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    Stride Saucony School Badge

    Saucony Stride into the School Year September 12-October 6, 2016 When kids hit the books, #motherrunners hit the pavement.

    Saucony Stride into the School Year  is five weeks of unique, fun workouts that blend running and strength training. (Read: You rarely repeat a workout.) The plan has you sweating five days a week, with an option for a sixth day of a yoga session if your schedule allows. This five-week Challenge is all about forward motion, fitness, accountability and community, not about training for a specific race. The workouts are one-size-fits-all, whether you're a walker, run/walker, or runner, and whether you're just starting to run, coming back to it after a decade off, or just need a little push to get you jump started again. The shortest workout is 20 minutes, the longest is 40-90 minutes (one longer run on the weekend), with most sessions clocking in around 30 minutes. You will receive a PDF of the training plan, and every morning (bright and early!) the daily workout will be posted on the private Facebook page. Below is a sample week; the footnotes make a little hard to decode, but it's a good example of the time commitments. Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 7.05.58 PM There are no waves for Stride into the School Year: the program begins on September 12 and ends on October 6.
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    #BAMR COFFEE HOUSE: SEPTEMBER

    We've had multiple requests for a place for #BAMRS on an individual (or no) training plan to talk about running and training in a more intimate, hand-on forum than the regular AMR Facebook page: This is it! The #BAMR Coffee House is an intimate place to celebrate your wins; bitch about the tough workouts; grab and give some group advice; cheer on each other; and and get inspired by like-minded women. In addition to your teammates of #BAMRs, we'll have coaches and other experts drop in periodically to answer questions with Facebook videos and other helpful tools. Membership is good for one month; you will enter the private Facebook page the day before the first of each month, and be politely escorted out of it the day after the month ends, unless you have renewed your membership. The only potential drawback? The #BAMR Coffee House is BYOC, BYOL, BYON, BYOGOW. Sadly, we haven't figured out how to virtually deliver coffee/lattes/bottles of nuun/glasses of wine while we all hang out.
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    #BAMR COFFEE HOUSE: SEPTEMBER

    We've had multiple requests for a place for #BAMRS on an individual (or no) training plan to talk about running and training in a more intimate, hand-on forum than the regular AMR Facebook page: This is it! The #BAMR Coffee House is an intimate place to celebrate your wins; bitch about the tough workouts; grab and give some group advice; cheer on each other; and and get inspired by like-minded women. In addition to your teammates of #BAMRs, we'll have coaches and other experts drop in periodically to answer questions with Facebook videos and other helpful tools. Membership is good for one month; you will enter the private Facebook page the day before the first of each month, and be politely escorted out of it the day after the month ends, unless you have renewed your membership. The only potential drawback? The #BAMR Coffee House is BYOC, BYOL, BYON, BYOGOW. Sadly, we haven't figured out how to virtually deliver coffee/lattes/bottles of nuun/glasses of wine while we all hang out.
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    Amazing ChallengeHRT 13.1 Badge

    THE AMAZING PLAN

    praise-monica-half

    NOTE: We will have heart rate-based training 20-week training plans run through the majority of 2017; we are organizing registration in two-month chunks. Plans for May and June races will be ready for registration in early December; July and August races in early February, and so on. Thanks!

