Day 30: Make Things Happen!

Can you believe it’s the end of April already? Time flies when we’re working hard!

It’s been a great month full of awesome races, long runs and strength training…but it’s not over yet! One more day of April Crew…let’s MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!

I know y’all love Sally and she is coming at us hard today. Sally Leg Lifts AND Sally Squats. You an do this Crew. Power through it…it’s only 3 minutes each!

Day 30 exercises:

  • Crunches 3 x 25
  • Sally Leg Lifts – 1 round (follow along with video below)
  • Sally Squats – 1 round (follow along with video below)
  • Single Leg Balance (forward/side/backwards)
  • Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

This workout will take you LESS than 15 minutes. Do it all at once to get the most out of your workout then have a great Monday Crew!

Sally Leg Lifts:

Sally Squats:

I know it’s been a long month and on Monday’s we are tired and have so much to do to get our week going but remember…if you want to reach those big goals, you have to be willing to work for them. Finish Strong!

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April – Days 28 & 29: It’s Time to Run!

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The weekend is our chance to unwind and take some time for ourselves. Time to run long and hard and sweat out the week’s frustration. Time to chat with our best running friends and purge our troubles with miles under our feet.

Time to draw a map, find a path, take a breath…and run.

No matter where you’re running, whether it’s short or long, racing or just getting in some easy miles, get your shoes ready and let’s hit the road!

Good luck to all our Crew who racing this weekend!

Day 28 exercises:

  • Warm up drills – leg swings, hip hurdles, lunge matrix
  • Long Run
  • Wall Sit & Plank – :60 each
  • Legs up the Wall (5 – 15 minutes)
  • Roll and stretch!
  • 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Day 29 exercises:

  • Active Recovery (short easy run, bike ride, swim, take a walk)
  • Yoga for Runners
  1. Yoga for Runners – “Unknot Yourself”
  2. Yoga for Runners – “Tight Hips & Legs”
  3. Yoga Poses for Runners

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April Day 26: You are Strong. Keep Going!

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It has been an awesome month but it’s not over yet! You’ve been strong all month KEEP GOING!!

Our arms might not be the #1 thing on our mind when we’re running but strong arms DO play an important role.

Thinking back to Tuesday and learning to use our glutes in a different way when we run, we can do the same with our arms. Our arms can give us power, but we have to use them in the right way. Instead of pulling forward, work on pushing backwards with your elbows which will propel you forward. In order to fire up our glutes, we have to think about it and it’s the same with our arms. We have to consciously think about pushing backwards. When we stop concentrating on it, we naturally go back to the old way whether that’s just letting our arms hang, or not using them to push us forward.

When we’re used to doing something a certain way, it takes time to adjust and teach our muscles to work in a different way. It may take a few weeks, but eventually it will become natural. Try it!

Now let’s tone, tighten, and strengthen our arms so we can get the most out of them and so they’ll look good too. 😉 Oh and we have a little core work too of course!

Day 25 exercises:

  • Superman Hold – 2 Minutes
  • Russian Twists – 3 x 50
  • Tank Top Arms x 2 (see below)
  • High Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

Tank Top Arms

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Bonus: Finish with some good arm stretches!

Day 24: Get That Glute Burn!

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Did you see the Fit Tip Friday post about thinking about running like riding a skateboard? If not, you’re in luck…here it is again.

Fit Tip Friday: Running is like riding a skateboard! Fit Tip Friday

When running visualize riding a skateboard or scooter, using your foot to propel you. The key is that you would never plant your foot in front and brake. Instead bring your leg through in a swinging motion, touching down beneath you and then driving straight back. If you do the same when running you will cue a landing closer to the body in front and a long stride out the back utilizing your glutes. This motion is essential for powerful, effective stride.

How does this play into hip/glute day? When we use the swinging motion and touch down as close to the center of our body (underneath us as opposed to out in front) then drive straight back using our glutes we will get the most power. In order to get the most out of these strong muscles, we must activate them. Having strong glutes is great, but if we don’t put them to use, we won’t utilize the power the generate. Here is a good video from Running Wild about glute activation and how to consciously use these important muscles.

Here’s a couple key points from the video:

  1. Strengthen your glutes
  2. Focus on activating your glutes through a few specific glute activation drills
  3. THINK about using your glutes.
  4. Practice activating your glutes while running AND walking

A little extra attention to this area can make all the difference. Hip drop is a very common problem, especially in women. And hip drop can lead to pain all the way down our legs. It takes time to adjust the way we run and which muscles we use the most so don’t get frustrated. Strengthen, Activate, THINK, Repeat.

We start with strength!

Day 24 exercises:

  • Crunches – the calendar says 3 x 10 but this was a mistake…let’s bump it up to 3 x 25!
  • Sally Leg Raises (follow along with me below)
  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant – Also a mistake. Let’s make it 3 x 15! (Or push yourself and do the Donkey Kick workout! (see donkey kick workout below)
  • Glute Bridge – 2 minutes (activate your glutes by pushing up with your glute muscles instead of pulling up with your core!
  • Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

Sally Leg Raises: Follow along and let’s knock it out together!

Donkey Kick Workout: Want to skip those 3 rounds of donkey kicks? Ok…do this workout instead and feel those glutes BURN!!

Bonus: Modern Moms/Dads Hip Strength – We can’t have hip/glute day without one of our favorite quick workouts. Finish your day with this bonus. 1 round each leg only takes 8 minutes!

