Group Fitness…Mommy Style


This is what I have come to know about working out, training for a race, maintaining any sort of sanity fitness with three small children.  of the ages that I have right now.  ages two to five.  on a school schedule that makes my life a little crazy.  it was different but similar when they were infants/really little people with no schedules.  yes, little kids have schedules these days.  I’m lucky to get the right one to the right place at the right time.  little man does not have a schedule yet.  because his sisters take up all the time.  I digress.  and here is what I have come to know about working out, training for a race, maintaining any sort of sanity fitness with three small children.  of the ages that I have right now.  ages two to five.  like I just said.

it’s that the running and plans to run and plans to work out and plans to strength train revolve around the little’s schedules, not my own.  I don’t say, I’m going to go run 9 miles at 9 am everyday because that’s what I NEED to do.  and everyone else fall in line around that.  it’s more like, I fall in line around everyone else (and I’m not going to pay a babysitter $12 an hour so I can make that happen.  that would make my ‘hobby’ very expensive).  and that 9 miles might not be able to be 9 miles because I only have 45 minutes that day from wakeup until bedtime.  when they were little-er, I had a little more flexibility because this thing called educating the children and sending them to school wasn’t cluttering up my day.  so inconvenient.  😉  and it was easier to throw them in the jogger and push them all over creation.  not so easy now.  so I take what I can get.  but I do my best to make an effort to fit in what needs to be fit in and try not to be an innocent bystander of the whatever happens, happens crime.  sane people go crazy like that.  it’s dangerous for a mother to fall into that.  for the most part, it happens, but sometimes, it just can’t happen in the ideal way.  like strength training today. 

this is what I call group fitness.  put on the gear.

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put out the gear. 

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I’m all about minimal equipment.  you don’t need a lot to get fit.  and the kids get crazy with too much ‘stuff’ around.  someone might lose an eye.

get working. 

mommy does a little.  with the help of little boy blue and the dog. and my very concerned expression.  not sure what that’s about.  working on my forehead wrinkles, I guess.

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tricep dip with one leg raised.  good one.

kidlings do a little.  anna does a little.  luke is a pain in the butt.

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Luke catches on.

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then we massage stick it out. 

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so serious with the massage stick. I mean business.  I do know how to smile.  i’m generally a happy person.  the sun was in my eyes.  really.

Luke’s turn.

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all together now.

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why would I take group fitness classes at a gym when I get all of that in my own home.  they finally got distracted by a squirrel or a bird or something and moved on to better things so that I could actually work the muscles and not have to share my stuff.

It’s actually pretty fun to workout with the kids around.  they join in.  we play around.  they annoy the crap out of me and I send them over to the swingset.  jolly good day.  I’ve been working out with them since they were babies.  they really do make a great ‘weight’ set.  I would put them in the front carrier and do all sorts of things like lunges, bicep curls, shoulder presses, the possibilities are endless and baby is happy.  and then when they are a little bit sturdier infants, you can do crunches with them on your stomach, baby chest presses – they get a kick out of that.  so much fun.  now they just try to sit on me and climb under me when I’m doing anything.  keeps it interesting.

in other important and completely heartbreaking news – my planned track attack revisit for this evening is being moved to the gym.  sad.  very sad.  the hubs has a meeting tonight and something about having to pay the bills and apparently running really fast around a track doesn’t do that.  or so he says.  he wins.  it will be too dark by the time he gets home. so I’m taking my Brooks and my gimpy legs and hitting up the gym.  I don’t think I’ve had a gym date after the 7:30 hour since I was 20.  This will be interesting.  on many levels.  running at the end of a loooooong day with the kids will be interesting.  running after eating dinner will be interesting.  running in general will be interesting.  it’s a pretty foreign concept to me at this point. 

To continue on with my obnoxious complaining about my shin splint saga – here’s the shin update (because I know you are very concerned (it’s really just the right shin that hasn’t been cooperating)) – is that it’s feeling probably 93% there.  maybe 93.5%.  I’m guessing after running tonight, it will be at about 75%.  that gives me another week until I run again to get it back in the 90’s.  that’s my numbers plan for my shin.  I’m hoping it’s on board with the whole running thing tonight and kicks right into high gear to give me a fantastic whatever kind of run I’m going to do.   it will probably end up being a tempo run.  I’m hoping for 6-8 miles.

I’ll fill you in on all the juicy details tomorrow.  cliffhanger.

fyi – when it’s one of those weeks when you just can’t make it to the store and the fridge is empty- mud cake is a completely appropriate, delicious and nutritious option for the kiddies lunch.

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according to Alex and Luke.  they thoroughly enjoyed the feast.


Do you like/have to work out at night?  At the gym?

