Day 1: Here We GOOOOO!!!!

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Hopefully you’ve read through our August Challenge Main page and are all ready to get to work! If not….


Click HERE!

Find out what’s in store for August, then come back!

Ok – now that you’ve read through the info page and are back….let’s GOOOOO!!!

August is all about abs BUT, since we are starting on a Tuesday, we have to tackle some leg and arm work first. Today will be fun I promise! 🙂

Day 1 Exercises & Food Challenge:

  • Morning Workout Routine (#MWR) – see below
  • Coffee Break Workout (#CBW) – see below
  • Squats and Push Ups (hourly)
  • Wall Sits (3x – :30 or more)
  • 7 Key Stretches for Runners
  • Tiny Tuesday! – Small portion sizes today Crew! You want to be very aware of the amount you are eating today. Once you have it…go smaller. 🙂 You can eat more than 3 meals. Just make them tiny and healthy!

We will start out with our Morning Workout Routine (#MWR), then go straight into today’s Squat & Push Up Challenge. We will start first thing in the morning with 20 Squats and 10-20 Push Ups and continue each hour ALL day!

You don’t have to do the same squats and push ups all day. Break it up with different types…regular squats, sumo squats, squat pulse, curtsey squats, pistol squats, etc… there are SO many options here! Same thing for the push ups. Do some against the wall, on the stairs, on a counter, from your knees and some full push ups! Do what works for you and what will help you get it done.

Set an alarm to go off each hour so you don’t miss a set and push through strong! This will hurt tomorrow….but that’s ok…if it hurts you’re doing it right!

On top of our Squat & Push ups, we also have our Coffee Break Workout (#CBW). Sometime throughout the day, throw in this routine. You can do it in 3 separate rounds, or 3 rounds at once. The point is to get moving during your day, ESPECIALLY if you sit all day at work.

Wall Sits – Over the past few months, we’ve been working on our wall sits so you already know how they can help us build strength in our legs. This month, instead of 1 wall sit, we are doing 3. You can break them up throughout the day just like the Squats & Push Ups. If you’ve been doing wall sits for a while now, you can hold them longer than :30 but if you’re just getting started, :30 is awesome! So here’s the “why” we are doing it this way this month…I’ve done some research and found that breaking up our strength training into smaller segments but adding more repetitions can be beneficial to building strength and endurance. So by backing off on the length of the wall sit (and planks too by the way) and adding more reps, we should be building additional strength. Again, if you can hold this pose longer WITHOUT your form suffering, feel free to do so, but I still want you to get in 3 wall sits today. 🙂

Last thing, today is the day to post your goals and your buddy for August. If you don’t have a buddy, post that you need one and we will find you one! Tell us where you are now, and what you’re working towards. Mileage goals, strength goals, race goals, a certain number of workout days posted goals, eating goals, weight loss goals….whatever your goal is, share it with us so we can encourage and help keep you accountable!

Ok…this really is the LAST thing. 😉 Since we are pushing our legs and arms to their limit today, PLEASE take time to stretch tonight. A lot of us do speed work on Wednesdays, and even though I am not giving out speed work this week (it will be back next week), we really need to show our legs some love and take time to stretch them out! Link to our stretches are below. Easy to throw in while you are watching TV, having a glass of wine, or whatever you do to wind down before bedtime.

7 Key Stretches for Runners

***If you want to throw in some speed, you have lots of past workouts to choose from. If you don’t have one and really want to push the pace this week, reach out to me and I will guide you through it.

That’s all for today Crew….let’s GOOOOO!!! 🙂

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Up for the Tour de Pain Challenge?


Y’all know I love to run and what’s better than 3 races in 24 hours?!? A weekend full of running, beer, food and medals sounds fun! Come run with me! If you’re thinking about signing up, don’t wait! The entry price increase on Tuesday, August 1st!

