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!

April – Day 2: You Ain’t Summer Ready…Yet!

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 5.45.50 PM

Yea you’re cute…but are you summer ready? The time for less clothing and that bikini that hasn’t seen the sunshine in months is getting closer. You might be cute…but you ain’t summer ready…yet!

It’s April 2nd, 2018 and it’s time to get to work on our summer body! Legs and Abs today…but it’s quick so no excuses! Let’s kick off the month off with a great workout!

Day 2 exercises:

Perform 2 sets of the exercises below 10 times each

  • Crunches (on the floor or on a stability ball)
  • Squats
  • Calf Raises

Only 1 round of the exercises below

  • Sally Leg Raise – See video below and follow along with me – 1 round
  • Plank :60
  • Wall Sit :60

Easy peasy right? This will take no time at all but will be a good way for us to ease right back into our strength training for April.

Sally Leg Raise: This video is from a while back but you can still follow along with me and let’s get it done together.


Bonus: 8 Minute Legs – This is really about 7 minutes and it’s looks like a great burn. Who has a few extra mintues for those toned legs we all want?


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 not a full 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

Don’t get caught sad and depressed when it’s time to put that bathing suit back on. Let’s get to work and get cute AND summer ready!

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 7.42.06 PM