other helpful + entertaining topics.

—Office Hours: If you’d like individual guidance, Coaches Jen + Liz have regular office hours so you can chat over your situation.

In addition to Train Like a Mother Club, you’ll be invited to join a private Heart + Sole Club on Strava, where you can track your miles, and a private Heart + Sole Facebook page, where you’ll quickly find an army of (funny, empathetic, inspiring) #motherrunner teammates.* You’ll share training tips, stories of good runs and bad, cheer each other on, and push each other out the door. Momentum comes from teamwork, and these programs roll on some serious #motherrunner momentum.

*Please note that your membership in both our Strava and Facebook groups and access to the training program coaches are limited to the duration of your training plan, plus a few weeks for you to bask in the glow of your race and work with the coaches to help plan your next athletic goal and corresponding training plan. Your access to the Facebook group begins when your training plan does. You are welcome to request entry up to one month before your starting date.

As part of your registration, you will receive a package stocked with training essentials, including a
tube of  Nuun Sport; two GU Energy items (an Energy Gel and GU Chews); a pair of blister-banishing Wrightsock running socks; a 2-oz. bottle of Sweat X Odor Eliminator spray; a Kate’s Real Food bar; and an AMR sticker for your water bottle or laptop. $32 worth of swag!

(Domestic shipping is FREE for all merchandise and training swag packages. International shipping is not currently available but we invite you to participate in any of our online programs! Just email us at tlamclub@anothermotherrunner.com and we will help you bypass the shipping at checkout.)


This program is on rolling admission, which means your program begins the Monday after you register. You will receive an introductory email shortly after you register, and then you will receive your Week 1 newsletter on Sunday. You will begin your program the following day, Monday.

Building running-specific fitness is like building a pyramid. You have to start with a wide, solid base that can support the demands of the structure as it grows higher and higher. The stronger and wider the foundation, the better your performances will be at the peak.

The majority of the runs in this program are in Zones 1-2, which helps you build a solid foundation of cardiovascular endurance and keep your risk of injury low.

Running by heart rate requires patience and persistence. You will likely run slower than you have in years, and your post-run, “I’m-a-bad*ss” glow may not feel as intense as it usually does. (But make no mistake, you are STILL a bad*ss!)

The thing to keep in mind is that that post-run, bad*ss glow is likely from a Zone 3 effort, which leaves you prone to injury + stagnation. What’s more, that glow is temporary, and fleeting euphoric feelings are typically not worth the long-term drawbacks.

Often athletes abandon training in lower heart rate zones out of frustration or boredom—or because they just can’t bear one.more.slow.run—and move on to the higher zones for one of two reasons:
A) They get to maintain a nice clip and satisfy their inner competitive beast
B) They believe that training harder will yield faster and stronger results.

A is true—it does feel good to run fast, but it doesn’t do anything for building endurance or warding off injury. And B? Simply not true. We—Coaches Jen + Liz— have trained athletes by heart rate for more than 20 years, and have seen huge gains when they lean in, slow down, and trust the process.

Without a stable base? The pyramid is going to collapse into the sand—or in your case, result in injury, burn out, sickness, or a performance plateau. Thanks, but no. The most efficient way to build your own, never-gonna-break-down pyramid is to train in your own heart rate zones.

Because using your heart rate—not your GPS or best friend—as your pace guide allows you to zero in on Zone 2. This Zone, which encourages, slower, easy running, improve endurance and aerobic capacity while allowing all of your body, from your strong, powerful glutes to the tiny tendons in your feet, to adjust to the high-impact demands of running.

When you exercise in Zone 2, you improve your heart’s ability to pump blood and your muscles’ ability to utilize oxygen—two of the foundational bricks of your #BAMR pyramid. Training in Zone 2, a physiological sweet spot, teaches the body to become more efficient at fueling muscles and metabolizing fat as a primary source of fuel. Slow twitch muscle fibers become stronger and better at using oxygen to produce energy.

It’s not only about oxygen transport, though. Your ligaments, tendons and other connective tissue adapt more slowly to the high impact demands than your muscles do. Hanging in Zone 2 gives them time and distance to adjust and prepares them for the higher intensities of the upper zones.

This program is suitable for any runner–beginning, advanced, marathoner, not-yet-5K’er, postpartum, in a training lull— who wants to give running by heart rate a try.

There are no physical prereqs, other than being injury-free. The only other prereq? You need to own a heart rate monitor, and you need to wear it all the time while training.

It depends on your budget, your preference for features, and your feelings towards tech. (One great place to do a deep dive into heart rate monitors is D.C. Rainmaker.)

The most basic or sophisticated model will be suitable for this program; we recommend using a device from either Garmin or Polar. As you look through the options, know you need a monitor that, at a minimum, displays elapsed time and heart rate. Features like cadence, pace, vertical oscillation, and stride length are interesting to observe and track but are definitely not necessary.

Wrist-based monitoring, including Apple watches, has definitely improved over the years, but it’s still not as accurate as a chest strap, so go for the latter if you want the most consistent data.

