Day 16: Fully Armed

Rise and Shine

Science has shown that the momentum of the arms is important for lifting the body upwards off the ground, and also for balancing out the body’s rotation with each stride. When the shoulder and arm muscles become fatigued, arm motion changes and this decreases the whole body’s running efficiency, translating into wasted energy and slower times.

Fatigue affects runners in different ways but there are some general trends which athletes show as their form begins to break down. This includes “dropping the arms,” where the athlete bends the elbows less, and “crossing over” when the athlete’s wrists come closer to the body’s midline. Runners also tend to swing their arms less as they tire.

Zach Sabatino, a member of the U.S. World Cross Country Championships team, said,

“As a long distance runner I believe that a strong upper body is crucial to running efficiently and fast. There is no need to be bulky, but we do need upper body strength. Even though we are running with our legs, the arms, back and chest do a lot of work.”

The next time you cross the finish line…throw your arms up in the air in victory! Show off those muscles…after all, they helped you get there faster! 🙂

Sticking with 3 sets of 10 this week…but we are adding some push ups. Let’s get to it!

Day 16 exercises: “How To” Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 3 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front and Side – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Planks – :30 each side (2X)
  • 35 Push Ups
  • Arm Stretches

 

Lean Arms PyramidBonus: #LeanArmsPyramid 

Thanks again to Alison Stewart for finding our arm bonus for today! If you don’t like it…blame Alison! 😉


Running Drills: Going through these running drills one at a time to make them easier to remember…add one in each week to help your form and get stronger!

Bounding

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 5.32.43 AMWhy: Bounding increases foot, calf and hamstring muscle power and develops single-leg  stance stability necessary to maintain fluid running form while fatigued

How: On a flat or very slightly downhill slope, alternate thrusting into the air off one leg in an exaggerated skipping motion. The focus should be on a powerful leap into the air and a quick (but not super fast) cadence. Your arm motion should be synced to the opposite leg’s action, holding steady for the brief moment while you’re off the ground. Do three to four reps of 10 leaps on each leg.

See how high she is off the ground? This motion will propel you high into the air….giving you power and stability. And it’s fun! This is one of those drills that will make you feel like a kid again. Try it! You can do these before your run as a dynamic warm up…or after your run to focus on form and power when you’re tired.


Speed Work: Ready for some new speed work? We did 200m sprints for 3 weeks in a row and it’s time to move on. But before you do…take a minute to look back at your 200m times. Did they get faster each week? Did they seem easier each week? I hope so!

Same concept…IIP – Introduce, Improve, Perfect. But this week we are combining 400m and 200m. We’ll do 4X 400m then 4X 200M. After the first set of 400s the 200s will seem easy. Run them at the same pace. Don’t feel the need to speed up for the 200s. You will be tired and it will be mentally challenging. Push through and it will be an awesome workout!

Workout:

  • 1 mile warm up (conversation pace)
  • 4X 400M
  • 4X 200M
  • 1 mile cool down
  • Total of 3.5 miles

400 meters is just shy of a 1/4 mile so if you’re not doing your speed work on a track (which is fine) think 1/4 mile repeats. That will make it easier to use your watch or other GPS device to track yourself. If you are on a track…400M is 1 lap around the track using the inside lane. Stick to that inside lane or you are adding a little distance to each lap.

Pace: Run these faster than 10K pace and closer to what you can do for 5K. This will feel slow early in the workout but will catch up with you.

Example: My 5K pace is around 8:52/mile and my 10K pace is around 9:13/mile so for these sprints I want to be somewhere in the middle of those times….roughly around a 9 min mile. Want to know what your pace should be? Reach out to me with your current 5K and 10K times and I will let you know how fast you should be running these sprints.

Purpose: This workout is ideal for high-end aerobic training and lactate tolerance. It pushes the envelope of the maximum pace you can hold for a 10K. This is a great workout to do with friends. Just be sure you keep focused on hitting the pace that is appropriate for you. That said, don’t be afraid to push each other. You have to challenge yourself to find out what you are capable of, so don’t let the pace drop throughout this workout. Consistency is the key.

Remember…speed work isn’t just for sprinters! Speed work is great for distance runners because it builds up your threshold and teaches your body to allow for more oxygen consumption. This will translate into the ability to breathe easier during those long runs…and yes…it will make going faster easier too.

Plan ahead to get your speed work in. There is no “right” day…it depends on your running schedule. It is important to give yourself rest days in between speed and long runs…so make sure your speed work is 3-4 days before your planned long run.


