Day 12: Perfect Arms & Core for Runners

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 7.30.39 PM

We’re not perfect, but we can use our time to work on making our arms and core the best it can be. Today’s workout will help us get there!

At track this week, I saw lots of great form but one thing that we can all get better at is using our arms to propel us forward. How do we do that? We push backwards with our elbows! Pushing backwards helps to drive us forward, while pushing forward with our arms doesn’t give us nearly as much momentum. We have to think about these things while we’re running because it doesn’t come naturally. This is one of the things I’ve been reading about in Running Rewired…rewiring our brain through specific workouts and consistent practice to get our muscles used to the new way of moving. Eventually, this new way of moving will come naturally. But it takes time…and it takes practice! Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing more with y’all from the book soon!

For today, let’s work on perfecting the strength in our arms and abs!

Day 12 exercises:

  • Superman Hold – :75
  • Russian Twists – 3 x 30
  • Tank Top Arms – 2 rounds (see below)
  • High Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

Tank Top Arms – 2 rounds

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 4.00.49 PM

Bonus: The Core Challenge – You got this Crew go for it!

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 7.44.55 PM

Arms and Core Crew. Let’s do this!

Day 11: Mental Health Day

Mental Health Day YAY! Don’t forget your plank and wall sit though. :60 each and you are done!

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 7.42.55 AM

But wait…for most of us, exercise is a way to destress, and since we don’t have a list of strength exercises to do, Wednesdays are a GREAT day for speed work! This weeks speed work options are below. Stop procrastinating and get it done! Then you can relax and enjoy the endorphins…cause let me tell you speed work endorphins are pretty amazing! 🙂

If you’ve already done your speed work or if I can’t talk you into doing it, then go for a nice walk, bike ride or easy run. Just don’t be inactive. Moving improves our attitude and our mood so use it in a healthy, positive way that goes along well with caring for your mental health.

Day 11 exercises:

  • Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

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.

To me, the best way to promote good mental health is by living an active lifestyle. When we eat well and exercise, we feel good and we can deal with the other things that we don’t have as much control over. We need time to decompress and destress, but we know that this is something we strive for everyday….not just on Wednesdays.

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 6.54.13 PM

Day 9: Legs + Abs on Monday!

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 6.07.37 PM

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!

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 8.55.58 PM

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….

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 7.38.28 PM

Days 7 & 8: Running Long

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 6.33.21 PM

The long run has such wide-reaching benefits for runners. We see it work every year. The improvement most new runners experience is largely due to the cardiovascular development they acquire from running long.

Long runs deliver a slew of physiological benefits:

  • The heart gets stronger because it works harder to boost blood flow to the muscles in our legs, arms, and core. Our ventilatory capacity, the ability to move oxygen in and out of our lungs, increases as we develop our respiratory muscles.
  • Muscle strength and endurance improves because mitochondria (the energy-producing structures in cells) and capillaries (tiny blood vessels that transfer oxygen and waste products into and out of cells) become more dense.
  • Long runs also teach the body to use fat rather than glycogen, or stored sugar, as a fuel source. This saves our limited glycogen reserves for fast running at the end of a long run or marathon.
  • Going long also calluses you mentally and gives you confidence in your ability to cover many miles.

In order to reap the rewards of the long run, and avoid injury, keep the following principles in mind.

  1. NOT TOO FAST – Think conversational pace. For runners who race at close to their training speed, that’s 30 seconds to one minute per mile slower than 10K race pace. For experienced racehorses, it’s about one to 1:30 per mile slower than 10K race pace. You should be able to comfortably hold a conversation for the duration of your long run.
  2. GO FAR BUT NOT TOO FAR – You can add as little as 1-2 miles to your long run in the beginning, then as you gain fitness, you should add more. Adding another 1-2 miles each week or every other week will help you build up your endurance and gain the fitness you need to reach your race goals. You should work up to your long run being one and a half to twice as long as your normal-length run. Another way to determine distance is to make your longest run 20 to 30 percent of your overall weekly mileage. So if you’re running 40 miles a week, you could run eight to 12 miles for your long run. You may be surprised to know that even if you are training for a 5K, you should be running up to 8-12 miles for your long run. These longer distance runs will prepare you to go faster for shorter distances.

