Day 29: This or That…or both!

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Final strength day of September Crew and it’s arm day!

Great way to end the month strong and be ready to go long this weekend! 🙂

And this week’s trend continues because, you have options! You can follow the Day 29 calendar exercises listen below, try the bonus arm workout, or do both!

It’s your choice…choose wisely. Don’t skip it because you’re tired or just feeling lazy on a Friday. Make the choice based on how your muscles are feeing and how your weekend is planned. Really though…you can do a great arm workout and still be ready for an awesome, strong long run Saturday or Sunday!

Day 29 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout and Quick Before Bed Workout 
  • Day 29 Exercises and/or Bonus Arm Workout below 
  • Bonus: Fitness Blender at Home Bodyweight Arm Workout 
  • Roll, Stretch, and Hydrate!

Quick Morning workout and Quick Before Bed Workout:

Day 29 Exercises: 2-3 sets of 10

  • Arm Circles – Forward & Backward
  •  Upright Row
  • Shoulder Press
  • Renegade Row
  • Plank – :60 or more!

Bonus: Fitness Blender at Home Bodyweight Arm Workout – This looks like a great arm workout and I can’t wait to try it tomorrow! Hope you all will try it with me. 7 exercises, :60 each. Nothing crazy but great new moves that will give us that good arm burn!

So what will you do? This, That or Both? I’m doing both…come on let’s do this! 🙂

Day 27: Just Working on Our Core

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Our Wednesday Stability workout is great for our core and our legs. After today’s leg workout, this will be tough but that’s ok…plenty of time to rest and recover our legs before this weekend’s long runs!

Last time we run this workout circuit this month so give it all you have Crew!

Day 27 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Day 27 exercises: 2-3 x 10
  • Bonus: Fitness Blender 8 Minute Abs Workout
  • Speed Work – Speed Pyramid Workout – Click here for this weeks speed workout

Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout

Day 27 exercises: 2-3 x 10

  • Stability Ball V-Pass
  • Stability Ball Single Leg Press
  • Stability Ball Crunches
  • Stability Ball Glute Bridges
  • Stability Ball Forearm Plank – :60

Bonus: Fitness Blender 8 Minute Ab Workout – Quick bodyweight workout that will give us that good core burn. Give yourself a couple minutes after you finish our Day 27 exercises then go for it. 8 minutes and you’re done!

Day 26: Fit Runner: Hip and Glute Strength

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Do you have weak hips and glutes? You can lie to us…but you cannot lie to yourself!

When thinking of core, we often focus on just strengthening the abs. Strong abs help to stabilize your pelvis, but the true core of a runner lies in adding strength in our hips and glutes.

Strong hips and glutes are the powerhouse of a runner and prevent many injuries below the hips down to the knees, iliotibial bands, Achilles tendons, shins and the feet. If you’ve ever injured a glute or hip muscle, or have pain in your lower extremities you’ve probably been told you have weak hips and glutes…and you realize the important role they play. If you’ve never been to a Doctor looking for answers  but suffer from lower leg issues, strengthening these areas can save you time, money and a whole lot of physical therapy!

Today is Day 26 on our calendar, but in the spirit of switching things up this week…we’re ditching the calendar and following along with some of our favorite videos. Donkey Kick Workout…a killer one…is on the way!

Day 26 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout and Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Donkey Kick Workout – See video below
  • Bonus: Modern Mom/Dad Hips – Do you have the heart to do both these hip/glute workouts? I know you do! 🙂
  • Speed WorkClick here for Monday’s daily post and scroll down for this week’s pyramid speed workout.

Quick Morning Workout and Quick Before Bed Workout:

Donkey Kick Workout: This is a tough workout but it’s quick and super effective. Stick with it till the end!

Bonus: Modern Mom/Dad Hips – We all know this one…most of us love it, some might hate it…but we all know how good it is for our hips and glutes! I know you’ll be tired after the Donkey Kick workout but you CAN do this!

