Days 26 & 27: Tank Top Arms

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It’s the weekend! Many of you have already done your long runs and just need to bust out some arms today or tomorrow…others still need to get that long run in! Don’t skip it…make it happen!

Sometime this weekend, get a good arm workout in! We haven’t focused much on arms this month, but we know that strong arms carry us through the end of tough runs. Strong shoulders and back keep us upright and moving forward when we get tired and tend to slouch. 3 sets of our Sunday arms then 1 set of Tank Top Arms will give you a nice burn!

Day 26 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + :60 Plank 

Day 27 exercises: Arms – 3 sets of 15 

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

  • Bicep Curls
  • Shoulder Press
  • Tricep Dips
  • Hammer Curls
  • Straight Arm Plank – :60

Bonus: Tank Top Arms – 1 set all the way through!

tank-top-arms

I’m heading down to Cocoa Beach to meet Gina Hadala (Can’t wait to meet you Gina!!) and to cheer on Gina, Catherine, and Melissa at the Space Coast Half Marathon! Anyone else going that I can look for on the course? I’ll be riding my bike back and forth the out and back course so look for me!

Anyone else racing around the country today or tomorrow? Let us know so we can cheer you on!

If you already went long or raced in the last couple days, knock out some arms then get some rest! Final few days of November are coming up so let’s finish strong Crew!

 

Day 29: New Monday…New Goals

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 7.09.31 PMOnly 2 days left in our August Challenge…what?!?! Every month seems to fly by and we start so strong then seem to falter towards the end of the month. It happens…

I know it gets harder as the number of sets go up. I know you get tired and busy and feel like you might as well wait to start over again next month…but get that crap out of your head and start the new month today instead of Thursday. It is Monday after all!

Let’s bust out these 2 days super strong, take a break on Wednesday, then attack September with a vengeance!

Day 29 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Jumping Jacks (50 2X)
  • Walking Push Ups
  • Forearm Plank Jacks
  • Inchworm with Shoulder Taps
  • Plank Challenge Day 20 – Get a Move On! (:45 3X)

Plank – Get a Move On! This plank gets us moving. Remember to hold your core in tight and focus on controlling each move. It’s better to go slow and do it right then be fast and sloppy! Here’s the steps and the Plank Challenge video for Get a Move On! is below.

  1. Start in a high plank with toes on a towel, gliders, or paper plates.
  2. Walk your hands forward four steps.
  3. Open your legs wider than hip-width to a straddle (similar to a plank jack) position, five times.
  4. Walk your hands back four steps.
  5. Continue in this manner for 45 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge Day 29 – I have no excuse but that I totally forgot about this part of our August challenge over the weekend. I hope you’ve been keeping up with it. If not…no worries…jump back in and let’s finish it strong.

  • 30 Sit Ups
  • 90 Crunches
  • 95 Squats

Speed Work: Last week of the month and I think we should do something fun and  unstructured. How about some Fartleks this week? YAY! 🙂

Fartlek Workouts are not only fun to say out loud, but they’re fun to run. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and that is exactly what it’s all about. Unlike tempo and interval work, fartlek is unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts with easy throughout. After a warm-up, you play with speed by running at faster efforts for short periods of time (to that tree, to the sign) followed by easy-effort running to recover. It’s fun in a group setting as you can alternate the leader and mix up the pace and time. And in doing so, you reap the mental benefits of being pushed by your buddies through an unpredictable workout. The goal is to keep it free-flowing so you’re untethered to the watch or a plan, and to run at harder efforts but not a specific pace.

Speed work is meant to be spaced out so it’s a good few days away from your other “effort” sessions. Effort sessions are speed, hills, tempo, and long run. So if you do your long runs on the weekend, speed work should be on Tuesday or Wednesday. Most of us are mid level runners so 2 “effort” sessions a week are plenty. If you’re feeling good you can throw in one more but don’t overdo it.  Remember the general rule of thumb…80% of our runs should be at a conversation pace!

I had my first good nights sleep last night in a week and wow I feel pretty darn good this morning. Not running good yet…but I can see the finish line of this injury and am feeling positive! Can’t wait to tackle arms today and be active. Oh how my body is craving it!

Find that fire within you and let’s get to work Crew! 🙂

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Day 22: Confidence is Beautiful!

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 8.21.17 PMConfident people radiate strength, passion and conviction and self confidence looks so good on you.

