Day 1: Let’s Do This!!

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-8-13-13-pmFebruary 1st. Day 1.

A chance to start over, recommit, and forget about the past. Time to reset and get ready to kill another Challenge!

We have several new members so those of you who’ve been here for a while need to step it up and show them how we do things in the Core Crew!

Since we’re starting on Wednesday…and Wednesday happens to be a yoga day…we are starting a little easy. So to off-set the easy day…I hope to see everyone killing the bonus workout! 😉

Day 1 exercises:

  • Yoga for Runners – Tight Hips and Legs  – Great way to loosen up between leg days on Tuesday and Thursdays. If you have tight hips and legs you’re going to love this time for you. Find a quiet place and get loose!
  • Side Planks – :30 each side
  • Wall Sit – :60

Challenges: Click here for “how to” videos for push ups and the Superman exercise

  • Superman – :10 – Hold the superman pose for :10. A little later this week I will put together a quick video showing you this move and how to modify it as we get farther into the month and the time gets longer. 🙂
  • Push Ups – 25 – From your feet or from your knees. Against a wall or on steps or a bench. Whatever works best for you!

Bonus: Coffee Break Workout – This can be done throughout the day whenever you have a few free moments. Do one round each time you get up from your computer, or take a break from work. SIT LESS MOVE MORE! 🙂

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#MadManMartin’s Plank Challenge: For anyone who wants to join in! Start on Day 1 and let’s get to planking! 🙂 One extra :20 plank today.

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Might seem like a lot but it’s really not that much. Next week we will get back to adding speed work in too! Remember that this month it’s all about sitting LESS and moving MORE. Getting fit takes dedication and commitment…cheating on it won’t help you get where you want to be.

Make a commitment to yourself each day that you will get up each day and MOVE!

Let’s do this!! Make it a great day Crew! 🙂

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Day 26: Squats = Runner’s Best Friend

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According to the Runkeeper.com blog Squats are a Runner’s Best Friend, “One of the biggest squat myths is that squats are bad for your knees. False! This myth comes from a few badly run studies in the 1960s that have since been disproved. More recent studies have instead shown that people who regularly squat have more stable knees.”

Squats provide important benefits to runners and walkers:

  1. Knee Stability
  2. Increased Leg Power
  3. Improved Body Awareness
  4. Injury Prevention

Additionally, “squatting  effectively teaches runners how to be better runners by addressing and improving basic athletic skills. For example, squatting teaches runners how to load and engage their posterior chain, how to stabilize their hips, knees, and ankles, and how to move with good posture and maintain that good posture for longer periods of time.”

To squat effectively, we must address three basic skills:

1. Maintaining posture
2. Adding load
3. Adding torque

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Focusing on developing our athletic skill with posture, load, and torque, a runner’s relationship with strength training can be changed forever. While we want stronger hamstrings, we cannot just do hamstring exercises and expect better running results. Why? Because the whole is greater than the sum of its muscular parts. We must strengthen the other areas around our hamstring to help support those muscles and take some of the load off that area. Squats are a great way to strength and support our hamstrings!

So even if you aren’t doing the extra squat challenge this month…today YOU SQUAT! 😉

Day 26 exercises: 3 sets of 15 

****Click here for how to videos**** 

  • Squats
  • Side Lunges (3 sets of 15 for each leg)
  • Wall Sit – :60 (3X)
  • Plank – :60 (3X)

Bonus: Squat Challenge (75 additional Squats) 

Challenges: I know these are getting harder to fit in as the numbers go up but we are almost done! Keep pushing Crew don’t you dare give up!

  • Burpees – 55
  • Push Ups Beginner – 18
  • Push Ups Advanced – 105
  • Squats – 75

Remember Crew….we are building brutally strong legs this month! The month is almost over so hold on tight and keep up the great work! 🙂

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Day 25: Love Ab Day!

You all know Wednesday is one of my favorite days this month! I love this ab work! 🙂

In fact, I give our Wednesday abs a….

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Do you love it too?

You know what we’re doing…but here’s today’s list. It’s fun…so have fun with it! 🙂

Day 25 exercises: 3 sets of 15 

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

  • Mountain Climbers – Slowly pull legs in one at a time using your core muscles. Don’t rush this exercise!
  • Standing Oblique Crunch – Use your core! Don’t rely on your legs… this is ab work!
  • Russian Twists – If you’re not already, add weight to this move. I use an 8lb medicine ball because it’s easy to hold.
  • Plank – :60 (your choice)

Bonus: Daily Abs – Another favorite! How many rounds do you have in you today? 2? 3? 4!?! 🙂

Daily Abs

Challenges: We are getting so close to the end of the month. Keep going Crew you are killing it!

  • Burpees – 55
  • Push Ups  Beginner – 17
  • Push Ups Advanced – 90screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-6-46-58-pm
  • Squats – Rest

Who’s doing a little dance for no squats today? Awe…come on…you know you LOVE SQUATS SO MUCH!! 😉

Happy hump day Crew let’s GETTTT ITTTT!!!