With all this talk about strengthening our glutes…we can’t forget the positive side effects that come from working this area…a nice strong firm booty will look great with our summer abs!

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Make sure to take a minute to stretch when you’re done today. Pigeon Pose and Glute Stretch are great ways to love those muscles!

Speed Work: Tempo Runs – Switching it up again this week with some tempo workouts. These workouts can be done anywhere so there’s no need to find a track. Program one into your Garmin so you don’t have to keep looking at your watch for distance or time!

Pick one and go for it!

Pace – Tempo pace is a comfortably hard pace. It’s tough and it’s just a regular day so you want to slow down but you’re not quite at race pace so you’re not going “all out.” Tempo pace is usually right above 10K pace or in the last workout option it’s at half marathon pace. If you’re not sure what this means for you, please reach out to me and let’s chat!

Which workout should you choose? If you are training for a 5K, go for option #2. If you are training for a 10K or 15K go for option #1. Half or Full marathon coming up? Option #3!

No matter which you choose….DO NOT skip your warm up and cool down!

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April – Day 16: Not Just Another Monday!

It’s not just another Monday Crew…it’s Boston Marathon Monday! Will you be watching? This is one of the most famous World Major Marathons and 2018 is going to be an incredible race to watch!

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When you close your eyes and picture who will be the first American woman to cross the finish line, who do you see? Molly Huddle, Shalane Flanagan, and Desi Linden are all top contenders and each are extremely talented. Unfortunately, Jordan Hasay made the tough choice to drop out last minute because of a plantar fasciitis flare up. I’m sure she made the right choice for her future but I was looking forward to watching her race tomorrow! 😦 You can read more about her decision here.

Who do you think has what it takes to win? Do you have a favorite amongst the American field?

What about the men? Galan Rupp is a top contender again but there are others that will give him a run for his money!

Some other interesting mentions…there’s a guy running the entire marathon backwards! Loren Zitomersky, 33, a Disney movie production lawyer in Los Angeles who has worked on movies such as Beauty and The Beast, plans to run the entirety of the race backward—toe to heel with each footfall. It will be a first and he’s doing it to raise funds and bring awareness to the Epilepsy Foundation.

Another man, Tim Don, is an Ironman king and Boston Marathon runner. He is the embodiment of elite endurance athletes and knows what his body can take, but in October, when Don was preparing for the Ironman world championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and went out for one last pre-race bike ride. He was struck by a utility vehicle and ended up with a hangman’s fracture, a broken C2 vertebra, like what you would find in someone who has died by hanging. His best option for a full recovery and the ability to continue racing was a halo, which is “like a medical torture device,” his doctor explained. “You take titanium pins and screw them into your skull, two in front and two in back, and attach them to metal bars, which attach to a bust that you wear for three months and that you can’t take off. It’s pure torture.” It was as terrible as the doctor said but it worked. Six months after he had pins screwed into his skull, Don expects to run the Boston Marathon and expects to finish in about 2 hours and 50 minutes!

These are just a couple of the amazing stories that we will watch unfold tomorrow morning and I don’t know about you, but I blocked off 8-11am on my calendar and I will be saving my Monday miles to watch the marathon from my treadmill! What better inspiration than watching these elite athletes run through Boston? I haven’t decided how long I will run or how many miles I will get, so how about a little Strong to the Core contest?

Boston Marathon/Sqoosh Contest: Sqooshbands has designed a brand new Boston & Saucony inspired Sqoosh and has offered us one as a giveaway prize! Comment on today’s daily post with your best guess on how long I will run and how many miles I will cover while watch the Boston Marathon tomorrow. Don’t automatically assume I will run the whole time, but…I might just be inspired enough to run as long as our America women are running! And maybe not…who knows? 😉 Closest guess wins a brand new Sqoosh from Sqooshbands! You have until 11am to guess and post.

Here’s what the newest Boston/Saucony inspired Sqooshbands look like…

If you don’t have a treadmill but you are going to be home, watch the marathon on TV or stream it live and get your Day 16 workout done. What better time to work on your strength than watching the strongest runners in the field do their thing?!?

Click here to find out how to stream the Boston Marathon online or watch it on TV.

Day 16 exercises:

  • Crunches/Stability Ball Crunches – 3 x 25
  • Sally Leg Raises – see video below
  • Squat switch up – Sally Squat Challenge! Our calendar version is just too easy! 3 minutes Crew…get that good quad burn!
  • Single Leg Balance (Forward/Side/Backward) – 2 x 15
  • Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

Sally Leg Raises – follow along till the end!

Sally Squat Challenge – Remember a few months ago after Pam’s Jekyll Island marathon when I came home and did Sally Squats? I got through it then and you can get through it now! Come on Crew…3 minutes!

Single Leg Balance (Forward/Side/Backwards) – Fast forward through the first part of this video for a reminder on how to do this single leg balance and strength exercise.

That’s all for Monday Crew. Start the week off right with some miles if that’s on your schedule and a STRONG leg & core day! Speed work will come on Tuesday…since we don’t do speed work on Monday anyway.

Don’t forget to guess my time on the treadmill and mileage for tomorrow for your chance to win a Boston & Saucony inspired Sqoosh from Sqooshbands!

It’s Patriot’s Day and Boston Marathon Day! Let’s find that inner motivation and see how active we can be on this special running Monday!

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Day 12: Perfect Arms & Core for Runners

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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

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

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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!

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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.

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