Day 7: Planning for Success

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Who is racing this weekend? Who is going long and how long? Remember that “long” is relative and your weekend run should be a little longer than your weekday runs. Add 1-2 miles to make it your “long run” and unless your racing…it should be “long slow distance”!

I wanted to talk briefly about planning for race day. A lot of times our “plan” for race day is to finish upright. That’s a great plan…unless you’ve trained hard and have a specific time goal in mind… then you need a more focused plan to reach your goal.

A race plan should keep you focused on the right concepts at the right points in the race. Paces, place, and tactics should be a part of the process, but the core of a race plan should be a very short list of concepts, feelings, or mental states to focus on.

A good starting point is to think about focus words. For example: Relax, Smooth, Strong, Kick. Simple “focus words” like this direct your attention where it needs to be at the appropriate time during the race.

The Start – The key to avoid being overwhelmed in a race is to take things one step at a time and your focus should be solely on the task in front of you. Directly in front of you, meaning, at the beginning of a race you should only be thinking about the beginning of the race. Don’t stress over the later, harder points. So in a half marathon, you should first be thinking about the first 3 miles. The “relax” part. Go into a race too keyed up and worried about the end means you will probably go out too fast and burn out too quickly.

A race, when properly paced, will feel comfortable for about the first half of the distance. So the purpose of the first quarter, third, or half of your race plan should be to get you through this portion as efficiently as possible.

Fatigue starts to set in around halfway through your race. This is where you really want to focus on your plan. As you go into that “fatigue” stage, think “smooth”. Remembering your trigger words, you can maintain a high level of efficiency further into a fatigued state. Pain and suffering, though an inevitable and necessary part of running an excellent race, are also a matter of perspective. By choosing not to focus on the mounting fatigue, you can sustain an efficient running style (and conserve energy) for longer.

Grouping the entire race into first half/second half plus a kick doesn’t adequately address the difference in fatigue you feel in the late beginning or middle part of your race. It’s important to understand that your available energy and focus in the final portion of your race is strongly dependent on your mental and physical state leading up to it.  Running hard or aggressively in the first portion of the race will sap energy from the end of a race: both the “long drive” after halfway and the kick.  Hence the importance of emphasizing efficiency, relaxation, and conservation of energy and running momentum in the first half to two-thirds of the race.

As an exercise, let’s look at a list of potential focus words.

  • Relax
  • Cruise
  • Calm
  • Drive
  • Kick
  • Hard
  • Focus
  • Easy
  • Smooth
  • Loose (as in “stay loose”)
  • Efficient
  • Sprint
  • Rhythm
  • Power
  • Strong
  • Toes (as in “up on your toes” i.e. sprinting)

Each of these words bring a different feeling or mental attitude, and you can probably see how repeating one of them over and over in a race, like a mantra, would affect your attitude and mental outlook.  When you survey the range of feelings and attitudes evoked by these words, you can also understand how different focus words would be appropriate for different parts in a race. What words speak to you? Which ones can you incorporate into your race to keep you calm and strong?

The Kick – The kick at the end of the race deserves special attention, since it should always be part of your race plan.  A lot of runners only find themselves able to muster a kick when they have another runner trying to best them in the final stretch of a race.  Go ahead and accept that you will always, no matter the circumstances, sprint as fast as you can in the final few hundred meters of a race.

Follow the Plan – Do not obsess over your race plan or visual your race a dozen times over.  Sketch out your race plan the night before the race.  Look over it once before the race, perhaps right before you go warm up, to make sure you’ve got it right.  Then run the race once—in real life—and be done with it.  Regardless of whether the race goes well or poorly, learn something afterwards and then move on.

Know that making and executing a race plan is only one part of having a great race.  Even with a perfect race plan, you’re not going to have the best race of your life every time you lace up your racing shoes.  Your fitness, your health, the weather, how the race unfolds, and any number of other variables will affect your performance too.  A good race plan only enables you to showcase your fitness level—it’s not a magic mental trick to conjure up fitness or make up for a lack of training.

Pacing Plan – You have to be in a good mental state when you start your race, but you also need to have a pacing plan. Today we’re going to talk about the half marathon distance, but EVERY race from a 5K to a 10K, to a half and full marathon should be planned out according to pace.

The half marathon is raced below 10K pace, about 15 to 30 seconds slower per mile than 10K pace. On a scale of 1 to 10, the half marathon is raced around a 7. You probably know I believe that holding back at the start of a half marathon is a smart strategy; it’s very easy to go out too fast. So I’m going to talk about a “negative split” pacing plan.