Day 25: The End is Near!

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Are you dragging and bored with this months workouts? I hope not…but just in case, we are switching things up today!

Instead of a few sets of 10 of the same exercises we’ve been doing all month, follow along with the video below for a great 12 minute bodyweight arm workout. You have 12 minutes for stronger, toner arms right?!?

It is still core day as well so when you’re done with arms, we are throwing in the good old Ab Pyramid to round out a GREAT Monday workout!

If you are short on time, do arms in the morning and core after work or switch it up and do core in the morning and arms tonight but get it done and feel awesome going into our last week of September!

Day 25 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Fitness Blender Arm Workout – See video below
  • Ab Pyramid – 1 set all the way through
  • Plan ahead for your weekly speed work – see this week’s workout below
  • Celebrate “the end is near” by committing to a great week of workouts!

Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout:

Day 25 Workouts: Fitness Blender Arm Workout + Ab Pyramid

Fitness Blender Arm Workout:

Ab Pyramid: 1 set all the way through

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Speed Workout: Pyramid Speed Workout

We’re spicing things up a little more this week with a new speed workout that will maximize your speed potential while also being a short run so it won’t take up a lot of time. This workout should be done without traditional run/walk intervals but you can take a short walk break during the “easy” portion if needed.

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  1. Warm up – 5 minutes easy – you can use your run/walk intervals during this warm up.
  2. 1 minute – hard
  3. 1 minute – easy
  4. 2 minutes – hard
  5. 2 minutes – easy
  6. 3 minutes – hard
  7. 3 minutes – easy
  8. 2 minutes – hard
  9. 2 minutes – easy
  10. 1 minute – hard
  11. 1 minute – easy
  12. Cool down – 5 minutes easy – you can use your run/walk intervals for this cool down

30 minutes with warm up and cool down….speed work done!

This week, I want you to think about the goals you made for yourself, the ones you may have received in the mail (if you gave them to me last year 🙂 ). In order to reach our goals, we must revisit them often. We must keep them top of mind every day so we remember to stick to those few small disciplines that will make the difference.

No matter what our goals are, we must take those baby steps towards them each day to to succeed!

It’s Monday Crew…don’t forget to be awesome and OWN your week!

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Day 22: Tight Toned Arms

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We all want those tight toned arms free of the flabby “bat wings” that keep us from wearing tank tops and swim suits.

We won’t get them by skipping our arm workout! And done in a thoughtful, smart way …today’s arm workout will not put a damper on our long runs…so unless I told you otherwise…arm work should be happening today!

Day 22 arms with no bonus except stretching and rolling…yes more stretching and rolling! 🙂

Day 22 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Day 22 Arms: 2-3 x 10
  • Bonus: Roll and Stretch!

Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout:

Day 22 Exercises: 2-3 x 10 – Click here for “how to” videos

  • Front & Side Arm Raises with light weight – Use water bottles if you don’t have weights light enough to complete these reps!
  • Upright Rows
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Renegade Rows
  • Plank – :60 or more!

Bonus: Roll, Stretch and get ready to go long! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Day 21: Think Ahead…

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It’s Thursday and that means our long runs are right around the corner! Last weekend we had a few Crew members suffering through long runs because of super sore legs after Thursday’s leg workout…

Let’s keep that from happening again this weekend. Instead, you need to think ahead and do what is right for you.

Our 30 Day Challenge is about getting stronger to give you a leg up when it comes to your running. It’s about building strong bones to keep us pain free and running strong as we age. It’s about learning the positive side of adding strength to your routine to lose weight and increase your metabolism.  But it’s also about knowing your body and when to give it a rest or when to take it easy and be able to go the distance for races and long runs.

With that in mind, I want you to think ahead for the weekend. Do you have a tough long run or race coming up? If the answer is YES you should be taking it relatively easy today. Now, that doesn’t mean sit around and do nothing…but it does mean that if you do a hard leg workout, you’ll make it harder to reach your weekend goals, which makes you sad, and can cause you to go into next week with a negative attitude towards strength training.