Own it! ROCK IT!!!

Radiate that confidence today…remind yourself you can do this and use it to power through today’s workout!

Strong, toned arms will give you the confidence to wear tank tops, bathing suits, and that sexy little black dress.

Looking fabulous in your favorite top is great…but the self confidence that strength and a healthy body bring us is always the best outfit.

Day 22 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Jumping Jacks (3 sets of 50)
  • Walking Push Ups
  • Forearm Plank Jacks
  • Inchworm with Shoulder Taps
  • Plank Challenge – Day 22: Step Up Your Side Plank (:45 3X)

I’ve spoken with some of you who have issues with jumping jacks. If that’s you, remember to switch those out for something equivalent that will get your heart rate up a bit. How about some mountain climbers or high knees?

Step Up Your Side Plank: Today’s plank puts together three moves we’ve already worked on this month. Go slowly and focus on holding in your core for each move. It’s not about rushing through it…it’s about having control. Here’s the steps.

  1. Start in a side plank on your right side.
  2. Dip your right hip toward the floor for two reps, then lift your left leg off your right for two reps.
  3. Rotate your left elbow to your right for two reps.
  4. Do three sets on each side.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge – Day 22

  • 20 Sit Ups
  • 25 Crunches
  • 45 Squats

Extra Credit: #SexyArmWorkout – If you have a little extra time…and the confidence to know you can get through it…power through this Sexy Arm Workout. This ones hits every part of our arms!

sexy arms

Speed Work: This week’s speed work is the one I did at track last week and it was tough but fun! What is your plan to get it done? Plan a day to make it happen this week Crew! Reach out to me anytime with questions…

  • Warm Up – 1 mile at conversation pace
  • 3X 800M – These intervals should be done at a pace 1-2 minutes faster than your conversation pace…but not at all out top speed. Rest 1-2 minutes in between each 800 meters (1/2 mile)
  • 3X 400M – These will be your fastest intervals of the day and should be done a little bit faster than your 800s. Think of negative splits during a normal run…you start out slower than progressively get faster throughout your run. Same concept here…run each interval a little faster than the last. Save your speed for the end so your confidence builds during each round.
  • Cool Down – 1 mile at conversation pace

If you’d like a more precise pace to run these intervals, find your most recent 5K or 10K and private message me here. Let’s chat and I’ll help you find the pace that’s right for you. Don’t be shy…better to know what you’re doing than to guess!

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 8.12.02 PMThis is a tough workout but if you start slow and build your way up you will finish feeling strong and confident! You can do this so stop doubting yourself and give it a try!

If it hurts…you’re doing it right! Keep going…it’s just your body changing for the better!

Rock that self confidence Crew….it is your best accessory! 🙂

 

Day 18: Get Pumped Up!

pumped upWho is feeling pumped up for arm day??

Thursday’s arm day is my other favorite day this month and I hope you love it as much as I do.

Get PUMPED UP…and let’s kill it!

Day 18 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Front and Side Arm Raises
  • Incline Push Ups
  • Rolling Forearm Side Plank
  • Tricep Dip with Leg Lifted
  • Plank Challenge Day 18 – Side Plank with Arm Rotation and Leg Lift (:45 3x each side)

Plank Challenge Day 18 – This is a tough plank…no way around it. But don’t give up without trying! If you try…and find it to difficult make some modifications. Maybe just do the arm rotation or just do the leg lift…but don’t give up without trying. Like I tell my son…you first MUST try…or you’ll never know! Here’s a good how to video showing you how to do it. Notice how she goes slow with each move. No need to rush it.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge – Day 18

  • 5 Sit Ups
  • 5 Crunches
  • 5 Squats

Extra Credit: #TankTopArms – Add a little extra burn to your arms today and run through this Tank Top Arms workout.

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The other thing I’d like you to think about today is stretching. Those long runs are coming up so take a few minutes to stretch it out while you’re watching the Olympics or relaxing with family tonight. Our 7 Key Stretches for Runners are easy to work through and will get your legs limber, loose, and ready to go long!

We’re over halfway through the month and you’ve gotten this far…keep pushing Crew!

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Day 15: Stepping Up

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We’re at the halfway point…and it’s Monday! Time to step it up and become the best version of yourself!

