Our very own, Military Relations Director, Jordan Huffman shares how she juggles work, family life, and training for her 4th Marine Corps Marathon with Team Hope For The Warriors. Jordan knows the struggle is real, but she is here to tell you it’s possible. Here’s Jordan’s message to other working moms who want to train for and run a marathon.
I have always been active and spent my whole childhood playing competitive soccer but I didn’t start running until my husband’s first deployment to Afghanistan. It was how I channeled my excess energy while he was gone and it kept me grounded and sane. I then started using running to make friends along our military career and I am hoping to use it this way as we transition into a civilian lifestyle.
I ran my first marathon 2010 and have been hooked ever since. I have learned a lot along the way about what works and what doesn’t. I’m excited to be running my 4th Marine Corps Marathon with Team Hope For The Warriors with my family. It has become a tradition, especially for my dad and I. Training for a marathon, working full time, and being a mom of two small kids requires lots of planning! My husband and I rotate running during the week in the mornings and then we run together every Saturday. We live in Southwest Michigan, which is far away from our family. To fit our run in we have to juggle taking care of the kiddos. Three times a week, I run 5 miles because it’s usually all I can squeeze in. Weekends are when we do our long runs. Last Saturday we did 17 miles!
HERE’S HOW WE MADE IT HAPPEN:
I always make sure I am prepped the day before drinking plenty of water and eating healthy meals. First I check the weather, lay out breakfast, and lay out fuel for the kids and myself. Last, but not least, I pick outfits, which usually consists of the same thing each run shorts, tank top or Team Hope For The Warriors Jersey and a hat (don’t worry I wash) because I’m very picky about what I wear on my runs (I’m sure I’m not alone). If it is going to be hot, like on the day we ran 17 miles it was 90 degrees, you will need to plan your routes around bathrooms and water fountains! Thankfully we live near the beach which has plenty of those things!
Hydration and Fuel
Typically, the day before a long run I make sure I drink around 120 fluid ounces of water. I also put electrolyte tablets in my water to add some flavor. During marathon training, my go-to meals are pasta, chicken, quinoa, and pretty much all other carbohydrates and a lot of protein. My favorite snack to eat during my run is GU, a gel energy bar of concentrated super food. I try to eat a GU packet every 45 minutes. I recommend the smores flavor if you’re not sure which one you should try!
If you are unsure of how much water to consume before your run, check out this article with a simple formula to calculate your water consumption. How to Calculate Water Consumption
My happy crew fresh out of bed and ready for a breakfast on the go!
We typically do this in shifts. My husband runs first and then we meet to run with the kids in the stroller while they eat breakfast, and then I take off on my own to finish my miles.
When training for a marathon, I prefer to use the Long Slow Distance pace technique because I want to get my miles in when training, but on race day I will push myself for time. Here is more information about Long Slow Distance Running.
It’s more challenging training with kids, but I love that we get to set a healthy example for them. They routinely ask us when they will get to go on runs with us!
For my fellow parent’s training while pushing their kids in a stroller, here are my go-to activities:
- Eye Spy
- Travel Magna Doodle
And Then We Nap
After about 2 hours and 45 minutes, I finished my 17-mile run, which was a little slower than normal because of the crazy fall heat! I usually chug my chocolate milk for recovery and then I’m off to tackle my day with 2 toddlers. Thankfully they both end up taking naps so when it is naptime for them, it is naptime for mom and dad! I can’t wait to finish my last long run this weekend and then taper all the way to MCM on Oct. 22nd!