The choice is yours, but I want you to be honest with yourself about your plans. Don’t skip the workout if you truly don’t have a tough workout ahead. If it’s an easy long run, a fall back week in your training, or a weekend where you don’t have a long run planned, push hard today. If you do have a tough workout ahead, do less sets (maybe 2 instead of 3, or 1 instead of 2), use less weight, or switch up your exercises and pick up an arm or core day that you missed this month.

It’s all about making it work for you and your goals. Thinking ahead will allow you to make the right decision for your body!

Want to go back and find a day that you missed? There’s a couple ways to do this. Here are some options…

  1. Go to and scroll down till you see the “search by keyword”box  in the left sidebar. You will find it just below our menu and just above the “Run Junkee Ambassador” logo. Type in “Day __” and you should easily be able to find the day you are looking for. If you are on a phone or tablet, this search box might not show up. so using this method you want to be on a PC so the whole blog is visible.
  2. Go to and scroll down till you see “Posts from
    the Past” in the left sidebar. Here you will find a list of posts from the past few weeks. You can click on the date you want to get that day’s “daily post”.
  3. Go into our Strong to the Facebook group and and use the “search” box to find links to the daily post you are looking for. You will want to type “Amy Magdalein Day __” You may have to scroll past some of my other posts but you will see a list of all our daily posts and can find what you are looking for.
  4. If you are on our blog, go ahead and take a minute to sign up to “follow this blog by email” which is on the left and right sidebar. This means you will get an email from me every time I publish a blog post. Make a “Strong to the Core” folder on your computer and save these emails and you will have them forever! While you’re there, take a look around. If you scroll down you will see our amazing #CoreCrew family pictures from the past year. 🙂

The point here is to listen to your body, take what you have learned from training runs in the past, and think ahead to what you have to do over the next few days. There are no “rules” in our Crew…no one will be upset with you for doing what is right for you, your training and your goals!

Day 21!

With that out of the way, on to Day 21! Today is leg day and includes exercises that are basic and familiar to us all. They can be done in a short amount of time but are essential for runners. If you do a quick search of strength exercises for runners, these will come up every time. For our squats, I’d like you to switch it up and do a different type of squat today. Check out the link next to “squats” below for a great list of squat variations you can try.

Day 21 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Day 21 Leg exercises: 2-3 x 10
  • Bonus: ROLL YOUR LEGS and STRETCH! This shouldn’t be a bonus but sometimes it helps to have it on the list so you will get it done! Click here for our 7 Key Stretches for Runners.
  • Speed Work: Click for this week’s speed workout >>> The Even Steven (If you are going long on Saturday, DO NOT do speed work today. The opportunity has passed and you need fresh legs for your long run. Plan better next week to get it done earlier so you have time to rest and recover!

Quick Morning Workout and Quick Before Bed Workout:


Day 21 Exercises: 2-3 x 10 – Click here for “how to” videos for today’s exercises

  • Squats – Your Choice – Click here for list of squat variations
  • Side Lunges – Go deep on each side and feel the stretch in your glutes and inner thighs
  • Clams (Resistance Band optional)
  • Reverse Clams (Resistance band optional)
  • Wall Sit – :60 or more!

Bonus: Roll your legs and stretch! Click here to find the live video I did a few weeks ago on rolling.

Thinking ahead about what we have going on over the weekend can make our break our long runs. A well laid out plan means making adjustments during the week that make sense for our personal needs.

So…what are your plans this weekend? Should you adjust today’s workout to ensure you’re not sore going into an important run? If so, how will you make today count while making sure you don’t sabotage those important long runs?

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Day 20: Have a Ball on Hump Day!

