HEART + SOLE: MARATHON, LEVEL 1

(4 customer reviews)

BEST FOR: First-time marathoners
PREREQS: Runs of at least 45-60 minutes 3-4 days of the week for at least eight weeks; injury-free. Previous race experience is not mandatory, but having a half-marathon under your soles will be helpful for perspective as your runs get longer.
NUMBER OF WEEKS: 20

Heart + Sole: Marathon, Level 1 is a 20-week program suitable for all runners wanting to take on the motherlode of all races: the marathon. You’ll learn—or continue—to train by heart rate, using your individual zones, calculated by regular testing, to moderate your effort appropriately. You’ll spend plenty of time in the lower zones, building your endurance base; you’ll also spend some time climbing hills, finding different gears with pick-ups and intervals, and practicing your race pace so that you’re ready to thrive on race day.

$135.00

  • *Race Date

    Step One: Select your race date:

    If you don’t know your race date yet, please select a date that you estimate will be close to your race date. When you solidify it, let us know and we can change it.

     
    Training Date

    Step Two: Your training will begin on:

    Mark this date in your calendar as your official start date! (If your program has already started, no worries; email us and we’ll help you jump in.)

The Details

Heart + Sole: Marathon, Level 1 eases you into things with the first four weeks focused on learning to run by heart rate and getting you familiar with form runs. Most weeks in this program have two strength circuits and two rest days. There are two days of cross-training during Weeks 7–8; Weeks 10-17, you’ll spend eight weeks running five days a week. Cross training returns to the scene as you begin to taper.

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

BIGGEST WEEK OF TRAINING: 7 hours, 25 minutes, including five runs and two strength circuits

LONGEST LONG RUN DISTANCES: The longest run day has two choices: 3 hours, 15 minutes or 3 hours in the AM, 1 hour, 30-45 minutes in the PM

CROSS TRAINING + STRENGTH TRAINING INCLUDED? Yes. One weekly cross-training session is included in Weeks 1-12, and each week has two strength circuits. Two of the strength routines include resistance bands.

WEEKLY OVERVIEW: Four or five runs; one cross-training session (weeks 1-12); two strength circuits; two rest days

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

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.)

QUESTIONS + ANSWERS

This 20-week program starts based on your race date. On the front page, put in your expected race date, and it will give your start date, 20 weeks prior. You can sign up for a race anytime, but the newsletters and program won’t begin until your start date.

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.

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.

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-b*d*ss” glow may not feel as intense as it usually does. (But make no mistake, you are STILL a b*d*ss!)

The thing to keep in mind is that that post-run, b*d*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
OR
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 over twenty years, and have seen huge gains when they lean in, slow down, and trust the process.

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.

If you’ve been running for 45-60 minutes 3-4 days of the week for at least eight weeks, and you are injury-free and are ready to take on the marathon distance, it will work for you. Previous race experience isn’t mandatory, but having a half-marathon under your soles will be helpful for perspective as your runs get longer.

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.

No. The fee is for the comprehensive training program, unlimited support, miles of resources, exclusive podcasts, and swag package, which will help you nail your marathon, both physically and mentally.

Yep—and we’ve heard again and again it’s worth it. Staying committed and motivated during the days, weeks, and, yes, months of training can be ridiculously hard. If you can do that—and these programs are all about accountability and inspiration—race day becomes a celebratory victory lap, not a slog full of self-doubt.

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!)

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 challenge. 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.

THE REVIEWS

Reviews (4)

4 reviews for HEART + SOLE: MARATHON, LEVEL 1

  1. Emily (verified owner)

    In these weird Covid times it has been wonderful to sense community through AMR and to work towards a goal. I’m a beginner marathoner and am using the heart rate method of heart and sole. It has made me look at running differently- time and HR rather than distance and pace. The program has good variety of kinds of runs and strength. The Ask the Coach Monday’s are helpful- I tend to read all the questions others ask and learn from others. I like that there is weekly supplemental material in an email as well as the podcasts to complement. I am learning so much about my fitness and mental as well as physical stamina. As always, the BAMRs on the journey make it feel like I’m not alone on both the hard days and the days that feel like progress is happening.

  2. Emily (verified owner)

    In these weird Covid times it has been wonderful to sense community through AMR and to work towards a goal. I’m a beginner marathoner and am using the heart rate method of heart and sole. It has made me look at running differently- time and HR rather than distance and pace. The program has good variety of kinds of runs and strength. The Ask the Coach Monday’s are helpful- I tend to read all the questions others ask and learn from others. I like that there is weekly supplemental material in an email as well as the podcasts to complement. I am learning so much about my fitness and mental as well as physical stamina. As always, the BAMRs on the journey make it feel like I’m not alone on both the hard days and the days that feel like progress is happening.

  3. Gillian Ash Richard (verified owner)

    I signed up for this program with a solid base but minimal knowledge of training by heart rate. Being an analytical person by nature, I was intrigued by the idea of applying formulae to improve my running. I already trusted Coach Liz and Coach Jen from Love the Run programs. I committed to going all-in to see how heart rate training would work for me.

    I stuck closely to the plan for all 20 weeks (only missing 2 or 3 workouts) and – despite racking up weekly mileage that I hadn’t attempted in many years in the peak weeks – I was injury-free and felt like the plan gave my body adequate time to recover throughout. It took a lot of patience and mental work, especially in the first couple months, to get comfortable running slower on easy runs. Slowly but surely, I got more confident in how my heart rate zones felt so I could stop relying fully on my watch. I got much better at programming workouts to execute the intervals and progression runs, which I found challenging and confidence-building. I regularly asked questions on Ask the Coach Mondays and learned a lot from the coaches and from my fellow BAMRs. Thanks to the training plan and guidance, I felt mentally and physically prepared to execute my race plan and crossed the finish line feeling immensely proud of myself.

    The downsides of this plan were minimal in my experience. I have to admit that I dreaded every single heart rate test (though it was good practice for being out of my comfort zone). I initally missed the glow from higher intensity runs but, by the end, I learned to love sexy pace runs as much as testing my speedier gears. Some workouts, it was hard to look away from my watch so a bit less zen while learning what my zones and goal paces felt like.

    I’d 100% recommend this plan to a friend and hope to sign up for the Half Marathon or Level II plans in the future.

  4. Karen (verified owner)

    I loved this program! It does take time to get used to the zones and I didn’t enjoy the HR tests, but it all felt worth it. There’s so much support from the coaches and the group which is wonderful. I was able to complete almost every scheduled workout for 20 weeks without injury!
    Also, I love that workouts are by time, not distance, which is so practical for busy women like us!

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