1st Place Sports is hosting Tour de Pain in Jacksonville, Fl. Friday, August 11th and Saturday, August 12th! Tour de Pain is three separate races….all combined together to give you one BIG ongoing party! Start with a 4 mile race on the beach Friday evening, keep the party going with a Saturday morning 5K, then finish in style with a 1 mile sizzler Saturday afternoon in downtown at the Jacksonville Landing!

Some of us run for competition, some run for the bling, and some of us just run for fun, food and beer! Great news! This race has it ALL!

  • Finisher Medals
  • HUGE Post Race Celebration with FREE beer
  • Moisture Wicking shirts for all participants
  • Awards!

*Awards will not be given for each individual event. They will be given based on total time in all three events.

Your time in each of the three events will be added together to determine your place for the Tour de Pain. If running all 3 races doesn’t sound like tons of fun, You can still be a part of the party! Just pick one race and sign up for that one individually.

Of course, you don’t have to win to get a medal. Finisher Medals will be given to everyone who finishes all three events!

Don’t really care about bling or beer? Come for food! Tropical Smoothie Cafe has some yummy new items for us to try and let me tell you, I had the new Watermelon Mojito Smoothie and it is delicious! Made with fresh watermelon, strawberry lime and mint is the perfect compliment to the Chicken Jerk Wrap. Made with grilled chicken, rice, black beans, roasted pineapple salsa, cheddar & spicy jerk sauce on a flour tortilla the spicy Chicken Jerk Wrap with a refreshing Watermelon Mojito Smoothie is the perfect lunch on a hot day!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for Tour de Pain now and get ready for the big end of the summer party!


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Days 29 & 30: Long Runs + “Stuff”

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Every weekend we go long (long being relative to where you’re at in your training) but sometimes the same long run every weekend can get boring. Just like our weekday runs and our strength training, it’s a good idea to switch things up a bit to keep your long runs fun, engaging and beneficial to our training and fitness.

How do we make our same old long run a little different? Add some “stuff” to it!

The long run is a rite of passage for runners. Even runners training for a 5K should include this staple workout as part of their weekly training schedule. If everybody is doing it and it has stuck around this long, it obviously has merit, but if your long runs are getting boring or tedious…if you don’t feel like you’re getting anything out of running the same old easy paced long run, it’s probably time to throw in something new.

Long runs are no different than any other workout. In order to continually adapt, the stimulus has to be slightly altered. In a set of repeats on the track, we might decrease the rest, increase the pace, or increase the length of the repetitions. For our long runs, we typically run our easy pace…over and over again. The good news is that there are ways we can get more out of our long runs. How? By adding “stuff” to our long run.

“Stuff” refers to adding strides, surges, pickups, or progressions to the typical easy or steady long run. The goal is to change the stimulus ever so slightly. By adding in some faster running toward the end of the long run, you force recruitment of muscle fibers that generally are never trained at an easy or steady pace. By slightly changing which muscle fibers are recruited, you now train those “harder to recruit” fast twitch fibers under aerobic conditions, therefore increasing their endurance.

****If you are still working up to longer distances on the weekend, stick with the “long slow distance” mentality. Keep working on adding easy miles to your routine until those miles feel “easy” and you are confident about the distance. How long is long enough? That depends on your goals.

If you are training for a:

  • 5K – 5-6 mile long run
  • 10K – 8-9 miles
  • Half Marathon – 12-14 miles
  • Marathon – If you are training for your first marathon, you probably want to stick with long slow distance. If you feel like you would like some additional “stuff” to do during your long runs, reach out to me and let’s talk about it.

Once you are confident with your long run distance, it’s time to add in the “stuff”

Strides: Strides are an easy way to get a little more bang for your buck during the long run without adding much undue fatigue. They work by changing the muscle fiber recruitment slightly, and can prevent the post-long run flatness that often occurs. This happens because the faster segments change the tension in the muscles and leave you with some “pop” in your legs instead of staleness. Strides should be done immediately after the completion of the long run and should include four to ten by 100-meter runs in length at about your 10K race pace. Three to four strides at the end of a long run will teach you how to pick up speed at the end of your long run, and will train those fast twitch to perform under pressure.

