Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Review: Train Like a Mother

Summary: Since the publication of their first book, Run Like a Mother, the authors have built up an engaged, vibrant tribe of women runners—more than 10,000 fans on Facebook and an average of 2,500 daily visitors to — who are clamoring for another book. At its core, Train Like a Mother will comprehensively cover how to train for a race, including training plans for four race distances (5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon) for both beginner and more experienced runners; the importance of recovery; pre- and post-race nutrition; strength training; injury prevention (and rehab); and everything busy women need to know to add racing to their multitasking schedules. It is all presented with the same wit, empathy, and tone the avid fans connect and identify with.

The book is divided into 13.1 chapters—the distance of a half-marathon, the sweet spot for many mother runners—narrated by both Sarah and Dimity. Like the first book, Train Like a Mother chapters have plenty of sidebars, including Practical Motherly Advice (helpful information about training- and race-related advice), Take It from a Mother (advice and answers from the growing tribe of running moms), and Racy Talk (entertaining, race-related stories from the authors and other moms). The .1 sections are entertaining "commercial breaks" celebrating the sport of running and the added thrill of racing. -- Andrews McMeel

I don't think I've mentioned this on my blog before, but I'm in training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. My sister and I are heading down to Orlando in late February for a girls' weekend. We will both be running the Royal Family 5K on Saturday, and then I plan on running the half marathon on Sunday. Two other book blogging friends, Sandy and Dawn, had already committed to run the half marathon; and I figured what the heck? If I'm ever going to run a half marathon, then Disney is where I would want it to be. Plus, dressing up like a Disney princess for a day is just about the best motivation I could have.

I have already started a training program (there's an app for that!), but I thought I'd check out TRAIN LIKE A MOTHER: HOW TO GET ACROSS ANY FINISH LINE -- AND NOT LOSE YOUR FAMILY, JOB, OR SANITY by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. Dawn recently brought the authors' site to my attention when she introduced me to one of the authors on twitter, and I have since enjoyed reading their daily posts. I thought this book might not only help with my training, but provide a little "inspiration" to go with all the perspiration!

I have to say that TRAIN LIKE A MOTHER is a lot of fun, but it's also extremely helpful to amateur mother runners like me. The authors provided just the right blend of humor to make the book very readable, but there are also some serious training plans for races at every level. I have run a few 5Ks over the past few months so I was interested to learn what they recommended for these races; however, I admit my focus was on their advice for preparing for and running the 13.1 miles in a half marathon.

While I am doing much of what they suggest, in all honesty, I am a little worried that I'm not doing enough. I started with another plan that I felt was too easy and then switched to one that seemed more in keeping with my running patterns and goals. The half marathon training plan in this book is probably much better than either of the ones I've looked at. It encompasses some cross training (which I know I need to do), and it would without a doubt get me in better shape for the race.

In addition to the training plans, there are lots of fun features in this book. It truly is geared towards mother runners at all levels -- from the ones who can barely run to the end of the street (that was me!) to ones who seriously train for marathons. The book is set up in thirteen chapters (just like a half!) with .1 sections for each chapter which celebrate running. In addition, there are a variety of fun features that incorporate quotations from "real" mother runners as well as some pretty edgy parts that debate sex and drinking before races along with how to prevent chafing!

As someone who runs about four times a week, I count running as a priority in my life; however, I don't really have any other friends who run. And as a result, I don't have anyone to talk to about my accomplishments, fears, gripes, etc. That's one of the reasons that I enjoyed TRAIN LIKE A MOTHER so much. It allowed me to see that there are tons of mother runners out there to whom I can relate. I found many of their personal stories and quotations to be spot on, and it was just nice to realize that I'm not alone!

I loved TRAIN LIKE A MOTHER and I'm certain that I need to check out the authors' first book RUN LIKE A MOTHER! Highly recommend for all you mother runners out there and for those of you who want to be a mother runner!


Serena said...

Good luck with the you have to dress up like a princess to run it?

Julie P. said...


You don't have to but most women dress up in some sort of princess-type costume.

Beth F said...

Sounds fun. Good luck you and everyone else who is running.

Karlie said...

Yea! So excited!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

It stresses me out just to read your review! LOL!

Beth Hoffman said...

You amaze me! I want to see pics of you in that costume! LOL

Kelly-Belly said...

Have fun at the races.

I've looked up the Princess Half Marathon on the internet, and they have some really cute t-shirts for sale.

I've just been doing 5k races, but maybe a half is in my futue. : )

bermudaonion said...

I know you're going to rock these races!!! I'm going to look like a slug beside you the next time we see each other.

Carol said...

Have fun at the half-marathon!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Isn't the subtitle something about Bad-Ass Mother Runners?


Looking forward to trailing in your wake!

Julie said...

I have read this book and the first one, Run Like a Mother, and you NEED to read that one too. I just finished my first 1/2 marathon and used to run 4 times a week but now it is more like 2 because of my two kids. One will be teething and crying all night, or the other waking me up to get help going potty at 5 A.M. I am so exhausted but I hope to be back to a better training plan soon for my next 1/2 in June! Good luck and have so much fun!