What is your favorite group fitness class?  My gym doesn’t offer them, so I don’t even have the option of taking them.



About msfitrunner

I am a 29 year old stay at home, hardworking mom to my three little loves! My oldest little darling is 5, little sis is 4 and baby brother is almost 2. I have been married to my Mr. Wonderful for almost 7 years (ahhh!). My faith and my family is my rock, and I have a newfound LOVE for running. Maybe it's more of a necessity at this point - to maintain household peace and my own sanity, but whatever it is, it's working for me and I'm loving the racing. The vegan world has been calling my name, so I am testing out those waters as well! That's a tough one with three little picky eaters at home, but I am having fun coming up with new recipes and trying out new things. Follow along as I chronicle this crazy running life, and ALL the craziness that goes with it!

8 responses »

  1. Love it! Can definitely relate to working out with the kids … There is a great hill next to my daughter’s favorite playground that I march up and down with baby in the carrier while she plays. I’ve gotten some funny looks but oh well! Don’t mind running on the treadmill at night at home but something about leaving the house and going to the gym feels weird. Maybe because I’m on call 24/7 for the nursing baby. Favorite group class by a long shot is spin.
    Good luck tonight!!!!!

  2. I wish my gym offered some group classes. I am ok with working out at the gym if I have to (in crappy weather) but I much rather be outside. I have to get my work out done first thing in the morning or it just doesn’t get done. I work the pm shift at a hospital so if I’m not hitting the road before 9:30am it just isn’t going to happen. I have two kids who are both in school so this schedule just works for me.

  3. I am definitely not a fan of working out at night, but I have no trouble getting up at the crack of dawn to go running in the dark. Sometimes I finish work early and go running at 3pm but anything after that is pushing it for me. Your kids are so cute, working out with their mom!!

  4. I can’t even imagine trying to fit in workouts with three little ones that have their own schedules! Seriously, you deserve an award. Um, you are so so ripped woman…wow! Great idea to make it a group fitness class:)

  5. I’m loving the spin classes at the moment. I find by doing a class with others is so much more motivating than working out by yourself. I loved your post about working out with your kids – My twin sister has a little toddler and she has a blog called toddler tricks and just recently she posted some great ideas about working out with your kids that you might like to check out:

    Also I am wanting to start running longer distances but I can’t overcome the 30 minute mark. I absolutely love running but I have something in my head that tells me that 30 minutes is enough when I could physically run for hours. I want to run my first half Marathon the end of August do you have any tips and training plans to help?

    Happy Easter 🙂


    • Hi Ashley!
      I just checked out your sister’s blog – very cute!
      Ok, overcoming the 30 minute mark – there are a couple things I can think of and I totally get where 30 minutes can be a barrier. I think we hear a lot about getting 30-45 minutes of cardio in to live a healthy lifestyle. For me, I used to think anything above that was excessive or unnecessary. When in reality, it’s really not. Doing 45 min, and hour or over an hour is a great way to stay in fantastic shape and build your endurance if you want to run in races or do longer races, or just feel super amazing for having run that long:)
      One thing I can think to increase your time on your feet is to go out with a mile goal instead of a time goal. Say, I’m going to run 4 miles today. And you are done with your workout when your 4 miles are done, not when you hit a certain time. Then you can slowly increase your mileage. I don’t know what daily mileage you are doing, or weekly mileage, but don’t increase by more than 10% per week. The next week you could aim for a couple 5 mile runs, and so on. This would slowly get you over the 30 minute mark. When I first started running, 3 miles was a huge deal. Then I wasn’t satisfied unless the run was at least 5 miles. Now it seems like my run has to be 7-9 miles to make it worth it to me. The more comfortable you get, the easier it will get to go longer.
      Another thing you can do if 30 minutes seem to mentally max you out but you have more energy, is to do your 30 minute run, and then switch to another form of cardio (if that’s available to you) or another form of circuit workout that will get your heartrate up. Then you can slowly make the running portion longer and the cross training portion smaller. Also, pick just one or two days a week to lengthen your run. You don’t have to do it every run. After time, it will get easier and more natural to run longer.
      I definitely recommend a training plan. For my half in June, I am planning on using one on You could also check out Runner’s World website – they have a free smart coach training plan. This will give you the exact mileage you need to be running based on your running level that you put in and will likely hold you accountable to run for more than 30 minutes. I hope this helps! Feel free to email me if you have more questions!
      Have a great weekend:)

      • Thank you so much for your advice. I went out for a run on Saturday and Sunday and ended up running for 50 minutes. I went out with a distance goal in mind like you recommended and it totally worked. I didn’t even look at my watch or take any notice of how long I had been running for until the end. I was ecstatic and over the moon that I broke that barrier so thank you for your advice 🙂 I hope you had a good weekend.


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