Days 1 & 2: No Excuses

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We can choose to make excuses, or we can choose to start the month striving for excellence! Which way will you go?

I’m running a marathon in 4 days; I could make the excuse that I need to rest and that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad choice, but will that lead to a successful month? For me, it’s important to start strong, with no excuses. Maybe I won’t push as hard as I would on another day, but I will not start the month with excuses!

Will you?


Today is legs and core, a great day to get fired up and strive for excellence!

Day 1: Legs & Core – 3 sets of 20 with a 1 minute rest between sets. Include a :30 side plank (each side) at the end of each round so you will do a total of 3 :30 side planks on each side. (“how to” videos at the bottom of the page)

  • Speed Skaters
  • :60 Wall Sit
  • Jump Squats
  • :60 Wall Sit
  • One Legged Heel Raise
  • Tricep Dips
  • :60 Plank
  • Upright Rows
  • :60 Plank
  • Sit Up + Twist with Dumbbell
  • Side Plank – :30 each side

Day 2: Fitness at Home Workout – quick and simple exercises you can do first thing in the morning to start your day right!

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Speed Work: Lots of great speed work already in the books this week, but I would love to see some more! Remember, getting faster is NOT the only reason we do speed work. We also benefit from an increased ability to process oxygen and faster leg turnover, both which translate into EASIER long runs!

This week’s workout is a repeat of last week’s mile repeats but with an added push. Hold that pace longer by adding an extra mile or speed up those miles by :05 to :10 seconds. Dig deep and hold strong….you can do this!

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No time for more chatting….get up and get moving! xoxoxoxo — Amy

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Day 1 “how to” videos:

Speed Skaters: This exercise trains lateral agility. The muscles targeted are the core and the stabilizers.

Wall Sit: The wall sit is a really great exercise to target the entire thigh area, your quad, your inner thigh, the back of the leg, the hamstring, and your glutes. Let’s build up strength and hold strong!

Jump Squats: Squat Jumps are a plyometric exercise that burn a high number of calories and tone the glutes and thighs fast!

One Legged Heel Raise: A great exercise for strengthening your legs, hips and core muscles.

Tricep Dips: You can do these from a chair or a bench, or even on the floor.

Plank: The plank is a great core exercise that doesn’t involve doing any crunches. In fact, the basic plank doesn’t involve moving at all. This is referred to as an isometric exercise.

Upright Rows: Tip – Your elbows should drive the motion. As you lift the dumbbells, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms. Keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Sit Up and Twist with Dumbbell: One of my new favorites. Power through it!

Side Planks: Great tutorial for beginners up to seasoned plankers. This is a great core exercise!

Mandarin 10K and 5K by Bailey’s Health & Fitness

The Mandarin 10K & 5K was my first EVER 10K in 2011 when I had no idea running would be such a huge part of my life! I struggled through this one but what a memory!

Mandarin is a beautiful area to run in, especially down Mandarin road. It’s tree shaded and the view is lovely! The race starts and finishes at the Bailey’s Gym on San Jose at Loretto Road (11740 San Jose Blvd.) and will follow a large loop around Mandarin. The course is flat and fast! Runs through a nice residential neighborhoods, and of course this race is USA Track and Field certified!

Finishers of both the 5K and 10K will receive custom medals and there is free food and drinks at the finish line!

That’s not all….great music will be playing and there will be drawings for prizes!

This is one of the few 10Ks we have in our area so if you’re ready…now is the time! Of course, the 5K is really fun too so whatever distance is your favorite, this is a perfect race to sign up for!

Bring out the family to watch the speed and agility of our fastest Jax runners, these people fly through the course so if you blink you will miss them!

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But don’t worry…there is plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the sunshine while they wait for their favorites to cross….YOU!

Don’t miss out on this fantastic fall race put on by 1st Place Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe! Stop by your local Tropical Smoothie Cafe on the way to the race and grab some fuel so you can go the distance. Then show up early and get in a good warm up because this race is FAST!

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If you’re ready to sign up or need more info there’s lots of places to look! Check out the links below, follow them on all your favorite social media site, and get signed up. Its almost time to go for a run! 🙂

1st Place Sports

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

What are you waiting for? This medal is pretty….let’s go for a run and earn some bling!

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Day 30: Finish Strong!

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Last day of our October Challenge and no one noticed that there was no Day 30 on the calendar?!? It wasn’t a trick…I must’ve erased it somehow before I saved it…oh well!

