Family life

Book review: Train Like a Mother

Realistic and relatable, Train Like a Mother is the book about running, training and life that all mother runners need to read.

By Jennifer Pinarski
Book review: Train Like a Mother

Train Like a Mother authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea.

My review copy of Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across Any Finish Line and Not Lose Your Family, Job or Sanity arrived on my doorstep at the perfect time. A disappointing race finish and my looming ultramarathon had me questioning my own sanity. As a stay-at-home mom, I didn't have a job to lose, but my husband was getting tired of my high volume training weekends and the mental stress of ultramarathon training was more than I had bargained for. Not that I was expecting my husband to check me into running rehab, but it was hard to ignore the stink eye when I — yet again — laced up my running shoes and left him with our high-energy five-year-old and teething two-year-old.
I'd like to tell you I read Train Like a Mother cover to cover the first night I started it, but I actually fell asleep two pages in. Not because of the content, but because the teething two-year-old kept me up all night the day before. The next night I bribed both kids with extra books to get them to go to bed early so I could read Train Like a Mother cover to cover. It was totally worth the kids waking up ridiculously early the next morning.
More than a how-to-run book, Train Like a Mother is like having a tribe of your best girlfriends (led by authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea) answering all your running questions. The 13.1 chapter book (the distance of a half marathon) provides comprehensive training plans for races, ranging in distance from 5K to the marathon level. Designed by running coach and endurance athlete Christine Hinton, the plans offer two options: "Finish It", to help you cross your first finish line, and "Own It", created to help you run a personal best. The plans are easy to understand and my favourite part is that they point out which workouts you can bail on and the ones where bailing is not an option (because even the most dedicated mother runner has days she can't run). 
Multi-tasking mothers themselves, Dimity and Sarah understand that new and experienced runners all have the same worries. Maybe you're having a hard time trying to decide whether or not to race (page 11), finding a running partner (page 41), determining what the race pace is (page 105) or eating properly (page 164). While countless running books out there cover those topics, none do so with the wit and wisdom that Dimity and Sarah do. For example, even the etiquette of passing gas and the commando conundrum are covered. By the end of book I was laughing out loud and, most importantly, I was motivated and inspired to get out the door the following day for a run. I promise it will do the same for you.
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
Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC
ISBN 978-1-4494-0986-9
Price: $16.99
Available online from Chapters/Indigo
Join the Another Mother Runner tribe by visiting, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter (Dimity is @dimityontherun and Sarah is @sbsontherun) or their weekly podcast on iTunes.
This article was originally published on May 07, 2012

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