Racery: For those that need it….here is the link to our Great Wall race. 6 have finished and there’s plenty of time for everyone else to cross that finish line. If you are injured…go out and walk those miles!


Virtual Race: Did everyone finish their Virtual “Make it Count” for Runwell race this past weekend? If you forgot to post…let us know that you finished and show off that pretty medal you earned! Here is the link to our group event.

When it’s all said and done…remember to stretch! Throw in our 7 Key Stretches for Runners…or run through the Yoga for Runners. Take your time with them and get in a good stretch. Plop in front of the TV or put on some music and just relax. Our Key stretch and Yoga are both are a great ways to stretch out your aching muscles and avoid injury.

It’s Monday y’all…start strong and set the tone for the week. Make it great! 🙂

Mondays start strong

Day 12: What Makes You Happy?

pretty when happyBeing happy makes us smile…and we’re all prettier when we smile! Find something your thankful for…find a reason to smile…and be happy today!

We’ve worked our legs super hard the last couple days so I couldn’t be happier it’s arm day! 🙂

Day 12 exercises: “How To” Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 3 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front & Side – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 Minute (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side (2X)
  • 30 Push Ups
  • Arm Stretches – take a minute to stretch out those arms after today’s workout!

Bonus: #FightFlabbyArms Fight Flabby Arms

A couple weeks ago we talked about being happy with ourself….not comparing our bodies to others. That’s always true…but it doesn’t mean we don’t want to fight those flabby arms! Take a few extra minutes to throw in this bonus and feel those arms burn today!


Running Drills and Speed Work: Haven’t had a chance to get in your speed work this week? There’s still time! Stop overthinking it and just go out and give it a try! Skipping the running drills? Why? Running drills will help your form…and it’s not hard. Throw in those high knees before your run as a dynamic warm up… or after your run to teach your legs how to run strong when they’re tired.

Click here to find this week’s running drill and speed work…and why and how we do it. Remember…speed work is not just about getting faster. There’s TONS of reasons to throw in some speed!

  1. Build stronger muscles
  2. Boost heart health
  3. Lose weight
  4. Good training in between races
  5. See progress! We all want to see results. See results faster with speed work!

Who’s racing this weekend? Let us know so we can cheer you on!

As always…don’t forget to stretch!

Live happy…run happy…and make it a great day Core Crew!

Run Happy

 

Day 5: A Runner’s Secret Weapon

running arm swing secret weaponWhat if you had a secret weapon that you could pull out during a tough race?

What if your arms could carry you through those final miles when your legs are screaming at you to stop?

Runners who focus on their arms when feeling fatigued are able to to maintain a good rhythm, stride frequency (cadence) and posture.

Working your arms, shoulders, and back increases muscle strength and promotes good posture, which improves breathing and arm swing. Arm swing is the X factor in running well!

We don’t need huge biceps. We don’t need to lift lots of heavy weight. But taking the time to strengthen and tone our arms is the secret weapon that will help us finish strong. And it doesn’t hurt that it will be easier to pick up our kids or grandkids, open tight jars, and look good in those summer tanks. 🙂

Day 5 exercises: “How to” Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 2 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 2 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front & Side – 2 sets of 10
  • 20 Push Ups
  • Plank – 1 min (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side
  • Arm Stretches – see below

Bonus: #ILoveMyArms I love my arms

Love your arms and try this extra arm workout today. What’s a few more planks and push ups? 😉


Loving all the running drills and speed work! I know it’s intimidating…but give it a try. I promise it will be over fast. You will be tired…but you will feel amazing! Go back and check out this weeks drills and speed work here.

We are seeing times come down…and those faster times are feeling easier too. Even if you think “I don’t care about my time” the speed work will help your regular runs feel easier. Not only are you working on speed…you’re also training your body to get used to the added oxygen it needs…ever heard of VO2 max?

VO2 max is a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use…and this can be improved with training. Improvements in VO2 max occur due to increases in the amount of blood your heart can pump with each contraction (your heart’s stroke volume) and a variety of adaptations in your muscles, such as increases in the size and number of mitochondria in your muscle fibers.

Throwing around some confusing stuff here…but the take away is that speed work intervals will help you increase the amount of blood your heart can pump with each contraction. This “harder than normal” workout will force your muscles to adapt and will increase the number and size of your mitochondria. All this translates into the ability to breathe easier during hard runs. Who doesn’t want to breathe easier while we’re working hard?

We’ll go over this again…but it’s something I want you to think about. Remember that speed work isn’t just about getting faster…it’s about teaching your body to adjust and use oxygen in the most productive way.