    This half-marathon plan fits nearly any runner: beginner; experienced; coming back from injury; just had a baby; irritated by running because of said injury, expectations, aging. Every workout is measured in minutes, not miles. You’ll run four days a week, with one day of optional easy cross training like a yoga or Pilates class. Speedwork is minimal in this plan, as it focuses on maximizing your endurance. For nearly every mile, you’ll aim to keep your heart rate at or under 140 beats per minute (bpm). Why 140? Based on Maffetone’s Formula (180-age, with a few qualifications), 140 is a solid number that works for nearly every body. Because the half-marathon is an endurance event, keeping your heart rate under 140 greatly expands your cardiovascular/aerobic base, greatly decreases your chances of injury, significantly lessens post-run fatigue, and makes running feel very doable and even fun. (Truly!) You will have a handful of weekly Free Runs, where you can run as fast as your heart desires. Fair warning: Your initial pace at 140 bpm will surprise you. You will likely be 2-3 minutes slower than your current average run pace, and you’ll walk quite a bit to keep your heart rate within range, especially when you climb hills. You will be frustrated and possibly teary and maybe even think about dropping the program. We’ll keep you going, though, and over the base building period of the first six weeks, your average pace at 140 bpm will begin to drop. Over the following fourteen weeks, you will morph into a cardio monster who can run for hours and hours with no pain and no anguish. Although you’ll have an AMAZING half-marathon in twenty weeks, consider this plan as your introduction to a long-term investment in your running. Its (priceless) yield? Low on injury and fatigue, and correspondingly high on enjoyment and performance. THE PREREQS: Before you sign up, you need to please: 1. Be able to currently walk for 45 minutes without stopping. If you’re running right now, you’ve been averaging less than 20 miles a week for the past three months 2. Own a heart rate monitor with a chest strap, and you need to wear it all the time while training. The majority of your time, you’ll be training with a heart rate <140. 3. Be able to say adios to your ego and put your pace expectations away for this training cycle. Which is easier typed than done. Your training splits will likely be 2-3 minutes slower than they currently are. You will be passed by other #uncoached, #unloved runners who have no idea about the magic you're creating within. You will think people in cars are talking about your turtle-like speed. (They aren’t, but it’ll feel like that.) For at least the first six weeks, you will likely walk up most hills and take regular walk breaks. Race pace will be a different thing, and we’ll cover that in depth, but your training is going to be s.l.o.w. Remember, you’ll have a group of #motherrunners doing the exact same thing, so you’ll have plenty of camaraderie and compassion. 4. Have time—and patience—to devote to 20 weeks of training. During week one, you’ll run for three hours over the course of four workouts. By week 17, the biggest week of training, you’ll be running six hours, five minutes over the course of four workouts. The longest run distances are two, 175-minute runs. BIGGEST WEEK OF TRAINING: Six hours, five minutes. LONGEST LONG RUN DISTANCES: Two, 175-minute runs. 3 Weeks of AMAZING HALF-MARATHON PLAN The first three weeks of the plan are previewed above and to the left. (Quick key: EE: Easy Effort; XT: Cross Training; FR: Free Run; LR: Long Run) If this feels like too much but you want to give heart rate-based training a go, consider signing up for our Heart Rate 101 Cycle, 8-weeks of training that begins on September 12. Registration opens mid-August. NOTE: We will have heart rate-based training 20-week training plans run through the majority of 2017; we are organizing registration in two-month chunks.Plans for March and April races will be ready for registration by early October; plans for May and June races will be ready in early December; and so on. Thanks! The first date is date you officially start your 20 week plan; the second set of dates should align with the date of your goal race.
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    Excellent ChallengeHRT 13.1 Badge

