Day 19: Choose to be Strong

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For many of us, poor performance or lack of increasing better results in our favorite sport, leads to a whole lot of self-deprecating thoughts like “I suck,” “Why do I even do this?” and, “Why aren’t I better?” It can become a real inner battle and a catalyst to depression and quitting. But there is hope!

There are two types of runners: those who just run and those who are well-balanced athletes.

Well balanced athletes cross-train and perform strength training. They’re usually stronger, healthier, and more successful athletes who are able to keep reaching new levels of performance.

On the other hand, the runners who just run tend to get injured often and wonder why they aren’t able to make much progress over the long term.

Does this look familiar? Yep…we’ve been down this road before. Well-balanced athletes don’t need to spend all day in a gym building muscle; they don’t focus on “bulking up”. But adding strength training to your routine allows a runner’s body to become more resilient to the demands of running.

According to breakingmuscle.com, strength training is one of the best forms of cross training runners can do…consider it the “ideal cross training.”

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A strong body will counteract the effects of repetitive pounding our boys takes when we’re running and any preexisting conditions will be less likely to get worse.

Strength training helps to improve structural weaknesses in your body, whether in the muscles, joints, or connective tissues. Often, this will eliminate the source of many common running injuries. For example, runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, can be caused by hip dysfunction – tight or weak hips cause compensations elsewhere that result in knee injuries.

Strength training builds core strength, which is particularly important for distance runners. A strong core will not only look great, it also contributes to better posture throughout the day and while running. This means you’ll be a more efficient runner.

Strength training even will help you run faster. By improving your efficiency, allowing you to impart more force into the ground, and train healthy for longer periods of time, you’ll finish races faster than ever before.

Run pain-free, shave some time off your favorite distance, and improve structural weaknesses in the your body….strength training is the key. On top of these benefits, runners will also gain valuable higher energy levels, increased bone density, a stronger metabolism, and less body fat.

Which athlete do you want to be? Be more than a runner…be a well-balanced athlete who can’t be beat because you never give up.

Day 19 exercises:

  • Donkey Kick Workout – Butt, Hips, Thighs and Glutes
  • Bonus: Ab Pyramid
  • Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-8
  • One :60 Plank of your choice

Donkey Kick Workout: Last week you followed along with me so I thought I’d give you a break and let you follow along with this cool chick today.


Bonus: Core Work! – Ab Pyramid 

We did this one a lot in the past and we’re bringing it back today. 1 round all the way through for today’s bonus workout.

ab-pyramid


Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-8

  1. 1 minute skaters
  2. 20 Squats
  3. 15 Push Ups
  4. 10 Superman
  5. 1 minute Jumping Jacks
  6. 20 Lunges
  7. 15 Tricep Dips
  8. 10 Mountain Climbers

Speed Work: Remember me talking about the RRCA strategy IIP?

Introduce, Improve, Perfect

This strategy allows us to introduce a workout (maybe not doing it very well), then improve on that workout (getting better) and finally perfecting that workout (doesn’t mean you don’t still have room to improve, but you will know how to do it).

We’ve been changing it up each week lately but I want to bring this strategy back…you got it…same speed work as last week…more 1/4 mile repeats. Since we are revisiting the same speed workout, I also want to remind you of some tips you can use to get better at it. Adding a couple of these to your workouts each week will help you improve.

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Speed workout: 6x – 8X 1/4 mile repeats

Warm-Up  5:00 jog followed by your choice of Dynamic Movements (high knees, butt kicks, leg swings, sideways shuffles, skipping, etc)

Work-Out – 6-8 x 1/4 Mile Repeats at a pace that is :30 faster than your race pace.

*2:00 standing or walking rest in between each one.

1/4 Mile is equivalent to 400 meters or one lap of a standard-sized track.  Here’s a few examples of where your interval times would range, depending on your mile time.

  • If you run a 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 2:45
  • If you run a 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 2:30.
  • If you run a 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 2:15.
  • If you run a 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 2:00.
  • If you run a 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 1:45.
  • If you run a 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 1:30.
  • If you run a 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile repeats in 1:15.

Cool-Down  5:00-10:00 easy jog (you’ve earned it!)


We can all be more well-balanced and stronger athletes. Getting stronger doesn’t mean we won’t have some disappointing races or training runs, but it will help you feel better, lose weight, run faster easier, and prevent injuries.

So let me ask you again….what type of athlete do you want to be?

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Day 12: Consistency…Refuse to Give Up!

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-4-45-13-amHey Crew! The Chicago Marathon is over but there’s no more time to rest. Lots more fun races to come and goals more goals to reach!