If you’ve already fallen behind or failed to get a good start, now is the time to shake it off and move forward. Forget about the days you’ve missed…don’t worry about “making them up”.  Brush it off, get focused, and commit to a strong finish!

Stepping it up not only means recommitting to finish strong…it also means it’s time to add another set to our daily exercises. 3 sets of 10 for this week Crew….let’s rock it out!

Day 15 exercises: 3 sets of 10 

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

  • Jumping Jacks (50 2X)
  • Walking Push UPs
  • Forearm Plank Jacks
  • Inchworm with Shoulder Taps
  • Plank Challenge Day 15 – Boost Your Heart Rate (:45 3X)

Plank Challenge – The “Boost Your Heart Rate” Plank puts together a few of the planks we’ve done so far this month. Take your time and do each step correctly the first time then power through sets 2 & 3 to get your heart beating faster! Here’s the steps

  1. Start in a low forearm plank
  2. Do two plank up-downs.
  3. Bring each knee to its opposite elbow.
  4. Do 5 plank jacks.
  5. Repeat for :45
  6. Do 3 sets

Here’s the “Boost Your Heart Rate” how to video

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge Day 15:

  • 20 Sit Ups
  • 30 Crunches
  • 20 Squats

Arm Bonus: #SlenderSexyArms – Bringing back another of my favorites! This Slender Sexy Arms bonus workout won’t take long but it will make your arms burn! I know a lot of you don’t like jumping jacks…and for this workout, I usually simplify that move too. For the jumping jack portion, don’t jump, focus on the arm portion and really feel the power in your arms just doing the up and down arm movement with your weights.

You do not need heavy weights for this…I use small 2 pound dumbbells. If you don’t have small weights, grab some water bottles or something that is lighter than what you normally use on arm day.

Slender sexy arms

Speed Work: 4x 400M – At first this workout might not seem to taxing but I want you to run these 400M (.25 mile) at 95% effort so basically at almost your top speed with a half mile recovery in between each set of 400 meters. Here’s how to set it up.

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles slow
  2. 400M sprint at 95% effort
  3. half mile recovery – slow (1 minute slower than your normal easy pace)
  4. repeat 3 more times
  5. cool down 1- 1.5 miles slow
  6. Total workout should be 5-6 miles with 1 mile total of fast splits

If you watched some track and field this weekend and caught any of the 400M races, you can see how taxing this distance at an all out speed can be. Those 1/2 mile recovery jogs are important so don’t skip or shorten them. Of this 5-6 mile workout, only 1 mile (4 x 400) should be done at your all out speed. Questions? Please ask! Reach out to your Crew in our FB group here or send me a private message here and let’s chat about it.

You can do this workout on a track, treadmill or in your neighborhood with a GPS watch. Don’t overthink it…just go out and start with a slow warm up, then push pace for a quarter mile, jog slow for a half mile, repeat this process 4 times, then recover with a nice and easy mile to mile and a half cool down.

The best way to get your speed work done is to plan ahead so you are mentally and physically prepared for it. Make sure to leave a few days in between your hard workouts and other effort sessions (hill work, tempo run, long run).

Rise up and be the best version of yourself Crew….your world is waiting! Shine and sparkle with sweat and give it all you’ve got!

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Day 11: Arm Day Got Me Like…

Arm day got me likeHow do you feel about arm day?

Do you look forward to it? Or does arm day got you like UGH…

Do you dread it? Think it’s a waste of time? If you tend to skip arm day…why? What’s your reason?

Working out our upper body is about more than just looking good. Having toned arms and shoulders is a bonus, but did you know there are real health benefits to having upper body strength?

Check out some of the top reasons for building and maintaining a strong upper body:

Injury and Aging: Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels shared that, “If your upper body strength deteriorates as you age, you are more prone to injuries, disease and a diminished quality of life.” We naturally tend to lose muscle as we age. This is called sarcopenia and begins as early as your 20s. You can lose up to 40 percent of your muscle mass by the time you reach your 60s.

By continuing to work on upper body strength we can combat some of this muscle loss, avoid injuries, and ensure we are able to perform everyday activities such as reaching, pulling, pushing and lifting. Having a strong upper body also improves your flexibility, mobility and range of motion….all things super important to runners who want to run for life.

Posture and Form: With the amount of time we spend hunched over phones, computers, desks and behind the wheel of our cars, most of us suffer from some imbalances relating to our posture. Consistent strength training can help us overcome these imbalances.