Before we get to our Monday workout, we have a #GreenSqooshPlease winner! ONLY 4 people out of 114 Crew members rolled and stretched on Friday before our long runs?? That makes me sad! Well 5 really because I did! Hopefully many more of you did and just missed the contest or forgot to post it… yes I’m gonna go with that! 🙂

Ok..so the 4 people who did participate in our Sqoosh contest and posted with #GreenSqooshPlease were Meghan Kennedy, Sharon Bolton, Jennifer Stoner and Kristy Corino. Great job ladies!

Our Green Sqoosh winner is…. (insert drum roll….)

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Congratulations Kristy! I will get the Sqoosh in the mail to you ASAP! Hope you love it! 🙂


On to Day 30!

Instead of more squats…which is probably what was on our calendar…how about we finish the month strong with a Cardio/Strength Workout! It is the last day of the month so we want to go hard, and one round just isn’t going to do it. 2 rounds minimum but 3 rounds is so much better! Come on Crew let’s finish October with a cardio strength BANG!

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Speed Work: This week’s speed work is the same as last week because mile repeats are awesome and a great way for us to build up stamina and strength! This week, I want you to push a little harder, hold on a little longer, or add 1 more mile to your workout! Take a look at your numbers from last week and give it a little more UMPH! Still not sure how to do speed work, or confused about what pace you should be aiming for? PLEASE reach out to me! I don’t want this workout to cause anxiety or be confusing. I am here to help you so don’t be shy…message me and let’s chat!

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Tuesday, October 31st, is a rest day from strength work since our challenge always runs for 30 days. Does this mean do nothing? Of course not! Be active, go for a run, do your speed work, stretch and roll!

New calendar is coming! But for now….

FINISH STRONG!

Days 28 & 29: Warm Up or Just Run?

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Running involves sacrifices. We sacrifice time with our family and friends, sleep, fun nights out, and sometimes even a fun night in after a hard day at work…all because we need to get in our miles.

So when we step out the door to start our run, of course we just want to start running!

But this rush to get it going can mean the difference between a great long run and a soul crushing, painful long run…and it could spell disaster in the form of an injury.

Most runners want to get faster and avoid injury. This is where we really have to weigh up how best to spend the time we have for running. Faced with a choice of either A: Run for 10 minutes longer or B: Do a 10 minute warm-up. Which would you choose?

I’d put money on A!

A pre-run warm up does take a few of those precious minutes but if it means the difference between a good run and a bad run, and the ability to stay injury free, isn’t it worth it?

You say, “Ok, but I do a nice slow warm up jog before I really get going.” For most runners, this slow paced first mile is thought to be enough to prepare the body for what it is about to endure, and some runners seem to get by on just this, but whether they are forsaking some of their true potential is another question. The point is, given that 30- 70% of runners (depending on the source) get injured every year, maybe you shouldn’t put too much faith in what the masses do?

Think about this question posed by RunningCompetitor.com,

If I asked you to at this moment to perform two thousand hops for me, you would probably question whether your legs are up to the task. And yet, running is essentially that – an extended series of hopping from one leg to the other whilst trying to minimise ground contact time (with some help from gravity, depending on the efficiency of your running form), dealing with forces of around 2.5 times your body weight each time your foot hits the ground. An easy mile at a 12-minute pace involves approximately 1,951 steps (hops), compared to 1,064 for a 6-minute-mile (Boise State University). Are you still happy to leave your house and go straight into an easy mile warm up?

For a distance runner, there is no doubt that improving your aerobic capacity is crucial. The more oxygen your muscles are able to utilise as you run, the more energy you will have and the faster you will be able to run over that distance.

However, the aerobic system is only one of two factors involved in developing running performance. The other is neuromuscular fitness, the ability of your brain to communicate and activate muscles while you are running.

Traditional training focuses on developing the efficiency of the heart, lungs, and muscles, but it is your brain that controls all of these. Your running form, efficiency, economy, power, stride length, stride frequency and ultimately your ability to combat fatigue are all neuromuscular in nature. And none of them will be developed just by focusing on aerobic fitness.

Maybe most important, it is likely that poor form, efficiency, economy and fatigue are major factors in injury. So instead of thinking of your warm up as time wasted “not running”, think of your warm up as an opportunity to “switch your brain on” and to “wake up” the communication between your brain and muscles in preparation for a safe run. A chance to practice movement patterns that promote a more efficient running form which can delay the fatigue and pain that has been holding you back and opening you up to injuries!