Surges: Surges should be done during the last three to four miles of the long run and should include segments where you pick it up to around 10K race pace and then back off to your easy pace for a short segment. Try running five 30-second surges with two minutes of easy running between reps and work your way up progressively to where you’re doing 8-10 x 60-second surges with 2-3 minutes recovery in between.  This should not be a taxing workout, but instead a comfortable surge that lets the legs loosen up a little bit.

Pickups and progressions are two slightly more challenging options for adding some spice to your long run. The goal of these runs is to press the pace down so that the body gets used to increasing speed, increasing the aerobic demand, and recruiting muscle fibers when glycogen levels are getting progressively lower at the end of the long run.

We want to training muscle fibers that aren’t normally trained aerobically and triggering the body to become more efficient with using up its glycogen stores.

Pickups: Pickups should be introduced in small doses. Start by picking up the pace to marathon race effort or slightly faster during the last 5 minutes of your long run. Every few weeks, increase the length of the pickup by 5 minutes until you get to the point where the last 20 minutes of your long run is done at a quicker pace.

Progression: Progression long runs should have a gradual approach. Instead of spending the last bit of your long run making a sudden change in speed, spread that speed increase out over a longer distance. Start with a gradual progression over the last quarter of your long run (the last 2 miles of a 10 mile run, or the last 4 miles of a 16 mile run) and gradually increase that until the last half of your long run is spent gradually ratcheting down the speed. Think negative splits, with the last half of your long run being faster than the first half.

The goal for pickups and progression is the same…get down to just faster than your race pace by the end of the run.

Anytime you add new workouts to your regime, it’s important to do so gradually! Keep your easy long run in the rotation, but start adding some “stuff” to it every other week. By adding strides, surges, pickups and progressions to your long run, you’re increasing the amount of stimuli your body has to deal with and adapt to.

What will your long run look like this weekend? Will you keep it nice and steady with some long slow distance? Or is it time to add some “stuff” and take your long run up a notch?

Day 29 exercises: Long Run + :60 Wall Sit + 7 Key Stretches for Runners 

Day 20 exercises: Active Recovery / Yoga for Runners

Find your inner tiger and plan to go long!

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Day 26: Healthy Hump Day!

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After an easy Tuesday, it’s time to pump it up for a heathy hump day! Who’s ready to get sweaty with me?

Wednesday’s are great for speed work so if you haven’t gotten it in yet, today is perfect! Lots to do and so little time so let’s get to it!

I totally forgot that I bumped up our reps to 20 for each set on Wednesdays. This is because these moves are super quick and not high on the difficulty level so 20 reps in doable for everyone. 2-3 sets of 20….let’s do this!

Quick Morning Workout: Love how everyone is keeping up with the QMW this month. I’m on the hunt for a different version for August so send one over if you find one you like!

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Check in – Negative Pull Ups and July Miles: Would love to hear how the negative pull ups and your July miles are going. Are you close to your monthly goal? I never did get a pull up bar…might have to do this one over again in August. 🙂

Day 26 exercises: 2-3 Sets of 20

  • Weighted Russian Twists
  • Rope Climbers with or without weight
  • Dumbbell Side Bends (slowly)
  • 1 Bird Dog Plank – :60 total (break into smaller segments to get to :60 if needed)

Bonus: #FitnessToGo – I find these lists easy to follow and quick to get through. 1 round would be fantastic but 2 would be AWESOME!!

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Speed Work: This week’s speed work is “Broken Miles”. Check out Monday’s post and scroll down for the info on how to make these happen, and how fast you should be running each set.

Day 26 “how to” videos:

Weighted Russian Twists: We’ve done these tons of times but if you’re new to Russian Twists you can be them without weights. Keep your core in tight and keep those feet off the ground!

Rope Climbers: Rope Climb Crunches makes crunching more fun, more exciting and more effective. This ab exercise works not only your upper abs but your obliques as well thanks to the torso twisting motion. As a result it is an incredible abdominal burner.

Dumbbell Side Bends (Slowly): Nice and slowly, contract those obliques!

