HEART RATE-BASED PROGRAMS

WHEN YOU TRAIN WITH HEART RATE:
​1. YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON RUNNING TAKES A U-TURN.
(FROM FRUSTRATING TO FUN. AND EXHAUSTING TO EFFICIENT.)

2. YOU HAVE ENERGY LEFT AFTER LONG RUNS.
(YOU CAN STILL PULL THE NAP CARD THOUGH; WE WON’T TELL!)

3. YOUR RUNS BECOME MORE MEDITATIVE AND LESS STRESSFUL.
(PUT ANOTHER WAY: YOU WON’T DREAD THEM—EVEN THE LONG ONES.)

4. YOUR BODY BECOMES MORE INJURY-PROOF.
(TAKE THAT, SHIN SPLINTS, PLANTAR FASCIITIS, ETC!)

5. YOU BECOME A STRONGER, FASTER, BETTER RUNNER.
(ALL BY SLOWING DOWN. WE PROMISE.)

HELPFUL LINKS:

Where to begin with heart rate programs.

deeper dive into the why and how of  heart rate.

An awesome podcast with Coach MK explaining heart rate training, and another podcast with race report from women who trained by heart rate.

Registration dates and waves in 2017
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EACH PROGRAM INCLUDES:

★ A unique, comprehensive training plan, delivered as a PDF and via Training Peaks.
★ A four-week Intro to Heart Rate plan.*
★ High-touch, expert guidance, including weekly office hours with Coach MK for one-on-one coaching.*

★ Pre-race strategy sessions via phone or webinar.*
★ Exclusive 3x/month podcasts.

*Not applicable to Heart Rate 101 or 102

★ Weekly Q+A session on Facebook.
★ Innovative strength training routines + running drills + foam rolling techniques, updated frequently.
★ Private Facebook page + Strava club.
★ Weekly newsletters.
★ Over $25 of our favorite training gear.

★ Giveaways + discounts on essential #Motherrunner gear.

$150

AMAZING
Half-Marathon
20 Weeks

Get started now!

$150

EXCELLENT
Half -Marathon
20 Weeks

Get started now!

$150

SUPER EXCELLENT
Half-Marathon
20 Weeks

Get started now!

$150

INCREDIBLE
Marathon
20 Weeks

Get started now!

$150

OUTSTANDING
Marathon
20 Weeks

Get started now!

$150

SUPER OUTSTANDING
Marathon
20 Weeks

Get started now!

$55

HEART RATE 101
8 Weeks

GET STARTED NOW!

$55

HEART RATE 102
8 Weeks

GET STARTED NOW!

“Without heart rate training, I may have given up on running—or at least given up on believing I can go after big hairy goals in running. 

At the end of my last marathon training cycle, I was burned out. I felt like I just didn’t know how to run effectively, and was utterly discouraged.  

On this plan, I have run more consistently than I ever have in a training cycle (200+ more miles than my previous marathon training); I continue to look forward to runs even in week 18; I feel proud because I can meet all workout goals, which no longer have to do with running all out, but staying in guidelines that have been explained to me. 

More than anything, I have peace with running. Thank you.”

—#Motherrunner Emelie
Marine Corps Marathon Finisher

Meet YOur Coach: Mary-katherine fleming

Denver, CO; Mother of three (ages 4, 3, 1)
Coaching since: 2014.
Coaching certifications: RRCA, Lydiard, Daniels + Life Time; Master BOSU Trainer
After a workout, I: Consume collagen gummies while I foam roll, then make a beeline for the shower. (I hate the feeling of sticky, sweaty skin. Once the run ends, my mood sours until that feeling is gone.)
Two athletic accomplishments:
1. I am still marathoning after 20 years.
2. I can carry one screaming, kicking toddler over each shoulder for up to half a mile without dropping them.
Two maternal accomplishments:
1.Pants: For real, I wear them even when I don’t have to.

2. I still want a fourth child. #winning
Don’t ask me to: Pretend.
Coaching style in one word: StageCoachLovesYou.

FAQS

Good question. This Club is a branch of Another Mother Runner, started by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. Back when our five collective kids were ankle-biters, we ran the Nike Women’s Marathon, wrote about our training for Runner’s World magazine, then turned the whole experience into Run Like a Mother, a chatty, advice-filled book published in 2010. (Here’s an excerpt from Runner’s World.) Train Like a Mother (excerpt) followed in 2012, and Tales from Another Mother Runner (guess what? excerpt) completed the trilogy in 2015.

