Book Review: “Train Like a Mother” by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea – Plus Giveaway!

So you’ve read “Run Like a Mother” and are ready to start training for your first race. If you want to take your ‘mother running’ to the next level, then “Train Like a Mother” is the book for you.

So you’ve read Run Like a Mother and are totally pumped to start training for your first 5K. Fortunately, authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea have anticipated this reaction. If you want to take your ‘mother running’ to the next level, then Train Like a Motheris the book for you.

Unlike Run Like a Mother, the second book focuses on training for a variety of running events, from the 5K to the full marathon. You’ll find information on everything from cadence, to running with a stroller, to whether you should go commando during your first race. Whereas the first book was subtitled “how to get moving – and not lose your family, job, or sanity,” with chapters on pregnancy, marriage, and children, this second installation focuses on “how to get across any finish line- and not lose your family, job, or sanity.”

Although the focus is noticeably different, the friendly, motivating tone is still there. Dimity and Sarah are just as engaging as they were in the first book, but their advice is more detailed and goal-oriented in this second project. You won’t find as much “mom stuff,” although all the information you will read is obviously from a mother’s perspective. This book is for the mom who has been running long enough to know that she wants to challenge herself with an actual event, be it her first 5K or her tenth marathon.

However, that’s not to say that only high-level runners will appreciate this book. I liked the way the authors included detailed training plans for both beginners and experienced runners. For example, each of the running event chapters contains a “Finish It” training plan and an “Own It” plan , so you can train for the same event but modify your training based on your current running experience and fitness level. I do wish they had three levels instead of two, since I found myself sort of in between the two options. Then again, I have seen significant improvement in my running by following a lighter version of the more challenging training plan, so maybe there’s a reason for that.

The last six chapters of the book are dedicated to nutrition, strength training, recovery, injuries, race goals, and race day. While the nutrition advice might not suit every diet (I think I would explode if I followed the carbo-loading tips, but then again I’ve never run a marathon so you never know), I really appreciated these chapters. I especially liked the emphasis on strength training and how it can benefit you as a runner. I have seen huge improvements in my running since I started a regular strength training routine, particularly with kettlebells.

I was lucky to be able to read Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother back to back. I would recommend that other interested ‘mother runners’ do the same. The first book provides the motivation, and the second finishes the trend with some solid training plans and race day information – from women who know what it’s like to have things like “pump breast milk” and “rustle up a playgroup for at least one of the kiddos” on the to-do list.

“Train Like a Mother” is available at Amazon.

We have one copy to give away to a lucky reader!

Leave a comment below to be entered into a random drawing!

And don’t forget to enter to win the Run Like a Mother giveaway as well. Leave a comment before midnight on Thursday, 11/29 and look for an announcement on Friday to see if you won!