    THE EXCELLENT PLAN

    NOTE: We will have heart rate-based training 20-week training plans run through the majority of 2017; we are organizing registration in two-month chunks.Plans for March and April races will be ready for registration by early October; plans for May and June races will be ready in early December; and so on. Thanks! This half-marathon plan is for anybody who has been running consistently for at least four times a week for the past six months. Also, you’ve had no major (4+ weeks) breaks for illness or injuries, have already participated in a half-marathon or full marathon, and want to see your hard work reflected in your PRs. On this plan, you will run five days a week; you have an option of running six days a week if you’d like. There are very few straight-up runs; most have bursts of speed—anything from 20 seconds to miles—added in. All the runs are in minutes, although some segments of them correspond to distance. Easy days will be unbelievably easy, but hard days will be, comparatively, pretty hard. The result? If you do the work, you will likely PR on this plan. On easy runs, you’ll aim to keep your heart rate at or under 140 beats per minute (bpm). Why 140? Based on Maffetone’s Formula (180-age, with a few qualifications), 140 is a solid number that works for nearly every body. Because the half-marathon is an endurance event, keeping your heart rate under 140 greatly expands your cardiovascular/aerobic base, greatly decreases your chances of injury, significantly lessens post-run fatigue, and makes running feel very doable and even fun. (Truly!) Fair warning: Your initial pace at 140 bpm will surprise you. You will likely be 2-3 minutes slower than your current average run pace, and you’ll walk quite a bit to keep your heart rate within range, especially when you climb hills. You will be frustrated and possibly teary and maybe even think about dropping the program. We’ll keep you going, though, and over the base building period of the first six weeks, your average speed at 140 bpm will begin to increase. Over the following fourteen weeks, you will morph into a speedy cardio monster who can run for hours and hours with no pain and no anguish. Although you’ll have an EXCELLENT half-marathon in twenty weeks, consider this plan as your introduction to a long-term investment in your running. Its (priceless) yield? Low on injury and fatigue, and correspondingly high on enjoyment and performance. THE PREREQS: You need to please:
    1. Be able to currently jog for 90 consecutive minutes. For at least the previous three months, you’ve averaged 20 miles a week.
    1. Own a heart rate monitor with a chest strap, and understand you need to wear it all the time while training. The majority of your time, you’ll be training with a heart rate <140.
    1. Be able to say adios to your ego and put your usual pace expectations away for this program. Your training splits will likely be 2-3 minutes slower than they currently are. You will be passed by other (#uncoached, #unloved) runners who will have no idea about the magic you’re creating within yourself. You will think people in cars are talking about your turtle-like speed. (They aren’t, but it’ll feel like that.) For at least the first six weeks, you will likely walk up most hills and take regular walk breaks. Race pace will be a different thing, and we’ll cover that in depth, but your training is going to be s.l.o.w. Remember, you’ll have a group of #motherrunners doing the exact same thing, so you’ll have plenty of camaraderie and compassion.
    2. Have time—and patience—to devote to 20 weeks of training. During week one, you’ll run for five hours, 30 minutes over the course of five workouts. By week 17, the biggest week of training, you’ll be running seven hours, fifty minutes over the course of five workouts. The longest run distances are two, 180-minute runs.
    WEEK OF TRAINING: Seven hours, fifty minutes. LONGEST LONG RUN DISTANCES: Two, 180-minute runs. EXCELLENT HALF MARATHON The first three weeks of the plan are previewed above and to the left. (Quick key: EE: Easy Effort; RR: Recovery Run; PU: Pickup; FR: Free Run; LR: Long Run) (Too much? Consider the AMAZING Half-Marathon Plan.) NOTE: We will have heart rate-based training 20-week training plans run through the majority of 2017; we are organizing registration in two-month chunks.Plans for March and April races will be ready for registration by early October; plans for May and June races will be ready in early December; and so on. Thanks! The first date is date you officially start your 20 week plan; the second set of dates should align with the date of your goal race. Save Save
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    Incredible ChallengeHRT 26.2 Badge