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Wednesday’s are by far my favorite day of our September Challenge! These exercises are tough but SO good for us. If you don’t have a stability ball, you can still do these exercises…modify them and do your best! The V-Pass can be done with a small ball or pillow and it a great core exercise!

Without further adieu….let’s get sweaty and have a ball!

Day 20 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Day 20 exercises: 2-3 x 10
  • Bonus: Stability Ball Back Extension
  • Speed Work: The Even Steven

Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout:

Day 20 exercises: 2-3 x 10 – Click here and scroll down for “how to” videos for today’s exercises! 

  • Stability Ball V-Pass
  • Stability Ball Leg Press
  • Stability Ball Crunches
  • Stability Ball Glute Bridges
  • Stability Ball Plank

Bonus: Stability Ball Back Extension – You can do it, put your back into it! Start with the stomach and hips on the ball, legs extended straight behind (toes resting on the ground). Hold onto the ball with the hands for balance. If this position is difficult to maintain due to slippery shoes, try placing the feet against a wall. Raise the chest high (like a yoga “cobra”), bringing the hands to the back of the head. Hold for a beat or two, and return to a relaxed position. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.

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Speed Work: 1/4 mile repeats at an “even steven” pace. Click here for this week’s workout.

End today’s workout with a good ab stretch and don’t kill all your hard work with unhealthy eating! Spend a minute with the stretch below then have a great day Crew!

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Day 19: Power From the Hips

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Most runners don’t realize exactly what powers their strides.

We picture power being generated in the running stride when the foot pushes off the ground, which is correct. But in the mental image that most people have, that “push” comes from the quads, much like a leg press, or the calves.

While it’s true that some of the power in the running stride comes from your quads and calves, the reality is that the quads and calves play only a minor role in your ability to generate a powerful stride compared to the hips, hamstrings and glutes!

The power these three muscle groups generate is a huge part of the running process because of the act of driving your entire upper thigh and leg backwards after your foot contacts the ground. The power for this movement is generated primarily from the hips, glutes and hamstrings, and it is perhaps the single most important factor in your ability to run faster and to stay on the road longer without injuries.

Our Day 19 exercises focus on strength and mobility in our hips, hamstrings and glutes…the three areas that make up our hip extension and help us power our legs backwards, which helps us power ourselves forward.

Day 19 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Day 19 exercises: 2-3 x 10
  • Bonus: Modern Mom/Dad Hip Strength
  • Extra Credit: Two Joint Hip Flexor Stretch
  • Speed Work: What is your plan?

Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout:

Day 19 Exercises: Click here and scroll down for “how to” videos for today’s exercises

  • Donkey Kicks
  • Fire Hydrants
  • Side Lying Leg Raises
  • Single Leg Bridge
  • Wall Sit – :60 or more!

Bonus: Modern Mom/Dad Hip Strength – One of the Crew’s favorite bonus videos. 4 minutes per leg and a GREAT hip workout!

Extra Credit!: Two-Joint Hip Flexor Stretch – We have some great hip stretches like the pigeon pose but this is another good one to add to our arsenal. Try it and let me know what you think!

Lie flat on your back on a table or elevated surface (a bed works) with your legs just off the edge. Bring both your knees to your chest. Scoop both hands under one leg and then let the other leg drop down below the edge of the table or surface. Let your leg drop as far as you can while holding the other leg to your chest with your hands. Repeat 8 to 10 times on each leg.

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 4.53.14 PMToday’s exercises will help improve the power in your hip extension and develop the flexibility you need to create a more powerful stride. Take your time with them and keep your form in mind as you perform each exercise.

Leg day is always a good day for runners…and our hips, glutes and hamstrings are an important part of our legs. Hope you make it a priority!

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Day 18: Rise Up & Attack!

It’s Monday again y’all and with only 13 days left in the month, it’s time to find your motivation and Rise Up & Attack the day with enthusiasm!