Bottom line is that the long run is beneficial to all runners, fast or slow, with short or long distance race goals….or no race goals at all. Running long builds strength, endurance, and grit. Whether you run with friends or solo, each week a long should be a part of your regular routine.

You are a runner. JUST RUN.

Day 7 exercises:

  • Warm Up – Leg Swings, Hip Hurdles & Lunge Matrix
  • Long Run
  • Wall Sit and Plank – :60 each
  • Legs up the Wall – 5-15 minutes
  • Roll and Stretch – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Day 8 exercises:

  • Plank & Wall Sit – :60 each
  • Active Recovery – Short run (20-30 min), bike ride, swim, long walk
  • Yoga for Runners – see link to options below
  1. Yoga for Runners – “Unknot Yourself”
  2. Yoga for Runners – “Tight Hips & Legs”
  3. Yoga Poses for Runners

Day 6: Killer Abs

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 8.49.31 PM

Yesterday was killer arms…today, we work on killer abs!

Keeping it short and swat tonight Crew cause I am meeting Maria and Meghan early tomorrow and I am beat after a long day today. One day until the weekend. Push through it and let’s get those killer summer abs! Oh…and a strong core for running is pretty awesome too. 🙂

Day 6 exercises:

  • Ab Pyramid – See below – 1 round
  • Plank of your choice – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

Bonus: 5 Minute Plank – This is a moving plank Crew and you CAN do this. Move from one move to the next and it will be done before you know it!

five-minute-plank

Ab Pyramid: 1 round

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 8.59.57 PM

Extra Credit: Roll & Stretch!

7 Key Stretches for Runners + Pigeon Pose

April Day 5: Killer Arms & A Strong Core

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 3.52.09 PM

Naturally, strong leg muscles are crucial for running fast, but many runners underestimate the importance of upper body strength for good running performance. Our core and back muscles play an important role in stabilizing our upper body. A weak core leads to compensatory movements, thus decreasing your forward propulsion and throwing our hips out of wack, which we know can cause problems all the way down our legs. Strong arms are essential for guaranteeing an efficient transfer of energy from your body to your legs. Without this, the proper arm technique cannot provide optimal support to your legs. An efficient running form helps you to run faster and expend less energy.

A strong upper body (arms and upper back and shoulders) is essential for guaranteeing an efficient transfer of energy from your body to your legs. Without this, the proper arm technique cannot provide optimal support to your legs. An efficient running form helps you to run faster and expend less energy.

While arm strength is important, and of course we want those nice looking toned arms, thick arms are actually a disadvantage. We don’t want to overdo our arm work and bulk up. What matters most is strong, toned arms and the right technique. Our arm swing influences every movement from our hips down. If we swing our arms faster, this automatically increases our step frequency. Slow and long swings produce the opposite effect. Crossing your arms in front of your body expends essential energy.

Below are some few tips on the right way to hold your arms when running:

  1. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle or less
  2. Let your arms swing loosely in the direction in which you are running (your arms should not cross the centerline)
  3. Keep your hands relaxed with your palms facing inward. Your thumb and index finger should be touching lightly
  4. Focus on pushing your elbows back rather than pulling them forward

Remember me talking about how our triceps provide us more power as compared to our biceps? This is because pushing your elbows backwards (#4) rather then pulling them forward is the most efficient way to pump our arms. Think about this when you are getting tired and push backwards with your arms to propel yourself forward. This small movement can keep you moving instead of slowing to a snail’s pace during your walk breaks and can make all the difference in your overall pace.

This is especially true when we are using a run/walk. If you drop your arms by your side when you are walking, you lose that extra momentum. Keep your arms up and pumping even when you are walking and you will notice your walk pace increases!

We know that our arms and our core is important. Good thing we are working them both today!

Day 5 exercises:

  • Superman Hold – :60
  • Russian Twists (with or without weight) – 3 x 20
  • Killer Arms Workout – see chart below
  • High Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

Don’t forget your last plank and wall sit to finish your day!

Killer Arms Workout:

Killer Arms Workout


If you haven’t done speed work yet this week, what are you waiting for? This week’s workout is short and sweet.