    THE INCREDIBLE MARATHON PLAN

    praise-samantha-hopkins NOTE: We will have heart rate-based training 20-week training plans run through the majority of 2017; we are organizing registration in two-month chunks. Plans for May and June races will be ready in early December; July and August races in early February, and so on. Thanks! This marathon plan fits nearly any runner: advanced beginner; experienced; coming back from injury; just had a baby; irritated by running because of said injury, expectations, aging. You do not have to have previous marathon or extensive running experience; you do, however, need to be able to jog for 60 consecutive minutes to be able to thrive on this plan. With the exception of long runs on the weekend, every workout is measured in minutes, not miles. You’ll run five days a week, with one day of optional easy cross training like a yoga or Pilates class. No weekday run goes over 60 minutes, but your long runs are, not surprisingly, long. You’ll cover 20 miles twice, and hit an 18-miler, as well as 19 miler. Don’t freak; all are an easy effort and surprisingly doable. Speedwork is minimal in this plan, as it focuses on maximizing your endurance. For nearly every mile, you’ll aim to keep your heart rate at or under 140 beats per minute (bpm). Why 140? Based on Maffetone’s Formula (180-age, with a few qualifications), 140 is a solid number that works for nearly every body. Because the marathon is an endurance event, keeping your heart rate under 140 greatly expands your cardiovascular/aerobic base, greatly decreases your chances of injury, significantly lessens post-run fatigue, and makes running feel very doable and even fun. (Truly!) Fair warning: Your initial pace at 140 bpm will surprise you. You will likely be 2-3 minutes slower than your current average run pace, and you’ll walk quite a bit to keep your heart rate within range, especially when you climb hills. You will be frustrated and possibly teary and maybe even think about dropping the program. We’ll keep you going, though, and over the base building period of the first six weeks, your average speed at 140 bpm will begin to increase. Over the following fourteen weeks, you will morph into a cardio monster who can run for hours and hours with no pain and no anguish. Although you’ll have an INCREDIBLE marathon in twenty weeks, consider this plan as your introduction to a long-term investment in your running. Its (priceless) yield? Low on injury and fatigue, and correspondingly high on enjoyment and performance. THE PREREQS: Before you sign up, you need to please:
    1. Be able to currently jog for 60 minutes without stopping. If you’re running right now, you’ve been averaging less than 20 miles a week for the past three months.
    2. Own a heart rate monitor with a chest strap, and you need to wear it all the time while training. The majority of your time, you’ll be training with a heart rate <140.
    3. Be able to say adios to your ego and put your pace expectations away for this training cycle. Your training splits will likely be 2-3 minutes slower than they currently are. You will be passed by other (#uncoached, #unloved) runners who have no idea of the physiological magic you’re creating. You will think people in cars are talking about your turtle-like speed. (They aren’t, but it’ll feel like that.) For at least the first six weeks, you will likely walk up most hills and take regular walk breaks. Race pace will be a different thing, and we’ll cover that in depth, but your training is going to be s.l.o.w. Remember, you’ll have a group of #motherrunners doing the exact same thing, so you’ll have plenty of camaraderie and compassion.4. Have time—and patience—to devote to 20 weeks of training. During week one, you’ll run for 2 hours, 30 minutes and 6 miles over the course of five workouts. During weeks 13 and 17, the biggest weeks of training, you’ll be running for 3 hours, thirty minutes plus 20 miles. The longest run distances are two, 20-mile runs.
    BIGGEST WEEKS OF TRAINING: Two of 'em: Both have 3 hours, thirty minutes of running plus 20 miles. (And yes, that sounds like a lot, but it's surprisingly doable when you train with heart rate.) LONGEST LONG RUN DISTANCES: Two, 20-milers. INCREDIBLE MARATHON The first three weeks of the plan are previewed above and to the left. (Quick key: EE: Easy Effort; SSSC: Super Short Strength Circuit; BER: Build Engine Run (also an easy effort); XT: Cross Training; FR: Free Run; LR: Long Run) NOTE: We will have heart rate-based training 20-week training plans run through the majority of 2017; we are organizing registration in two-month chunks.Plans for March and April races will be ready for registration by early October; plans for May and June races will be ready in early December; and so on. Thanks! The first date is date you officially start your 20 week plan; the second set of dates should align with the date of your goal race. Save Save Save
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    Incredible ChallengeHRT 26.2 Badge

    THE OUTSTANDING MARATHON PLAN

    NOTE: We will have heart rate-based training 20-week training plans run through the majority of 2017; we are organizing registration in two-month chunks.Plans for March and April races will be ready for registration by early October; plans for May and June races will be ready in early December; and so on. Thanks!

    This marathon plan is for anybody who has trained for a marathon in the past and been running consistently (at least 4 times per week) for at least a year. If you’re an experienced runner and you want to get closet to qualifying for—or likely hit a BQ—Boston, this is your plan.

    On this plan, you will run five days a week; you have an option of one day of cross training if you’d like. There are very few straight-up runs; most have bursts of speed—anywhere from 20 seconds to miles—built in. The runs are a mix of miles and minutes; three days a week are measured in minutes (daily workouts range from 60-80 minutes) and two days are measured in miles (daily mileage ranges from 6-20). Easy days will be unbelievably easy, but hard days will be, comparatively, pretty hard.

