Day 19: The Madness Continues…

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We’re a little over halfway through March and going strong! Y’all have been killing it this month…so much so that I simply can’t keep up! That’s ok though I love trying! 🙂

The March Madness continues with the last two weeks of the month…let’s keep our March Madness Mantra going strong. Find ways to stay motivated, keep moving, practice mindfulness, maximize your time and keep that momentum going!

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Early Monday morning we are leaving to head to Vermont for the week. I will be a little less “present” this week because my family deserves some special attention but I will be popping in from time to time to check on y’all and I will make sure you have your daily workouts and “how to” videos.

Keep supporting each other and let’s push through the rest of March!

Day 19 exercises:

  • Plank Challenge Day 19 – Plank Reach – :60 or 2 sets of :30
  • 20 Minute Iron Core Strength Workout (1 round)

Iron Core Strength Workout – It’s been a while but we’ve done this workout before. I remember us doing it every Monday one month so some of you may remember it.

I’m sure you’ve seen the ads for this workout on Facebook or in Runner’s World magazine…we’ll I found it and put it into a step by step workout for you.

Click here for all the details. 20 minutes Crew….make the time and knock it out!

Plank Reach – This is a little bit different than the example you see on the calendar but I like this one better. The movement makes you concentrate on holding your core tight!

Speed Work: Pyramid Running Workout – This week instead of running circles on a track, we’re going to do a fun pyramid running workout! This is perfect for everyone from speed work newbies to veteran runners. It’s a great way to spice up your speed work and get in and out fast! The instructions are simple, do a nice easy warm up then alternate your speed from easy to hard based on time. If you love speed work and want to go longer or harder, add some additional time to your warm up and add a 4 or even 5 minute interval before you head back down that ladder! But whatever you do…don’t skip your cool down!

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We’re excited to take a family vacation and I am looking forward to disconnecting a little but don’t think I won’t be watching! 😉


Days 17 & 18: Don’t Rely on Luck

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If you’re hoping to get lucky on race day, you’ll probably be disappointed because the best way to show up is READY! Even though it’s always better to be ready than rely on luck, it doesn’t hurt to feel lucky on race day!

Race-day shorts. Three pancakes for breakfast. A penny in your pocket. Your pre-race superstitions are probably a combination of ritual and bric-a-brac meant to recruit the race gods to your team. And you swear by them: Those shorts give you superhuman speed, the three pancakes give you climbing power, and the penny…well, who knows what the penny does, really. But it can’t hurt, right?

If you’re the superstitious type, you’re not alone. Mo Farah shaves his head before each race. Serena Williams bounces the ball five times before her first serves. Michael Jordan used to wear his UNC basketball shorts under his Chicago Bulls uniform during games.

And believe it or not, there’s science to the madness: German researchers found that people played a better round of putt-putt when they were told they were hitting a “lucky” ball, and people were more confident in their ability to complete a task when they were carrying their lucky charm.

“If you think you’re lucky, then you’ll be more optimistic going into a situation,” says Carol Sansone, Ph.D., a professor of social psychology at the University of Utah.

“Repeating a familiar ritual before an event reduces anxiety by giving the person a sense of control,” says John Johnson, Ph.D., a personality psychologist and professor at Penn State University.

A good luck routine won’t hand you the win, but it can give you a boost of confidence. These rituals can give us a sense of calm and control, but they can also set us back. Before you give those superstitions too much credit, make sure it meets these four criteria.

Ritual Rule #1: It makes you feel calm

Laying out your outfit a day early (flat me) and putting your hair up in the same style can bring a sense of order to the pre-race chaos. “Repeating a familiar ritual before an event reduces anxiety by giving the person a sense of control,” says John Johnson, Ph.D., a personality psychologist and professor at Penn State University.

If your rituals stress you out, find new ones. The best pre-race routines occupy and calm your mind. Consider a new routine: do a warm up or 50 high-knees! After your warm up a few sprints are a great way to calm your nerves and get your legs race ready!

