Day 29: What Do You Do For Fun?

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Y’all have been so dedicated and committed to this Sally Challenge this month and I am super proud of everyone who has taken on each challenge with the determination to get through it. I know you’re kinda tired of it…but we are doing it one more time!

We’ll 2 more times…but we’ve been working up to the last one all month and you are ready for it. But we can worry about that in a couple more days. 😉

Today, we focus on our quads, glutes and core. Such important muscles for runners to focus on for building strength!

Here’s the deal though…we’ve done this challenge a few times and we’ve done LOTS of squats this month, so we are ready to step it up notch. Time to add some weight! Not a lot of weight…grab your dumbbells or a barbell if you have one available and add a little bit of weight to your leg workout today. Don’t overdo it…you still want to get through the whole 3.5 minutes.

I haven’t gotten to it yet…but I will! So here is that last workout we did together towards a couple weeks ago. I will post a new video when I get it done tomorrow.

Day 29 exercises:

  • Wall Sit – :60
  • Push Ups – 3 x 10
  • Bring Sally Up Squat Challenge – with weights
  • Wall Sit – :60

Speed Work: The Speedy Gonzales – Fun workout ahead! This is a pretty short workout so if you are working towards a fast 5K or 10K or just in the beginning of your longer distance training, this is perfect for you. If you are an experienced runner and are training for a half or full marathon, you shouldn’t be stopping at just 4.75 miles total. The good news is, you can easily extend this workout by adding 1-4 more 800s.

You’ll notice that this is really just 1/2 mile repeats with every other 1/2 mile (800M) a little faster. What you need to know is your current 5K pace. If you don’t have a current 5K to go by, but you do have a recent 10K or half, message me and I will help you find that ideal 5K pace. Not many of us will run a 3K (1.86 mile) race, but you just have to factor in the shorter distance and think about what you would be able to do if you had a good warm up and were ready to go for 1.86 miles.

Example: My current 5K pace is around 8:05 per mile. So for a 1.86 mile race (with a good warm up), I should be able to knock that down to about 7:50. So for the 3K pace, I will shoot for around a 7:50 pace for that 1/2 mile. Let’s say my 5K pace is 11:00 per mile. In that case, I would shoot for about 10:45 per 1/2 mile. Basically, you should be able to run about :15 faster per mile in a 3K race.

Make sense? I’m here to help! Reach out to me by private messenger or in our Strong to the Core Facebook group. It’s important to be realistic about your speed work pace and be able to complete the workout. I would rather you slow down a bit and get through it then go out too fast in the beginning, get discouraged and want to quit. So let’s find out where you should be so you can finish and feel like good about your workout! Don’t be shy!

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That’s all for now Crew. Here’s to a great start to a brand new week. Don’t forget to be awesome!

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Day 26: OH SALLY!

It’s Friday Crew and our workout is short but OH SALLY….she’s a mean one!

Sit ups today…when you go down you want to hold yourself up off the floor. Don’t go all the way down. If using both your upper and lower body is too difficult, don’t just skip this workout, instead keep your feet planted and just go up and down with your upper body. This will be tough but you can do this. Hang tight and push through it!

Day 26 exercises:

  • :60 Plank
  • Push Ups – 3 x 10 (this should feel easy after 100 push ups on Thursday!
  • Bring Sally Up – Sit Up Challenge
  • :60 Plank

Bring Sally Up – Sit Up Challenge

Day 25: Let’s Do Push Ups!

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One week from today, we are doing our Bring Sally Up Push Up Challenge! We’ve been getting ready for it all month and I know you’re arms are getting stronger!

Today it’s all about the push ups. Spread them out throughout the day or knock them out early. Up to you…but get them done Crew!

Day 25 exercises:

  • :60 High Plank
  • Push Ups – 10 x 10 (100 total)
  • :60 High Plank

Bonus: Lisa Marie’s Bring Sally Up Plank Up & Down Challenge – Lisa KILLED this challenge last week and it’s a tough one. Take short breaks when you need to, but get through it! Show her some love and tag your post with #ThankYouLisa when you’re done! 🙂


Day 24: Quick Fix Workout

Happy Hump Day Crew! Today we are doing a quick fix strength and cardio routine that is simple and that you can do anywhere just using your bodyweight. This is a great way to get us moving but also give us a day to let our body get some much needed rest.