When you’re planning your pacing strategy, calculate the average minute/mile “goal pace” for your race, then start up to 10 to 15 seconds per mile slower than goal pace for up to the first 3 miles of the race. Gradually ease into goal pace for the next 7 miles or so. At mile 10, slowly increase to faster than goal pace for the final 3 miles of the race.

Fuel Plan – If not done properly, fueling and hydrating can have a negative impact on the outcome of a half marathon. Aim for 150 to 200 calories per hour. You’ll have to figure out in training the exact number of calories you need.

These calories can come through a combination of drink—water and/or sports drink—and food including gels, bars and chews. Trial and error during training will help nail down a hydration/nutrition strategy that works best. Once you know what works, stick to it on race day. Many athletes get so caught up in the excitement of the race they neglect their food and water intake.

Final note:  “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” The key to racing well is to be prepared both physically and mentally. Have a plan, and stick to it as best you can.

If you’re racing this weekend, I would love to see your plan! Write it down or type it up, then send me a copy by PM. Let’s chat about how to make the plan work for you so you can turn your “wish” into a reality on race day!

That was a lot…thanks for reading! I hope it sinks in with everyone…no matter what distance you are training for. Remember that every race, from a 5K to a marathon, to an ultra marathon, needs a race plan to be successful!

Now on to our Day 7 exercises. 🙂

Day 7 exercises: 2 sets of 10 – Arms & Core

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

  • Lunge Stance + Single Arm Press
  • Kettle Ball / Dumbbell Swing
  • Plank Ups
  • Tricep Dips


  • Ab Challenge – 20 Crunches, 20 Dead Bugs, 20 Heel Touches
  • Jump Rope – 200
  • Burpees – 10

Bonus: #NoJunkFoodChallenge – As we lead into the weekend on Friday, it is important to think about our goals and where we want to be health and weight wise. A lot of us tend to falter on the weekends, so today we are going to kick off the weekend right with our #NoJunkFoodChallenge! Who’s in? 


We have an exciting weekend coming up with lots of racing, long runs and fun time with family. Every weekend, you should have a goal. Whether it’s a small stepping stone goal, like a long run, or a big race goal…plan now how you will make it happen because without a plan…your goal is just a wish!

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Day 20: Brand New Week…Let’s Go!

The weekend is over…the relaxing is done.

Let go of the excuses and remember…working out is fun!


3 sets of 10…arms and core. New speed work and stepping it up to 45 reps for the Ab Challenge and 40 for burpees. You can do this…make a plan, get it done early, and set the tone for the week!

Day 20 exercises: 3 sets of 10 

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

  • Rotational Shoulder Press
  • Standing Core Dumbbell Swing
  • Push Ups
  • Wall Sit – :60 (after run – if running today)


  • Ab Challenge – 45 Crunches, 45 Bicycle Crunches, 45 Leg Lifts & :80 Plank (1:20)
  • 40 Burpees

Bonus: #BraBulgeWorkout – SLOW AND CONTROLLED

This one may seem like its just for the ladies, but guys you can benefit from stronger, toner arms too! Most of these exercises we have done in the past so you should be familiar with, but if you aren’t sure how to do one let me know and I will post a “how to” video. You don’t need a special ball for the woodchoppers, just use a dumbbell and do them SLOWLY. These are not fast moves. Low reps, slow and controlled movement. Just one set of this workout. Thank  you to Jennifer Oldenburg for suggesting this great workout!

Bra Buldge Workout

Speed Work: Negative Split Run

Many runners do the opposite of a negative split run by going out too fast in the beginning, and then slowing down significantly in the second half of the race. It’s a common mistake because you feel rested and strong in the beginning, so it’s tempting to go out fast. It takes a lot of discipline and practice to achieve a negative split. But if you can hold back and conserve your energy in the first half of your race so that you can run faster in the second half, you’ll perform much better overall.

So we are going to practice. I want you to work on starting  slow and bringing your pace down during your run. Practicing a negative run will help you nail it when it’s important.

Start at your normal “conversation pace” for mile 1 to warm up. For mile 2, speed up just a bit, then speed up a little more for mile 3, etc… The last mile of your run should be at the pace you want to run for your race. Not the overall average, just the last mile. Remember your race will be longer so you have more time to bring that average down. I’m not really concerned with the total distance, but don’t do this on a day that calls for an easy or short run. I want to see you paying attention to your speed and really dialing in on how to pace yourself to get faster as your run progresses. We want to see splits so post your workout when you’re done!