If you go straight into an easy paced mile as a warm-up, you run the risk of launching into 1,951 poorly performed slow hops, perfect preparation for 1,200 to 1,500 poorly performed faster hops every mile once you dial up the pace.

All this to say that this weekend, we are still doing our leg swings and hip hurdles, but we are also adding a few more key moves to wake up our muscles AND our brain. We’re going to turn on the communication between our systems that will allow us to run more efficiently and safer for the long road ahead of us.

Sounds good right? 🙂 Here we go!

Day 28: Long Run

The “Lunge Matrix” involves a variety of stimulating moves that require concentration, which is key to stimulating the brain. This means working muscles in all three planes of movement – forwards & backwards (sagittal plane), sideways (frontal plane) and rotational (transverse plane). The Lunge Matrix does this. Since it is the first thing you are going to do before anything else, it is important that you start with small dip “baby” lunges until you feel the body beginning to  warm-up. Once you do feel warmer and the knees are ready to flex to 90 degrees, ten lunges for each of the five versions below is generally sufficient.

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Leg Swings and Hip Hurdles: So simple and so effective. These are dynamic warm up moves you should never leave out of your warm up.

Leg Swings – Forward, backward and sideways

Hip Hurdles: Forward and backward

Now you’re ready to go for your run! It’s still important to start slow to warm up your cardiovascular system, but now your brain is firing on all cylinders too.

Finish it off with a :60 Wall Sit, legs up the wall and some nice easy stretching and you’ve done everything you can do to stay healthy and injury free!

Day 29: Active Recovery and Yoga for Runners

The day after our long run is another important day when we have to make some sacrifices. No they don’t take long, but they will make a difference in how you feel on Monday and Tuesday! Ensuring that you get in some activity and stretching the day after you punished your body, will help you walk straighter and with less soreness and you can do it in front of your TV, and with your family. So get up, go for a walk, a bike ride, an easy SHORT run, then finish the day with some Yoga for Runners!

That’s all for now Crew, GO RUN!

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Day 27: Too Easy to Skip!

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Saw the workout and was like, “Wait…this is too easy!” It’s Day 27, almost the end of the month and we should be going much harder than this what was I thinking?

But it is what it is…so easy day it is! It’s ok though because it’s almost the weekend, almost Halloween! Are you racing or going long this weekend? Or tapering like me?

No matter what is on your plan, today’s exercises are TOO EASY TO SKIP! So don’t!

Day 27 exercises: Arms & Abs

  • 100 Russian Twists
  • 30 Push Ups
  • :60 Plank
  • 50 Crunches
  • :60 Plank
  • 30 Push Ups
  • :60 Plank

Bonus: Sit up with Dumbbell Twist – 3 sets of 10 (each side) 

We’re a little light on the ab work today and this is one of my favorite new moves this month so let’s throw it in as a bonus!

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Pretty easy day right? Plenty of time for some easy extra credit! Bust out today’s workout then ROLL, STRETCH and let’s get ready for a fabulous weekend! Once you get this VERY IMPORTANT part of your workout done, tag your post with #GreenSqooshPlease for entry into today’s contest!

I will draw one random winner to win this green #Sqoosh!

Bust it out and let’s get ready for a fabulous weekend Crew!

Days 25 & 26: Breathe, Believe & Go To Battle!

 

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Oh Lordy, don’t kill me! I know right about now you’re rolling your eyes and grumbling under your breath, but know I wouldn’t give you something you can’t handle! Your legs are sore…I get it! But it’s that GOOD sore and you CAN do this!

Take a deep breathe, believe in yourself and your strong legs, and go to battle!

Remember…one more tough leg day then you get a nice long break till next week. You can do this Crew!

Day 25: Legs & Arms – Break these into sets however it works best for you (“how to” video for Bicep Curl + Hammer Curl at bottom)

  • 200 Squats – You can switch these up with a couple different variations of squats but not too many. Two – three tops. You want that repetitive motion (using your best form!) to get those quads burning!
  • :60 Wall Sit
  • 50 Bicep Curl + Hammer Curl
  • :60 Plank
  • 100 High Knees
  • :60 Wall Sit
  • 50 Push Ups
  • :60 Plank

Day 26: Quick Workout – #DailyAbs x 3 – You can get in 3 rounds of this awesome ab workout in under 10 minutes. Take a :60 rest between sets and go to battle again!

Daily Abs

Speed Work: Mile Repeats – (Posted from Monday) If you are going long on Saturday, today is your day for speed work! If you are going long on Sunday, you have till tomorrow to get it done…but why wait? Go ahead and get in this workout, it’s a good one!

