Average Moms Favorite Workout Plans

Contributed by Christie O., author of Average Moms Wear Capes and owner of Christie O. Media

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These are the various workout programs I’ve used and exact progressions, w/ links to the race reports. 
*Note: These are recommendations based solely on what has worked for me. Different things work for different people. Please check with your doctor before beginning any weight-loss or fitness regimen.
Couch to 5k (for my first fitness breakthrough EVER!): 
A true miracle for someone of ZERO athletic ability. It takes you from not being able to run for a full minute to being able to run for a full 30 MINUTES! It’s amazing. AMAZING! Yes, there were times I wanted to literally die, but you get past it! You do! And you realize that you can indeed run for 30 minutes without stopping or dying! There are three days of running per week, but for weight-loss, I added three more days of cardio for 30 minutes of any variety (usually elliptical) for a total of 6 cardio days and followed at least 3 of the cardio sessions with strength training (5-6 days of activity is recommended by most doctors and/or trainers.) As I write this it sounds like a lot, but for me, 3 days of running didn’t work. I had to add 3 more days of cardio, and then, I found out that only cardio didn’t work. So I added weights. Finally, I was going places. Everyone has to experiment to find out what works for them. I paired the Couch to 5k up with an eating plan that fit right into it. I found Body For Life (see Food Plans I’ve Used) very useful for eating because I was able to have a “free” day of eating anything I wanted, and I worked out for 5 or 6 days a week with a combination of cardio (as dictated by Couch to 5k) and strength training (as dictated in the Body for Life book). I never feel like I gave up anything I wanted to eat because of that free day. That free day was a Godsend. Weight-loss on this combination: 17 pounds in 8 weeks.) Race Report from first 5k “Spring Into Summer” June 2008 HERE!

Hal Higdon’s 10k Novice plan: 
Very much like the Couch to 5k, only for a 10k! (I combined this with Body For Life for a total of 10 more pounds weight-loss.) I ran my first 10k in 1:12. (Here’s the race report for the Turkey Trot 2008.)
Hal Higdon’s Half-Marathon plan (Novice): 
Very, very doable if done after the first two plans! (Combined with calorie-counting for 10 more pounds of weight-loss.)13.1 Gasparilla Half-Marathon Race Report, March 2009.
Tri-Newbies Sprint Triathlon Plan (for my FIRST EVER triathlon!)
A ”bible” of information on triathlon, from the workouts to the gear, everything you need to know to complete your first triathlon. I LOVED this plan so much! LOVE LOVE LOVE! (Combined with Weight Watchers for 8 pounds more of weight-loss.) (The Morton Plant Mease Triathlon RACE REPORT, June 2009, in all its glory here.)
Fitness Magazine’s 8 week tri plan: (2nd triathlon ever!)
This was also really really good to keep me going on the training after the first one! (Race report for Sand Key Triathlon Sept. 2009 HERE.)
Women’s Health Magazine’s Olympic Distance program
Absolutely got me through my first Olympic Distance triathlon in April, 2010. (St. Anthony’s Triathlon Race Report, April 2010.)
Grand total weight-loss from April ’08-April 10: 53 POUNDS.

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