Day 25: It’s Thigh Time!

thunder thighsWe do not work our thighs to make them thinner…we work our thighs to make them stronger!

Running might be considered a cardiovascular exercise…but strong runners use strength to run longer…and faster. Don’t think The Terminator kind of strong, think Karate Kid…Mr. Miyagi strong.  Whole body, stabilizing, balance-on-one-leg kind-of-strong. After all, you’re only as strong as your weakest point.

If your weakest point is your thighs…today is for you.

Day 25 exercises:

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Bridge with Inner Thigh Squeeze (use a pillow) – 4 sets of 15
  • Inner Thigh Leg Lift – 4 sets of 15
  • Side Step with Squat – 4 sets of 15
  • Planks – :30 – 1 Min (2X)
  • 100 Crunches

Plie Squat HoldBonus: Plie Squat Hold

The key to this bonus exercise will be holding the pie squat position. Feel those thighs burn and count for 10 seconds then do it again. Bonus is 2 rounds of 10.

Speed Work:

“I’m running my first half or full marathon, so I’m focused only on building distance.”

According to Runner’s World, this statement is

“the bane of many first-time marathoners: Near the end of a long run (or the actual race), they run out of fuel and their form falls apart. Fast repeats teach your body what it feels like to have a light, quick turnover—a biomechanical efficiency applicable to any speed or distance, says St. Pierre. Quick repeats also strengthen seldom-used “fast-twitch” muscles so they can be called upon when your other muscles are trashed at the end of a long race, he adds. And the workouts improve running economy, teaching the heart to pump more blood per minute and deliver oxygen to the muscles more efficiently, so that slow runs feel easier.”

Whether you’re training for a 5K or a Marathon….runners who add speed work to their routine will benefit from faster times and increased endurance!

We are shortening our speed work this week to 200 meters (.12 miles or half way around a track). If you can’t get to a track…just use your GPS watch to calculate the .12 mile distance. It doesn’t have to be exact…but keep it close.

  • Start with six to 10 200-meter repeats at a one-mile to 5-K pace (or an 8 or 9 on an exertion scale of 1 to 10), with a 200-meter jog in between.
  • 200-meter intervals should be run at 12% faster than your 5K pace.

To do this workout it would be helpful to know your current 5K time. If you haven’t ran a 5K recently…use the exertion scale…on a scale from 1-10…you should be running at an 8-9. This means you should be pretty much giving it all you’ve got for about 1 minute.

The beauty of this workout is that it’s over very quick! Your lungs may be on fire afterward, but you’ll recover soon enough. Since this is the first week of this workout…make a note of your 200 meter times. Write it down…and let’s see how we can progress over the next few weeks.

Give it your best shot. This is a tough workout but it is doable…remember it will be over quick! It is important to warm up and cool down before and after every speed workout. Give yourself a good mile warm up…or at least 10 min and a similar cool down.

Other than your speed work…you should be focusing on “time on legs”. Remember that the key to success for any runner is putting in the miles. Work on getting your base weekly mileage up so you’re ready for those upcoming races. What is a good weekly base? 15-20 miles a week is perfect. How many miles a week are you logging?

After it’s all said and done…it’s time to stretch! Here’s our 7 Key Stretches for Runners.

It’s Monday so let’s start the week right and give it all we’ve got and make it a great day! 🙂

Day 18: OK Monday…Let’s Do This!

Ok Monday

Ah it’s Monday again…and even though we have a great workout coming for our thighs today….I personally think that Monday is the easier of our 2 leg days. Thanks goodness cause I am sore from our Gett Itt work out yesterday.

Since I am working from home and watching the Boston Marathon today and most of us don’t do speed work on Monday, I am going to make this short and sweet for now…and work on our speed work and drills for tomorrow’s post…

Day 18 exercises: “How to” videos

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Bridge with Inner Thigh Squeeze – 3 sets of 15
  • Inner Thigh Leg Lift – 3 sets of 15
  • Side Step with Squat – 3 sets of 15
  • Plank – :30 – 1 min (2X)
  • 75 Crunches
  • 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Bonus: #KillerMondayMuscles Killer Monday Muscles

This kinda looks like a lot but won’t actually take very long so if you’re feeling frisky knock out this Killer Monday Muscles bonus workout. Squats, Wall Sits, Planks and Push ups! 😉

Running Drill: Running Backwards

Why: Running backwards helps strengthen the glutes and upper hamstrings, as well as various core muscles in the abs and lower back.