    On easy runs, you’ll aim to keep your heart rate at or under 140 beats per minute (bpm). Why 140? Based on Maffetone’s Formula (180-age, with a few qualifications), 140 is a solid number that works for nearly every body. Because the marathon is an endurance event, keeping your heart rate under 140 greatly expands your cardiovascular/aerobic base, greatly decreases your chances of injury, significantly lessens post-run fatigue, and makes running feel very doable and even fun. (Truly!)

    Fair warning: Your initial pace at 140 bpm will surprise you. You will likely be 2-3 minutes slower than your current average run pace, and you’ll walk quite a bit to keep your heart rate within range, especially when you climb hills. You will be frustrated, bored, possibly teary and maybe even think about dropping the program.

    We’ll keep you going, though, and over the base building period of the first six weeks, your average speed at 140 bpm will begin to increase. Over the following fourteen weeks, you will morph into a speedy cardio monster who can run for hours and hours with no pain and no anguish and still set a PR.

    Although you’ll have an OUTSTANDING marathon in twenty weeks, consider this plan as your introduction to a long-term investment in your running. Its (priceless) yield? Low on injury and fatigue, and correspondingly high on enjoyment and performance.

    THE PREREQS: Before you sign up, you need to please:
    1. You need to be able to (comfortably) jog for 90 minutes without stopping, and have trained for a marathon in the past. For at least the previous three months, you’ve averaged 20 miles a week. (If that's not you, take a look at the INCREDIBLE Marathon Plan.)
    2. Own a heart rate monitor with a chest strap, and understand you need to wear it all the time while training. The majority of your time, you’ll be training with a heart rate <140.
    3. Be able to say adios to your ego and put your usual pace expectations away for this program. Your training splits will likely be 2-3 minutes slower than they currently are. You will be passed by other (#uncoached, #unloved) runners who have no idea about the magic you’re creating. You will think people in cars are talking about your turtle-like speed. (They aren’t, but it’ll feel like that.) For at least the first six weeks, you will likely walk up most hills and take regular walk breaks. Race pace will be a different thing, and we’ll cover that in depth, but your training is going to be s.l.o.w. Remember, you’ll have a group of #motherrunners doing the exact same thing, so you’ll have plenty of camaraderie and compassion.
    4. Have plenty of time—and patience—to devote to 20 weeks of training. During week one, you’ll run for 3 hours and 10 miles. By week 17, the biggest week of training, you’ll be running for 3 hours, 35 minutes (spread out over three days) plus 30 miles (spread out over 2 days: 10 miles + 20 miles). There are three 20-mile long runs over the course of 20 weeks.
    BIGGEST WEEK OF TRAINING:

    3 hours, 35 minutes (spread out over three days) plus 30 miles (spread out over 2 days: 10 miles + 20 miles)

    LONGEST LONG RUN DISTANCES:

    Three 20-mile long runs

    OUTSTANDING MARATHON

    The first three weeks of the plan are previewed above and to the left. (Quick key: EE: Easy Effort; SSSC: Super Short Strength Circuit; BER: Build Engine Run (also an easy effort); XT: Cross Training; FR: Free Run; LR: Long Run)

