September 15, 2023

MCM Diplomat, Kelly Vigil: Training as a mom

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Training for a marathon is a huge time commitment. Big goals require lots of time and effort! It makes the finish line that much sweeter.

I’ll be toeing the line at the MCM50K this fall as my 5th time participating in the Marine Corps Marathon Weekend. As a mom to three young kids, here is how I’m working through the time commitment and training:

  1. I’m not afraid to split up my runs. Most of the time my long runs are split up throughout the day. It never looks perfect or the same but most of the time I’m able to get in my mileage by running on the treadmill in the mornings + an outdoor run. As long as I’m getting the time on my feet, I forget the rest and do what I can.
  2. I have my kids join me for most of my runs/workouts. During strength workouts, they are usually right beside me. For runs, my big kids will be on their bikes with my toddler in the stroller. Again, it’s not perfect, but if everyone is involved it’s easier for me to check it off for the day.
  3. Fuel for not just your runs but for the day as a whole. Before I was a mom, I would take naps after each long run. Today, that’s not the case because I have three kids who need my energy and attention after my runs. I fuel not just for my miles but for the whole day.
  4. I prioritize my easy runs. About 80-85% of my weekly runs are easy effort which means I’m not looking at my pace. I’m just going off of effort. Keeping them at a sustainable speed + conversation pace. I also implemented at least one “no watch run” to my week. Running without your GPS watch does wonders for your mindset! If you can’t forget your watch 100%, try taping off the display so you can’t look at it mid-run. Just run for time and have fun!
  5. Hill repeats weekly. I swear by hill repeats, especially for this race course. Whether on the treadmill or outside, add a hill workout to your routine. It can be as simple as running easy for 30 minutes + 6×30 seconds uphill with 1-2 minutes rest in-between. Keep the treadmill at 6-8% incline and run hard for those hills.

I’m excited for the rest of this training season and to see you in the fall. Keep stacking your miles and days, and soon enough we will be running together on October 29!

Kelly Vigil is a MCM diplomat. She’s a mom to three, marathon-ultra runner and run coach. You can find her on Instagram ( or her website

Register for the Marine Corps Marathon Weekend

Recognized for impeccable organization on an iconic course managed by the US Marines in Arlington, VA and the nation’s capital, the Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the US and the world. Known as ‘the best marathon for beginners,’ the MCM is the largest marathon in the world that doesn’t offer prize money, earning its nickname, “The People’s Marathon.” The weekend also offers the MCM10K and MCM50K.