That’s it…get to work Core Crew! Make today fabulous!

Oh…and don’t forget to stretch. Stretch out your arms (arm stretches below) and our 7 Key Stretches for Runners are always a good choice…or take a few minutes to run through the Yoga for Runners routine. A few stretches before bedtime will help you relax and fall asleep easier too! 🙂

Arm Stretches:

 

Day 22: Last Step Up

step up2

The final days of our April Challenge are before us and once again it’s time to step up our game.

4 sets of arms today…15 reps each and 100 crunches. Do not rush through this. Take your time…focus on using correct form and making each move strong.

Day 22 exercises: “How to” videos

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Bicep Curl + Overhead Press – 4 sets of 15
  • Front Arm Raise – 4 sets of 15
  • Side Arm Raise – 4 sets of 15
  • Plank – :30 – 1 min (2X)
  • 100 Crunches

No bonus again today since these 4 sets will take a little time and I don’t want you to rush through them. And no bonus means maybe you’ll have enough time for a short shake out run before this weekend’s long runs or races. If you are running today…think short and easy. Don’t push too hard before your long run! 30-45 min at conversation pace.

Do make time to stretch it out today too. Here are our 7 Key Stretches for Runners and our arm stretches are below.

Virtual Race: Still plenty of time to sign up for the Make It Count Virtual race. If you’d like to sign up and make your miles count for Runwell and those suffering from addiction, click here for more info.

Who racing this weekend? Who’s going long? Let us know so we can cheer you on!

When you’re done..don’t forget to post and let us all know you got it done with #StepItUp then make it a great Friday Core Crew! 🙂

Arm Stretches:

Day 19: Stay Inspired!

 

Stay inspiredAre you staying inspired? If not…what’s got you going in the wrong direction?

Think about what is holding you back…and why…then figure out what you need to do to change it.

Less than a week left in our “No Junk Food” Challenge. Are you holding strong and practicing moderation? Keep trusting in the process and giving it your best!

Day 19 exercises: “How to” videos

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Tricep Overhead Extensions
  • Tricep Dips
  • Tricep Swings
  • Planks – :30-1 min (2X)
  • 75 Crunches
  • Arm Stretches – see below

Jello ArmsBonus: #JelloArms – 1 round is all you need to get those arms feeling like jello! 2 rounds anyone??

If you’re not sure about an exercise….let me know and I will post a how to video for it.


Running Drills: If you haven’t tried them you are missing out…here’s the 8 drills we have talked about so far: Butt kicks, high knees, bounding, grapevines, slow skipping, hamstring extensions, straight leg shuffle, running backwards. Last drill….fast feet.

Many times, poor times are due to slow, heavy feet. Improve your foot speed by working through the Fast Feet Drill two or three times during your warm-up. This is a drill that improves your running cadence by teaching your leg muscles (hamstrings most) to fire faster and feet to turnover quicker. A quick cadence is a shorter stride with minimum ground time. Efficient runners have short quick strides regardless of pace. Minimum ground time helps your running form by getting your feet up quickly under your butt which discourages over-striding and heel striking. Watch this video to see how to do it.


Speed Work: As the saying goes….If you want to run faster, you’ve got to run fast and Tuesday is a great day for speed work!

Not everyone “cares” about getting faster…but let’s face it…we are all proud when we shave a few minutes off our time in a race of any distance….or even a training run.

As more of you do this workout…I think others are starting to see that it’s doable and not as daunting as it seems. Each one of you who gives it a go and finds out they CAN do it is an inspiration to others who are still on the fence. Try it…then inspire others to try it too!

This is the 3rd week we are working on the same drill…1/4 mile repeats :30 faster than your current race pace. This mesocycle helps train our body to withstand similar training so yes…we are doing it again.

Remember… “IIP” – Introduce, Improve, Perfect. This cycle teaches our body and mind to adapt to a specific stress until it becomes less stressful.

  1. Week 1 – Introduce
  2. Week 2 – Improve
  3. Week 3 – Perfect

If this is your first week trying it…that’s ok. Jump in this week and give it a shot. Let’s go over the details again.

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 x 1/4 Mile Repeats at a pace that is :30 faster than your race pace.
  • 2:00 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. Round up or down to the nearest mile if you’re in between.

  • If you run a 14:00/mile, you should run quarter mile repeats in 3:00
  • 13:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 2:45
  • 12:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 2:30
  • 11:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 2:15
  • 10:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 2:00
  • 9:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 1:45
  • 8:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 1:30
  • 7:00/mile – run the 1/4 mile repeats in 1:15

Cool-Down – 5:00-10:00 easy jog…you’ve earned it!

