Day 4: All About Arms!

#CoreCrew Family Weekend Miles – What an amazing weekend!!! So many miles logged by our little family! I’m only counting the miles added to our activity chain and I have a feeling not all the miles got logged there, but that’s ok. The miles added up quickly!

Total #CoreCrew miles Friday 9/1 – Sunday 9/3 = 341.72!

Pretty amazing Crew! If y’all liked this activity chain, I would love to keep it up every weekend. Let me know if you like this idea. 🙂

Monday Day 4: All About Arms!

Distance running is mentally and physically costly. It requires large outlays of energy. Almost every aspect of the activity adds to that energy expenditure, like holding your body upright and metronomically swinging first one leg and then the other forward and toward the ground. But scientists and coaches know that pumping your arms, although requiring energy, reduces the overall metabolic cost of running by helping to balance the moving body, increase forward propulsion or, perhaps, provide a bit of bounce, helping to lift us off the ground with each stride. In this theory, swinging the arms makes it easier to run.

Since our arms are part of the package and make it easier to run, building their strength is another important part of our training. We don’t need huge guns, but we don’t want weak noodle arms that flail around or fail to support us during tough runs.

Today’s workout targets key areas for our arms and will help us build the strength we need to use them to our advantage. Strong arms can make all the difference between a new PR or a disappointing finish.

While running work on keeping your arms by your side, swinging back and forth but without crossing in front of your body. Push backwards with your elbows to propel you forward. Keep you shoulder, hands and wrists loose to avoid cramping or tenseness in your upper body. Building strength in our shoulders, biceps, triceps and back will make the proper upright & stable posture more comfortable to hold for long periods of time during exercise. While you’re doing today’s exercises, make sure to hold your core tight! No swinging from the waist or rocking back and forth.

Day 4 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout
  • Day 4 exercises
  • Bonus Push Ups
  • Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Plan your weekly speed work

Quick Workout Routines:

Day 4 exercises: 2-3 sets of 10

  • Bicep Curls
  • Hammer Curls
  • Tricep Overhead Extensions
  • Chest Presses
  • Plank – :60 or more!

Bonus: Push Ups – 2-3 sets of 10 – There are numerous ways to modify push ups to your fitness level. Start from a higher plane like a bench or wall, do knee push ups or go for it and do full body push ups!

Speed Work: Speed work makes us faster. If you want to improve your times, feel better during long runs, and increase your ability to breathe comfortably while running, you need to add speed work to your weekly routine.

If you normally do speed work once a week and you are racing today (really racing not just running a holiday race for fun) this is your weekly speed work. The rest of your workouts this week should be at your easy pace.

If you are training for a half or full marathon, and usually put in more than one day of speed work or add a tempo run, you can still do another speed workout this week. Just make sure you are putting a rest day or two in between.

Why 800m again?: IIP – Introduce, Improve, Perfect 

This will be the 3rd week doing the 1/2 mile repeats workout. the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) promote the concept of introducing a workout, improving upon the first session, then perfecting the workout. So we are doing the same workout again this week. If you have done this a couple times already, you should be feeling more comfortable with it and can use this week to push harder and see how far you’ve come!

Why are 800m (1/2 mile) repeats so effective? In the last 800M (1/2 mile) of a 5K, the last mile of a 10K, the last 5K of a half marathon, and the 10k of the marathon, YOU have to show up.

This workout is all about chasing that 800m repeat effect: It’s learning how to fight fatigue and battle the breakdown that will come when you’re pushing yourself hard. When you come around the last curve of your final 800M repeat, knowing you finished what you started, you will understand the reason behind speed work. When you finish that goal race and the jet-power showed up, it will be because YOU called for it.

Workout: 800 meter repeats (1/2 mile repeats) – The # of repeats you do will depend on the race distance you are training for.

  • 5K – 800M x 4
  • 10K – 800M x 5
  • Half Marathon – 800M x 6
  • Marathon 800M x 8
  1. Start with your warm up of 1-2 miles. This also depends on you. I prefer a nice long easy warm up and always shoot for 2 miles. In reality, I would love a 3-4 mile warm up because that’s when I really start to feel good!
  2. Take a few minutes to stretch and do some warm up drills like hip hurdles, butt kicks, lunges, slow skips, side skips, bounding, etc…
  3. Go into your workout – take a 2 minute rest in between each 800 meters (1/2 mile). Do NOT take longer than 2 minutes. Force yourself to keep going without letting your heart rate come all the way back to resting.
  4. Finish your full workout.
  5. End with a nice easy 1-2 mile cool down.