Do not let Monday pass you by. Let’s set the tone and make this the BEST WEEK EVER!!

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Day 13: Get Fired Up!

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Are you FIRED up for another great week? Or are you starting to feel the drain of the month and already wanting to slack?

We are almost halfway into the month and if you’re already feeling the flame subside, it’s time to reset again and keep it back into high gear! Remember…this month is all about keeping that fire lit and pushing through STRONG!

If you’re already waining, I want you to take a few minutes to remember why you are here. Think about your short and long term goals and kick start that fire that got you moving in the first place. Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 5.42.28 AM

I know you’ve probably got a million things on your to do list…. but this one needs to move to this top!

You WANT it. You NEED it. You DESERVE it.


Day 10 exercises: 3 sets of 10 – Arms and Core 

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

  • Rotational Shoulder Press
  • Standing Core DB Swing
  • Push Ups
  • Wall Sit – :60 (post run)


  • Ab Challenge: 30 Crunches, 30 Bicycle Crunches, 30 Leg Lifts + :50 Plank
  • 30 Burpees

Bonus: #CardioStrengthWorkout – If you are running today, no need to throw in the extra bonus. If not…take the extra time to throw in a round or 2 of this cardio strength routine. Get FIRED up and get that heart pumping! 🙂

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Speed Work: Ah the dreaded speed work…but with great work comes great rewards! Remember that speed work has added benefits….

Upping the Oxygen – One part of the speed formula built around a variable known as VO2 max. VO2 max is a laboratory measure of the maximum amount of oxygen your body can process at peak effort. In other words, it’s a measure of the power of your aerobic engine with all the part—heart, lungs, capillaries and muscles—working at aerobic maximum. VO2 max is developed through training at high intensities. This is important for running short distances like a 5K AND long distances like a marathon! Speed training also forces the body to learn to make use of “higher” energy systems not taxed during slower workouts. According to a Runners World article on speed training for marathoners, “The benefit [of speed work] is that you develop energy systems that utilize higher rates of glycogen and less fat than marathon pace. As you become more economical at faster paces, in theory you should become more economical with fat utilization at the slower pace, the marathon pace.” They also note that such training helps the body deal with glycogen depletion late in the marathon.

What do they suggest? Mile repeats! Yep…longer distance speed work is essential to building up your VO2 Max and learning to tax your body for longer periods of time to increase your oxygen intake.

So there it is…speed work this week is mile repeats. FUN! 🙂

To find out how many of these little buggers you are running this week, look at your total average weekly mileage, then factor in 8-10%. That is your distance for speed work.

  • 10-15 miles per week = 1-2 miles @ 10K pace
  • 20 miles per week = 2 miles @ 10K pace
  • 30 miles per week =  3 miles @ 10K pace
  • 40 miles per week = 4 miles @ 10K pace
  • 50 miles per week = 5 miles @ 10K pace
  • 60 miles per week = 6 miles @ 10K pace

These repeats should be done at about 10K pace which is a tad slower than 5K pace but faster than you would run a half marathon. For example, my current 5K pace is about 8:25/mile, and my 15K pace is about 9:05/mile. So I should be right in the middle of that running my mile repeats at about an 8:40 – 8:45 pace for each mile.

Between each mile: stop, breathe, take a drink of water, then go again. These rest periods can be about 2 minutes each. If you don’t want to stop altogether you can slow it down to a walk or jog, but don’t skimp on the rest period, and don’t take too long either. You don’t want your heart rate coming all the way down to resting.

If you’re not sure what your 10K pace is, PLEASE reach out to me and let’s chat. I have a great tool for helping you figure out what your pace can and should be. PM me here and let’s figure it out.

That’s all for now Crew…another fabulous week ahead of us. Time to unleash your potential and GET FIRED UP!

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Day 6: Never Skip Monday!

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Pump your arms and your legs will follow.

It’s a thought we have during the last stretch of a long run, with our legs losing the will to move…let alone run.It’s opposition, learned in elementary school gym class, but most of us have never given it much thought since then. Opposition keeps us from falling over to one side. (Thanks, arms!) When running, your arms act as a counterbalance against your legs, and vice versa: when we’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 you on the pavement, strengthening your arm muscles is vital to keeping you upright, in proper form, and running efficiently. Plus, when you hit it hard during the home stretch of an endurance event, your arms have to kick into overdrive. If they are worn out and fatigued by the time you get to mile 12 in a 13.1, they may very well be why you don’t hit a new PR.