Bird Dog Plank: This is a tough plank so if you’re still new to planking, please hold a regular plank until you’ve mastered that move and can hold it strong for a full :60. If you are trying this plank today, shift back and forth between right and left arm/leg for the :60.

Day 24: Total Body Cardio

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It’s Monday again and it’s the last week of July. 7 more days to finish the month STRONG!

We changed up the way we do our sets so the reps don’t get as time consuming towards the end of the month. This means you don’t have the “I don’t have time” excuse.

2-3 sets, 10 repetitions of 4 exercises. If you have extra time, get to work on today’s bonus, then check out this week’s speed work and makes plans to get it done. Remember, just because you have the speed work on Monday, doesn’t mean you should do it on Monday. You need a few days in between your long run and speed work to recover and be ready to go hard. Don’t try to get it out of the way early and cheat yourself out of a good workout!

Weekly Check-in: How is it going with our Quick Morning Workout, Negative Pull Up Challenge and your July mileage goals? Check in and let us know if you are sticking with it and still working towards these goals!

Day 24 exercises: 2-3 sets of 10

  • Squat to Overhead Press
  • Dumbbell Reverse Lunge to Front Raise
  • 100 Jumping Jacks or Jump Rope
  • Forward and Backward Rocking Plank – :60

Bonus: #SweatyBodyweightCircuit – You can use your Quick Morning Workout as a warm up for this bonus routine. If you’re not sure about the plank, just do a regular forearm plank or a couple side planks instead.

1 round equals 3 sets of each circuit!

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Speed Work: Broken Miles – This was a fun workout we did at track last week. It is very similar to doing mile repeats but a little different with a short rest between .75 mile and your last .25 mile. Here’s how it works.

  1. Go out for a 1-2 mile warm up. Don’t skimp on your warm up, if you feel you’re not quite ready, run a little longer at your easy pace
  2. Stop and get a drink of water and rest for 1-2 minutes
  3. Start your first .75 mile – run straight through at around your 5K-10K pace. Stop at .75 and rest for 1 minute
  4. Start your watch again and run ALL OUT for .25 miles. When you’ve completed your first mile, stop and rest for another 2 minutes
  5. When your 2 minutes is up, start your next “broken mile”
  6. Repeat 2-4 times depending on where you’re at in your training. If you are a beginning runner, just do 1 mile. If you are training for a half marathon, do 3 miles. Full marathon? Do all four sets
  7. Cool down with 1-2 easy miles

This workout can be 3 miles (1 WU + 1 broken mile + 1 CD) or up to 8 miles (2 mile WU + 4 broken miles + 2 CD). Your mileage depends on you and what you want to get out of the workout. If you do less than you should, you’re only cheating yourself.

If you’re not sure what your 5K-10K pace is, reach out to me and let’s chat. I will help you figure it out.

Day 24 “how to” videos:

Squat to Overhead Press: The squat and the overhead press are two power-house moves that hit big fat- torching muscles like your glutes, quads, and shoulders.

Dumbbell Reverse Lunge with Front Raise: This dumbbell lunge simultaneously works our glutes and abs to sculpt a strong, lean body.

Jumping Jacks or Jump Rope: I think you’ve go this one. 🙂

Forward and Backward Rocking Plank: You should feel this exercise in your Core, obliques and shoulders.

Useful Tips:

  • Keep your elbows directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Avoid elevating or anteriorly rotating your shoulders.
  • Engage your core to avoid sagging at the waist.
  • Don’t hold your breath! Breathe normally.

Days 22 & 23: Summer Long Run Survival Strategies

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Whether we are training for a 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon…. summer long runs are a must! But the sweltering temps and high humidity levels can make logging those miles a challenge—and even dangerous.

Let’s talk about tactics that will help us survive our long summer runs so by the time temperatures drop, we’ll be ready for the starting line!

1. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule. During the hot summer months, we need to wake up early, or become a night owl to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Set your alarm and try to wake up early to get your miles in before mid morning when the sun is high. If you’re not a morning person and have a safe running route, night running might be the best option for you, just make sure you have time to refuel and wind down before hitting the sack.