As distance runners, we can especially benefit from a strong upper body because our shoulders tend to slump and hunch as we get fatigued. Drooped posture will ultimately slow us down and could result in pain and injury.

Trim down and boost your metabolism: Having trouble trimming down? In addition to high intensity exercise, strength training is an excellent way to get rid of that stubborn, excess body fat, because working your muscles is the key to firing up your metabolism.

Our muscles follow the “use it or lose it” principle. This means that more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate and the more calories you burn throughout the day…even when you’re not working out. Strength training causes you to continue burning more calories for up to 72 hours after the exercise is over through a phenomenon called after-burn. Burn calories AFTER working out? Sign me up! 🙂

What more motivation do you need? Let’s get to work!

Day 10 exercises: 2 sets of 10

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

  • Front and Side Arm Raises
  • Incline Push Ups
  • Rolling Forearm Side Plank
  • Tricep Dip with Leg Lifted
  • Plank Challenge Day 10 – Plank Jacks (:45 3X)

Day 11 Plank Challenge – Plank Jacks: You know how to do these! They are fun, a great full body workout, and will get that heart pumping. Give it your all!

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge – Day 11: Numbers are going up! Break it into sets and add it to your daily rounds to make it easier to get it done. 

  • 40 Sit Ups (2 sets of 20)
  • 50 Crunches (2 sets of 25)
  • 65 Squats (2 sets of 30 + 5 at the end)

Extra Credit: #OneMoreRound! Throw in another round of our Day 11 exercises and feel the burn in those arms! Come on….it’ll only take a few minutes!


Speed Work: Did you do your speed work this week? Don’t care about getting faster? That’s cool…there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your pace….no matter what your pace is.

But did you know that speed work also helps you go longer too? Yep. Speed work improves your running economy. Shorter, faster repeats train your body to burn less fuel while going further. It’s like getting better gas mileage for your legs.

Jeff Gaudette, a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country at Brown University, says that inattention to speed development, “impairs your ability to generate explosive muscle power, which results in the decline of running efficiency and economy and, eventually, form starts to break down. This loss of speed is even more pronounced with age, as studies show speed is the first of your abilities to deteriorate as you get older.”

Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, it hurts. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

Running is hard. Running faster is even harder.

Bart Yasso, marathon winner and five time Ironman said, “The only way to advance in our sport is to go to the uncomfortable zone. Embrace the pain, and you will be rewarded at the finish line.”

“Advancing” means different things to all of us. Whatever it means to you…embrace that goal. Push through the pain…because the pain won’t last…but quitting will.

Invincible runner

Day 4: Be in the Running

Be in the RunningSuccessful runners don’t just have impressive quads and glutes. They have muscular arms and shoulders that help them maintain speed throughout their races.

A strong arm swing helps to counterbalance the lower body and to propel the body forward while contributing to overall good form.

Being “in the running” doesn’t mean you’re looking to win a race, or set a new PR, or even racing at all. Maybe you’re just looking to lose weight, reach a milage goal, or just to get toner, leaner, and stronger. Being “in the running” just means your are working towards whatever goal you’ve set for yourself.

So how can you ensure you’re in the running…and covering that middle ground that is the first step towards reaching your goals? Strong arms. Today’s exercises are fun, challenging, and doable. Take each new exercise one step at a time. Build the arm strength that will carry you through the tough times and get you closer to your goals.

Day 4 exercises: 2 rounds of 10

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

  • Front and Side Arm Raises
  • Incline Push Ups
  • Rolling Forearm Side Plank (10X per side = 1 round)
  • Tricep Dip with Leg Lifted
  • Plank Challenge Day 4 – Plank Jacks (:45 3X)

Plank Challenge: Plank Jacks are fun! Don’t overthink it. Get in your plank position and hold your core tight then jump your feet in and out for :45. Repeat 3X. Watch how to do it below.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge Day 4

  • 10 Sit Ups
  • 25 Crunches
  • 40 Squats

Extra Credit: Weight Free Arms Weight free arms

Want a little more arm action? Work through this weight free arm set. I like that it includes some arm stretches and circles. Good way to stretch them out after a tough workout.

Fun day ahead Crew. We are runners. Don’t mess with us!

Get up, get moving, work those arms, and make it a great day! 🙂

Dont mess with me I'm a runner