How: Although it will seem awkward at first, try to replicate your forward running motion while moving backward. You’ll still be pushing off of your forefoot and swinging you arms, but you’ll be lunging backward with your hamstrings and using core muscles to stabilize differently than you’re used to while moving forward. Focus on form, not on speed. Do two or four reps of 50 to 100 meters.

This is the last of our running drills. Who has tried them all and worked them into your weekly routines? Bonus points for anyone who can name all 8 #RunningDrills we’ve talked about over the last several weeks. Just so you know…if there is a tie between a few crew members for the “Top Challenger” of the month, I will go back and look for the #BrowniePoints and #RunningDrills to determine who gets this months medal. Every little bit counts in the race to the finish! 🙂

Think about the week ahead and plan NOW to fit in your workouts. Good days for speed work are Tuesday or Wednesday because that will give you plenty of time to rest up and recover before our long runs this weekend. Planning ahead may mean the difference between getting it done or life getting in the way. It’s all about your mindset…so plan now to make it happen. When you post that today’s workout is “done” tell us when you will fit speed work into your plan this week. There is no wrong answer but writing it down will help you get it done later.

For those who have to go to work but want to watch our fellow runners be Boston Strong today…you can watch the race live on your computer or phone here.

Have a fabulous Monday Core Crew! Plan for the week ahead and let’s make it awesome! 🙂

Day 11: Forgive Yourself…then Recommit

forgive and recommit

Are you down on yourself about some bad choices or not following through with your exercises every day? Beating yourself up will not help! You can’t change yesterday but you can make today different.

Forgive yourself, shake off those bad feelings and recommit to a healthy, active week starting today. Do it now! Say goodbye to yesterday and commit to making healthy eating choices and being active today! Baby steps Core Crew… Commit to one day at a time.

There was an overwhelming request for inner thigh work this month and today is the day. Make each exercise count by doing them slowly and focusing on each move as it works those legs, thighs and glutes!

Day 11 exercises: “How To” Videos

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Bridge with Inner Thigh Squeeze – 3 sets of 10
  • Lying Leg Raise – 3 sets of 10
  • Side Step with Squat – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – :30 – 1 min (2X)
  • 50 Crunches

Bonus: Side Plank with Clam – Check this out…core stability + thigh and glute work. Since we are doing 3 sets of other thing exercises, today’s bonus is 3 sets of side planks with clam (each side).

Side plank with clam

Running Drills: Straight Leg Shuffle

Who has tried all the running drills and works them into their warm up routine? I know…I know…it takes extra time…but these drills will help your form and your running efficiency. Taking an extra few minutes to do them before your run will mean improved performance.

Why: The straight leg shuffle helps stimulate neuromuscular timing for quick- cadence running, while also reinforcing a flat or midfoot footstrike. Combined, those stride components can greatly shorten ground contact time and eliminate the counterproductive braking associated with a heel-striking gait.

How: With an upright torso, straight legs, dorsiflexed ankles and toes pointed upward, start bounding forward with low-rising forward leg lunges and a quick cadence. Avoid leaning backward by acting as if you’re aggressively pulling the foot backwards as soon as it touches the ground. Do two to four 50-meter reps.

Sounds kinda confusing…so here’s a quick video to show you how to do it.

Speed Work: If you want to run faster, the saying goes, you’ve got to run fast.

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.

Don’t get nervous…speed is relative and whatever “fast” is to you…that is perfect. Don’t overthink it and skip it because it sounds hard. It isn’t easy…but if you want to get faster…you’ve got to run fast.

One thing that was stressed in my RRCA certification class was repitition…more specifically…training cycles that run in repetitive cycles…also called Mesocycles. These cycles will help train your body to withstand similar training and that means doing it over and over…then over again.

Think of it this way – “IIP” – Introduce, Improve, Perfect. We are going to overload our system with the same workout for 3 weeks in a row. This method teaches our body and mind to adapt to a specific stress until it becomes not stressful.