Days 21 & 22: What’s Your Distance?

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The weekend is here!! What’s your distance?

If you planned on cutting it short, remember that distance makes the heart grow stronger!

Go a little farther than you planned and get that runners high! 🙂

Then take a day off…but don’t be lazy. Active recovery, yoga, stretching…whatever makes you fell good. And don’t forget our challenge exercises (if you’re into that kind of thing. 😉 )

Day 21: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Challenge exercises 

  • Burpees – Rest
  • Push Ups Beginner – 17
  • Push Ups Advanced – 60
  • Squats – 145

Day 22: Active Recovery, Yoga for Runners,  Rest + Squats 

  • Burpees – Rest
  • Push Ups Beginner – Rest
  • Push Ups Advanced – Rest
  • Squats – 80

Get inspired, get you some miles and make it a fabulous weekend Crew!

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Day 19: Wall Sit Anytime Anywhere!

screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-5-30-20-amMost distance runners will tell you they’ve had a point on one (or many) of their runs where they hit “the wall.” The wall can be both an emotional and a physical barrier. You need mental strength to finish a marathon, but you also need toned muscles!

Wall sits are a great down-and-dirty strength exercise to build strength in your quadriceps and calves. When you’re doing a wall sit, your quads are holding your weight up by pushing it against the wall, and your calves are working to keep your knees bent at a 90° angle.

By strengthening your thigh muscles, you are helping stabilize your knees, which helps lower your risk of injury. Runner’s Knee, which is an unfortunate and common injury for distance runners, can be caused by weak thigh muscles (among other things). By strengthening your quads, you’re helping reduce risk of injury.

Anyone Can Do Wall Sits

Perhaps the greatest thing about wall sits, is that anyone can do them, anywhere, at any time. Can’t find time for your full daily workout? Throw in some wall sits throughout the day. Camping in the woods? Find a tree to lean up against. Got a few minutes before you have to be back at work from your lunch break? Wall sit! Arrive a few minutes before your doctor appointment? The car can provide a solid surface for a wall sit – right there in the parking lot.

Remember, our “challenge” is meant to motivate you to do more than you would each day. We’re not here to beat you up for not getting in every single exercise every single day. If you do…that’s awesome! But we know that busy lives get in the way and the most important thing is being active and adding strength training to your routine.

So when you’re short on time, grab a wall and take a squat. Every little bit counts!

Day 19 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Squats
  • Side Lunges (each leg)
  • Wall sits – 3X (:60) or 1X for 3 minutes!
  • Plank – :60 (your choice)

Bonus: Hip Stability Exercies for IT Band Syndrome and Runner’s Knee

Lots of people suffer from tight hips and IT Bands which lead to pain in and around our knees and down our legs. Hip rotation and pelvic imbalances are also frequent issues for runners that contribute to IT Band Syndrome or Runner’s Knee.

Yes, this is a monthly challenge, but I also hope you find information along the way that you tuck away in your personal arsenal for future use. The exercises in this video help to create additional stability and strength for both prevention and recovery. Check it out.

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 45
  • Push Ups Beginner – 15
  • Push Ups Advanced – 30
  • Squats – 50

Speed Work: Climb ladders

Ladder workouts are speed sessions that vary the length of the work intervals in incremental steps and are a great way to get a mix of several high-intensity running paces in a single session. Go to the track or use your GPS watch to track your distance., warm up with 10 minutes of easy running, and try one of these ladders. Run each interval slightly faster than the preceding one, and jog, walk  400 meters (or just stand still and breath deeply) between each interval.

Starter ladder: 400M (1/4 mile), 800M (1/2 mile), 1600M (mile), 800M (1/2 mile), 400M (1/4 mile).

Advanced ladder: 200M (.1 mile), 400M, 800M, 1200M, 1600M, 1200M, 1000M, 800M, 400M, 200M

Remember that it is always important to do a good warm up and cool down before and after every speed work session. And if you’re not doing running drills to loosen your glutes, hips, quads, and calves…you’re missing out on an important part of the workout.

  1. Warm up
  2. Running Drills: Pick a few and take a few minutes to loosen up. Click here for descriptions of each running drill. Butt Kicks, High Knees, Bounding, Grapevines, Slow Skipping, Hamstring Extensions, Running Backwards, Straight Leg Shuffle, Lateral Bounding
  3. Speed Work
  4. Cool Down

Running today? We usually try to do our strength work before we go for a run…but this time save one of your wall sits for afterwards, when your legs are fatigued. Just one…don’t go overboard with it. When it’s all said and done, take time to stretch out those tired and sore muscles so you’re ready to go long this weekend!

Have a great Thursday Crew! 🙂

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Day 17: Add Life To Your Years

We strength train to get stronger, run faster, avoid injuries….but we also strength train to gain fitness, and fitness is about more than just exercise.

Gaining fitness affects our health, our mood, our self image…fitness adds years to our life…but it also adds life to our years.