Can you run for these repeats without walking? YES YOU CAN! No matter how fast you are…every runner can do these drills. Remember that the breaks are meant to be REAL BREAKS. Take time in between each set to recover by taking deep breaths, drink some water, and getting ready for your next set.

When you’re done…don’t forget to stretch!

Runwell Virtual Make it Count Medal


Virtual Race: Love how many of you have signed up for this virtual race! It’s for a great cause…Runwell is helping those suffering from addiction learn to choose healthier alternatives like running! Ready to sign up? Here is the info.

Ready for an awesome Tuesday? Stay inspired, inspire others…and make it a great day Core Crew! 🙂

Arm Stretches:

 

Day 12: Sore Muscles = Happy Pain

sore muscles happy painArm day again…already?!? Yep!

I won’t lie…I am still sore from arms on Friday then Gett Itt training on Sunday…but hey…sore muscles is happy pain!

Working hard and being sore after means you are doing the workouts properly and you are giving it your all. Don’t give up now…push through the pain and feel the burn Core Crew!

Day 12 exercises: “How to” videos

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Tricep Overhead Extensions – 3 sets of 10
  • Tricep Dips – 3 sets of 10
  • Tricep Swings – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – :30-1 min (2X)
  • 50 Crunches

cardio strength blueBonus: #CardioStrength – Another old but goody! Throw some Cardio/Strength in the mix to get your heart rate pumping, burn some extra calories, and add a little extra strength to your routine today.

Running Drills and Speed Work: Lots of us are back to running today after a great weekend and a rest day yesterday and Tuesday is a great day for speed! Remember to work in the running drills after you warm up and before your speed work. The straight leg shuffle is a great drill for those who heel strike (me!) to help you move towards a more balance foot when hitting the ground. Click here to see the Straight Leg Shuffle “how to” video and to find our speed work for this week.

Remember “IIP” – Introduce, Improve and Perfect. We are sticking with the same 1/4 mile repeats this week o improve upon our performance from last week. If you haven’t introduced speed work into your routine yet….there is no better time than now!

I am meeting the Jax Runwell team this morning for a group run. These guys are faster than me and I am a teeny tiny bit nervous, but I know that they will push me and the only way to get better is to step out of my comfort zone!

If you didn’t have a chance yesterday, please check out Racing Together to Make it Count. Find out more about Runwell and the amazing things they are doing for those suffering from addiction. There is plenty of time to sign up for the virtual race so choose your distance and Make It Count!

As always….remember to take time to stretch…here’s our 7 Key Stretches for Runners and your arm stretches for today are below.

Get to it Core Crew and make it a great Tuesday! 🙂

 

 

Day 8: Step Yo Game Up!

Step yo game upIt time to Step Yo Game Up Core Crew!

It’s Friday!!! Day 8 and week 2 of our April Challenge means it’s time to step it up to three rounds of 10 and add another 25 crunches to each day. You CAN do this! Do not doubt your self or make excuses!

We all love arm day and Friday is the perfect time to rest our legs and focus on getting our arms strong and powerful to carry us through those long runs…and to work towards those toned, sexy arms we all want.

Day 8 exercises: “How to” videos

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Bicep Curl + Overhead Press – 3 sets of 10
  • Front Arm Raise – 3 sets of 10
  • Side Arm Raise – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – :30 – 1 minute (2X)
  • 50 Crunches

I like to put the front and side arm raises together to form one exercise. It’s your choice… do what is best for you then remember to stretch out those arms afterward. Arm stretches are below.

Bonus: #BurningGuns Burning Guns

Feel like you want to push a little harder today? Check out this Burning Guns workout and let us know how many rounds you had in you.

Long runs and lots of racing going on this weekend. Tell us what’s on your schedule so we can cheer you on!

If you didn’t get in your speed work this week.. don’t worry…you’ll have another chance this week. Get in short easy runs today…or rest up for the weekend.

One last important thing…take time to get in the 7 Key Stretches for Runners today. Your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and IT-Band will think you!

That’s it for now Core Crew…make it a great day! 🙂

 

 

Day 5: Buh Bye Bat Wings

buh bye bat wingsWant toned, sexy arms that don’t flap when you wave…that look nice in a tank top? Today is all about the triceps and it’s time to say Buh Bye Bat Wings!

Woke up this morning very happy for arm day as that 2nd day onset muscle soreness has set in and my legs are tight even after lots of stretching. Who else loves arm day and is ready to show off those guns?