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

So we are sticking with that plan and doing our 1/4 mile repeats again this week. On a track that is 400 meters. On a Garmin or GPS watch…that is .25 miles. If you didn’t make it happen last week…jump in this week and introduce yourself to this workout. 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)


  • 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 2:45 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 the next set.

Final thought…Do not skip your stretches. Broken record here…I know. Your body needs time to recover and these stretches will keep your muscles soft and help you avoid pulling, tearing, or otherwise injuring muscles that we need to keep us on the road. Here are our 7 Key Stretches for Runners + the Pigeon Pose. Do them! 🙂

Ready to forgive yourself and recommit this week? There is no better time than now. Shake off those feelings of self doubt and self pity. It’s Monday Core Crew…time to remind yourself that this week you will be STRONG! 🙂

Monday startover


Day 4: Who is Most Awesome Today?

who is most awesome

Where do I even start? I have so many thoughts running through my head about this weekend…and honestly I’ve barely scratched the surface of reading all your posts. From Nina Perez’s super long amazing 100 mile race, to all the incredibly awesome PR’s like Carol Goodman, Heather Cumbo, Beckie Finley, Jennifer Stoner, Chad Moye, Lisa Lasseter and more as I’m sure I’m missing someone…. to Tiffany Reed DeTardo’s killer treadmill workout…so many WINS this weekend!

My heart is filled with pride over all the hard work everyone is putting in and I hope you all  know that each and everyone of you is a champion! Keep working hard and pushing to reach your goals. Every step forward is a tiny win that leads to greatness.

Before we get into today’s exercises, a little recognition is in order….Challenge winners for March! Our first Challenge winner is someone who had tons of determination this month. She made a commitment and powered through the entire month with ZERO excuses. She posted each day’s completion and supported her team the whole way…

Marion Syverson…you are a ROCKSTAR!!! I am so proud of you and I hope you are just as proud of yourself!!

Challenge winner #2 is someone that stood out to me the entire month. She’s a little shy and quiet, but she cheered on her fellow Core Crew members and pushed herself everyday wether it was at a race or getting the challenge exercises done. She got 28 days done in March and was a fantastic cheerleader who constantly built up her fellow challengers with words go encouragement and support. She is the epitome of a true winner, and a sweet woman who I am proud to call my friend….

Catherine Wogoman….thank you for being a part of our Core Crew and Congratulations on being a March Challenge winner! 

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Melting Pot dinner last night! It was a blessing to meet everyone and spend time together. Our Crew is from all over the world but each of you is special to me and even If you don’t live close…I know we will meet one day! 🙂

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Alrighty…back to work crew! I know we all put in lots of work this weekend so there’s probably some soreness going around…but today is leg day…a day no runner can afford to miss! We are working our inner thighs and there are some exercises that may be new to you…please watch the “how to” videos to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly.

Day 4 exercises:

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Bridge with Inner Thigh Squeeze – 2 sets of 10
  • Inner thigh Leg Lift – 2 sets of 10
  • Side Step with Squat – 2 sets of 10
  • Plank – :30 (2X) If you can hold your plank for 1 min…please hold it longer!
  • 25 Crunches

one room cardioBonus: How about a little #OneRoomCardio? If today is a rest day from running…take a few extra minutes to get your heart rate up and your metabolism pumping!

Running Drills & Speed Work: I usually put these in on Mondays so you can work them into routine throughout the week…but this is already getting really long so watch for these extra drills tomorrow 🙂

Stretches: With all the racing and mileage logged this weekend I want EVERYONE to put some extra time into stretching today. Most runners stretch AFTER they get injured but we are taking a proactive approach and doing it BEFORE we get injured. Here’s our 7 Key Stretches for Runners. Love them y’all they feel amazing and will keep your muscles limber and soft.

Please tell your Challenge winners how proud of them you are…and if you want that April medal…work hard for it this month! Post everyday so we know you’re getting it done… on top of winning that medal you will be stronger, leaner, toner, fitter, faster….there’s no where to go but up!

Let’s get to it Core Crew…it’s Monday and you all know rule #1… 🙂