Day 4 “how to” videos:

Bicep Curls: Use a barbel or dumbbells, keep your back straight and strong and use your arms without swinging or rocking.

Hammer Curls: Next in our series is our hammer curl, called that because it looks kind of like a hammer. So instead of having your palms facing up, like you do with most bicep exercises, you’re going to have the weight perpendicular to the floor. Just like you’re holding a hammer.

Tricep Overhead Extensions: When we’re running and need to push our elbows backwards to propel us forward our triceps are doing the work. Strengthen them with this tricep Overhead extension.

Chest Presses: You can do this exercise using your stability ball, a bench if you have one, or lying on the floor. Our video shows how to do them from the stability ball. The same form technique applies to all positions.

Forearm Plank: The basic plank doesn’t involve moving at all. This is referred to as an isometric exercise. The key with the plank is to engage you core muscles in the right way so that through the effort of balancing and stabilizing your body, you are giving your core muscles a fantastic workout. And if you don’t think you can get a good workout by holding still, just wait until you try to hold a plank for 30-60 seconds…you’re going to feel it!

That’s all for now Crew. Once again…it’s time to DOMINATE MONDAY!!!

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Day 13: Secret Weapon


At the end of yesterday’s half marathon, there is a bridge…it doesn’t look that big…but it’s deceiving. You’re tired, downright exhausted…then here comes the hill.

I had my own secret weapon  at the Donna 26.2 to Finish Breast Cancer race. I had Frank Samu, a friend and speedster who was just out having fun, smiling TONS, taking photos, and giving out high fives. Frank caught me around mile 7 and to my surprise, he stuck with me for the rest of the race. It was a godsend, because it was a hard one for me.

I had started our pacing a few friends but the crowd was thick and I lost them around mile 5, so when Frank caught me and said he was just out having fun, I knew it was time for me to go to work.

I usually use a Galloway style running method during races, a method some people call intervals and others know as the run/walk/run method. But with Frank running by my side, I knew there was no more walking in my future.

I cut out the walk breaks and just started running and let me tell you, it was hard! We were keeping  a steady low 9s pace which was doable for me so I just pressed on. 

Then we saw it…the bridge. As we started our incline, Frank knew I was tired. He could hear my labored breathing and of course he could hear me cussing about my quads (which were on fire). But he kept saying, “stay right here on my hip” and we kept moving forward.
Frank told me, “shorten your steps and use your arms.” He was right. I shortened my steps where they were merely a footstep in front of each other and used my arms to power up that bridge. We did it. I did it. I got up that bridge without stopping…and at the top are so many people cheering and screaming with signs and smiles. You run through a wall of people so thick you that you can’t help but feel their energy. The the bridge is conquered and it’s all downhill with less than a mile to the finish line. 

Frank, thank you, thank you, thank you, for hanging with me! Forgive my potty mouth and know that without you by my side, that “oh I can do 2:05 easy” would not have happened.

Short steps and arm swings Crew. DON’T SKIP ARM DAY!

Day 13 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

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

Bonus Challenges:

  • Superman – 1:10 (70 seconds)
  • Push Ups – 40
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – Rest day 🙂

Speed Work: Want to throw down fabulous new Personal Records like Aicja Grace at yesterday’s Mercedes Marathon? Time for speed work!

This week, we are doing a workout I did at track last week. The key here is to keep your times as steady as possible. Don’t go out too fast…and don’t end too fast. Remember…steady steady steady. But don’t hold back on the speed!

