17 In Health/ Parenthood/ Tips

5 Tips to Training for a 5k With Kids

My Road to a 5K- 5 Tips to Train for a 5k With Kids
I used to despise running. It was the literal worst. I played tennis in high school and running for that was about the extent of my interaction with the exercise.


I could write a lot more here, but let’s just say college= bagel bites and milkshakes. So that’s when I decided I should probably start exercising, and running was freeeeee! (Because in college, who has money for a gym membership?!)

Fast forward a few years- my husband and I were living in Connecticut, about 5 minutes from my sister and brother-in-law. My sister and I decided to sign up for Color-Me-Rad, a 5k you run dressed in white and then they color bomb you. So fun. Everyone should do it.


And then my sister told me she had signed up for a half marathon. I may be a little competitive in nature, so my thought was along the lines of, “if she can do one, so can I!” So I did. And as painful as it was, I loved the feeling of accomplishment when it was done! (And the medal. I really liked the medal.) So I did 2 more.

During both pregnancies, my very first sign that I was pregnant was how much it hurt and just felt weird when I ran. When normally 3 miles was pretty easy, I could barely do 2 without feeling nauseous. So though I walked a lot, I gave up running while pregnant. And then I got pregnant again right when I was getting my groove back.


So now that I am DONE being pregnant for aaaaanny time in the foreseeable future, I started running again! I’m doing a 5k here in a few days, and I must say, it’s a whole different thing trying to run when you have two tiny humans for whom you’re responsible! So I listed some tips for training for a 5k with tiny humans!
  1. Take your toddler to a park without a fence. This will give you plenty of running! (If you read my 7 tips for surviving with 2 kids, you may realize that I have very strong feelings about parks that are not fenced in.)
  2. Ask your toddler to “come here, please.” This will send him running in the opposite direction, which will send you sprinting after him. You will definitely get your sprints in.
  3. Tell your toddler it’s time for bed. He will automatically start running around the house, and he will be surprisingly good at evading you.
OK, that list was only partially serious. Though I firmly these things alone would enable you to run 3.2 miles, there are a few more *real* things I might suggest. (Also, I think it’s fairly obvious, but I should tell you straight up that I’m not a doctor or nutritionist. These are things that I have found that work for me- please talk to a doctor or someone else qualified if you’re considering a serious change in exercise or diet!)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase anything I may make a small commission to support the blog at no additional cost to you. Please see my disclosure page if you have any questions.

5 Tips for Training for a 5k with Kiddos
  1. Eat! As moms, we are queens of “did we even eat lunch?” And if we did it was probably a leftover chicken nugget or some cold leftovers from the night before. If you’re training for a race (or heck, just exercising at all!), it’s so important to fuel your body! ESPECIALLY if you’re still nursing! Between nursing and exercising, you’re depleting your body of a lot, and it’s important to replace it! Lots of protein, mamas. Eat a full meal.
  2.  Drink water. Again, you’re depleting your body. Stay hydrated always. And also again, ESPECIALLY if you’re still nursing. When you nurse you need a lot of water, and when you exercise you need a lot of water. So if you’re doing both? You need a lot a lot of water.
  3. Just get out and run! I know this one probably seems unnecessary, but I think we can all agree it’s hard to find time during the day when you are home alone with littles. (Here is where a normal person might suggest a jogging stroller. Y’all, I am selfish. Running is MY time. It’s my stress relief and often the only 30 minutes I have to myself during the day. I don’t want to share that. Also, my neighborhood has a lot of hills and those things are heavy with 2 kiddos inside.) Go in the evening when daddy gets home from work, or the morning, if you’re able to, and definitely take advantage of weekends! Mom’s don’t have a lot of spare time just hanging around, so you have utilize the limited time you can find.
  4. Cross train! With the above point said, sometimes you just can’t get out. My husband works late nights quite a bit, and I’m not waking up at 5:30 in the morning after being up with my daughter. On these occasions, cross train! This looks different for everyone; for me, it’s Jillian Michaels’ DVDs. 20 minutes and she kills me. She does enough cardio and strength, though, that even if it’s been a few days since I’ve run, I can start up right where I left off. I also am really trying to get into yoga for stretching, but I haven’t been able to find a good YouTube (read: FREE) series I like yet. (Any suggestions, hit me up!)
  5. Sign up! For me, I have to sign up for a race to get me motivated. I’ll still run, but if I want to get back to 3 miles, I need to sign up for a 5k or I’ll stay stagnant at 2. It’s just how I work. Once I pay, I’m much more motivated to actually train for a race. (I should also be upfront that my first and foremost qualification for a race is if they give me a medal.) So go through races in your area, find one you’re excited about, and just register! You’ll be excited for a few days, and then you probably won’t be anymore when you’re in the middle of a long run, but you paid! So you have to! No take backs!
Running is a huge stress relief for me, especially after being home with the kids all day! Sometimes it’s the only time I leave the house and the only time I have to myself. By the end of the day, I’m usually exhausted and can think of a million reasons not to lace on the sneakers, however, I’m really trying to use my kids as my why, not my excuse.
My Road to a 5k- 5 Tips for Training for a 5k With Kids
Wish me luck, friends! This 5k is coming up quick (July 3rd!) and it’s my first one post babies! I’m so excited and nervous at the same time! (Mainly excited though, because there’s a pool party after. That may or may not have been a large contributing factor to me choosing this particular race.)