Along the way, Another Mother Runner has flourished into an amazing community of badass women centered around the idea that the benefits of your miles ricochet through all aspects of your life. When you run, you are a more patient mother, a more loving partner, a more productive worker, and a more positive person altogether. (Note: By run, we mean forward movement. Walking, jogging, and running at any and all speeds count.)

Coach Mary-Katherine (MK) Fleming, a #motherrunner of three in Denver, who not only designed the plans, but also has trained with heart rate daily for the past three years. Over the course of six months, she turned injury-prone Dimity from somebody who, for a decade, could run only three times and 20 miles a week for fear of getting hurt again. These days, because she’s minding her heart rate, Dimity is running five days a week, logging more miles than ever, and is ready to conquer her first 50K.
The plans dial in — or simply develop — an endurance base, which will help your running economy skyrocket and make you strong, injury-free runner capable of going faster than you previously have. Think of a pyramid; the wider its base, the higher its apex can be without tipping or crumbling. Same with running: the wider your endurance base, the higher or faster you can run.

Unfortunately, developing the endurance base is the process many non-elite athletes skip when decide to train for a half- or full marathon. They substituting other activities for easy runs or take the “easy” out of their easy runs. Either way, they don’t get the physiological benefit they need to finish the race feeling strong and healthy.

Most runners devote a lot of energy looking for the Magic Workout, believing it’s something that involves the track and/or really challenging paces. There is some magic in pushing your paces, but only—and this is a big ONLY—if your body has a developed endurance base and is ready for the more intense work.

I—Coach MK—know plenty of runners who have been logging miles for decades in search of the Magic Workout and can’t figure out why they repeatedly get injured or continually getting slower, despite putting in more and more effort.

Their Magic Workout isn’t more effort or speed. It’s the easy effort run with a heart rate cap. Over time, those easy miles allow your body to magically transform into a cardiovascular beast—and that is when the true magic can happen.

(Dive deeper into the physiology of and MK’s perspective on heart rate-based training here.)

It is totally possible. A PR is twofold: running consistently, and knowing how to race. We will help you do the former and teach you how to do the latter. The comment I—Coach MK— get the most frequently from my runners who previously struggled through races is, “I never had to stop! I ran the whole way through!” That alone can lead to PRs.

That said, the plan isn’t always the problem when it comes to a PR. Sticking to it is. If you run consistently and arrange your life so you can commit to the plan, I’m confident you will blow your mind on race day. It will be an experience unlike any other you’ve ever had.

But if you look at the plan like a buffet and only pick the parts and runs you like or you continually find the day has ended yet again and you are out of time to run, you will still find a modicum of success. But a PR probably won’t happen. I’m not sure in those circumstances a PR could be expected on any plan. (Not being harsh; just being honest.)

If you want proof of the beauty of low and slow consistency, look at me. I did not train through my third pregnancy, no running or cardio, NOTHING. (I discovered ‘binge-watching’ and Sons of Anarchy…WORTH IT!) from September 2014-May 2015. I started a plan very much like the ones in the Train Like a Mother Club after my six-week postpartum appointment. I made it four weeks before I had a minor surgical procedure that left me prone in a bed until mid-July.

My first easy run on July 28 was 14:15 pace. I cried knowing the 2014 NYC Marathon was 13 weeks away. I got back on the plan: five easy, effort runs of varying mileage weekly. No speedwork, but no excuses either. I was consistent. I ran 1:51 at the ZOOMA half-marathon in Colorado Springs in mid-October and a 22:38 5K the following weekend. Two weeks later, I ran 4:16 in the New York City Marathon, pacing a friend to a huge PR. I finished with lots of fuel left in the tank.

To be sure, I have a wide cardiovascular base built on years of training smart, not hard. But still: I am living proof a #motherrunner (of three) can run slow and race fast.

Muscles have memory, but tendons and ligaments do not. I—Coach MK— see runners going too fast all the time who swear to me, they, “feel FINE!” Perceived effort can be shaded so many ways; the heart rate cap will keep you honest and keep your easy effort days easy. This, in turn, will prevent you from letting those muscles that feel FINE push your tendons and ligaments beyond their breaking points, leaving you with a roaring case of plantar fasciitis, IT Band Syndrome, Achilles tendinitis, or shin splints.

Instead, your whole body will be on the same page and progress as a unit. Put another way: No ligament will be left behind—and that will make a huge difference in how you feel.

Coach MK loves and uses the Polar M400. So does Dimity. Here a few other Polar monitors with a range of features that we recommend.

Here’s a little more advice from Coach MK:

Go for the low-hanging fruit. Translation: You might not need to run out and buy a super-expensive and fancy new watch.

