Day 12: Purrrrfect Workout


Today’s ab and shoulder workout is a great way to build upper body and core strength…and it’s the purrrrfect way to start our week!

3 rounds today, throw in a little bonus work, then plan out your running schedule for the week. When will you get your speed work in? Plan now so you have plenty of time to get in some other short runs and recover before going long again on the weekend.

If you want to succeed, you must have a plan!


Before getting started, let’s about “bracing”.

According to the Runner’s World article, “Building Running Specific Core Stability”, bracing is the neuromuscular exercise of abdominal bracing, which entails simultaneously co-activating all of the muscles that surround the spine. The purpose is to teach the body how to prepare for stabilization.

If you’re jostled in a race, getting tired and need your core stability to hold you upright, or lose your footing in a race or trail run, your brace should naturally engage, stiffening the spine and improving your ability to quickly reposition. Bracing should be performed during all core and whole-body strength/stability training.

To practice bracing, pretend you’re going to be punched in the stomach; this should stimulate all the muscles to tighten around the spine. However, you must be able to do this without holding your breath. Training the brace independent of breathing is essential for optimal exercise execution and performance in sport. This brace will help “groove” this supportive pattern so that, over time, it will activate with an unconscious effort.

Practice “bracing” a few times before you start your exercises, think ‘getting punched in the stomach’, and hold that position for a ten count, then release. Practice “bracing” a few times then use this core activation while you’re doing each of the exercises. This simple move is one you can do anywhere, anytime to tighten and tone your abs, and to train them to support yourself unconsciously when you need it most.

Day 12 exercises: Abs & Shoulders – 3 sets of 10 + Planks

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Kettle Ball / Dumbbell Swings
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Plank – Your Choice  (:45 3X)

Bonus: Bird Dog with Squares – Get on your hands and knees and brace with a neutral spine. Without moving your spine, reach out one leg and the opposite arm. Outline a square with each outstretched limb while maintaining the curve in your spine. Return both to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Perform 3 sets of 6 repetitions per side. Add this to your ab arsenal for a great bonus workout whenever you have a few extra minutes.


On to the fun stuff!

Speed Work: Last week we did a 5K to see where we’re at and what kind of pace we need to run for our speed intervals. Did you write your time down? Grab it and let’s see what you’re doing this week.

Workout = 1 mile warm up; 400M x 10-12X (2.5-3 miles); 1-2 mile cool down – Total of 5-6 miles 

Yes it’s a tough workout…but you can do it! A track is ideal for speed work but this is an easy workout to do on the road or the treadmill too. Do a slow warm up for 1 mile, then move into your 400M intervals. That’s either 1 time around the track, or .25 mile. After 400 meters (.25 mile), stop, rest, and breathe for :60. Then do it again for a total of 10-12 .25 mile repeats. When you’re done head out for a 1-2 mile cool down.

These intervals should not be done all out. Start a little slower than your goal pace so you have enough left to do all 10-12 repeats. If you can hold that pace, or close to it, for each interval you’re doing it right! If not…keep trying!

Below are 5K times with short interval paces and time goals starting at a 25 minute 5K. If your 5K is below 25 minutes or over 40 minutes, let me know….but this should cover most of us.


***RRCA Pace Chart Developed by Amby Burfoot ( Only 5K times and paces listed here***

Example: My current 5K PR (ran at a race in May 2016) was 27:04. So I would use the 27 minute guideline and  run my intervals at a 7:50 pace, with the goal of finishing each one in around 1:58.

We ran this drill at my PRS track workout last week and I was able to pull times between 1:47 – 1:55 each. What did my Coach say? “You can run a faster 5K then 27 minutes.” This may be true…but I need more practice in order to put them all together. Remember, we are taking a :60 break in-between each interval to rest, breathe, and recover. It is a great confidence booster though and give me the motivation to keep working on it.

Speed work takes time, and practice. Do your best, write down your times, and compare your results each week. Remember…speed doesn’t come overnight, but if you keep working on it…you will get faster. Be patient and work hard Crew!

Questions? I’m here to help so please ask. if you are confused, don’t just go out willy nilly and do “whatever”. Reach out to me and let’s make sure you have your plan ready to go.

Let’s get to work and start the week off with a bang!


3 thoughts on “Day 12: Purrrrfect Workout

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