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
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.
Courtney (verified owner) –
The plan was well written and easy to follow. Great support throughout. At the end of this plan, I felt fresher at the end of my long runs and remained injury free through my race. Heart rate training really helped me tune in to my body during training. I will definitely do another heart rate plan in the future.
Heather (verified owner) –
I loved the information about zone training I got through this plan. I loved how my HR caps were based on my own body! This plan offered a great deal of variety to stay engaged with enough endurance runs to help build the aerobic base! My race day was very hot after training through a midwest winter but the fitness I built doing this plan allowed me to keep going and finish strong on race day. I would recommend this plan to anyone wanting to grow and learn as a runner.
Ruthann (verified owner) –
Heart & Soul Half Marathon Level 1 is a great place to begin your heart rate training. This plan by the Another Mother Run group is top class. The plan is written out so detailed. You kind find everything that you need to know. The coaches that are available through the Ask The Coach on Mondays are amazing. They are so knowledgeable and they are also so supportive and kind. There is such a great variety in the runs with drills and form added. Strength programs are so beneficial. This plan really spring boarded me in to being a stronger runner. So much goodness all the way around in this plan. Don’t think about it…..Just Do It. You won’t regret it. Oh, and the price is amazing. I have a friend who has a running coach and she pay $175 per month for her coaching. Again, don’t think.Just do it. You will love it.
Donna (verified owner) –
I have to admit- i am addicted to this program! the coaches are smart, and also well-balanced in terms of understanding that you are not a professional runner and you don’t have all.the.time to train. There is a smart balance of drills, long runs, easy runs, and strength. Seriously I have done it twice and will probably do it again based on my own comfort level. The heart rate portion is customized and allows you to take into account your own quirks. Love and highly recommend!
Courtney (verified owner) –
I. Love. Heartrate. Training.
Before the world got turned upside down I planned on running my fastest half ever at the Kentucky Derby Festival “mini marathon”. I stuck to the plan despite my goal race being cancelled and found comfort in checking off each workout one by one. But you want to know how this plan will help YOU likely (hopefully) under more typical conditions.
Following this program brought me to a BIG PR – almost 10 minutes (1:44:22!!!) for reference, 6 years ago I was aspiring for break 2:00:00 and finally achieved that goal on my 10th attempt. Since then I’ve had two babies and wasn’t sure what this Mother-Running body could do.
My virtual Race was hard but comfortably hard. The kind of hard I was confident I could make it through because of the magic combination of the Heart and Sole training plan, guidance from coaches, and support from all of the BAMRs in the Facebook group and Strava. My mantras were “This is hard but you are strong” and also “Ma ma se, ma ma sa Ma ma coo sa”.
It cannot be overstated how in this crazy time the training plan kept me tethered to some sense of normalcy. I cannot thank you enough for that. It gave me structure when I was overwhelmed by the crazy prospect of isolating with two toddlers. It gave me purpose when I knew I needed to do something for myself even if that meant literally running away from my family. Thank you.
I’m embarrassed to admit that when I first got pregnant I assumed my best running days were behind me. I never thought I could be putting up my best times and running stronger than I ever thought possible. On to the H&S Marathon Program (after a pit stop back at the intro program before my ramp up).
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Lauren Meachum (verified owner) –
This is an outstanding program! I had never run anything other than a 5K. I decided to run a half marathon at 64 years old. TLM provided support and encouragement. I completed the 20 week training program. My race got canceled due to the pandemic. But I was running 12.7 to 13 miles.
I never thought that I could do that. The you tube videos were great. The training program got me ready. I cannot wait for my next opportunity to run a half marathon. Thank you Train Like AMother
Marianne (verified owner) –
I have been training for halves or fulls for years and this plan was the breath of fresh air and the challenge I was needing!
The plan helped me zero in on what easy and hard are for me on a given day. I pushed to paces I’ve not seen in years and had a very successful (virtual) race at the end that included a PR without the support of crowds and with needing to cross my fingers for the traffic lights to cooperate.
The coaches are superb. They answer questions (and follow ups!) promptly. Access to one on one office hours means you can get more in depth with a particular concern or explore something you are considering. I also felt very supported even though my time per mile is significantly slower than many.
If you haven’t tried a heart rate plan yet, I highly recommend this option.
Licinia (verified owner) –
This was my first heart rate program and I plan to do more!!! I had to get out of my head to think I’m going slow when in fact after the program I went faster than any other place I’ve been on. I love the podcasts, the Facebook group support, and of course Dimity’s strength videos.
Amanda (verified owner) –
Such an amazing program!! I went from a habitual “I’m going to become a runner then quitting” to loving the process and enjoying the miles. Focusing on heart rate instead of pace gave me a way to honor where my body was at that day and celebrate a successful workout.
