Day 9: Legs + Abs on Monday!

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Last week Maria Masciello sent me some info on a book called Running Rewired: Reinvent Your Run for Stability, Strength & Speed, and after looking over it, I was super excited and ordered it right away. The author, Jay Dicharry, a sports physiologist and biomechanics expert, has very similar views as I do on how to train smarter and get better results. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see a lot of info from Dicharry’s book in our daily posts. You’ll see quotes and a good bit of paraphrasing to keep it short but still get the main points across. I hope you take the time to read our daily posts because there’s some good info coming your way!

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Introduction: Setting Yourself Up for Success

“There’s that feeling that you get after you crush a workout, hit a new PR on race day, or beat your friend to the top of the local hill. It’s a feeling of success…and it feels good, really good.”

First place isn’t awarded to the person who trains the hardest. Instead, the winners nail the fundamentals, which allows them to train consistently and successfully. You have to put in the miles to get fit, but you also have to be smart and make sure you are doing the little things that keep you running strong injury free. This idea doesn’t just apply to those who cross the finish line first. There are things that runners of all abilities should be doing outside of running to improve their running.

“How you run is an expression of you and your experience. You probably aren’t a Tarahumara Indian and you probably aren’t a Kenyan. We all envy the perfect posture, leg drive and effortless springy gait of these runners. That idealized stride wasn’t a result of being born at elevation or bestowed with great genetics. It was built through skilled movement. It was lifestyle that wired these runners’ bodies for postural alignment and efficient muscle recruitment, first as children playing in the field, later working in those fields, and eventually through a lot of hard training that led them to beat the entire field. It’s not the case that these elites are “born to run” but rather that their bodies have “adapted to run.” It should come as no surprise that our own lifestyle, built around modern conveniences and topped off with a bunch of running doesn’t produce the same results.”

Makes sense right? We aren’t “born to run” we have to work for it. And our lifestyle puts us at an even greater disadvantage from those who incorporate movement into their every day life. The skill of movement is critical, yet most of the time, we aren’t moving. We are a very sedentary society which means we are starting out weak and most of the time, we are still. We sit a lot, we take elevators, we park close to the store instead of walking, we even take the moving walkway at the airport. We take every opportunity to move less. Then the repetitive nature of running means most of us take that body that really doesn’t know how to move straight out to the streets and start racking up the mileage. So how do we fix it? How do we move better?

Dicharry says, “It starts with a little secret. Your body drives your running form. Form follows function and in running, form also follows function. So in order to run more efficiently, we need to be able to move better.”

Under stress, fatigue, with the hot sun beating down on us, or when our body is so cold we feel frozen, we need to know how to move. It needs to come naturally. We want to be able to feel smooth, efficient, and less stressed. We need to master the skill of movement in order to become a better runner.

Running Rewired is about working on a plan to move better. It requires you to do the little things…but if you take the time and make the effort, you will rewire your body so you can move more efficiently and run better.

Sounds good right? I’m excited and I can’t wait to learn more and share it with you. We’ll go through this chapter by chapter together so there is much more to come. The book outlines specific workouts that we can do to improve our skills and move more fluidly, which will lead to more efficient running. That is to come. For now…let’s work on our leg strength and getting our abs ready for bathing suit weather. 🙂

Day 9 exercises:

  • Crunches – 3 x 10
  • Sally Leg Raises – 1 round
  • Split Squats – 2 x 15 (each leg)
  • Single Leg Balance (front, side & Back) – 2 x 10
  • Plank & Wall Sit – :60 each

Day 9 “how to” for Split Squat and Single Leg Balance and Reach:

Sally Leg Raises: 3 minutes Crew. Follow along with me and let’s get it done together!

Bonus: Strong Legs Workout for Running – Strength and Stability – Watch the video then go through the exercises from this workout. GO BAREFOOT for this workout!

**I am not endorsing the protein powder available at the end of this video. I have never tried it.**

Today’s bonus is 2 sets of 10 for each exercise.

  1. Bulgarian Split Squat
  2. Step Up/ Step down into Lunge
  3. Lateral Lunge
  4. Single Leg Deadlift

Speed Work: Fartlek Options – Below are two fartlek options for your speed work this week. They can be done on a track or on the road. These will be much easier to get through without having to constantly check your watch for time or distance, so try to program the workout into your Garmin. This is a simple process you can do online through Garmin Connect.

  1. Long & Short Fartlek Workout – This workout is for those who are training for longer distance races. 15K, Half & Full Marathons. This is not a quick workout so you must plan ahead and make the time to do the full workout, warm and cool down included! The main workout (after warm up) is 39 minutes. With warm up and cool down you are looking at 70-90 minutes.
  2. Simple Fartlek Workout – This is a shorter fartlek workout and is prefect for those of you who are training for a 5K or 10K. This workout is 7 minutes and should be released at least twice so the “speed” portion should take 14-21 minutes. That does not include your warm up and cool down. In total this workout should take you around 45-60 minutes. Do not skip the warm up or cool down. It is part of the workout!

If you’re not sure what your 3K, 5K, or 10K pace is, please reach out to me and let’s figure it out. Remember to start on the slower side and speed up as you go.


If you do one of these workouts on Monday, you better be able to show me you did your long run last Thursday or Friday. If you raced or went long over the weekend, DO NOT do this workout on Monday!

That’s all for now Crew. It’s Monday and you know what the Monday rule is….

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