Lots of miles over the weekend means we need to give our legs a rest day, so it’s a good thing it’s arm day with a little core work thrown in. 🙂

Before we move on to today’s exercises, I want you to take a minute to think about your run this weekend. What did you do with your arms when your legs got tired? If you use a run/walk, how did you hold your arms when your walk break came? Did you use your arms to push you forward and help you keep moving? Or did you let your arms hang down and drag you down?

Our arms can make or break us in one of our really tired moments. If you remember to use your arms to your advantage, they can help you keep moving forward when your legs are ready to give out.

Running practice: This week, I want you to keep your arms in mind when your running. Consciously use your arms to push you forward during your run! To do this, push your elbows back…don’t pull your elbows forward. If you use a run/walk, don’t let your arms drop and hang by your side when you’re walking. Keep you arms up and elbows pushing backwards to propel you forward. If you keep this little trick in mind, it will help you physically keep that forward movement, and it will help you keep your spirits high when things seem to be going south.

Day 18 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Day 18 exercises: 2-3 x 10
  • Bonus
  • Speed Work Plan

Quick Morning Workout & Quick Before Bed Workout: 

Day 18 Exercises: 2-3 x 10

  • Bicep Curls
  • Hammer Curls
  • Tricep Overhead Extension
  • Chest Presses
  • Forearm Plank – :60 or more!

Bonus: Straight Arm Plank – One more Plank using straight arms to really feel the burn! Shoot for :60 or more!

Speed Work: The Even Steven (Track or road workout)

Warm Up: Walk or jog to warm up (1-2 miles)

Workout: Run 4-8 laps around the track or a 1/4 mile each on the road. Try to run each loop or 1/4 mile at the same pace (within five seconds faster or slower than the previous loop).

Cool Down: 1-2 miles at easy pace + 3-5 minutes walking at the end

Total mileage = 3-6 miles with warm up and cool down depending on how many sets of speed work you do.

What it does: This workout builds endurance and teaches you to maintain a steady, consistent effort, which is what you’ll want to do in your race. Runners of all abilities tend to just start running as fast as they can, until they tire out and have to quit.  Knowing that you have 4-8 loops or 1/4 mile sets to do, you’ll learn to start your first loop at an easier pace and get into a rhythm that you can maintain for each set.

Are you ready to find your Monday motivation, then RISE UP & ATTACK the day with enthusiasm? I AM! That Fresh Monday enthusiasm looks good on you and will set the tone for the week!

Let’s do this Crew!

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Days 16 & 17: Celebrate EVERY SINGLE MILE!

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There’s always a lot of talk about speed, pace, distance…

Today that is all going out the window. Because what it comes down to is not how far you go, or how fast you go…it only matters that you go.

Yes we have goals, yes we have races, yes we have training plans that tell us how far to run and how long it “should” take. But sometimes all that hype takes away the real reason we started our journey. It takes away the love we have for this sport, it takes away the joy we feel when we go out and pound pavement and sweat out the week’s stress.

So this weekend, I want us to celebrate EVERY SINGLE MILE. Be proud and LOUD if your weekend long run is 1 mile or 20 miles. Rejoice in your accomplishments and cheer on your fellow Crew members as we go out and purge ourselves of worry, stress, anger, and whatever else life has thrown at us.

Because in the end, running is never about  being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be. When you are out doing what you love, it doesn’t matter how fast you did it, or how far you went. It just matters that you laced, showed up, up and hit the road.

Let’s pend some pavement and celebrate EVERY SINGLE MILE Crew! xoxoxo

***Don’t forget your #QMW & #QBBW!***

As always, make it work for you. Switch up the days and run on Sunday and do some short activity and stretching to get ready or get your run done on Saturday and spend Sunday relaxing (after active recovery and yoga 😉 )

Day 16 exercises: Hip Hurdles & Leg Swings (dynamic warm up) + Long Run + Wall Sit (:60 or more) + 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Don’t forget to roll! 🙂

Day 17 exercises: Active Recovery + Yoga & Stretching (Yoga options below)

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