Two of the strength routines include resistance bands, so if you’d like to purchase those, that would be a good investment. (Hello, hip stability!)

No. Running by Heart Rate: An Introduction is simply a training program to gain or maintain fitness and try running by heart rate.

Within a few weeks of registration, every participant in a Train Like a Mother program receives a stocked swag package with some of our favorite training essentials. Domestic shipping is now FREE for all merchandise and training swag packages.

We are no longer able to ship internationally, including to Canada. That said, we invite all international runners to participate in any of our online programs! Just email us at tlamclub@anothermotherrunner.com and we will help you bypass the shipping at checkout.

We definitely want this to work into your life and your running lifestyle. You can email us within 2 weeks of starting the program and we will set you up with another plan or a partial credit for an upcoming program. We will not be able to issue a straight-up refund.

With a smart training plan, doable strength training, and advice on foam rolling and other self-care, we’re going to do our best to keep you injury-free. That said, if you have an injury or illness that totally slays your training, let us know within two weeks. We’ll work with you to get you a partial credit for an upcoming program.


Reviews (7)


  1. Christa Cholick (verified owner)

    I absolutely loved the Heart & Soul Intro program as a way to rebuild my running base after burning out on running. Who would’ve thought that I could run for 75 minutes at a lower heart rate, pain free, and not looking like a runner with angry “b” face! I feel like the skies parted and now I can actually enjoy running as I feel like I learned the secret to a healthy balance of pace and endurance. Thank you for the program and I look forward to doing another program soon!

  2. Loretta Register (verified owner)

    This was a great introduction into running by heart rate. I signed up for this program because I really wanted to see how it worked. Since I started running a few years ago, my focus was on how many miles I thought I should be doing each week and how fast I could get them done. I began to feel stressed about the numbers and wasn’t really enjoying running as much. When I started this program, at first I felt like I was not living up to my potential as a runner as I was running slower but then as I continued, I found that my endurance was improving and that helped me move into being able to run at a faster pace for longer. I also really enjoyed running again – not being so tied down to miles and numbers every time I went out for a run. I love the improvement that I have gained from this program. I have completed many half marathons but never a full so that is my goal. I will definitely be signing up for another Heart and Sole program.

  3. Heather (verified owner)

    I started with Heart Rate Training in 2017, and have been using it ever since. It has revolutionized how I run. However, I believe you will never know everything, so I brought my training back to basics. As an introduction to Heart Rate, it is everything you would want to know if you are trying it for the first time, but for this veteran HR runner, I learned more about this process, how it works, and even had a couple of breakthroughs in my running (Hello Drills)!! The variety of workouts in a short period of time kept things interesting, fun, and motivated to keep going. Thank you so much for bringing this long time runner back to One! Definitely recommend!

  4. Kimberly Hardtke (verified owner)

    Before starting the Heart and Sole program, I was primarily a run/walk/run interval runner. I decided to give this program and heart rate training a try to improve my stamina and hopefully move to running longer distances without walking intervals and all I can say is – WOW. While the program forced me to slow way down pace-wise, I can honestly say that this program and running by heart rate has changed my running life. I don’t think I will ever go back to any other type of training. Thanks to Heart and Sole, I am now running continuously during my workouts (no more walking!) and working on improving my pace as well. The workouts vary enough to keep the program interesting and served to help me develop a good base before deciding to tackle training for a half marathon (with the Heart and Sole half marathon program, of course!). Thank you so much for this program!

  5. Ellen Goodman (verified owner)

    This program made all the difference to help get me back into running! I was trying other techniques that just weren’t working, but when I started going through this program, I could see the improvement in my stamina, endurance, and in my heart rate numbers! I recommend this for anyone who’s taken a little break from running – it will help you get back on track in no time!

  6. cassandrabilliot (verified owner)

    In the months before I started this program I had begun experiencing some serious burnout with my running. I was putting in a great deal of effort in my runs and my pace was getting slower and slower. I was really frustrated so I figured it was time to switch things up and I am so happy I did. This program really got me back in touch with my body. Initially there was a lot of walking, but within 2 weeks I was back to running continuously during my runs. My pace has been steadily improving and I still feel great after a run. I love the variety of runs, especially Drills which are now my favorite runs. I am not ready to commit to training for a race right now, but as soon as I am it will be on a Heart & Sole plan.

  7. Biz (verified owner)

    I haven’t been able to get back into a regular running schedule for many years since having kids. I have tried each summer for the last few years but never got to where I actually enjoyed be out running and felt like I was actually making progress at getting better. So it was always easy to just let running get pushed to the back burner. Like a lot of people, I gained quite a bit of weight during the pandemic which made it even harder to get out.
    This program was exactly what I needed! It really is tailored to each individual’s own current ability. Being able to ask the coach questions and hear from others who were starting was so helpful. Being able to share feeling discouraged, and getting solid advice for how to move forward made all the difference. I plan to do more programs to keep going and make improvements to the foundation I have built.

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