Well, we'd love for you to consider jumping on the Stroller Warriors® Couch to Crazy train with your fellow warriors! Continue running regularly, and in time, train for a 10K, half marathon, and possibly, a full marathon? BUT before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk some logistics for such new, huge, crazy awesome personal goals!
*Not a C25K Grad, yet?! All of this information can be used for your first 5K too – so keep reading!*
When I read about Stroller Warriors® Camp Lejeune’s (SWCL) Couch to Crazy (C2C) Program in 2014, I could run a 5K, but running a 10K?!, now that felt like a big deal, and a half marathon - whew - that definitely sounded crazy! I wasn’t sure at the time, but training for a half marathon seemed like a great long-term goal for myself during my husband's 2nd deployment (and it totally WAS)! To keep from freaking out about all of the miles, I set my sights on JUST the 10K goal.
This is a KEY first step for me, because without a solid race date, I am less likely to stick to the training plan. Lucky for me there was a local race with a HUGE SWCL presence coming up that had a 10K option… I had found my race AND I had time to train for it too.
How to Find YOUR Race?
-Ask in your Stroller Warriors® Chapter’s Facebook Page!
There are usually warriors who have lived at that duty station for a year or so and have run some really fun, well organized, awesome medaled races that they would love to share with you about.
-Check out the FILES section of your chapter’s Facebook page – some chapters may have a “Races File” that they keep up to date! If your chapter doesn't have this file – consider starting one to share with the coordination staff.
-Find a race that is interesting to you & try to recruit some SW friends to join you! If you have enough fellow warriors who are interested, contact your chapter's coordination staff about contacting the race organizer about a discount. (usually a minimum of 10-20, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask!)
-Find a local running store and see if they have any flyers up or have any races they would recommend - Locals can be a great resource.
- Lastly, but always an option, check out www.runningintheusa.com
Now that you have chosen your race, it’s time to choose a training plan to prepare you, mind and body, for race day! There are many options, so I am just going to share the ones that I have come across over the years. You’ll have to research each one and see what is going to be the best fit for you and your family life. Some require more time than others, so keep that in mind when choosing.
Some of the options focus on MILEAGE for each training day, others focus on how long (TIME) you are on your feet. I personally preferred the mileage training plans because I needed to know (for my own sanity on race day) what the longest distance I had gone was. There are also training plans that focus on HOW you are moving during that mileage or time… Are you running the whole time? Taking walk breaks at various intervals?, etc. And, if you like to cross things off when complete, find a plan that you can print out vs. clicking "complete" on an app! Archaic, I know! ;)
- Hal Higdon
- Run Coach
- Hansons Method
- Jeff Galloway - Run, Walk, Run Method
- Various Apps (free and paid) Nike, Under Armour, Zen Labs C25K app, etc.
- Ask your fellow Stroller Warriors® about THEIR favorite training plan and don’t forget to ask WHY… Chances are they have tried more than one, tweaked another, and found a good fit for them that you might want to consider!
For Marine Corps Marathon training, I chose a plan that only had me running three days a week, because with a 6-month-old who wasn't sleeping through the night, that was all I could muster up the energy for! For my long run on the weekends, I hired a babysitter so I didn’t have to depend on my husband, who traveled often, for childcare. It was my weekly “me time” that I looked forward to.
Do what you have to do, because YOUR huge, crazy, awesome goals ARE important and worth the extra effort!
Sorry runners, but this is another, "find what works best for YOU!" There are so many options to help you keep moving and loosening up on non-run days and they are SO important. If you haven’t done any cross training lately… let me encourage you, while I encourage myself ;), to add even just one day a week to start! Don’t fret when a training plan has 3 days and you only fit in one… one will be better than none! You will be stretching and strengthening muscles that you don’t use on run days and your body will thank you!
- Strength Training - Weights
- Yoga, Pilates, Barre
- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Don't forget about foam rolling - that can really help too!
I hope this has given you some options to consider on your journey to achieving Stroller Warriors® Couch to Crazy (and possibly beyond) status.
Crossing the finish line after each race you have trained for is priceless, so start looking for your next race to run and don’t look back! Cheers to training for and racing distances that you never thought possible!
The purpose of the Stroller Warriors® Couch to Crazy program is to encourage and guide you SW style to run a 5K race first, then a 10K race , and then a HALF MARATHON race! This program is set up to include runners of all abilities. Some of you may have never run a 5K or even dreamed that you could. Some of you may have run a 5K, but never any further. And some may have tackled the 10K distance but have not gone full on Couch to Crazy and run a half marathon. That's okay! Anyone is welcome to participate.
*The main point of Couch to Crazy is to encourage a progression...
Building up from a 5K to a 10K and finally to a half marathon, within a calendar year’s time.*
Contact your chapter's coordination staff for more information!