Day 16: Fully Armed

Rise and Shine

Science has shown that the momentum of the arms is important for lifting the body upwards off the ground, and also for balancing out the body’s rotation with each stride. When the shoulder and arm muscles become fatigued, arm motion changes and this decreases the whole body’s running efficiency, translating into wasted energy and slower times.

Fatigue affects runners in different ways but there are some general trends which athletes show as their form begins to break down. This includes “dropping the arms,” where the athlete bends the elbows less, and “crossing over” when the athlete’s wrists come closer to the body’s midline. Runners also tend to swing their arms less as they tire.

Zach Sabatino, a member of the U.S. World Cross Country Championships team, said,

“As a long distance runner I believe that a strong upper body is crucial to running efficiently and fast. There is no need to be bulky, but we do need upper body strength. Even though we are running with our legs, the arms, back and chest do a lot of work.”

The next time you cross the finish line…throw your arms up in the air in victory! Show off those muscles…after all, they helped you get there faster! 🙂

Sticking with 3 sets of 10 this week…but we are adding some push ups. Let’s get to it!

Day 16 exercises: “How To” Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 3 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front and Side – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Planks – :30 each side (2X)
  • 35 Push Ups
  • Arm Stretches


Lean Arms PyramidBonus: #LeanArmsPyramid 

Thanks again to Alison Stewart for finding our arm bonus for today! If you don’t like it…blame Alison! 😉

Running Drills: Going through these running drills one at a time to make them easier to remember…add one in each week to help your form and get stronger!


Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 5.32.43 AMWhy: Bounding increases foot, calf and hamstring muscle power and develops single-leg  stance stability necessary to maintain fluid running form while fatigued

How: On a flat or very slightly downhill slope, alternate thrusting into the air off one leg in an exaggerated skipping motion. The focus should be on a powerful leap into the air and a quick (but not super fast) cadence. Your arm motion should be synced to the opposite leg’s action, holding steady for the brief moment while you’re off the ground. Do three to four reps of 10 leaps on each leg.

See how high she is off the ground? This motion will propel you high into the air….giving you power and stability. And it’s fun! This is one of those drills that will make you feel like a kid again. Try it! You can do these before your run as a dynamic warm up…or after your run to focus on form and power when you’re tired.

Speed Work: Ready for some new speed work? We did 200m sprints for 3 weeks in a row and it’s time to move on. But before you do…take a minute to look back at your 200m times. Did they get faster each week? Did they seem easier each week? I hope so!

Same concept…IIP – Introduce, Improve, Perfect. But this week we are combining 400m and 200m. We’ll do 4X 400m then 4X 200M. After the first set of 400s the 200s will seem easy. Run them at the same pace. Don’t feel the need to speed up for the 200s. You will be tired and it will be mentally challenging. Push through and it will be an awesome workout!


  • 1 mile warm up (conversation pace)
  • 4X 400M
  • 4X 200M
  • 1 mile cool down
  • Total of 3.5 miles

400 meters is just shy of a 1/4 mile so if you’re not doing your speed work on a track (which is fine) think 1/4 mile repeats. That will make it easier to use your watch or other GPS device to track yourself. If you are on a track…400M is 1 lap around the track using the inside lane. Stick to that inside lane or you are adding a little distance to each lap.

Pace: Run these faster than 10K pace and closer to what you can do for 5K. This will feel slow early in the workout but will catch up with you.

Example: My 5K pace is around 8:52/mile and my 10K pace is around 9:13/mile so for these sprints I want to be somewhere in the middle of those times….roughly around a 9 min mile. Want to know what your pace should be? Reach out to me with your current 5K and 10K times and I will let you know how fast you should be running these sprints.

Purpose: This workout is ideal for high-end aerobic training and lactate tolerance. It pushes the envelope of the maximum pace you can hold for a 10K. This is a great workout to do with friends. Just be sure you keep focused on hitting the pace that is appropriate for you. That said, don’t be afraid to push each other. You have to challenge yourself to find out what you are capable of, so don’t let the pace drop throughout this workout. Consistency is the key.

Remember…speed work isn’t just for sprinters! Speed work is great for distance runners because it builds up your threshold and teaches your body to allow for more oxygen consumption. This will translate into the ability to breathe easier during those long runs…and yes…it will make going faster easier too.

Plan ahead to get your speed work in. There is no “right” day…it depends on your running schedule. It is important to give yourself rest days in between speed and long runs…so make sure your speed work is 3-4 days before your planned long run.

Racery: For those that need it….here is the link to our Great Wall race. 6 have finished and there’s plenty of time for everyone else to cross that finish line. If you are injured…go out and walk those miles!

Virtual Race: Did everyone finish their Virtual “Make it Count” for Runwell race this past weekend? If you forgot to post…let us know that you finished and show off that pretty medal you earned! Here is the link to our group event.

When it’s all said and done…remember to stretch! Throw in our 7 Key Stretches for Runners…or run through the Yoga for Runners. Take your time with them and get in a good stretch. Plop in front of the TV or put on some music and just relax. Our Key stretch and Yoga are both are a great ways to stretch out your aching muscles and avoid injury.

It’s Monday y’all…start strong and set the tone for the week. Make it great! 🙂

Mondays start strong

2 thoughts on “Day 16: Fully Armed

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