Marathon Training as a Nursing Momma

I recently signed up for my 5th marathon and started a 16 week training plan last week.  I’ll be running the Kansas City Marathon on October 15th and I’m excited but a little anxious because I know training will be a bit different this time around.  When I first found out I was pregnant I set the goal of running another marathon before my baby turned 1 year old.  I always enjoy having a physical goal to work for and I knew that a goal like this would ensure that I got back in shape after giving birth.  Through working out, nursing and eating healthfully I lost all the baby weight by about 5 months postpartum, so I’m hoping now to build up my endurance again and also firm things up a bit.  Jack is 8 month old now and I’m also nursing, so I know it’ll be tough to juggle it all.  I still haven’t quite figured out a good morning run routine yet, but I’m hoping once we get settled in Kansas (in about a week) that it’ll all come together.  I don’t want to wake Jack up too early because he’s finally started sleeping through the night, but I also can’t run without expressing milk and I’m not all that crazy about pumping.  I’ve been running around 8AM and it’s just too hot at that time!  I’ll keep you all posted with how things turn out though, so stay tuned.  I plan on blogging once a week about how training is going, so if you have any questions or want to chat about running (and running as a nursing momma) I’d love to know so that I can discuss things you readers are interested in. 

The training plan I’m doing is one I found on before my first marathon in 2011.  It was a free plan but I can’t seem to find it online anymore.  It says it’s for “first timers” but I really enjoyed it so I’m going to use it again.  I’ve used more ambitious plans in the past but found myself slacking off once the mileage really started growing.  This plan has 2 rest days a week and the runs during the week aren’t overly long so I’m hoping I can do them with a jogging stroller.  I’ll do the long weekend run by myself when Tom can watch Jack.  The longest run is 20 miles (3 separate times) and the max weekly mileage is 40 miles.  My marathon PR is 3:40 (an 8:23 min/mile pace) and in and ideal world I would improve my time this race.  We’ll see how it goes!  

If you’d like to see the plan I’m using please let me know.  I can either scan the ratty old printed out version I have or I can type it out and share it here.  Let me know!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. July 4, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    I would love to know the plan you're using – good luck!

  2. July 4, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    Would love to know the plan you use, Katie. I have yet to challeng myself with running the full marathon; I've stuck with halves, but a full is a goal that I'd like to achieve. I'm expecting my first in September and got the Bob jogging stroller in hopes that I'll keep running with my baby once he is old enough. Im curious what it's been like for you to transition to running with a stroller. It seems awkward not having full use of your arms. What are your thoughts?

  3. July 4, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    I would also love to see the plan! I just started training for my fourth full and I am already dreading the super long mileage weeks with having to juggle kids. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Anonymous
    July 5, 2016 / 11:06 am

    I think I may have found the plan on Google. Type Runners World 2011 Marathon Plan on Googlr. The fifth search entry is a PDF file titled Your First Marathon

  5. July 6, 2016 / 1:43 am

    Thanks for the feedback Kayla! A reader was able to track it down for me so I'll share it soon.

  6. July 6, 2016 / 1:47 am

    Hi Courtney, an awesome reader tracked the plan down for me so I'll share it here shortly. Deciding to make the leap from half to full is so big and I totally understand. I ran my first one after my husband died and I think such a big life changing event was the only thing that could have convinced me to run one. They seem intimidating but once you get into training it's so amazing seeing what your body can do, and I know you could totally do it too! I'll do a post and talking about stroller running. It's different but not as awkward as I had expected. And it really sculpts your arms which is a nice bonus!

  7. July 6, 2016 / 1:49 am

    I feel your pain! It's especially hard in the summer if you miss the opportunity to do a morning run (which happens to me way too often). I'll share the plan next week. Thanks for the feedback!

  8. July 6, 2016 / 1:50 am

    You're amazing! That's the one! Thank you so much for finding it. You saved me so much time and I really appreciate it!

  9. Jenna
    July 6, 2016 / 1:56 am

    Good luck!! I'll be doing the marathon relay that day with some family members! Kansas City is wonderful and has such a great running community!

  10. July 6, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    I would love to see the running plan that your using. I've done several 1/2 & fulls but I've decided to actually put out some effort and train for my next one. I'll be deploying soon and am hoping to really focus on my running while deployed

  11. Anonymous
    July 10, 2016 / 10:40 am

    No problem. The power of Google. Best wishes on your marathon training! ­čÖé

  12. July 26, 2016 / 12:47 am

    Thanks, Katie. Experiences of loss certainly change you and can remarkably shift the way you see yourself and the world around you. At least that was my experience after my mother suddenly died my sophomore year of college. Who knows, perhaps motherhood will be another life change that pushes me to take on new challenges (aside from the obvious challenge of raising a human). Thanks for your reply; I look forward to reading more. Take care, Katie!!

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