Workout: 800M, 400M X 3 or 4

  1. Warm up – 1 – 1.5 miles slow and easy. Get your hear pumping and your breathing going
  2. 800M (1/2 mile) – Remember those times I gave you for 400’s? Double that and slow it down just a tad. (See times below)
  3. Rest 90 seconds – walk, jog, or stand still and breahte
  4. 400M (1/4 mile) – Do not run these too fast. Remember the key is to be steady here. So you shouldn’t be running these at top speed. Take your 800M (1/2 mile) time and cut it in half.
  5. Rest 90 seconds – walk, jog, or stand still and breathe
  6. Do it all again!
  7. Repeat this cycle 3 -4 times. 3 times = 2.25 miles / 4 times = 3 miles
  8. Cool down – 1 – 1.5 miles slowly to bring your heart rate down keep your legs moving

1/4 Mile is equivalent to 400 meters or one lap of a standard-sized track while 800 meters is 1/2 mile or 2 laps around a standard-sized track.  Here’s a few examples of where your interval times would range, depending on your mile time.

For this workout, you should take these times and slow them down just a tad. I run 400M in about 1:45 – 1:50 so for this workout, I run 800M in 4:05-4:08 and the 400M in 1:55 – 2:00. You can do this. Don’t overthink it. Just go out and run fast! 🙂

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

I hope you found some motivation from all the awesoneness that you saw this weekend and are ready to kill it! Let’s start the week off right and get to work!

Have a great Monday Crew! 🙂


Day 2: Set It Off!


The holidays are over, the sweets and yummy food are all gone…

No more excuses, no more putting it off for tomorrow…

Time to wake up, set your intentions for the week ahead and go for it! Set it off right Crew!

The year ahead is anything you want it to be!


You didn’t wake up to be mediocre…Let’s GETTTT ITTT!!!

Day 2 exercises: Arms – 2 sets of 10 

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

There’s an extra “challenge” for everyone. Choose Burpees or Push ups…beginner or advanced…make a commitment and just DO IT! No…it won’t be easy…it won’t be all that much fun. But it is worth it and you didn’t wake up today to be mediocre did you?!? NO!

Bonus: One more round!! Have one more round of arms in you? Do it again and feel the burn!

Let’s start this party and SET IT OFF Crew!!

2017 Goals: Still waiting on goals from lots of people…don’t make me call you out. Set a goal, set a deadline, write it down and let’s CRUSH IT!!

Speed Work: You don’t have to run fast in training—unless you want to run faster in races….

Is one of your goals to get faster? Maybe you want to finish a 5K in record time? Or set a new Half Marathon PR? Well….the only way to get faster…is to run faster!

You don’t always have to run faster…in fact 80% of your training runs should be at a slower controlled pace…but if you’re serious about reaching those time goals, you MUST put in some speed! It’s a little scary…even longtime runners get anxious about track day. But once it’s over you will feel amazing!

This week we have options for speed! Read through them and see what fits you and your area best. If it’s difficult to get to a track…or your track is covered in snow…choose an option that you CAN do. See…no excuses! 😉

On the Track: “High-intensity track sessions move the muscles through the full range of motion, improving elasticity and enhancing coordination between your nervous system and muscles. With time, you’ll develop a more efficient stride at all your paces.”

HIIT It: Begin with two 100-meter accelerations that include 40 meters at top speed, with 2 to 3 minutes of walking or jogging between.

Build to 6 x 150 meters hard, including 80 meters at top speed, with 3 to 4 minutes jogging or walking rest.

Over time, increase the number of repeats to 10, lengthen reps to 300 meters (running nearly the entire distance at top speed), or reduce the rest interval to one minute.

On the Hills: Inclines are a great venue for superfast speedwork. Compared with a flat surface, hills reduce the impact on your legs and limit your range of motion, thereby lowering the risk of strains and pulls. Plus, hill repeats build muscle power, which helps you run more efficiently on level ground, says McConkey.

HIIT It: On an incline, start with three 30-second moderate repeats and walk down the hill for recovery.

When this becomes comfortable, progress to 4 x 1 minute near all-out efforts with a downhill jog and an additional 30 to 60 seconds jogging or walking rest.

Over time, add additional reps, extend effort length up to two minutes, and aim for steeper hills.

Speed Workouts for Beginners: When you’re just starting out, any type of interval—even alternating walking with jogging—will challenge your body in new ways.

Incorporate one of the following workouts each week to introduce intensity and boost your speed.

Track: Run two laps. On the straights, accelerate and hold top speed for 20 meters. Walk the curves.

Trail: Intersperse an easy run with 3 to 4 20-second, moderate-intensity surges.