Consistency is the key to life long health and fitness and our ab exercises are waiting…

I’m excited and proud to say that the scale has also stayed consistent throughout my marathon training this season. Training for MCM last year, I gained weight…but this summer I was able to stay the course and keep the weight off.

Thank you all for keeping me motivated and accountable along the way! Next up…Rock N Roll Savannah! It was such a blessing to meet Martin, Deena, and Alicja in Chicago…and now I get to look forward to meeting so many more of you in Savannah. The gifts keep coming! 🙂

Let’s get to work Crew!

Day 12 exercises: Abs – 3 sets of 10

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Sharon’s Walk Down Plank
  • Lower Body Russian Twist
  • Stamding Side Crunch
  • In and Outs
  • Bedtime Plank

ab-pyramid

Bonus: #AbPyramid

Bringing back another old favorite today. Throw in this Ab Pyramid to round out today’s ab work and feel the burn! There’s no reason why you can’t have those flat abs…but you’ve gotta do the work!

Speed Work: Silly me…I forgot all about this week’s speed work. Let’s keep it fun and simple and throw in some fartleks this week. Super simple…during your run today, throw in some speed! Pick a spot in the distance and run as fast as you can to that spot…slow it down and recover, then do it again!

Fartleks are a great way to build some speed into your workout and increase your heart rate…another great way to bur some extra calories and work towards those flat abs! 🙂


Extra Credit: Calorie Counting – We all know abs are built in the kitchen so today we are counting calories. Do you know how much you really eat? Counting calories is a great way to see what you’re taking in…and I bet you’ll be surprised how quickly it ads up. If you are not familiar with counting calories a great way to get started is by using the MyFitnessPal app.

Download MyFitnessPal and “friend” me so we can help keep each other accountable. It’s really easier than you think to keep track of what you eat and if you want to lose weight and tone up, this app will help you reach that goal! With the holidays right around the corner we need to be aware of what’s what and consistent with our diet. Make the commitment NOW and be ready to look fabulous in your holiday attire. Who doesn’t want to walk into their family holiday parties and have everyone saying, “OMG, you look amazing!” 🙂

If you feel like slacking today…think about those goals you want to reach then get up and MOVE! You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to be consistent!

Refuse to give up and make it a great day Crew! 🙂

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Days 16 & 17: Keep the Dream Alive

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 4.26.09 AMGetting up and out the door is the hardest part of our long run.

That’s what they say…but it’s not really true…

The hardest part of our workout…is our workout!

We run for what seems like forever, we sweat buckets in the heat, our lungs ache and our legs scream….but when we are done we feel empowered, we feel revived, we feel amazing!

As you battle with yourself to get out of your comfy bed, to leave your family at home, to get sweaty and tired…think about how you feel once it’s done, once you’ve depleted your body of all it’s energy. There’s no better feeling than clearing your mind of all the stress from your week.

Yes our body will be taxed to its limit…but the power that this workout will have on your mind is worth every step. Once it’s done, you’re ready to tackle anything. Well…after a nap. 😉

Keep the dream alive…get up and get moving!

Day 16 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Plank – :45 (2X)

Day 17 exercises: #AbPyramid + 2 extra Planks (:45 each)

Weekend Bonus: Yoga for Runners – Sometime this weekend, preferably after your long run, find a quiet place to relax, concentrate on your breathing, and stretch out your body and your mind. This is a great way to get ready for another grueling week. Tax your body…then take a little time to Unknot Yourself.

Ab pryamid

 

Days 9 & 10: Make Time To Run

Make time to runWithout a doubt the long run is one of the most important parts of our overall training cycle. Hopefully you have a pack of like minded people ready to go long with you this weekend.

If you must go solo…there are ways to make it easier. Let’s face it, if you’re following your training plan you’re physically ready to go the distance…it’s the mental part that is agonizing.

Here are some tips to make it easier to get out the door.

  • Plan ahead: If it’s actually written down in your calendar, you’re more likely to do it.
  • Get it done early: Don’t wait till Sunday, cross it off your to-do list on Saturday if possible. Lift that weight off your back early so it’s not looming over your head all weekend.
  • Get online: Your Core Crew is your support system and we an be a HUGE motivator. If you post that you’re going out for a 12 miler, you won’t want to let us down…right? Go ahead and #RunBrag afterward to celebrate too!. Your run post just might inspire someone else to head out for their run, too!
  • Get your gear on: Lay out your outfit the night before and put it on right away in the morning. You’ll feel silly sitting in your house in your running clothes, so hit the roads where those kicks really belong!
  • Pick a killer playlist:  There’s something to be said for those times when one of your favorite tunes comes on and nudges you to pick up the pace a bit. To be safe, only use one earbud with the volume just loud enough to hear it so you are safe.
  • Focus on the half-way point: The first half of a long run is usually the hardest part because you feel like you’re heading away from home. Even if you still have a ways to go, you get excited when you’re halfway done because it feels like every step is a step toward home. Breaking up the run into parts makes it more manageable and less daunting.
  • Be creative with your route: Try not to run the same roads all the time. Changing up the scenery can help beat the boredom.
  • Remember that it’s worth it in the end: It feels pretty darn sweet finishing a long run. Savor it.