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2. Plan routes with reprieves from the heat. Plan your route along water fountains, sprinklers, and shade. Public water fountains, shaded paths and gas stations were you can buy water should be key parts of your route.

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3. Become a weather nerd and plan your attire accordingly. Check the weather forecast and plan your long run for the day and time when the weather will be the coolest, then choose running clothes that are appropriate for the heat. When the temperature soars, it’s crucial to wear the right clothing. Lightweight, moisture wicking fabrics, light colors, hats and sunglasses could mean the difference between finishing the miles on your schedule, or having your run cut short.

4. Stay close to the house, or hydration drop point. Instead of running an out and back, plan to do loops that will bring you back to your house or car so you are close to hydration. Also, if you start to feel dehydrated or suffering heat exhaustion, you won’t be stranded.

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5. Buddy up to refrigeration. Put a towel and water bottle in the freezer the night before your morning run. Pull it out when you wake up then tie the towel or bandana around your neck and have a ice cold bottle of water ready.

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6. Understand your body chemistry. Pay attention to your electrolyte consumption. Hydration is important, but you also need to think about consuming more electrolytes than usual. Low levels of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium can cause muscles cramps, spasms, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and other symptoms that can cut our run short. Sports drinks, salt, bananas, watermelon, coconut water, and pickle juice are a few options that will help keep our levels balanced.

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7. Take it indoors. While running outside and adapting to the heat is ideal, when temperatures are too high, it’s time to take it inside on the treadmill. Treadmills can be monotonous for long distances but sometimes a little AC or a fan is the most effective way to get our miles done.

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8. Run with friends! Sometimes the best way to slog through the hot summer months is to grab a buddy and do it together. We all know that our BRFs make our runs easier, but even if you reach out to a stranger from your local running group, running with a buddy is safer and having a partner by your side who helps click the miles away can mean the difference between getting it done and calling it a day early.  Let’s face it, when it’s sweltering outside, we need all the extra motivation we can get. 🙂

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Now that we have all the tools we need to make our long runs happen…it’s time to get our plan together, lay out our clothes, make sure we are drinking ALL the water, and get to bed early!

Tell us what your long run plan is and how you prepare to ensure you can go the distance!

Day 22: Warm up with Hip Hurdles + Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Wall Sit (:60)  

Day 23: Active Recovery and/or Yoga for Runners (options below)

Alrighty Crew….let’s go long so we can eat chocolate and tacos! 🙂

really long runs

Day 20: Pulse It Out

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If we want to keep our metabolism roaring, it is essential to switch things up in our workout. We do a lot of different moves throughout the month, and while our staple moves like squats and lunges should be a part of our regular routine, after a while they get boring. To keep things fresh and to keep our metabolism from flat-lining, we need to create a little variety and change up the intensity.

By adding a pulse (slower repetition) to our squats and lunges we can activate the fast-twitch muscle fibers of our body. For example, instead of doing 10 regular squats, today we will do 10 squats with 3-5 pulses each time we hit the squat position. Adding this small move to the exercise will add the variety we need and give us a serious muscle burn.

When it comes to exercising, many people are quick to rush through it. However, doing the reps slowly will engage our muscles better than rushing through it. Holding the position of an exercise can also make a big difference in the results we see. Today, try holding your squat or lunge for a few seconds longer for each repetition.

Day 20 exercises: 2-3 sets of 10

  • Squat with Pulse
  • Reverse Lunge with Pulse
  •  Lateral Speed Runners
  • Wall Sit – minimum of :60 (If you can’t hold your wall sit for a full :60 yet, break it up into smaller pieces that equal :60. But don’t quit till you get it all done!)

Bonus: Metabolic Up-Downs – This is an exercise you can do right now, which or without weights. It’s called an up-down, and you just go from kneeling to standing to kneeling again. The exercise is very simple, but it comes with a long list of benefits.