This week we’re turning up the heat and trying out some mile repeats! This is not an easy workout, but it’s not as hard as you think it is. The mile repeats will be at the average pace you would run a 10K race in. NOT the pace you would run 6 miles in on a normal Tuesday….the pace you would RACE a 10K at, but only for one mile at a time. You’re going to run one mile at a time, then stop and rest, walk or jog for three minutes. That’s three whole minutes you get to take it easy, then you do another mile at your 10K race pace.

Not sure what your 10K pace is? I can help you figure it out, but you have to ask! You know how to reach me!

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One hard day then one easy day. Get through it Crew, I know you can. Just breathe, believe then go to battle! 🙂

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Bicep Curl + Hammer Curl “how to” – I think this is the only exercise that might not be familiar to some of you so check out this video to see how to do it correctly!

I like to do these together so bicep curl then hammer curl switching it up throughout your set. Just make sure you are using the proper arm adjustments and not swinging up. Use those muscles!

 

 

Days 23 & 24: #OHMYQUADS

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Ready for a killer Quad and Glute burn? What better day than Monday to set those legs on FIRE!! Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 3.59.48 PM.png

Bodyweight exercises are awesome because we can use them for a great workout anywhere. And perhaps the king of all bodyweight exercises, is the squat. Squats are the king because they provide a great workout for multiple muscle groups, including the butt, thighs, and core.

Doing a large number of squats means you’ll be training for muscular endurance and strength, which leads to strong legs that will carry us the distance and that toned look we all crave! But instead of just doing 220 regular squats, we need to make sure we are performing them correctly to get the most out of our workout session.

Mix in the Counterbalance Box Squat along with your regular squats today and focus on putting all your weight into your heels and pushing through your glutes. This type of squat is designed to help us work on our form. The only real difference is holding a small weight and pushing your arms out in front of you to counterbalance your weight going backwards. Adding this small move will force you to keep your chest and chin high and improve your balance and arm strength. Don’t choose a heavy weight, you just need something small and manageable. It can be a dumbbell, plate weight or a medicine ball.

COUNTERBALANCE BOX SQUAT – “how to” video is below

  • With your feet shoulder width apart and a small weight in both hands, squat while pushing your arms out on front of you. Work towards getting you arms level with your shoulders. If you can’t get them high enough, use a smaller weight.
  • As you descend make sure your knees are tracking over your toes.
  • Return to the starting position by pushing through your heels and squeezing your glutes.

Along with a serious quad and glute workout, we’re firing up our core with Russian Twists and high knees. High knees do hit our abs, but you must engage them and use your core strength to bring your knees up to a 90 degree angle with your torso.

Alright Crew let’s do this!

Day 23: Legs & Core

  • 220 (20/20 set mix between regular and counterbalance box squats with weight)
  • 100 Russian Twists
  • :60 Plank
  • 100 High Knees
  • :60 Wall Sit
  • :60 Plank

Day 24: #QuickFixWorkout – Come on it’s Tuesday. One of those blah days…past Monday but not half way through the week yet. Don’t let Tuesday pass without activating your muscles and getting moving! 1 – 3 sets! 

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Speed Work: Mile Repeats

This week we’re turning up the heat and trying out some mile repeats! This is not an easy workout, but it’s not as hard as you think it is. The mile repeats will be at the average pace you would run a 10K race in. NOT the pace you would run 6 miles in on a normal Tuesday….the pace you would RACE a 10K at, but only for one mile at a time. You’re going to run one mile at a time, then stop and rest, walk or jog for three minutes. That’s three whole minutes you get to take it easy, then you do another mile at your 10K race pace.

Not sure what your 10K pace is? I can help you figure it out, but you have to ask! You know how to reach me!

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Day 23 “how to” videos:

Counterbalance Box Squat with weight:

Russian Twists: One of my other favorite exercises is the Russian Twist. A modification, if you’re new to this, is to keep your heels on the floor and lean back slightly. If you are a more advanced, you can bring your legs up and cross them but this video shows you the modified version. Take your medicine ball, lean back, you should already feel the contraction in the abs, and then you’re just going to tap the ball from side to side. If you’re feeling adventurous, bring the legs up for a greater burn.

High Knees: High knees is a high-intensity, cardiovascular exercise that gets your blood pumping while engaging our core and strengthening our legs.

Finish off the day with a wall sit and a plank and your Monday is done!

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