Disney Dopey + Goofy Training Program: July 29, 2019-January 12, 2020


Disney Dopey + Goofy Training Program: July 29, 2019-January 12, 2020



July 29, 2019-January 12, 2020

Disney Races are truly magical events. After all, where else can you start under fireworks, kiss Prince Charming, joke around with Phineas and Ferb, and Let It Go with Elsa, then cross a finish line and receive some serious bling?

However, two to four finish lines over as many days will not be magical if you are not properly prepared. If you’re slogging through the miles and barely able to muster a smile—let alone a bicep curl—for a shot with Wreck-It-Ralph, your Dopey or Goofy extravaganza will be memorable. Just not for the right reasons.

With this 24-week, hands-on challenge starting on July 29, 2019, we’ve got your back and are laying a white-glove-clad, oversize hand firmly on it. The training plan we’ve created emphasizes both muscular and cardiovascular endurance and time on your feet: keys you’ll need to run every mile with a smile.

But it’s not all about the running. We’ll be sure you’re fueling properly for all your long runs. We’ll make sure your hips and glutes, typically the weak spots for most runners, are rock solid. We’ll have some fun too, brainstorming costume ideas and ideas. We’ll entertain and educate you with podcasts and newsletters, and, of course, hit race strategies so that you not only enjoy your Dopey or Goofy Challenge, you’ll nearly fly during each mile.

The end result? You feel primed and totally ready to run either challenge: The Dopey: 5K, then a 10K, then a half-marathon, then a marathon or the Goofy: a half-marathon then a marathon—no pixie dust required.

PROGRAM BASICS: Every workout is measured in minutes, not miles. Speedwork is limited in this plan, as it focuses on maximizing your endurance. You’ll regularly run four days in a row, to mimic the mental and physical demands of multi-day racing.

For 22 of the 24 weeks of the plan, we maximize cardiovascular preparation by doing double workouts one day weekly: after a short run in the morning, you’ll do an evening hike, brisk walk, or run, which will range from 20 to 60 minutes.

PREREQS: You’ve been running at least 30–45 minutes 3–4 days of the week for at least 8 weeks. You’re injury-free. You don’t need previous experience running by heart rate, but it is helpful if you have run a half-marathon at some point.

BIGGEST WEEK OF TRAINING: 10 hours, 25 minutes, including six runs, one hike/brisk walk, 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? Yep. 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: Five to six runs; one hike/brisk walk; one cross-training session (weeks 1-12); two strength circuits; one rest day.

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



Product Description

The Disney Dopey + Goofy Training Program includes:

  • A Unique 24-Week Dopey + Goofy Training Program. This 24-week program will turn you into a cardiovascular beast as you get ready for Disney’s Dopey or Goofy Challenge. (A beast whose legs look amazing in your Disney costume, btw.) Each week, you’ll complete a variety of workouts, including at least five runs, one cross-training session, strength circuits; and one day where you’ll have double sessions: a run in the morning, and a hike/brisk walk/run in the evening. The double day prepares you both mentally and physically for the multiple finish lines you’ll cross at Disney.

  • Miles of Resources. Your registration gets you access to the Train Like a Mother private site, where you’ll find helpful articles; video demonstrations of strength training moves, foam rolling routines, and running drills that are totally doable and will keep you running strong and injury-free; and plenty of other tips and tricks to compliment your training.

  • Exclusive Train Like a Mother Podcasts. We’ll answer individual training questions—and entertain you on your runs. We’ll pull in experts, answer questions, help you thrive. As always, no question is too basic or TMI.

  • Accountability—and Camaraderie—Galore. In addition to Train Like a Mother Club, you’ll be invited to join a private Running by Heart Rate Club on Strava, where you can track your miles, and private Running by Heart Rate and Disney Challenge Facebook pages, 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.

  • Expert, Accessible Guidance. We’ll also pop in via email weekly with a newsletter in which we’ll share insights on preparing your mind and body (and suitcase!), as well as have a Q+A with your coaches and discounts on training essentials. If you hit a speed bump too big for a Facebook or Strava post, Coaches Jen + Liz have regular office hours for individual questions.

  • Training Peaks Account. This comprehensive training tool will help you analyze your data and 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.

  • Best.Swag.Bag.Ever. As part of your registration, you will receive a package stocked with training essentials, including a tube of Nuun, packets of GU, and a pair of Balega socks. (Shipping of $7.00 on U.S. orders and $15 for international orders will be added to your registration at checkout to cover the cost of getting these goodies to your mailbox.)


  • When does this program run?
    The Disney Dopey and Goofy Training Program, 24 weeks long, starts on July 29, 2019 and runs through race weekend of January 9-12, 2020.

  • Who are the coaches?
    Elizabeth Waterstraat and Jennifer Harrison, a Chicago-based coaching duo that has been guiding athletes and their heart rates for over twenty years. Elizabeth holds certifications from USA Triathlon Youth & Junior + Level 2; US Master’s Swimming Level III; and RRCA + Lydiard, while Jennifer is USA Triathlon Level 1 + 2 and RRCA certified. Read more about them here.

  • How will heart rate-based training help me become a better runner?
    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.

    Heart Rate Marathon

    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.

  • I get injured easily. How does Running by Heart Rate help me stay healthy?
    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.

  • How do I know if this is the right plan for me?
    If you’re doing the Dopey or Goofy Challenge at Disney, it will definitely work for you.

    Seriously, though: If you’ve been running for 45-60 minutes 3-4 days of the week for at least 8 weeks, and you are injury-free and are ready to take on (at least) the half-marathon + marathon distance in one weekend, 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.

  • How does the same program work for both Dopey and Goofy?
    While we realize Dopey adds on an extra 9.3 race miles over two days, this 24-week program simultaneously emphasizes endurance and time on your feet while respecting the time you have to train. The two-a-day workouts on Friday will get you efficiently primed for Dopey, and if you’re going Goofy, they will make you feel super capable for your two-day adventure.

  • What heart rate monitor do you recommend?
    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.

  • Do I need other equipment for this program?
    Two of the strength circuits include moves with Resistance Bands if you’d like to get a set.

  • Does the registration fee include the Disney Challenge?
    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.

  • Wait: So I have to pay for this program and a race entry fee?
    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.

  • Can you please explain the shipping charges?
    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 #motherrunners are charged $7.00 for shipping; international #motherrunners are charged $15 for shipping.

  • What if I realize this isn’t the right training plan for me?
    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 credit for an upcoming challenge. We will not be able to issue a straight-up refund.

  • What if I get injured or really sick?
    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. We’ll work with you to get you a credit for an upcoming program.