Speed Work: 30 Minute Interval Run – This is a great speed workout to start the month. It’s quick yet will get you moving faster each interval so it gives you a chance to work your way into the faster segments. I prefer that you do more than a 1/2 mile warm up period before you start your speed work so if you have time, stretch that warm up out to 1-2 full miles. This workout is different than we did last week because there is no stopping rest break. Instead we will do an easy .25 mile jog between each faster .25 mile interval. It’s important that you start at your 5K pace and work your way faster. If you start too quickly you will not be able to get faster so be smart about the beginning of your workout.

Each interval you’re going to move :10 faster. Start at 5K pace then bring it down by :10 for each next set. Not sure what your 5K pace is? Reach out to me and let’s chat!

Don’t let this workout scare you…when you look info it, it’s only 1.5 miles of speed work with 1.25 miles of recovery in between. Just under 3 miles before warm up and cool down. You can do this! Want more? Add a few more rounds to make it 2 or even 3 miles of speed work and hold that faster pace!

  • Warm up: 800 meters (0.5 miles) at easy run pace
  • Interval #1: 400 meters (0.25 miles) at 5k pace
  • Recovery: 400m @ easy run pace
  • Interval #2: 400m @ 5k pace – 10 seconds
  • Recovery: 400m @ easy run pace
  • Interval #3: 400m @ 5k pace – 20 seconds
  • Recovery: 400m @ easy run pace
  • Interval #4: 400m @ 5k pace – 30 seconds
  • Recovery: 400m @ easy run pace
  • Interval #5: 400m @ 5k pace – 40 seconds
  • Recovery: 400m @ easy run pace
  • Interval #6: 400m @ 5k pace – 50 seconds
  • Cool Down: 800m (0.5 mile) recovery at easy run pace

We’ve all been working hard this week and the weekend is coming. Don’t slack off now. Prove to yourself that you are willing to put in the work to get the results you want!

Willing to work for it IMG_9318

April – Day 3: Happy Hips + Strong Glutes and Abs!

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 5.38.28 PM

When our hips and glutes are weak or imbalanced, it throws off our whole system, causing problems all the way down the chain. Weak hips and glutes can cause pain in butt, hips, knees, calves, shins and even our ankles!

To make them happy and strong, we need to pay them some attention. Luckily it doesn’t take hours to do this. By adding some specific exercises to strengthen these areas we can avoid lots of pain down the road. Today, we have a few exercises that target this area plus our April core work. Then of course we can’t have a hip strength day with hanging out with Modern Moms! 🙂

Get up early and get it doe Crew. Then enjoy the rest of your day guilt free!

Day 3 exercises:

  • Crunches (on floor or on stability ball) – 3 x 10
  • Sally Leg Raises – 1 round – follow along with me again (video is below). I know this isn’t easy but I promise it will get easier. Push through it…it’s only 3 minutes!
  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant – 2 x 10 (2 moves in one!)
  • Glute Bridge – Hold for 2 minutes. If you need a break that’s ok, take a quick one then go right back into your bridge.
  • Plank :60
  • Wall Sit :60

Bonus: Modern Moms/Dads Hip Strength – always a favorite and only 4 minutes per leg.


Speed Work: 30 Minute Interval Run – This week’s speed work is a short but fun workout. Click here for Monday’s post and scroll down for the workout.


Sally Leg Raises – 1 round

Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant – I like to put these two exercises together and do them as one, going right from a donkey kick to a fire hydrant. This video shows you how to do them separately and you can do it that way as well. Your choice.

Plank – If you are new to planks, please watch this video to see how to do it correctly. We do a :60 plank each day. If you can’t hold the plank for :60 hold it for as long as you can, take a short break then go right back into it. It will get easier as you do this every day.

Wall Sit – Wall sits are awesome. They help us build strength in our entire thigh area, our quads, our inner thighs, back of the legs, hamstrings, and our glutes! I do them after every run. It’s tough when our legs are tired but you can do it. Whenever you decide to get it done…hold it for at least :60. Like Christina says, “DO NOT QUIT!”

This looks like a lot but it won’t take long. Don’t rest between sets. Push through it and you will be done in less than 20 minutes. Probably more like 15 minutes.

Don’t push this off and deal with sad hips and weak glutes and abs. Make those hips HAPPY and those glutes and abs STRONG!