You can run through this routine once or twice but don’t push yourself too hard today. We want to get our body moving and our metabolism up and running but we also want to give ourselves a break and rest up for arms on Thursday and abs on Friday!

Yes, there are burpees. You can do 2 sets of 10 burpees! Check out the video at the bottom of today’s post to see a great video on “burpees for beginners” or go for it and bust out 10 full burpees!

Day 24 exercises:

  • Push Ups – 3 x 10
  • Quick Fix Strength and Cardio

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Speed Work: Since today is an “was” day in terms of strength training, it is a GREAT day for Speed work! Check out Monday’s post here and scroll down for the week’s speed work options.

  1. Road Running Surges (Beginner speed work) – Best if done on the road
  2. Track Ladder Workout – (Beginner or intermediate speed work) Great for the track or treadmill
  3. Yasso’s – (Advanced speed work – Half Or Marathon Training) Track or road preferred but can also be done on a treadmill

Burpees for Beginners: This is a great video for those of you who haven’t tried burpees or just find the really difficult. Start with one leg at a time. The box is a great addition but if you don’t have one you can use the floor.

Day 23: Sally’s Back…Again!

Sally is back and she’s got a new challenge for us!

It’s a little different today because we’re turning Sally upside down and going up when she says down and down when she says up!

A little confusing, I know but don’t worry you’ll get it. 🙂

Day 22 exercises:

  • :60 Wall Sit
  • Bring Sally Up – Bridge Challenge
  • Push Ups – 3 x 10
  • Wall Sit – :60

You got this! And when you’re done you’ll have stronger hips & glutes too. 🙂

Hold your core tight, keep your body in a straight line at the top and SQUEEZE those glutes! Follow along with me below and let’s show Sally who’s boss!

Days 20 & 21: The Almighty Long Run

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There are so many benefits that come with a having consistent long run in our training arsenal. One that many of us are longing for, speed, which is built upon a solid foundation of endurance, won’t be fully realized until we conquer the long run. For that reason, getting in a “long run” consistently (every week) is one of the most effective training strategies for getting faster!

But what exactly is a “long run?”

A long run is the longest run of the week. For some runners, that might be 4-5 miles. For others, it might be 20-22 miles. It depends on your training, goals, ability, and willingness to surrender a chunk of time to running.

No matter what type of runner (newbie, mid range distance, marathoner, trail runner, or veteran with a long history of miles logged), the long run is still a staple workout.

You shouldn’t be surprised that I think EVERY runner should get in a long run almost every week.

So what are these numerous benefits to running long?

  1. Create denser capillary networks – With more capillaries surrounding your hard-working muscles, your body can deliver more oxygen and work harder.
  2. Build resiliency and mental toughness – Particularly for long races of half marathon or beyond, the long run is the most specific mental preparation you’ll get before the race. Psychological fatigue is real!
  3. Improve mechanics – The long run helps us make our running form more efficient. Muscles learn through practice and your stride will improve through consistent long runs.
  4. Increase the efficiency of fuel – LR’s teach the body to use a higher percentage of fat as fuel rather than stored glycogen, while also teaching the body to store more glycogen
  5. Build stronger muscles. Running for prolonged periods increases the strength of the leg muscles and connective tissues, but also those of the respiratory system.
  6. Makes us faster! – With more endurance you’ll be able to hold a certain pace for a longer period of time.

Distance runners should view the long run as one of the big things to focus on in our training plan. No matter if you’re training for a fast 1 mile race, or an ultra marathon, your long run should on your calendar every week! Sometimes we “fall back” to a shorter long run to give ourselves a chance to recover, but even on our fall back week our long run will normally be longer than our mid week miles.

So Amy, you’re telling me that if I’m training for a miler or a 5K, or just running for fitness, I still need to run long? YES!

Consider this, Nick Willis, a world class miler and Olympic medalist in the 1500 meters (.93 mile) averages about 20 miles for his long run each week. Recently he said,

“My best piece of coaching advice… is to get your long run in every week. People are always trying to challenge that and come up with new ideas but I’ve always felt I needed to stick to this tradition.