Lori (verified owner) –
I have completed the Heart & Sole Half-Marathon Level 1 plan three times. Although I could print out the plan and run alone, I keep coming back for the camaraderie of of the BAMRs and the coaching from Jen and Liz who helped me nail my nutrition and run without injury.
Even better, I went from a 2:32 when uncoached to a 2:18 the first time I completed the program to a 2:09 the third time—an overall 25-minute PR! I continue to chase a 2-hour half, but signed up with TLAM, Jen and Liz for my first full in 2022, and I know I will be ready.
I highly recommend the program. As a late-onset runner (now 51), I am amazed at how good I felt at my last race. The plan and coaching are worth every penny!
Nancy Foley (verified owner) –
I loved this program! I started running again in 2020, and decided to try heart-rate training to avoid injury (I’m an ex-tennis player w lingering foot issues, so wanted lots of low slow runs & a gradual program) & hopefully enjoy the process. I was faithful to the program & enjoyed it so much that I didn’t even blink when I couldn’t run in the actual half-marathon last weekend (family emergency)! I plan to ease up on the training for a few months and then do the program again in the spring. I’m not on social media, but when I emailed Jen & Liz privately, they responded very quickly & thoroughly. All around, it was a great experience. I’ve been recommending this training method & this particular program to just about everyone I know.
Nicole Bauer (verified owner) –
This program kept me engaged and motivated through a very tough winter training cycle. I’ve run many half marathons in the past but wanted to get back to a formal training plan after not racing for a couple years. This was the perfect solution for me, as the workouts are based on “time” and not “distance”, which meant I felt like I had permission to really focus on building stamina and strength instead of pushing to finish a set number of miles on a given day. I felt accomplished after finishing a long run even before I looked at my mileage, because I knew I had run strong for the prescribed time. This was my first foray into HR training, and I learned a lot. The day of my goal race turned out to be stormy and I wasn’t able to get to the start line an hour from my house due to bad roads; but because I followed this plan and felt confident, I ran my own 13.1 in (rainy) loops around my neighborhood and got it done BAMR style! I’ll be recycling many of the workouts from this program back into my summer routine and truly recommend this program to anyone looking to add a twist to your regular training.
Mary Ellen (verified owner) –
The Heart & Sole Half Marathon Training I, was the ideal program for me. Daily inspiration and encouragement from the amazing coaching staff. I was encouraged as well by other participants in the plan to continue on and to keep moving closer towards my goals. I felt Strong and more Confident that I gave each of my training sessions a solid effort. My training revolved around summer travel, family that had Covid and Pneumonia and of course the Summer Heat of 2022! The Warmup period before my workouts was Key to helping my heart engage and prepare for my movement. I believe this program definitely helped keep me healthier and less prone to injury. Also, Strength Circuits with Dimity was icing on the cake each week. :)
Since completing the program a few weeks ago, I have continued to add 2x per week, a Heart Rate run (3-5 miles) to stay connected and engaged with HR training and to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
It’s Fun and so Exciting to see and feel my body doing amazing things. My overall experience is an A!
Laura Serna (verified owner) –
The Heart and Sole Half Marathon Training program is excellent. Although I did not meet my goal time I think that had more to do with how I approached my race than the program (and an extreme wardrobe malfunction). I was sore but not too sore after my race and generally was extremely confident that I could finish the distance, strong. I learned a lot of good habits (warm up!) and my form really improved as well thanks to runs concentrating solely on different elements of form. I feel extremely fit coming off the 20-week training cycle, which I mostly did by myself, and am excited to continue building my cardiovascular base. I wish there was an easier way to connect with coaches other than Facebook although coaches were very responsive via email. Like others I have been recommending this training program to anyone who will listen.
horwitzsl (verified owner) –
I just completed my first half marathon after using this program to train. The program was perfect. I was ready to race and although I was racing alone and relied on the advice and support given in my training for every mile. The 1:1 support is truly the best and I am thankful to AMR for all of it.
Hillary (verified owner) –
I loved this training program. I’ve trained for other half marathons using a different heart rate plan, but what set this plan apart for me is the personalization of discovering my own heart rate zones rather than an arbitrary cap and the variety of workouts on the plan. I felt supported by Coach Jen and Coach Liz, and I loved the support and comradery of the Facebook page. Although I didn’t hit my time goal on my race (thank you heat, humidity, and a painful blister), I felt the training plan really prepared me to run 13.1. I would recommend this plan to anyone looking to try heart rate training–honestly, I would also recommend it to people who don’t think heart rate training is for them!