Days 8 – 11: Be Strong Crew!

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As much as I hate to leave you for 4 days…I am so excited for Ragnar Trail Alafia Springs! I might check in here and there but for the most part, you’ll be on your own through Saturday so please BE STRONG and push through this weekend.

Make us Ragnarians proud! 🙂 We’ll take TONS of photos for you…but I want to see TONS of action while we’re out on the trails!

Since I won’t have much internet access, I’m putting Days 8-11 in this post so you can refer back to it through Sunday. Here’s the lowdown…

  • Thursday: 10 Minutes Abs + :60 Plank of your choice
  • Friday: Modern Moms Hips and Butt + :60 Plank of your choice
  • Saturday: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + :60 Plank of your choice
  • Sunday: Plank (Your Choice – :60) + Rest OR 10 Minute Active Stretching

Remember that these days can switch up so if you need to go long on Friday or Sunday, move things around to make it work for you and your schedule.


Thursday: 10 Minutes Abs + :60 Plank of your choice

Our core is what holds up together when we’re running and a strong core will keep you upright and moving forward during long training runs and races. We are the #CoreCrew and talk a lot about core work…so it should be no surprise that Thursday is a great 10 minute ab workout!

If you’re feeling really good…double it up and make it a 20 minute workout! 🙂


Friday: Modern Mom Hips and Butt! 

This was such a great workout last month that I couldn’t let it go. So we’re doing it agin in December! Different moves from our Monday/Wednesday workout so even if you’re still feeling sore….you can still do this and it might even help stretch out those sore muscles a bit.

5 minutes per leg + one :60 Plank of your choice!


Saturday: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + one :60 Plank

How long are you going this weekend? Any races planned? Let us know so we can cheer you on! Don’t forget to take 10 minutes after your run to knock out one :60 plank and STRETCH!

Most runners don’t stretch until after they are injured….taking a few minutes to do it now can ease aches and pains, help you feel less tight AND keep you from being sidelined and off the road.


Sunday: One :60 Plank + Rest OR 10 Minutes Active Stretching 

If you decide to do the :60 plank then take the day off…that’s totally fine. We all need rest days and in December when our lives are extra hectic there’s no shame in needing a day with no extra work. But if you have some time and love to feel limber, refreshed, and ready to go on Monday, check out this 10 minutes active stretching routine. I can’t wait to try it when I’m home from Ragnar on Sunday!

Another great activity for Sunday? Active Recovery! Notice a Sunday trend here? 😉

Active Recovery is a great way to shake out those legs after our long runs. Keep it short and slow. 30 minutes…at your easy “long run” pace. Your legs will thank you!

I won’t be chiming in as much this weekend but that doesn’t matter because I know you want to inspire each other. If you feel like skipping days this weekend…think about the rest of your Crew…maybe they’ll see you getting it done and decide not to give up!

Have a great weekend…be active and be strong! 🙂

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Day 15: Don’t Get Comfortable!

dont-get-comfortableDid you know that when we run, we add hit the pavement with 3-4 times our body weight on each footfall?

3-4 TIMES OUR BODY WEIGHT!!!

If you ever wondered why strength training is crucial for runners…now you know! If you’re comfortable with the weight you’re using, it’s time to step it up and get out of your comfort zone!

In order to fully maximize performance, endurance athletes should improve their overall strength in relation to their bodyweight. That means adding heavier strength training into the mix. Building strength helps runners absorb force better when their feet crash into the pavement and produces more force to propel us off the ground. Which all happens in the blink of an eye.

How do we build more strength? We add more weight to our exercises…and the perfect place to to start is our squats and deadlifts. If you’re working out from home, use your heaviest weights for these exercises today. If you find that’s it’s easy, it’s time to think about getting some heavier weights!

If you’re hitting the gym, pick up weights heavier than you’re used to.

Adding heavier weight targets type II muscle fibers — those responsible for power generation and maximal strength. By increasing type II muscle fibers, runners will be able to produce and absorb more force even over distance. Think about it…every time you hot the pavement, 3-4 TIMES YOUR BODYWEIGHT crashes into the ground.

Are you comfortable? Time to step it up!

Not only are we adding weight, we’re also adding reps! This week we move up to 3 sets of 15. You got this!

Day 15 exercises: Legs/Stability – 3 sets of 15 

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

  • Donkey Kicks + Fire Hydrants – Have some leg weights? Add them!
  • Weighted Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Plank – Your Choice (:45 2X)

Bonus: Weighted Hip Thrusts – Everyone really seemed to enjoy them and after Cris Denniston mentioned them yesterday, I knew it was time to throw them back in the mix. Here’s a reminder on how to do them.

Weighted Hip Thrust: With a dumbbell resting in the crease of your hips, sit on the floor with the bottom of your shoulder blades touching a bench or couch or even a chair if it’s study and won’t hurt your back. Drive through your heels and thrust your hips up toward the ceiling while contracting your glutes. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Lower and repeat 8 to 10 times for 3 sets.

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Speed Work: Everyone has been killing it tis week and I’m sure I’ve some of your awesome posts, but I’ve been watching for it and am sad to say speed work has not been on the menu for many of you. Jennifer Moro-Ortiz killed her 10 x 400s yesterday…is Jen the only one who wants to get faster and building better breathing economy? I know that’s not true!

If you’re going long tomorrow or Saturday, sorry Charlie, you’ve already missed the speed work boat this week. It’s too close to your long run to have enough time to recover fully. Next week, PLAN BETTER!

If you’re going long on Sunday, you still have time. I’d LOVE to see some awesome speed work today!! Click here to find this week’s workout and the pace you should be running for each 400M interval.


Next up…STRETCH! If you had a hard time with yesterday’s back bend, you need to work on overall flexibility. I know what you’re going to say, I’m too old, I’ll never be flexible again, it’s nit worth worrying about. WRONG! Flexibility takes effort and practice, and after a few months of consistent stretching, I am able to get down into a full straddle!

It really is difficult to exaggerate the importance of hip flexibility and strength for every athletic activity.

The hips provide most of the incredible power and force that our lower body can generate for running and jumping, and deficiencies in strength and flexibility in this area of the body can mean the difference between a winning performance or a painful end to the game.

Beyond just getting stronger and more flexible to improve our running, issues with our hips can negatively impact your daily life. Possible issues include pain, decreased mobility for activities such as stooping and squatting, and even difficulty with simple daily encounters such as jumping over a puddle in the street.

Straddle Stretching: Throw in some straddle stretching today. Watch the video below to see all the key points in our legs that benefit from this stretch. No I don’t want to you go and spend money on the Kinesiologial stretching programs, but this will show a few quick ways to ease into this awesome stretch. I’d love to see some straddle pics today! 🙂

Don’t forget our 7 Key Stretches for Runners + a good Pigeon Pose! Take the time after your workout, our save it till later when you’re relaxing in front of the TV. No matter when you do it, please stretch out those glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and back….long runs are coming!

It’s strong Thursday Crew! Because….you never know who you’re inspiring! 🙂

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