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Training our triceps, deltoids, shoulders, and back are most important. Strengthening your lats as well as the muscles around your shoulder blades can help keep your back straight, transfer power to your arms, and stabilize your shoulders. When we’re running, our triceps and deltoids are doing most of the work. A lot of the forward swing, which we 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.

Today’s arm day is quick and simple. Remember to use today’s short reps to learn the exercises and do them correctly to avoid injuries and wasted time working the wrong muscles.

We’re working our arms today but these moves also incorporate our core muscles so keep your core tight and use that mid-section power to hold you steady while performing these moves.

Day 6 exercises: 2 sets of 10

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

  • Rotational Shoulder Press
  • Standing Core Dumbbell Swing
  • Push Ups
  • Wall Sit (After your run) – :60


  • Ab Challenge – 20 Crunches, Bicycle Crunches, & Leg Lifts + :30 Plank
  • Burpees – 20

Bonus: #SlenderSexyArms – If you have extra time today and want to do a little more, try this bonus arm workout. Use small weights or water bottles. DO NOT USE LARGE WEIGHTS FOR THESE EXERCISES! I also usually do not jump for the jumping jacks. Focus on powerful movements up and down with your arms and cut out the jumping portion.

Slender sexy arms

Speed Work: You probably see lots of our #CoreCrew members putting up new personal records on tough races. Why? SPEED WORK! Speed work is key to getting faster AND to running stronger during our long runs. Putting a little speed into your routine once a week will make our long runs speed easier and require less effort.

Workout: 4-8X 800M (1/2 mile repeats 4-8 times) 

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles easy
  2. 1/2 mile repeats with slow jog or stop and stand still and breathe in between sets
  3. Cool down 1-1.5 miles easy

Wondering how fast or how much effort you should be putting into this workout? Look at the chart below and find a recent 5K time or what you think you would be able to ru for a 5K. The pace next to it is for 1/4 mile repeats (or 400meters) Take that time than double it and add 8-10 seconds. So if you run a 5K in 25 minutes you should run your 400 meter repeats in about one minute 49 seconds. So for 800s you double that to 3 minutes 38 seconds then add 8-10 seconds getting 3:48-3:50 per 800 meters (or every 1/2 mile).

I know this sounds a little confusing so if you aren’t sure please reach out to me and ask. I will help you figure out where you should be.

If you are new to speed work. Start small and don’t overthink it. Start with 4x 1/2 mile repeats (total of 2 miles) and just practice getting close to your time goal each for each 1/2 mile. If you have been doing speed work for a while or are used to go longer distances, suck it up and go for 8x and watch your pace on the first few sets. Don’t try to go all out and beat that pace time. The goal here is stay right on target and hit that time, not to go faster in the beginning and burn out so you can’t finish the workout.

Need help? PLEASE PM me here and let’s chat!


Let’s get to work! It’s Monday…the day that sets the tone for the week. Work hard and get your mind right for the week ahead! We all know the #1 rule to working out and making sure our week goes according to the plan… NEVER SKIP MONDAY!



Day 20: It’s Monday!!


Great workout right?!?! I know you’re super excited about LOTS of burpees!

Calm down Crew…we’re not doing 100 burpees for time….but doesn’t 3 sets of 10 for our arms and core sound EASY now? 😉

It’s Monday y’all let’s do this!

Day 20 exercises: 3 sets of 10 

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

  • Upright Row + Flies
  • Inchworm Push Up
  • Squat Thrust + Curl & Press
  • Side Planks – :30 each side
  • Wall Sit – :60


  • Superman – 1:55
  • Push Ups – 50
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – 150 seconds (2:30) If you can’t fathom holding a plank this long, break it up into a “rolling” or “moving plank and shift into different plank positions for 2:30.  Regular plank, side planks, plank reaches, plank jacks, whatever type of plank works for you. You can do this!

Bonus: Burpees – 3 sets of 10 – Better than 100 right? 🙂

Speed Work: 4 x 1200 meters (.75 mile) 

This is a tough workout but extending the distance for our speed work is an important part of holding that faster pace a little longer. Don’t go too fast…find a pace you can hold for the .75 mile then stop to jog, walk, or just stand still and breathe, then do it again!

Remember to start with a 10-15 minute warm up and some running drills and finish with a 10-15 minute cool down.

Show the world your Monday BAD-ASSERY…who knows…maybe you’ll inspire someone.

Get up and get moving Crew!