It has carried me through even when I have been doubtful about some other training mechanisms I’ve had. The long run has proved the tried and trusted piece of the puzzle.”

It’s time for that almighty long run! Are you ready to lace up and get moving? Let’s do this Crew! What are your long run plans? Anyone racing this weekend? Tell us about it so we can cheer you on!

Day 20 exercises: The Long Run

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

Day 21 exercises:

  • :60 Plank
  • :60 Wall Sit
  • Active Recovery – Short run, walk, bike ride, swim, playing outside with the kids
  • Yoga for Runners – links below
  1. Yoga for Runners – “Unknot Yourself”
  2. Yoga for Runners – “Tight Hips & Legs”
  3. Yoga Poses for Runners

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Day 19: Get It Done!

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It’s Friday y’all. Conquer this workout and let’s have a great weekend!

Day 19 exercises: 3 sets of 20 (“how to” videos below) 

  • Windshield Wipers
  • Reverse Crunch
  • Heel Touches
  • Leg Raises
  • Push Ups (3 x 10)
  • Plank – :60 (3X or bonus video)

Bonus: Planking Dance Partner with #MadManMartin – What a fun way to get through a great plank workout! Conquer this plank series dance partner style with our #MadMan in Pink!

Day 19 “how to” videos:

Windshield Wipers: If straight legs is too difficult, bend your knees but either way use your core and obliques to pull your legs side to side.

Reverse Crunch: Which variations works best for you?

Heel Touches: Move side to side working those side obliques!

Leg Raises: Working those transverse abdominals again…lower abs. Stay flat and relaxed on the floor.

Plank: If you’re just jumping in this month and aren’t familiar with planks, now is a great time to start! Hold your plank for as long as you can, take a quick break if you need to then go right back into it. Hold for :60.

Day 18: Goodbye Jiggle. Hello Strong Running Arms!

As runners we ask a lot of our bodies. Not only is our entire body subject to the constant pounding and jarring every time our feet hit the ground, but every time we propel ourselves forward on one leg we use all our upper body, core and leg muscles to stay balanced and upright.

Doing muscular strength and endurance work in addition to running helps us strengthen all the muscles around our joints and improves our core strength. This means that the body is working a little less hard just to keep us upright and our joints are better protected.

Can you run without strength training? Sure. You won’t run as strong or as fast as you could and you’ll be more sore and tired when you’re done. But yes, you can do it. It really depends on what you want. Do you just want to finish and go lay down? Or do you want to finish strong and fly over that finish line feeling strong and ready for that finish line jump!?! The choice is yours!

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Pump your arms and your legs will follow.

It’s a refrain we’ve all said to ourselves during the last stretch of a long run, when our legs are losing the will to live, let alone run.

It’s opposition, we learned to do it back in elementary school gym class, and most of us have never given it much thought since then. As runners, we might want to. Opposition keeps us from falling over to one side. (Thanks, arms!) When running, our arms act as a counterbalance against our legs. And vice versa: When you’re running along and speed up your arm swings, your legs will naturally pick up the pace so that, again, you don’t fall over.

While having less-than-strong arms probably won’t land us on the pavement, strengthening our arm muscles is vital to keeping us upright, in proper form, and running efficiently.

Plus, when we hit it hard during the home stretch of an endurance event, and our strong arms can kick into overdrive. If they are worn out and fatigued by the time we get to mile 12 in a 13.1, they may very well be why we don’t hit that coveted PR.

That said, bulging biceps will only get us so far on the race course. When running, our triceps and deltoids do most of the work. A lot of the forward swing, which you would think is thanks to our biceps, is actually momentum. Of course, it’s still important not to ignore your biceps, because they look good and we don’t want any muscular imbalances.

There’s lots of moves to build strong tined triceps, but today, we’re bringing Sally back and moving along with her catchy song to work our muscles to fatigue!

The Tricep Dip – This exercise is for the arms, shoulders, and chest and gives our tired legs a break. We want to work our arms to get rid of that dreaded jiggle, but we know that we use our arms as we run and tricep dips or other tricep related exercises are especially good as they match the movement of our running the most closely.