“Part of the reason people run around before a race is to get their heart rate up, but equally important is the calming effect,” says Johnson. “The alternative, just standing around and waiting for the gun to go off, can be excruciatingly nerve-wracking.”

Ritual Rule #2: It doesn’t take the place of real work

If you give your charms all the credit for your luck, then odds are, you’ll stop having it.

“Unrestricted interpretation of luck can have bad outcomes,” Sansone says.

Truly believing your shorts or shoes are magical can lead you to slack off on training.

The bottom line? Your lucky charms are worthless unless you charge them up, and you do that by training, preparing, and working hard.

Ritual Rule #3: It does not control you

If you’re fixated on something beyond your control—like needing to see a bald eagle or the number 7 before every event—then you’ll probably be disappointed at some point. And that can hurt your performance.

“Choose a ritual that you think will work for you, but change it if you do not have control over it,” says Michaéla Schippers, Ph.D., author of the aforementioned Dutch paper and a professor of behavior and performance management at Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

A good-luck ritual works partly by helping you focus on the feat and ignore distractions. So don’t let it become a distraction.

Ritual Rule #4: You can live without it

Imagine this: It’s race day, and you accidentally tossed your training shoes instead of your lucky race-day shoes into the trunk. Are you worried? Do you fear you won’t run a good race without those kicks?

Relying too heavily on a good luck token can backfire if you’re ever forced to go without it, says Johnson. He knows firsthand: In college, he used the same “lucky” number 2 pencils for every test. On a particular exam day, one of them went missing.

“I felt a moment of crippling fear until I found it,” he says. “That kind of emotional dependence can’t be healthy.” If you ran out of flour and can’t make your customary pancakes, or your penny disappears into a seat cushion, adapt fast. You already put the sweat into training, right? Then you’re all set. That’s the only luck that really matters.

Do you have any superstitions that you rely on for a sense of calm and control? Share them with our group and let’s see who has the most outrageous pre-race rituals!

St Patty’s Day Challenge: Wether you’re racing or going out for a long training run, make sure you wear your green and take a pic for your #CoreCrew! Forget to wear green and take a pic to prove it? Burpees on video! That’s right Crew…wear your green, take a pic and share with STTC or you will be responsible for 20 burpees with video proof!

Don’t skip your long runs. They are an important part of your training and they will pay off on race day! Get in your long training run and wear green for a picture or pay the burpee consequences! 😉

Day 17 exercises:

  • Plank Challenge Day 17 – Panther Plank – :60
  • Warm Up – Leg Swings, Hip Hurdles & Lunge Matrix
  • Long Run
  • Wall Sit – :60
  • Legs Up the Wall
  • Roll
  • Stretch – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Day 18 exercises:

  • Plank Challenge Day 18 – Side Plank with Rotation & Leg Lift
  • Wall Sit – :60
  • Active Recovery – Easy & Short run, Bike Ride, swim or brisk walk
  • Yoga for Runners (links to yoga options below)
  1. Yoga for Runners – “Unknot Yourself”
  2. Yoga for Runners – “Tight Hips and Legs”
  3. Yoga Poses for Runners

Plank Challenge – Days 17 & 18 “how to” video – Watch the video below to see how our Day 17 & 18 planks are done!

Day 13: Single Leg Strength

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The incidence of injury rate for running injuries is between 37% and 80% every year. While we may not be able to completely sidestep injuries, especially if we are logging high miles, we can work to prevent as many as possible. Strength training is key for runners and adding single leg balance and strength exercises is a small yet very effective way to combat those pesky injuries.

When you look at a runner in slow motion, you can see that both feet are rarely on the ground at the same time. The majority of our time during a run is either spent on one leg or in midair, so it makes sense that we should be using single leg exercises at least part of the time to strengthen and adapt to the repetitive, unilateral movements that we use on a constant basis.

We know that supplementing running with strengthening exercises will not only aid in injury prevention but will make you a stronger, faster, and more efficient runner. We also know that runners need a different strength training program than the average gym rat.

Runners need to focus on targeting the key muscles that will keep them balanced. These single leg exercises will strengthen our hips and core while also helping us work on balance. Win win!

Day 13 exercises: 3 sets of 15 (see “how to” videos below)

  • Plank Challenge Day 13 – Plank with Knee to Opposite Elbow
  • Single Leg Hip Lift
  • Split Squat
  • Lateral Squat
  • Rotational Step Up
  • Wall Sit – :60

No bonus today…just get through these exercises and make some fun plans for your mental health day tomorrow AND to get your speed work in because we know that Wednesdays are the perfect days to TURN IT UP!

Speed Work: Fartlek Running Workouts 5K to Marathon – This is a fun workout that we can all do and YES, you should be running 6-8 miles to train properly for your fastest 5K! No matter where you are in your training, speed work is essential to getting faster and to making those long weekend runs easier! Don’t skip your speed work!

Fartleks are “speed play” meaning your pace will vary. Don’t hold back though. Make it fun and push yourself!

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Day 13 “how to” videos:

Plank Challenge Day 13 – Plank with Knee to Opposite Elbow – You can do this from a high plank position or from your forearms but it will be easier if you can do it as a high plank. If you need to go to your elbows make sure you are keeping that booty low.

Single Leg Hip Lifts – Keep those hips nice and straight!

Split Squat – There is a difference between a lunge and a split squat. Keep that weight on your front leg!

Lateral Squat – I like this variation on the lateral lunge. Let’s keep it low and really feel that burn in our glutes. Shift your weight back and forth from foot to foot.

Rotational Step Up – Stand very tall and rotate around your around to reach reach full hip extension. You do not need a large box to step up onto. You can use a stair and a pair of dumbbells or go without weights. Use a very slow and controlled movement.

Wall Sits – If you can, hold this longer than :60. You are strong. Go for :90!

Day 12: Do What You Don’t Want To Do

Jordan Hasay Gate 2018Yesterday I posted this picture of 26 year old Jordan Hasay, who came in 3rd at the 2018 Chicago Marathon and took 2nd place at yesterday’s Gate River Run 15K Championship. This was taken as she started to climb the GreenMonster at the Gate River Run 15K.

Some of you thought she was too skinny, or too young to compare to yourself…and yes she’s thin and she’s young, but maybe you’re missing the point? Come on Crew…the point is her strength! Her arms, legs and core are extremely strong and her dedication to her strength training is apparent!

You can check out her Instagram and see how much time and effort she puts into strength training. She loves to run and she’s good at it but she knows that unless she is strong enough to power through long races and up hills she will be caught…and she won’t bring home the big prize.



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How does this relate to us? We’re not that thin. We’ll never be 26 again. We’re not elite runners battling to break the tape…but none of that matters.

We can emulate what elite runners do. We can take a page out of their training, follow their lead and we can get stronger and faster. No, it won’t make us run 5 minute miles. But it will help us power through those long runs and up those tough hills. It will allow us to run faster and longer than we do now.

It’s all relative Crew. We can always improve and we do it by making smart choices about our training.

It means making the time for our strength work.

It means we might have to cut our run short by a mile to do our squats, deadlifts, planks and wall sits.

That means doing what we don’t want to do. Let’s start now!

Day 12 exercises: 3 sets of 20 (“how to” videos below)

  • Plank Challenge Day 12 – Plank Side Dips (:60 or :30 x 2)
  • Inner Thigh Leg Lift (each side)
  • Squat with Side Leg Lift (each side)
  • Balance and Reach (each side)
  • Wall Sit – :60
  • Bridge – :60

Bonus: Burpees – 3 sets of 10 (see video below with beginner burpee/low impact option)

Speed Work: Fartlek Running Workouts 5K to Marathon – This is a fun workout that we can all do and YES, you should be running 6-8 miles to train properly for your fastest 5K! No matter where you are in your training, speed work is essential to getting faster and to making those long weekend runs easier! Don’t skip your speed work!

Fartleks are “speed play” meaning your pace will vary. Don’t hold back though. Make it fun and push yourself!

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Day 12 “how to” videos:

Plank Side Dips (AKA Side Plank with Hip Dip): You can do this as a high plank with straight arms or low plank of forearms

Inner Thigh Leg Lifts:

Squat with Side Leg Lift:

Balance and Reach:

Wall Sit:


Days 10 & 11: Just Run!

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Run fast…run slow. Run long…run short. Run happy…run mad. Whatever your motivation is this weekend…use that as your driving for to get out and JUST RUN!

Long runs, active recovery runs, & yoga…plus all the other good stuff that goes along with it. Make a plan and get to it Crew!

Don’t forget your planks this weekend. Lynne helped me make videos for Days 10 & 11 so check them out below and do the best you can. 🙂

Day 10 exercises: Plank Challenge Day 10 + Warm Up Drills (Leg Swings, Hip Hurdles & Lunge Matrix) + Long Run + Legs up the wall + Rolling & Stretches

Day 11 exercises: Plank Challenge Day 11 + Active Recovery (Short easy run, bike ride, walk or swim) + Yoga for Runners

Plank Challenge Day 10 – Plank with Hip Dips

Plank Challenge Day 11 – Plank Jacks 

Day 8: Kind of a Big Deal

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Our arms are kinda a big deal! They pull us along during those long runs, they keep us upright and balanced. They counter our leg movements so a weak upper body causes an imbalance of strength and a less efficient running gait.

To run our best, we need full body balance and strength and a little arm work can help us conserve the energy we need to go faster and longer!

It’s also important how we hold and swing our arms while we’re running. There are a few ways you might be using your arms that make you less efficient. Do you do any of these things? Sometimes the best way to see your form is to look at race pictures or have someone video you while you’re running.

  1. Your Arms Wing Out from Your Body – This is a sign that you have weaknesses in the abs or glutes, because the arms have to go farther from the body to maintain balance. What that means you need to add to your training: more planks (core strength) and more donkey kicks and fire hydrants (glute strength). You can do is add more hills or other inclines like bridges and higher incline settings on your treadmill.
  2. You Clench or Hunch Your Shoulders, Tightly Bend Your Elbows, or Cross Your Hands in Front of Your Body – These are signs of tension and wasted energy. In anything slower than a sprint, you want your arms to be relaxed. That means your elbows should be bent at about a 90-degree angle, with hands gently brushing by where your front jeans pockets would be. “Cup your hands so that the thumbs rest lightly against the first two fingers, as if you’re holding potato chips but don’t want to break them or a penny you don’t want to drop. Your arms should arc slightly as they come forward, but should not cross your body’s midline.
  3. You Arms Have Different Movements or Ranges of Motions
    This is a clear sign of muscle imbalance… in your glutes. “Your push-off is weaker on one side,” says Peters, who recommends focusing attention on squeezing your butt muscles as you push off each foot to propel yourself forward. She suggests having someone film you from behind while you’re running so you can then watch where your arms travel when you’re in action.

When do our arms need to put in the most work? A powerful arm swing may make a big difference in a sprint, typically at the end of a race. Our arms account for about two to three percent of the forward velocity in a sprint. By pumping your arms on that final stretch when your legs are fatigued, you could make the difference between a good race and personal record!

Strength work helps us stand taller, straighter and with more power. It doesn’t take much but adding upper body strength can make a big difference!

Day 8 exercises: 3 sets of 10

  • Plank Challenge Day 8 – Short Yoga Plank Flow (follow video below)
  • Upright Row
  • Bicep Curls 21s (3 sets of 21)
  • Hammer Curls
  • Arm Stretches

Bonus: Incredible Arms – 2 rounds!

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Speed Work: Most likely, you’re already done with your speed work…at least you should be if you go long on Saturday. If not, you’re either doing your long run on Sunday, or doing your long run on Saturday with some heavy legs. You can push through heavy legs and it can even be beneficial for you to learn how to keep going when your legs feel like lead. Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.22.19 PM

Either way, here’s this week’s speed work options.

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Day 8 “how to” videos:

Day 8 Plank Challenge – Slow Yoga Plank Flow

Upright Rows: 3 x 10

Bicep Curls 21s: 3 sets of 21 – Dumbbells or a bar, either way works!

Hammer Curls: 3 x 10

Arm Stretches:

Bicep Stretch: Skip to 1:24 in this video to see how to stretch your biceps which is important after today’s arm workout!


Day 6: Work It In!

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Can you work in 3 sets of 10 to get those hips strong and steady?

Our hips don’t lie and when they’re weak, our lower body suffers! It’s true, when our hips are weak, it throws off our gait and we feel it in other places…like our quads, knees, calves, ankles and feet. Yep, the weakness in our hips causes pain all the way down our legs. It’s all connected…

To run tall and strong for long periods of time we have to start with a strong core and that includes our hips.

3 sets of 10 y’all….plan ahead and work in it!

Weekend Warrior Sqoosh Contest: Loved seeing all the extra work being done this past weekend with the #WeekendWarrior #Sqoosh contest. We had lots of Crew putting in extra time and that makes me really proud! We can only have one winner though and I used a random name generator and entered everyone who tagged their posts with #WeekendWarrior and #Sqoosh. Our winner for this contest is…..

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Congratulations Sarah! Please go to the Sqoosh website and let me know what color you fancy! 🙂

Day 6 exercises: 3 sets of 10

  • Plank Challenge Day 6 – Plank with Shoulder Taps :60 or :30 x 2
  • Donkey Kick
  • Fire Hydrant
  • Clams
  • Reverse Clams
  • Side Lying Leg Lifts
  • Wall Sit – :60

Bonus: Modern Moms Hip Strength – We can’t go too long without getting in a little Modern Mom Hip action! 4 minutes per leg. Do it right after your Day 6 workout or throw it in before bedtime. Either way it’s a great little hip burn and will help us tone and strengthen this important area!

Speed Work: Have you made plans for when you will get your speed work in? This is one of those things that’s easy to let go if you don’t make a plan. Give yourself a day to make it happen. Do it with your best running friends if they run at a similar pace but don’t run with someone who is going to hold you back. This is your one workout a week when you are supposed to turn it up and if you hold back for a friend, you’re missing an important workout. Work it in!

Remember to be smart and take this week off if you are racing this weekend, or if you raced last weekend. Save your speed for race day, or let your legs recover from a tough workout. BE MINDFUL! 🙂

5 choices…choose wisely! Not one person has reached out with questions so I have to assume you all know exactly how to run these workouts…I hope so! If not, let’s chat!

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Day 6 “how to” videos:

Plank Challenge Day 6 – Plank with Shoulder Taps: If you are still working on mastering the regular forearm plank, please continue to do that until you feel strong enough to move on. Once you do, try these plank challenge variations.

Donkey Kicks: The Donkey Kick exercise targets our glutes and lower back and helps strengthen our core at the same time.

Fire Hydrant: This is another great exercise for our hip flexors and glutes. Keep your core drawn in tight and squeeze those glutes!

Clams: The traditional clamshell exercise is a great way to help improve hip mobility and strength. Proper positioning helps engage the gluteus muscles. Focus on keeping the abdominals braced and breathing.

Reverse Clam: This exercise is great for runners because it strengthens the stabilizers of the hip for improved form and decreased risk of injury. Start without the resistance band and add it in if it feels too easy.

Side Lying Leg Lifts: This exercise is designed to strengthen your glutes and shape your derriere. You know you want that “runner’s butt”!

Wall Sit: Just in case you’ve been avoiding this exercise…here’s how to do it. Don’t skip this one, it is awesome for our glutes, quads and calves!

Days 3 & 4: What Are You Doing This Weekend?

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What are we doing this weekend? We’re running! And stretching and rolling and getting in some active recovery…oh..and don’t forget your planks and wall sit! 😉

Most important thought, we’re doing what we love most. Running!

Let us know your weekend plans so we can cheer you on! I will be pacing the Snickers Marathon in Albany, GA. Saturday morning in some near perfect running conditions. I’ve got the 4:45 group which makes me happy and relaxed. If you’d like to track me, click here. 🙂

I know my Crew is running too so let us know your plans!

Remember our March Madness Mantra: Motivation, Movement, Mindfulness, Maximize, & Momentum. Let’s keep it rolling through the weekend!

Weekend Warrior: This morning I had a Timehop pop up from this weekend last year so we are throwing it in again this weekend. You can break up this workout anyway that is best for you. Write it down as you get it done then tag your post with #WeekendWarrior and #Sqoosh for your chance to win a Sqoosh sweatband! I will pick a random winner from everyone who posts using these tags early next week. Not sure what a Sqoosh is? Click here and see everything this little band can do for runners.

Weekend Warrior

Day 3 exercises: Plank Challenge Day 3 + Warm Up (Leg Swings, Hip Hurdles & Lunge Martix + Long Run + Legs Up the Wall + Rolling & Stretching 

Extended Arm Plank (High Plank) 

Day 4 exercises: Plank Challenge Day 4 + Active Recovery & Yoga for Runners

Day 2: Mindful Eating

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With March Madness in mind, today’s focus word is mindful which always extends to our eating habits when we’re talking about our core!

It doesn’t make tons of sense to put in some good core work then blow it by eating a bunch of crap. We don’t have any restrictions this month since our No Junk Food Challenge is over but in order to benefit form the work we’re putting in, we must be mindful of what we eat!

With long runs and racing up next, we don’t want to under-eat but we do need to make good choices. The trick is to pick food that fuels our body instead of weighing us down and making us sluggish. Take it one meal at a time and make the best choices you can. Follow the guide above and drink lots of water, eat a table and not in front of the TV, eat your favorite yummiest foods last when you’re close to being full, eat slowly and feel the taste and texture of your food. Be mindful!

Day 2 exercises: 3 sets of 20

  • Plank Challenge Day 2 – 1 Forearm Side Plank :30 on each side
  • Russian Twists
  • Heel Touches
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Spinal Stretch

Bonus: Yoga for Abs – This is a nice easy flowing 6 minute yoga routine that is designed to connect us to our center and help us learn to move from the inside out. Build strength in your core, find a supportive posture and relief in your lower back. This routine is good for all of us.

Lots of runners in our Crew have back pain and even though we talk about how important it is to strengthen your core, you often look at ab workout and say nope, no way, can’t do it, that will hurt my back. Well, I promise that done correctly, today’s exercises will not cause you pain. Give it a try…build strength in your core that will help you to eliminate your back pain once and for all!

Day 2 “how to” videos:

Plank Challenge Day 2 – Forearm Side Plank – :30 each side: Great short video showing a few variations for the forearm side plank

Russian Twists – 3 x 20: One of my favorites. It’s a quick one…but will give you that good core burn. Oh and count one is for both sides…so both sides equals one rep.

If your core is not strong enough to hold your feet off the ground, you can lightly place your heels on the floor. Don’t let them sit heavily on the floor though as we want a little resistance so we can feel our core working.

Heel Touches: Make sure you have your lower back flat on the ground and pull your shoulders up off the floor. Squeeze your core as you reach for your heels.

Mountain Climbers: This exercise can be done with quick in and out movements OR you can slow it down and bring the knees in to your chest with a controlled movement. Both variations are effective.

Spinal Stretch: This is called a spinal stretch but it’s really meant to stretch our abs after a good little workout. Take :30-:60 before you call it quits to stretch out those core muscles. If you have a stability ball, this is another great way to use it. See your choices below.