Did your current watch come with a strap that is sitting forgotten and unloved in a drawer? Grab it.

Is your current watch heart-rate enabled but you didn’t buy the strap at the time because you didn’t think you needed it? Get the strap that goes with your watch.

If you’re ready to upgrade your whole system, check out the price of the watch you want. Sometimes the stand-alone strap is pricey enough that it makes more sense to go ahead and upgrade.

Don’t have a watch because you run with an iPhone? Look at the available GPS apps like Strava, MapMyRun and Runkeeper. All will sync with different heart rate straps, so check prices and pick the combo that works with your budget.

No.

Here’s why:
When I—MK— started as a coach, I was handed a motley crew of 20 people who were at varying levels of fitness. Not a single one had a decent endurance base yet all were severely overtrained. I was floored. People running less than 15 miles per week shouldn’t be overtrained! Worse, they would absolutely kill themselves on our Tuesday night social (easy effort) runs and swear they weren’t failing the “Talk Test,” or being able to carry on a conversation while you run.

A big believer in Arthur Lydiard’s rule that a well-coached athlete should never be injured, I knew I had to come up with a system that would work for everyone without alienating anyone.* I respect Phil Maffetone’s work and initially told everyone to use his formula (Heart Rate cap: 180-age, with a few exceptions) on their easy effort days.

This failed spectacularly. Everyone bent the rule, so I set out to write a different rule. I researched all the data and theoretical reasoning behind most existing heart rate training programs, read up on studies of the existing endurance running population in North America, then looked at the success rates of my athletes with their Maffetone formula and reevaluated the verbiage around my ‘rules’ for the easy-effort run.

The result was a 140 cap on heart rate for easy effort runs. Keeping your effort on or below 140 beats for minute is firmly aerobic territory for most of the population of non-elite endurance athletes and will increase the endurance base and running economy. (Dive deeper into the physiology of and my perspective on heart rate-based training.)

In an effort to make sure my runners do as little math as possible, and because perceived effort is not always an effective, we ALL wear heart rate monitors and use 140 as a cap for easy efforts. The cap comes off for other workouts—and there are plenty of times we pick up the pace—but keeping the easy efforts easy will transform your running.

Exceptions to this rule are people under 20, over 60, and former competitive**/elite endurance athletes.

[[*I’ve been the fat kid at track club more than once. I HATED it. I make a point to make sure everyone is treated equally and fairly at my group workouts, and have developed a system that ensures no runner is ever left behind our demoralized.]

[[**By ‘competitive’, I mean, “someone who was ranked in the top 10% at the state level or nationally in track or cross country either in high school or college.]]
No. There are nearly weekly Free Runs, where you can run as hard and fast as your heart desires; we know that feels good. Also, there are bits of speed development sprinkled thoughtfully through the programs; depending on your plan, your easy effort runs may have 20-second pickups or miles at race pace sprinkled in, and those elements do not have a heart rate cap.

But the Magic Workouts—the easy effort runs that develop your endurance base and running economy—are capped at 140.
Absolutely. If you want to race, look at the AMAZING Half-Marathon Plan, whose physical prereq is that you to be able to walk for 45 minutes without stopping. If you can do that, you will thrive on the plan. If you’d rather just try heart rate-based training on for size, we will have a 12-Week Heart Rate 101 program opening for registration on May 2.
Right now, we only have plans for the half-marathon, and full marathon but we’re happy to see if we can tweak an existing plan to help you meet your goal. Email us at at tlamclub [at] gmail [dot] com, and we can figure it out.
No. The fee covers two training plans (Race Plan + Introduction) and all the support you need for 24 weeks (nearly 6 months!) of heart rate-based training. That support includes an active Facebook page and Strava club, at least five exclusive podcasts, a Training Peaks Account, a stocked swag package (over $25!), and regular office hours where we can help you over speed bumps.

All these tools will help you have an phenomenal training cycle and race, both physically and mentally. You will have camaraderie, commiseration, and community on a daily basis (and sometimes hourly, if that’s your thing.)

Come fall, you will participate in the organized race of your choice; you can also choose to run a race on your own, if that works better for you.

Yep—and we’ve heard again and again from past participants, it’s worth it. Staying committed and motivated during the days, weeks, and, yes, of training can be ridiculously hard, especially when you’re adapting to a new system like heart rate-based training. 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.
With a smart training plan, do-able strength training, and advice on foam rolling and other self-care, we 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 at tlamclub [at] gmail [dot] com. We’ll work with you to get you a credit for an upcoming program.

Did we miss something? Contact us at tlamclub [at] gmail [dot] com and we’ll help you out!