Days 15 & 16: Believe in Yourself!

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Tough workout ahead…but you’re going to make it look easy because you believe in yourself and that makes ANYTHING possible!

Legs and arms today…plus our favorite Modern Mom/Dad Hip Strength routine as a bonus. I know we 4 sets of 10 sounds like a lot but these exercises are quick and you will fly through it. And anyway…you believed in Santa for like 8 years…you can believe in yourself and handle a good 30 minute workout! 🙂

Don’t forget your speed work! I’ve already seen a bunch of good speed this week and I want to see more! I’m heading to track this morning and I might not go all out since I am still in recovery mode from New York, but I’m going! Are you getting out there for your speed work or are you making excuses? I know I know…not everyone cares about getting faster. That’s ok! Speed work has MANY benefits! Should I tell you about them again? Sure! Check out the benefits beyond getting faster to speed work below!

Here we go Crew. Believe in yourself and you WILL fly through today’s workout!

Wednesday – Day 15: 4 sets of 10 with 1 minute rest between sets (“how to” videos below)

  • Teeter Totter
  • Single Leg Jump Rope
  • Pistol Squats
  • Crocodile Rows
  • Sit Up & Twist with Dumbbell
  • Side Push Ups
  • High Side Plank (:30 per side per round)

Bonus: Modern Mom/Dad Hip Strength – It’s been a while since we’ve done any hip specific exercises so today is the day! 4 minutes per leg. Feel the burn and push through it!


Thursday – Day 16: Cardio Strength! – Bust out 1 round and you are done!

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Speed Work: Cruise Intervals

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Benefits of speed work beyond getting faster:

But first, a couple myths about speed work…

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

Speed work refers to a type of running workout in which you are running for certain intervals near, at, or even faster than your VO2max pace. Your VO2max is a measure of how much oxygen your body can use; most runners will hit their VO2max pace around their 5K to 3K (2-mile) pace.

You don’t need to be knocking out 5-minute miles in order to do mile repeats. Every runner can benefit from speed work. 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! Perform 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. It all counts.

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

While there’s nothing wrong with doing shorter speed workouts on the track, doing your speed work on the roads or a paved trail offers lots of benefits. The varying terrain mimics what you will encounter on race day, especially if you 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 your risk of injury.

So why should you do speed work?

  1. During speed training, you maximally activate your slow-twitch muscles and intermediate muscle fibers, which increases your aerobic capacity. Your aerobic capacity is essential to running any distance, whether it’s a mile or a marathon.
  2. Speed work also increases your production of myoglobin, which is a protein found in your muscles. Myoglobin transports oxygen to the mitochondria in your muscles, which in turn produce ATP to give your muscles energy. So, as you increase your myoglobin, you improve your body’s ability to quickly transport oxygen to the muscles for energy, making you able to run faster and making it easier for you to run longer! Speed work is uniquely beneficial in this aspect, as research indicates that high-intensity running is the best way to develop myoglobin.
  3. Finally, speed work will help you adapt your 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 your muscles store carbohydrates for easy energy conversion. The larger these stores, the longer you can keep running before hitting the wall. Speed work rapidly depletes your glycogen stores, thus sending signals to your muscles that they need to adapt to store more carbs for energy on future runs.

Even marathoners who aren’t concerned with super fast times need to do speed work because speed work develops your fast-twitch muscles. While these muscles are dominantly used in shorter, faster races, when your slow-twitch muscles fatigue during a marathon your body will recruit your fast-twitch muscles. Training your fast-twitch muscles improves your running economy and your ability to keep running when you get tired, very important for any race distance.

Speed work is recommended no matter what race goal you have, even if your goal is just to finish. Depending on the distance you are racing, the distance of your speed work will vary, but no matter what, you WILL benefit from doing a weekly speed workout!

This week’s workout will be similar to a tempo run, but with VERY short recovery breaks so technically is it not a tempo run, which is why we are calling it “cruise intervals.” You will be cruising along, then back off the gas pedal every once in a while to recover, then hit the gas again when the light turns green. 😉

The Workout: Total of 4-8 miles with 2-4 at tempo pace with a :15 recovery jog every .25 miles.

If you are able to run this workout on the track, you will run 400M then without completely stopping, you will jog in circles for :15 then take off again. Similarly, if you are running on the road, you will run at tempo pace for a quarter mile, then take a :15 recovery jog before getting moving again.

A tempo run starts with a warm up and this workout does as well. So start with a 1-2 mile easy jog to get your legs moving and your breathing under control. Then you will go right into your first .25 cruising speed. Your tempo pace is about 20 seconds slower than your 10K pace. If you haven’t ran a 10K recently, that’s ok. Find your most recent 5K or half marathon race pace, then message me and I will let you know what your 10K pace is and we will add :20.

Once you’ve gotten to 2-4 miles (depending on what you are training for and where you’re at in your training, back off the pace and do a full 1-2 mile cool down.

Training for:

  • 5K = 1 mile warm up + 2 miles of speed + 1 mile cool down – Total of 4 miles
  • 10K = 1-1.5 mile warm up + 2.5 miles of speed + 1-1.5 mile cool down – Total of 5-6 miles
  • Half Marathon = 2 mile warm up + 3 miles of speed + 2 mile cool down – Total of 7 miles
  • Marathon = 2 mile warm up + 4 miles of speed + 2 mile cool down – total of 8 miles

This may sound scary and bring on some anxiety, but don’t overthink it. Remember, this is training and it is PRACTICE! If it doesn’t go exactly as planned, that is OK! We get better at finding our pace and regulating our breathing every time we get through a tough workout. Just do your best….and by that I  mean go out and run with your heart! With practice, you’ll discover that there’s about a five-second window of optimum recovery between your interval sets. You’ll feel it when it arrives. If you feel like you need more recovery time during each repeat, you are going too fast.

As always, I am here to chat so reach out and ask if you have questions!


Day 15 “how to” videos: Watch the videos below to see how to do our exercises properly to avoid injury!

Teeter Totter: Teeter Totters develop balance and strength in the ankle and hamstrings of the stable leg. This exercise is great for runners to increase their speed and stability.

Single Leg Jump Rope (with OR without a jump rope): Great drill for balance and more efficient running! If you don’t have a jump rope, that is OK, pretend you do!

Pistol Squats: This is a tough one leg exercise but AWESOME for leg AND hip strength. This video is a little long but he explains how to do Pistol Squats and what level you should start at. Don’t try to go all out and go to the floor unless you have kept up with this exercise since we did it last and have mastered it. Start from a chair or a high bench. If you start too big, you will get hurt or at least fall over and give up. And we are NOT quitters! 🙂

Crocodile Rows: The Crocodile Row exercise works your back, shoulders, biceps, and abs. I love this move because it is quick and effect. Check it out.

Sit Up & Twist with Dumbbell: Another new favorite of mine as it works our abs and our arms. It’s not as hard as you think, but it will give you a great burn!

Side Push Ups: This exercise targets our triceps (important for runners) and our chest muscles. 10 each set…totally doable!

Side Planks: Make sure your feet are stacked and tighten that core!

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