Don’t rush through these exercises. Take them slow and steady, make sure you are doing each move properly to get the most out of your workout, and really feel the burn in your arms! Still working with 2 sets of 10 for each of our arm exercises today.

Day 5 exercises: “How To” Videos

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Tricep Overhead Extension – 2 sets of 10
  • Tricep Dips – 2 sets of 10
  • Tricep Swings – 2 sets of 10
  • Planks – :30-1 min (2X)
  • 25 Crunches
  • Arm Stretches


Bonus: #SkullCrushers – 2 sets of 10 

scull crusher


Form 101: Arm Movements – Do you have good arm form and swing when you’re running? If not you’re leaving a lot of power and efficiency out of the mix…proper arm form and swing could mean the difference when you cross that finish line!

The arm swing is critically important for stabilizing the body when running. It is also an area where runners can often make major efficiency improvements. Watch this video (again) to make sure you’re getting the most power out of your arm movements.


Running Drill: Hamstring Extensions

Ready to add a new drill before your runs this week? Check out the hamstring extension and take a few minute before your ru to throw it in the mix. Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 5.43.58 AM

Why: This drill increases mobility of the hamstring and gluteal muscle groups and enhances forward hip extension necessary for running fast with efficient form.

How: With an upright posture and straight legs, alternately flick one leg forward while reaching with the opposite hand to lightly tap the extended foot. Focus on form, not speed, as this will wind up being a variation of a slow-moving skipping drill. Do two to four reps of 10 extensions on each leg.


Speed Work: Throw in some speed work this week to bring those race times down and get a little bit faster!

First off, do not be scared by the phrase “speed workout.”  Speed is a relative term, by which I mean that one person’s “slow” pace might be another’s “fast” pace.  It’s all about pushing yourself beyond what is ‘comfortable’. Ok…here’s this weeks workout.

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 x 1/4 Mile Repeats at a pace that is :30 faster than your race pace.
  • 2:00 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. Round up or down to the nearest mile if you’re in between.

  • If you run a 13:00/mile, you should run quarter mile repeats in 2:45
  • 12:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 2:30
  • 11:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 2:15
  • 10:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 2:00
  • 9:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 1:45
  • 8:00/mile – run the quarter mile repeats in 1:30
  • 7:00/mile – run the 1/4 mile repeats in 1:15

Cool-Down – 5:00-10:00 easy jog…you’ve earned it!

This workout will teach your body to move faster for longer periods of time, so hopefully come race day, you’ll be ready to shave a few seconds off each mile.

This workout isn’t meant to be easy…but if you are a run/walker like me…you already do intervals…just push yourself during those runs to go a little farther…and a little faster!

Recap: Arms, bonus Skull Crushers, Running drill, Speed Work.

The speed work doesn’t have to be done today…but set aside 1 workout this week and do this instead of a regular run. Choose an area that is flat and just turn around and go the other way for each interval. Do your best and have fun with it!

After everything….please take time to stretch! Here’s our 7 Key Stretches for Runners.

Work hard today Core Crew and let’s say Goodbye Arm Wave! 🙂

Goodbye arm wave

Day 22: Can You Feel Your Arms?

Cant feel my arms“If running’s your thing, it can’t be your only thing if you want to be fit. That’s like saying you’re going to get all your nutrition from a single food.”

Your miles can burn off a burrito and clear your mind after a stressful day, but skipping strength and upper-body training can keep you from the sexy shoulders, strong arms, and overall healthy image you’re after…and it can keep you from running your fastest.

Our daily workouts will improve your strength…but by themselves they might not be strenuous enough where you won’t feel your arms. Throw in today’s bonus work and I bet you’ll be feeling it tomorrow!

Final 9 days of March are here and we are stepping it up again this week…Get through it and finish the month strong!

Day 22 exercises: 4 sets of 15

  • Tricep Dips
  • Shoulder Press
  • Reverse Fly
  • Calf Raises – 10 each side
  • Plank – 1 min (3X)
  • Side Planks – 1 Min (1X each side)
  • Calf Stretches
  • Arm StretchesTank Top Arms

Bonus: #TankTopArms – This is a great addition to today’s arm workout…who’s up for a little extra challenge?

Running Drills and Speed Work: We’ve got some great running drills and speed work to add to our routines this week. Plan ahead to work them in or you will forget! Check out Monday’s post for this week’s workout.

Everything you need for today is below.

Have questions or need a little extra push? Reach out to me and let’s chat. We’re all here to help each other reach our daily, weekly, and long term goals. Don’t be shy to ask for help!

That’s all for today Crew…make it a great Tuesday! 🙂