What’s your stress relief, and how do you find time for it? Sound off in the comments below!

Have a phenomenal day!
My Road to a 5k- 5 Tips for Training for a 5k With Kids

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    June 27, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Great article and clever tips. I have 2 babies and currently never get any excersize!!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2017 at 7:03 am

    This is awesome! I had my baby exactly a year ago as of Sunday and am running my first half marathon in September. I also knew I was pregnant because all of the sudden running was awful and I couldn’t breathe! Also, I love Fightmaster Yoga on YouTube. Leslie Fightmaster runs a full YouTube channel and I love her! She also does different challenges and things (i.e. 90 day yoga challenge, The Core Challenge, ect.). She’s great!

    • Reply
      June 27, 2017 at 7:44 am

      Ah, good luck with your half marathon! That’s so awesome- I hope to do one in the spring! Thank you so much for the yoga suggestion- I’ll definitely check that out! ?

  • Reply
    Anne @ Like the morning sun
    June 27, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Also a mom of five here, and I started running again this month! My goal is 5km, but not even close yet. It feels great though, afterwards. Good luck with you 5k!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2017 at 11:49 am

    This is super! One day I dream of running a 5K with my daughter she is now 6 months thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Melissa Javan
    June 28, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Wow these are great tips – I have a toddler too. It helps to have a partner when you do something out of your comfort zone like you having your sister. Keep running momma!

  • Reply
    Emily @ Pizza & Pull-ups
    June 28, 2017 at 6:37 am

    You have such a good sense of humor! These are some great tips.

  • Reply
    June 28, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Running makes me feel horrible so I never do it, but I am really impressed with anyone who can do it!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Let Me Give You Some Advice
    June 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Great tips! I have recently started exercising at home in the mornings and I have noticed a huge change in my appetite on those days. If I don’t pay attention, I get a back headache and I think it’s because I’m not making up for all those extra calories I’m burning, especially in the morning. Thanks for a reminder to pay attention to food and water!

  • Reply
    Dani Brooks
    June 28, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Wow! Good for you running at 5K!! I only run if I am being chased, so if you see me running ever, you better get moving too!! LOL

  • Reply
    June 29, 2017 at 5:37 am

    Your joke tips made me laugh because they’re so truuuuue. Haha!

  • Reply
    Kristin Cook
    June 29, 2017 at 7:27 am

    I don’ have kids but these are still great tips! I think a lot of the time, just starting is the biggest step. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Reply
    Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy
    June 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Your first three tips made me giggle! I need to just run around with my girls. I like running occasionally, but would love to run a marathon. I just don’t know if I could “train” with two kids, since the hubs gets home late.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    I am currently doing this so found it really helpful! I have been out of my running routine since summer so need to get back on track!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    I need to be so much better about drinking water! I always forget about it throughout the day.

  • Reply
    Paula | The Value of a Moment
    July 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I love your tips for training with littles! My kids are 14 and 8 now, but I vividly remember how “Come here please” or “Time or bed” would send them scrambling in the opposite direction.!! ??
    I did a color run with my kids last summer, they are SO much fun! Thanks for a great post! ?

  • Reply
    Mon-Yay! Why I'm Excited for Monday - These Mama Moments
    July 3, 2017 at 6:37 am

    […] running my first post-baby 5k tonight! I’m excited to push myself a little bit, but mostly I’m excited because a) I saw the […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.