    NOTE: We will have heart rate-based training 20-week training plans run through the majority of 2017; we are organizing registration in two-month chunks.Plans for March and April races will be ready for registration by early October; plans for May and June races will be ready in early December; and so on. Thanks! The first date is date you officially start your 20 week plan; the second set of dates should align with the date of your goal race. Save
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    Stride Holidays HS badge
    As we round the corner into November, a kind of lethargy sets in. Doesn't matter if you've just finished your first half-marathon (elation!) or you're coming back to running after healing a injury (jubilation!) or you've just found running and the road is your new.best.friend. There's something in the air—the dark, cold air—that combines with the craziness of the season (wait: I promised I'd host Thanksgiving this year at last year's dinner?) that makes enthusiasm, time, and energy for the miles wane. At some point, you'll glance up at the calendar—it's mid-December already?—and your running shoes are hidden in the pantry, beneath a pile of spilled powered sugar. Never mind where your GPS or running tights are. Just the thought of running a mile feels like a marathon. Not this year, friends. You won't lose your running shoes or your mojo; in fact, you'll lace them up five days  week in STRIDE INTO  THE HOLIDAYS, a five-week plan that will keep you moving with a spirited community of like-minded women and smart, doable workouts in the small pockets of time you have. FAQ's Why hold a Challenge that starts in the darkest, busiest time of the year? Exactly. Stride into the Holidays is here to strongly encourage you to keep moving as you baste turkeys, hang a wreath, light the menorah, decorate cookies, shovel snow, and otherwise carry on through the most festive time of the year.(read: stay sane, keep smiling, burn some calories) In this season of giving, we also wanted to spotlight Heart Strides, our non-profit partner, and, in doing so, provide an opportunity to help all moms move, including yourself. (Win-win!) The entire profit of your entrance fee ($25) goes directly to Heart Strides. What is Heart Strides? A non-profit started by a Denise Dollar, a mother runner of two children including a son with Type 1 Diabetes. After her son was diagnosed, Denise let self-care—exercise, sleep, good nutrition—sink to the bottom of her to-do list, despite realizing how important her own health is. She also realized how financially draining extensive healthcare can be to a family budget. She founded Heart Strides in 2014 to remove one hurdle of self-care by providing new running shoes and gently used exercise apparel for moms with children who are critically ill or have a special need.  What are Stride into the Holidays workouts like? We’ve pulled together five weeks of unique, fun workouts. (Hello #BAMR Bingo! Who is in?) The shortest workout is 20 minutes, the longest is 60-90 minutes (one longer run on the weekend), with most sessions clocking in around 30 minutes. Stride into the Holidays has you sweating five days a week, with an option for a sixth day if your schedule allows. It also has quick, helpful cues for self-care so your mind + spirit hum as your legs run. The workouts will have you primed and ready to tackle a training plan—or another Train Like a Mother Challenge!—when the calendar turns to 2018. If you are training and running by heart rate, you can definitely continue doing that with this plan. At least three of the weekly runs can be run easy effort. What equipment do I need? None, save a good pair of shoes and a supportive sports bra. You can complete all the workouts either from your home or in your home. Of course, you can always add weights or use a treadmill, but they’re definitely not necessary. What level of runner do I need to be to participate? Any level works. If you’re a beginner just starting to find your running groove, this will help you dig it deeper. If you’re coming off a fall marathon, this will keep you moving without burning you out. And if you fall somewhere on that sliding scale, Stride into the Holidays will also be a fit. Also, the plan works well for walkers and run/walkers. Forward movement, not speed, is the key element. How is Stride into the Holidays different than the usual Train Like a Mother Challenges? This five-week Challenge is all about forward motion, fitness, accountability and community, not about training for a specific race. The workouts are one-size-fits-all, and there is no swag, tee or medal. It is not linked into Training Peaks and there is no weekly newsletter. Instead, you'll get a PDF of the plan when you register, and we will post workouts daily on the Facebook page. Another difference: 100% of profit from your entrance fee goes directly to Heart Strides. Finally, Stride into the Holidays does not end in a race. Instead, the final weekend culminates in a mother of a Pile of Stride Miles, with AMR donating $1/mile to Heart Strides for every cumulative mile logged. (Up to $1,000.) What support will be offered? Once you join Stride into the Holidays, we invite you to join a Strava Private Challenge club to track your miles, as well as a private Facebook page. On the Facebook page, we will list the workout daily so participants can comment on it, cajole each other to get it done, root each other on, share pictures, and otherwise engage that entertaining, time-killing, helpful way Facebook allows. How much does it cost? $25, and 100% of the profit of entry fee goes directly to Heart Strides. If you want, you can increase your donation by donating directly to Heart Strides here. When does it start and end? We'll start as a group on November 13, stride and sweat for five weeks, and end on December 22. If those dates don't slide neatly into your schedule, you're welcome to join us anyway and re-jigger as need be. (And you can easily take the workouts and repeat two weeks for the final two weeks of 2017; we'll keep the Facebook and Strava groups open.) Anything else I should know? There will be an optional Secret BAMR (badass mother runner) gift exchange. Once Stride into the Holidays starts, we’ll ask if you want to participate in it. (No pressure.) If you do, we’ll connect you with another mother runner and her address, and you’ll send her a gift (no more than $20) to encourage her to keep striding through the holidays—and into 2017.
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    Super Excellent Half-Marathon ChallengeHRT 13.1 Badge