If you’ve gotten bored with the benefits of strength training to your running, remember that being active and fit improves your overall quality of life…even when running is on the back burner.

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Leg day again? No, not really…hip and butt day! We’ve taken the focus slightly off our hips this month but we aren’t neglecting them completely. Continuing to strengthen this area is key to a strong base and a healthy body.

I made a comment the other day that this week would separate the committed from the the…well…not so committed, when in fact,  the challenges this week should seem relatively easy to those who are keeping up.

If you fell behind, now is a great time to think about all the benefits being active brings to your life. Add life to your years and jump back in today!

Day 17 exercises: 3 sets of 10 

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

  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant (both sides)
  • Butt Lift Bridge
  • Clams (both sides)
  • Plank – :60 (your choice)

Bonus: Modern Mom’s (or Dad’s) Hip Strength – see video below. You know this routine. It takes about 4 minutes per leg and will fire up those hip flexors!

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 40
  • Push Ups Beginner – 14
  • Push Ups Advanced – 70
  • Squats – 50 (only 50? Easy peasy! 😉 )

Speed Work: Climb ladders

Ladder workouts are speed sessions that vary the length of the work intervals in incremental steps and are a great way to get a mix of several high-intensity running paces in a single session. Go to the track or use your GPS watch to track your distance., warm up with 10 minutes of easy running, and try one of these ladders. Run each interval slightly faster than the preceding one, and jog, walk  400 meters (or just stand still and breath deeply) between each interval.

Starter ladder: 400M (1/4 mile), 800M (1/2 mile), 1600M (mile), 800M (1/2 mile), 400M (1/4 mile).

Advanced ladder: 200M (.1 mile), 400M, 800M, 1200M, 1600M, 1200M, 1000M, 800M, 400M, 200M

Remember that it is always important to do a good warm up and cool down before and after every speed work session. And if you’re not doing running drills to loosen your glutes, hips, quads, and calves…you’re missing out on an important part of the workout.

  1. Warm up
  2. Running Drills: Pick a few and take a few minutes to loosen up. Click here for descriptions of each running drill. Butt Kicks, High Knees, Bounding, Grapevines, Slow Skipping, Hamstring Extensions, Running Backwards, Straight Leg Shuffle, Lateral Bounding
  3. Speed Work
  4. Cool Down

Today, I want you to get up and exercise for you. Don’t do it to run faster. Don’t do it to avoid injuries. Don’t do it because it’s a challenge and you’re “supposed to.”

Do it because it makes you happy. Do it for a healthy mind, an uplifting attitude, and a fabulous mood. 🙂

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Day 16: Run With Your Arms

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What happens when your legs are tired but your run isn’t over? When you are exhausted, close to the finish line, look up, and see a big hill you have to climb?

According to the Breakingmuscle.com article, “The Ups And Downs Of Running: How To Properly Run Hills And Stairs,” in order to run uphill most efficiently runners must:

Use your arms! Arms are [the] key to running and sprinting, and are especially useful for anything uphill or anything utilizing knee movements. I cannot emphasize the use of the arms enough. The action of the arms essentially move the legs, so remember this anytime you walk, run, sprint, bounce, lunge, jump, or hop. Arms should be kept tight, bent at ninety-degree angles and close to the sides. The arms correspond with the legs – opposite arm matches with opposite leg – so work on matching the timing between both upper and lower body.

Just like a car, we need to shorten our stride and use our arms to power us up hills. With our arms being so important in these situations, we must spend some time making them stronger!

Day 16 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Bicep Curls
  • Shoulder Press
  • Tricep Overhead Extension
  • Plank – :60 (plank of your choice)

Bonus: Do the Challenge exercises! Even if you haven’t jumped on the “extra challenge” band wagon, today is the day to do a little more and work those arms! Push ups and burpees are great ways to build strength in our arms which will help us power up those hills and stairs when we’re tired. Beginner push ups are fine…and skip the push ups when you do the burpees. I know burpees are hard and scary, but you can do them and you will burn TONS of calories in the process!

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 40
  • Push Ups Beginner – 12
  • Push Ups Advanced – 60
  • Squats – 80

Speed Work:  Climb ladders

Ladder workouts are speed sessions that vary the length of the work intervals in incremental steps and are a great way to get a mix of several high-intensity running paces in a single session. Go to the track or use your GPS watch to track your distance., warm up with 10 minutes of easy running, and try one of these ladders. Run each interval slightly faster than the preceding one, and jog, walk  400 meters (or just stand still and breath deeply) between each interval.

Starter ladder: 400M (1/4 mile), 800M (1/2 mile), 1600M (mile), 800M (1/2 mile), 400M (1/4 mile).

Advanced ladder: 200M (.1 mile), 400M, 800M, 1200M, 1600M, 1200M, 1000M, 800M, 400M, 200M

No matter what choices you made over the weekend…it’s time to shake it off and get back to work. Set the tone for the week and make good choices today!

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