Ready for the Bring Sally Up Tricep edition? Let’s do this! Follow along with me below and don’t forget those push ups and planks too!

Day 17 exercises:

  • Plank – Straight Arm Triangle Plank (:60)
  • Push Ups – 3 x 15 (a few extra…it is arm day 😉 )
  • Bring Sally Up – Tricep Edition
  • Plank – Straight Arm Triangle Plank (:60)

Plank: This plank is a little different than what we are used to. It is similar to a triangle push up so just get into that position and hold strong for 60 seconds!

Bring It Up Sally – Tricep Edition: So I wrote this post…then did Bring it Up Sally tricep edition. But my videographer (Silas) got the first part then somehow stopped it and restarted it but didn’t get the rest on tape. And…I’m not doing it again! LOL I will post the first part of that video in our group so you can see how to do it then you can follow along with the video below to get the whole song. Sorry to make it more difficult. Blame Silas. 😉

Remember to keep your elbows tucked in close to your body and use your arms, not your legs to lift you up. If it’s too easy, move your feet away from your body, if it’s too difficult, move your feet in closer to your body. GETTTT ITTT!!! Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 4.07.16 PM

Day 17: Core Strong

Wednesday is our “quick workout” day and this one is quick and core focused. You’ve done it before and you know it doesn’t take long!

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Someone (I won’t name names…) told me recently that they were told that “runner’s don’t need core work because all that running we do strengthens our core.”

What?!? Seriously?!? Come on…

That statement is just rubbish. I could find y’all a bunch of research and quote tons of elite runners and coaches but instead let’s just be real.

Running alone DOES NOT strengthen our core. We must add core specific exercises to get this area strong and ready to go those long miles. Ever catch yourself slumping over towards the end of a long run? See pics with your shoulders hunched forward and your body crumbling inward? Ever feel like you can’t catch your breathe? Like you just don’t have the strength to breathe deep enough and you have to slow down right when it’s time to push harder? We can run all the long runs, we can do all the speed work, but we still get tired after being on the road for so long.

Our core is what holds us up straight and keeps us steady. Our core keeps us balanced. Our core allows us to stand tall, with our shoulders back and gives us the ability to breathe deep and strong. Our core is the center of our world and we must give it the attention it deserves.

Don’t skip this workout. It doesn’t take long and you can make the time. Stand tall, stand proud and let’s kill this Core Challenge!

Day 17 exercises:

  • Push Ups – 3 x 10
  • The Core Challenge – 1 round

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Day 16: Strong & Trim for the Win!

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Working our hips must be a consistent part of our workout routine. But it doesn’t have to take long. A good burn for a few minutes a couple times a week can make a BIG difference in our stability and strength!

Today’s workout takes 4 minutes per leg plus a little extra for our push ups and wall sits. Maybe 15 minutes total…if you take your time on the push ups. Can you make 15 minutes to gain the stability and strength you need to carry you through all those long miles?

Cherry on top? Nice trim hips that will fit into those jeans we love! 🙂

Day 16 exercises:

  • :60 Wall Sit
  • Push Ups – 3 x 10
  • Modern Moms/Dads Hip Strength
  • :60 Wall Sit

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Speed Work: Speed work may always cause a little bit of nerves but as you get more used to it, you will get better at it and it will not be so anxiety inducing. You just have to suck it up and get it done!

This week we have options for speed work. If you are training for a longer race, such as a half or full marathon or even a 15K you should go with the mile repeats and you should be doing more than this shows. I have talked a lot about the distances you should be running, so I would like to see what you have retained and how important your goals are to you… 🙂

If you are training for a 5K or a 10K you can choose option #2. Remember…you get out of this what you put into it so choose wisely!

Sqoosh Winner

Last but not least…time to pick a winner from our #Sqoosh/#Prehabnotrehab contest on Friday. We had LOTS of entries and I was really excited to see many of you taking the time to roll and stretch! 🙂

I used a random name generator to choose our winner…and the winner is…


Congratulations and great job Kathryn! You are our contest winner and have won a blue Sqoosh! Please send me your address by PM and I will have Sqoosh get a brand new blue Sqoosh in the mail to you right away!


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