Hills: Do an easy run that incorporates three 20-second climbs, each one at a moderate effort.

As the saying goes, “If you want to run faster, you’ve got to run fast! Go get you some speed Crew! Speed work should be shorter mileage so don’t try to throw it in on your medium or long runs. Nice and short…with some speed is all you need!

I know you’re all super excited….

Hooray Hooray…today is the day! It’s time to get to work Crew!


Days 19 & 20: Runner Problems


Ready to go LONG?!?!?

As runners, we always have to “work around” getting our long runs in. Well…maybe it’s really that we work the rest of our weekend around our long run. 😉

In order to get it done, feel good, and make sure our family and friends aren’t mad at us, we have to PLAN! What’s your plan? Plan ahead to be successful!

Remember to make time for arms on Sunday too. 🙂

Day 19 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Side Plank (:30 each side)

Day 20 exercises: Arms – 3 sets of 15 (Stepping it up to 15 reps per set!) 

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

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

Bonus: PUSH UPS!!  – Sunday’s bonus arm work – 3 sets of 15 push ups

Take time to stretch Crew. It’s important for recovery!

If you’re going long on Saturday, try to get out on Sunday for a few SLOW miles. Keep it short and easy (30 minutes or less). We call this “active recovery” and it will help your body recover better than laying around and stiffening up.

If you can’t get out for a run both days, find other ways to be active. Play outside with your kids, go for a walk with your spouse, go for a bike ride. Just don’t sit around idle…I promise you will feel better on Monday if you are active the day after your long run.

No matter how far your long run is…just GO RUN! 🙂


Days 29 & 30: No Finish Line

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-11-31-25-pmThis is a 30 day challenge…and here we are again at the end of the 30 days. But in truth, there’s another starting line right around the corner.

Like a race, as soon as it’s over we’re starting the next training schedule…planning our next race.

Every day is another step in our journey to a healthy, active life. Something we do to live a long time…and to feel good while we’re we’re at it!

It’s the end of the month, but it’s not the end of the road. We continue to get up everyday with a plan to make TODAY a positive part of the rest of our life.

It’s a lifestyle and we train every day…just like there is no finish line!

Day 29 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches + Bedtime Plank

Day 30: Arms – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Halo Curl
  • Shoulder Press with Rotation
  • Push Ups
  • Elbow Kiss
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: Relax! Take the rest of the day to unwind and get ready for your next run or just hang out with your family. Remember…this is a lifestyle, the finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race…and there’s always tomorrow. 🙂

Have a great weekend Crew! 🙂


Days 15 & 16: Run with Heart

purpose-of-runningAs runners, our weekends are usually full of long runs, races, early bedtimes, rolling, stretching…and lots of other fun running related stuff.

No matter what your plan is…a long run or a race…run with purpose, not to win but to test your own limits and to give it all you’ve got!

Run with purpose. Run with heart!

I’m racing on Sunday so I’ll be switching it up and doing arms on Saturday and running long on Sunday. What’s your weekend plan? You must have a plan to get it done or life will get in the way! Make a plan and get it done!

Day 15: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Bedtime Plank 

Day 16 exercises: Arms – 3 sets of 10

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

  • Halo Curl
  • Shoulder Press with Rotation
  • Push Ups
  • Elbow Kiss
  • Bedtime Plank Daily Abs

Saturday & Sunday Bonus: #DailyAbs – Yes it’s arm day…but after setting those abs on fire yesterday, let’s kick it up a notch and get those abs burning again! 3 rounds of Daily Abs! 3-4 rounds Saturday AND 3-4 rounds Sunday. Who’s up for this extra challenge this weekend??

Sore abs? Good…it’s working! 🙂

So what are we doing this weekend? Ummmm running of course!

Kill it this weekend Crew!

Run with purpose, run with heart! Give it your everything you’ve got!! 🙂


Day 30: Final Day…a Day to Remember!

didnt do it perfectThis is it Core Crew…Day 30…the final day of our May Challenge!

The month has flown by so quickly…and even if you didn’t do every single day, even if you didn’t do it perfectly…you still did it!

You’re stronger, healthier, and more confident in yourself and your abilities. You know you can do the speed work and you know the running drills make you a better runner. Now put it all together and have a killer last day of May!