Are you ready to go long? What’s holding you back? We are all here waiting for you to finish…waiting for you to brag about how awesome you are…waiting to tell you how proud of you we are…

Don’t let us down! Of course we’ll still love you if you do…. So even more important…don’t let yourself down. You know you want it…go out and get it!


Remember…if you need to wait until Sunday to get your long run in…spend a little time working those abs on Saturday! Switch it up and make it work for you!

When you’re done….PLEASE make time to stretch!

Day 9 exercises:

Day 10 exercises:

  • Ab Pyramid – 1 set
  • Plank – :30 (1X)

If you are thinking about skipping your long run this weekend because you’re tired, or don’t feel like it, or have to many other things to do…remember that this is your YOU time. You deserve this time for yourself…to be healthy, to be sane!

So if you’re feeling blah, tell yourself…no way am I giving up this time for me… no way…

Run I will

Day 2 & 3: Mind Over Miles

Mind over milesIt’s the weekend and we all know what that means…time for our long run! How far are you going?

Whatever “long” means to you…make it count!

Go a little farther than you’re used too…a little farther than what you are comfortable. When you want to quit… keep thinking…mind over miles…mind over miles…and keep going.

Make yourself accountable and tell us what kind of miles you’re doing this weekend. Saturday or Sunday…either day works…just get out there and do your thing!

If you go long on Saturday…Sunday is Abs. If you go long on Sunday…bust out our ab work on Saturday then stretch and rest up for your long run on Sunday.

Ab pryamidDay 2: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Plank (:30 – 2X)

Day 3: Abs – Ab Pyramid (1 round) + 1 extra :30 Plank

No bonus this weekend. Just running, planks, 1 round of abs and stretch! If you have some extra time…throw in some Yoga for Runners and relax your mind and get ready for the week!

Monday is the 4th…and yes we are working out. Make a plan to get it done early before you start hanging with family and friends and enjoying the holiday. addicted to the long run

Wonder why you get up earlier on the weekend…and even look forward to it? It’s all about those feelings you get at the end. Chase that feeling of being empty, clean, worn out and sweat purged. Love that good ache of muscles that have done you proud!

Chase that Runner’s High and make it a great weekend Core Crew! 🙂

Day 15: Embrace and Appreciate

Today I will

Day 15…halfway through June!

Each month when we hit the 15th, I always marvel at how quickly the month has passed and how proud I am of each of you! We push so hard each day in our personal and professional lives and sometimes we have to slow down and take a moment to appreciate what we have accomplished.

So today…in addition to everything on life’s “to do list” stop and take a minute to think about what makes you smile, what makes you get up each morning and keep going, about how far you’ve come…

If you’re feeling down, defeated, or just plain tired…remember how each day is a gift and take a moment to appreciate the the ability to wake up and see the day unfold…the ability to make each day the best one yet.

Day 15 exercises:  ****Click here for how to videos****

3 sets of 10 + Plank

  • Knee Cross Crunch
  • Double Arm Reach
  • Side Imprint
  • Cross Body Chop
  • Medicine Ball Slam
  • Star Plank – :45 each side

Bonus: #AbPyramid  Ab pryamid

An oldy but a goody…and one of my favorites! If you have a little extra time today…go back to the basics and work that #AbPyramid!

Thigh Challenge: Rest Day! 


Speed Work: Loved seeing all the speed work variations yesterday! If you didn’t get in some speed… stop thinking about it….just go out and push pace! Here’s some options:

  • Fartleks – “speed play” or unstructured bursts of speed
  • Intervals sprints – 200M, 400M, 800M, mile repeats with rest between sets
  • Tempo Run – Click here to read more about Tempo Runs
  • Progression Run – think negative splits

July Challenge: Since it’s the 15th, I need to start thinking about July…I know July already DANG!! All ideas are welcome! Love adding your favorite workouts in our routine and sharing them with our Core Crew so don’t be shy…what do you want to focus on next month?


Another hump day with lots of do….but most important today…appreciate life and everything you’ve been given. Embrace the day knowing that you have the power to make it great! 🙂

embrace each day