  1. It works your entire body. And the better your musculoskeletal fitness, the better your health.
  2. It elevates your heart rate. Any time you go from the floor to standing and back down again, you’ll raise your pulse. Sounds kinda like a burpee, and we know how good they are for us!
  3. Since the movement pattern is so simple, you can do it for long periods, which burns a massive amount of calories and improves your conditioning.
  4. It stretches your hip flexors. These muscles are notoriously tight on most men and women because of the long periods of time we spend sitting—in cars, at desks, on couches.

How to Do It: Perform 10 to 20 reps with just your body weight to groove the pattern and warm up. Then kick up the intensity and rev your metabolism by adding weight.

Extra Credit: End your workout with a nice long pigeon pose stretch. After this workout, your legs and glutes will be screaming for a good stretch!


Day 20 “how to” videos:

Squat with Pulse: Perform this move doing 3-5 “pulses” for each repetition. Repeat 10 times for each set.

Reverse Lunge with Pulse: Make sure you stand tall and step back with your knee directly over your foot. Pulse 3-5 times per repetition.

Lateral Speed Runners: Leg and core stability exercise

Wall Sit: You know how to do this one…and you know it’s a great exercise to target the entire thigh area, your quad, your inner thigh, the back of the leg, the hamstring, and your glutes!

Day 19: Core & Arms on Hump Day!

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It’s already been a tough week and since it’s hump day, I’m thinking we should take it easy. No bonus…just a few moves for our arms and core then we call it a day…or go for a run!

Today is the perfect day for speed work so if you haven’t had a chance to turn up the speed yet, today is the day! 🙂

So….I know I really liked the out and ups when I put them in our schedule, but now I can’t find the exercise I was thinking of UGH! Oh well, how about some windshield wipers and push ups instead? We haven’t done those in a while and they are great for our core!

Day 19 exercises: 2-3 sets of 10

  • Windshield Wipers
  • Push Ups
  • V-Ins
  • Arnold V-Sit
  • Plank to Pike on towel or furniture movers – :60

Speed Work: Not sure what we are doing this week? Click here for Monday’s post and scroll down for this week’s workout!

Day 19 “how to” videos:

Windshield Wipes: Slow and controlled!

Push Ups: Four different ways to do push ups to build up strength.

V Ins: Not V-Ups! Great workout for our lower and upper abs

Arnold V-Sit: We did this one last month so you may already be familiar with it. The Arnold V-Sit works our shoulders, biceps, triceps, and abs.

Plank to Pike on Towel: This plank on a towel works great on wood or tile floors. Carpet, not so much. If you only have carpet to work with try using paper plates or furniture movers if you have them. Let’s strengthen our abs and arms with the Plank to Pike Towel Slide!

Day 18: Booty Better be Burning!

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Let’s get that booty burning today y’all! You know what that means….donkey kicks, fire hydrants and bridges OH BOY! 😉

Fun little bonus today too. Brooke Burke and her booty burn class! The video is 3 minutes long, but it only shows the workout on one leg. So you need to do the video twice, once for each leg. Run through the quick warm up twice too!

When you’re done with today’s exercises, please drop into that awesome pigeon pose to stretch out that burning booty!


Day 18 exercises: 2-3 sets of 10

  • Donkey Kicks (each side)
  • Fire Hydrants (each side)
  • Marching Bridge – both legs is 1 rep!
  • Wall Sit – :60

Bonus: Brooke’s Booty Burn – Remember to do this short video twice to even out those legs!

Speed Work: Click here to read more about this weeks speed work…or if you already read it (and understand the how and why), your speed options are below!

Day 18 “how to” videos:

Donkey Kicks: The donkey kick exercise targets your Glutes and Lower Back, while also isometrically strengthening your hamstrings and your core!

Fire Hydrants: Great for hips strength!

Marching Bridge: As a way to make this more difficult and get a better burn in your glutes as opposed to your quads, pick up those toes!

Wall Sit: This exercise targets the entire thigh area, your quad, your inner thigh, the back of the leg, the hamstring, and your gluts. You’re just going to find a wall. You’re going to come into a squat position.