It’s Memorial Day and most of us aren’t working. So once you get done with day 30 (arms) ….go out for a run and take time to reflect, give thanks, and remember those who died for our freedom.

5 sets of each exercise and 50 push ups today y’all. Push through and finish strong!

Day 30 exercises:

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 5 sets of 10
  • Renegade Row – 5 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front & Side – 5 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side (2X)
  • 50 Push Ups

Bonus: #RunToRemember Run to Remember

Go for a run…a run to remember! Remember those who have fallen and gave their lives so we can live free. Take time to think abut those men and women and dedicate your run to them. Doesn’t matter how far or how fast…just go run. Come home and knock out our 7 Key Stretches for Runners then go have some fun!

Tomorrow, May 31st is a rest day from strength training since this is a 30 Day Challenge. We will pick up on Wednesday with a brand new challenge! I will be getting it out to you sometime tomorrow.

Have a great Memorial Day and an awesome final day of our May Challenge Core Crew! 🙂

Yes I did it

Day 11: Do You Wanna Do A Workout?

do you wanna do a workout

Do you wanna do a workout? Come on let’s go and play…. I know you’d never skip a day…cause muscles go away…let’s tone our arms and core!

Do you wanna do a workout? It doesn’t have to be a long one…

Come on I know you’re in there…and I’m here for you…so what are you gonna do?!?!

Do you wanna do a workout? Can’t hold back anymore…come on let’s go…

You know the tune…and now you’ll be singing it all day till your workout is done! Your welcome. 🙂  Don’t know the tune? Where have you been? Watch the Frozen video below and get some inspiration!

We’re setting the tone for the weekend so let go of the excuses and get moving!

Day 11 exercises: 3 sets of 10

  • Upright Rows
  • Bicep Curls
  • Hammer Curls
  • Calf Raises (1 set of 10 per leg)
  • Plank – :45 (2X)
  • Side Planks – :45 (1x each side)
  • Calf Stretches
  • Arm Stretches
  • 7 Key Stretches for Runners (Stretch good today before your long run or race tomorrow!)

Click here for the how to videos for today’s exercises and see below for the arm and calf stretches.

What do runners do on Friday night? Eat well, go to bed early…and be ready for that long run or race! Let go of all the negativity and make it a great Friday Core Crew! 🙂



March Challenge: Day 1 – Make Time!

Make time for it

Good morning Challengers and welcome to Day 1 of our March Challenge!

If you didn’t get a chance to look over the main challenge page with the calendar click here. Take a look and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Print out the calendar and put it somewhere you can see it everyday. I will post the calendar as a file in Strong to the Core as well.

Now that you have the plan and are committed to this month’s workout…let’s get started!

The first thing you need to do is plan a time for your workouts. You know that if you don’t make the time to get it done…life happens…then the day is over and you are exhausted.

To keep that from happening…think about your day and schedule your workouts so you know when you will get them done and can fit it in without stressing out. I’m a morning person so my workouts are usually done before lunch. When is your “me” time?

Having that time set aside for you will make all the difference in wether you finish 15 days… or 30 days. Make a plan and stick to it. Of course we are all going to have days when the plan won’t work…but without a plan you will have a hard time succeeding.

Now it’s time to get moving….

Day 1 exercises: Arms – 3 sets of 10 Keep calm and get it done

  • Plank – :30
  • Tricep Dips
  • Overhead Shoulder Press
  • Bent Over Reverse Fly
  • Calf Raises – 10 each leg
  • Plank – :30
  • Side Plank – :30 each side
  • Arm Stretches – Bicep Wall Stretch & Tricep Towel Stretch

Don’t feel overwhelmed…it looks like a lot but it won’t take long at all. Just get started and knock it out. Watch the “how to” videos to ensure you are doing them correctly. Check out the videos below to see how to do the arm stretches for today. These will help keep your muscles soft and ready to work them again in a few days.

No bonus yet…let’s ease into it and see how it goes this week. Tuesday is usually a run day for most of us though so go out and log some miles to burn calories today and get some time on legs today!

When you are done, post in Strong to the Core that you have completed Day 1!

No slackers today y’all…I want to see everyone getting it done and making it an awesome day! 🙂

Bicep Wall Stretch:

Tricep Towel Stretch: