Days 9 & 10: Motivation Monday & Take it Easy Tuesday!

It’s Monday again so it’s time for a good hard workout. Work hard, stay positive and make it happen on Monday then we can relax and take an easy day on Tuesday!

Monday is legs and core & Tuesday is a No Nonsense Circuit. Let’s get to work, knock it out and have a great start to our week!

Day 9: Legs and Core

  • 100 Squats
  • 40 Fire Hydrants (per leg)
  • 40 Monster Walks (with or without resistance band)
  • 50 Crunches on Stability Ball
  • 100 Bicycles
  • 40 Standing Side Crunch
  • Plank – :60

Day 10: Quick Workout – #NoNonsenseCircuit – this looks a little longer but these are all quick moves and this whole circuit can be done in less than 10 minutes. You just have to keep moving and get through it. Get up early and knock it out Crew!

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Speed Work: Speed work is an essential part of training for any runner. No matter if you are training for your first 5K, or your 50th marathon, speed work has many benefits…and they go beyond helping us run faster.

Benefits of speed work include:

  1. Increased ability to process oxygen – Speed work increases our production of myoglobin, which is a protein found in our muscles. Myoglobin transports oxygen to the mitochondria in our muscles, which in turn produce ATP to give our muscles energy. So, as we increase our myoglobin, we improve our body’s ability to quickly transport oxygen to the muscles for energy, making us able to run faster.
  2. Maximal activation of our slow-twitch muscles and intermediate muscle fibers which increases our aerobic capacity. Our aerobic capacity is essential to running any distance, whether it’s a mile or a marathon.
  3. Help us adapt our body to store more glycogen. This is one of the reasons half and full marathoners should not neglect interval runs, since glycogen storage is essential to long distance running. Glycogen is the form in which our muscles store carbohydrates for easy energy conversion. The larger these stores, the longer we can keep running before hitting the wall. Speed work rapidly depletes our glycogen stores, thus sending signals to our muscles that they need to adapt to store more carbs for energy on future runs.

Let’s look at some of the myths surrounding speed work.

Myth #1: You need to be fast to do speed work.

No, you don’t need to be knocking out 5-minute miles in order to do mile repeats. Every runner can benefit from speed work. In fact, even if running faster is not one of your goals, speed work should still be a part of a well-rounded training program.

Speed work is performed relative to your running fitness and pace. Effort is what your body knows—not what someone else is running! Speed work is performed at an effort that hard for you, whether hard is a 6:00 minute mile, a 10:00 minute mile, or a 12 minute mile.

Myth #2: You must do speed work on a track.

The track can be a great place to do speed work: the distances are measured, we don’t have to stop for traffic, and the surface is smooth and flat.

While there’s nothing wrong with doing shorter speed workouts on the track, doing our speed work on the roads or a paved trail offers numerous benefits. The varying terrain mimics what we will encounter on race day, especially if we are racing a 5K or 10K on the roads. Some runners experience IT band issues from running circles around the track, so speed work on the roads may also decrease our risk of injury.

So what type of speed work should we be doing? Well, it depends on where we are at now and what we are training for. Shorter distance races call for less mileage speed work, but also means we have to push harder during those miles. Distance running, such as half and full marathon training require longer speed work sessions, at a pace that is pulled back just a bit so we have enough gas in the tank to finish the workout.

This week, we have options. Depending on what you are training for use the workouts below to decide what your plan of action is. Not sure what your “easy” or 10K pace is? Please reach out to me and let’s chat. Grab some recent stats and let’s figure out what pace you should be running these workouts at.

Remember that you want to put a couple days in between your long run and speed work in order to give your legs time to rest and recover before taxing them again. So unless you do your long run on Thursday or Friday, you shouldn’t be doing speed work on Monday! Nice, easy recovery runs tomorrow. 🙂

By the way, both of these workouts can be done on the track, on the road, or on the treadmill so there’s no reason why you can’t throw in some speed this week!

Day 9 “how to” videos: Today’s how to videos are below!

Squats: Targets your quads, calves, ankles and hamstrings to give you a strong base.

Donkey Kicks: Targets your Glutes, hamstrings and lower back, and this movement also helps strengthen your core.

Monster Walk with Resistance Band: (Can also be done without a resistance band but get low into your squat!) Physio exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the hip, glutes, quads and knee. Exercise to help with knee alignment and common injuries such as patellofemoral pain / kneecap alignment, weakness in the gluteals or after surgery. Also a good exercise for injury prevention in runners.

Stability Ball Crunches: Abdominal crunches are great core exercises, often mixed with balance balls for working other muscles as well. Doing crunches on the stability ball will make it a little harder since you have to have control and stability on your entire core. Great for anyone with back pain!

Bicycle Crunches: The Bicycle Crunch targets upper and lower abs, as well as the obliques.

Standing Side Crunch: Great for our core with an emphasis on our obliques. This video shows using our stability ball and I think this is a great addition! If you don’t have a stability ball you can still do this without any weight!

Plank: Planks are an isometric exercise that works our entire body. If you are new to planks, start small and build up your time. Break your :60 into 4 :15 planks with a quick break in between and work your way up to 1 minute. The video below shows how to work your way up to different planks, but start with a simple forearm plank. Start on your knees if you need too!

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