    This half-marathon plan is for you if you’ve been running consistently for at least four times a week for the past year and have familiarity with heart rate training, if you aren’t currently using your heart rate in your daily training. Also, across the course of that year, you’ve had no significant (4+ weeks) breaks for illness or injuries, have raced a half-marathon or full marathon within the past two years, and are ready for a challenging 20 weeks of training that will make you an extremely strong, extremely competent runner.

    We recommend that you have either done the EXCELLENT Half-Marathon or OUTSTANDING Marathon plan within the past year before taking on the SUPER EXCELLENT Plan so you have both the cardio base and the muscular strength to support the program. On this plan, you will run five days a week; you have an option of running six days a week if you’d like. There are very few straight-up runs; most have bursts of speed—anything from 20 seconds to five miles—or strength elements added in. All the runs are in minutes, although some segments of them correspond to distance. Easy days will be fairly easy—there are two of these weekly—but hard days (three days/week) will be correspondingly pretty dang tough. SUPER EXCELLENT is divided into segments with specific focuses: Weeks 1-3: Introduction + Base Weeks 4-6: Strength + Power Weeks 7-10: Speed Weeks 11-18: Integration of Strength, Speed + Race Pace Weeks 19-20: Taper + Race If you are coming into this plan with fewer than 20 weeks until race day and you’ve been training consistently with heart rate, you can skip and/or modify Weeks 1-3. Fair Warning: You will likely work harder on this race plan than you’ve ever worked before in your running career. As such, SUPER EXCELLENT is not a plan to join if you are moving, starting a new job, or going through another phase in your life where your energy and time is more limited than usual. In order for you to maximize your success, a commitment to 20 weeks of five workouts a week, plus the self-care extras that aren’t really extra: foam rolling and strength training on a nearly daily basis are key. It’s all worth it, of course; your final race will be so SUPER EXCELLENT, you’ll contemplate tattooing those two words on your (crazy strong) glutes after you cross the finish line. THE PREREQS: You need to please:
    1. Be able to currently jog for 90 consecutive minutes. For at least the previous three months, you’ve averaged 20 miles a week. What’s more, we strongly recommend that you have either done the EXCELLENT Half-Marathon or OUTSTANDING Marathon plan within the past year before taking on the SUPER EXCELLENT Plan. Also, over the past year, you’ve also had no major breaks (4+ weeks) in your running, due to injury (boo!), illness (boo again!), pregnancy (yay!).
    1. Own an accurate heart rate monitor, and understand you need to wear it all the time while training.
    1. Be ready to devote your body, mind, and spirit to 20 weeks of training. Again, this is a tough plan. During week one, you’ll run for five hours, 30 minutes over the course of five workouts. By week 17, the biggest week of training, you’ll be running seven hours, fifty minutes over the course of five workouts. The longest run distances are two, 180-minute runs.
    WEEK OF TRAINING: Seven hours, fifty minutes. LONGEST LONG RUN DISTANCES: Two, 180-minute runs. SUPER EXCELLENT 4-6 Weeks 4-6 of the plan are previewed above and to the left. (Quick key: HK: High Knees; RR: Recovery Run; GOG: Glutes of Glory (a strength routine); BB: Bulletproof Butt (ditto: strength); FAF: Fully Aerobic Fartlek). NOTE: Not seeing your race date? Here's a list of all the 2017 race dates + waves.  The first date is date you officially start your 20 week plan; the date should align with the weekend of your goal race. Save Save
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    Super Outstanding Marathon Program