Day 25: Love Ab Day!

You all know Wednesday is one of my favorite days this month! I love this ab work! 🙂

In fact, I give our Wednesday abs a….

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Do you love it too?

You know what we’re doing…but here’s today’s list. It’s fun…so have fun with it! 🙂

Day 25 exercises: 3 sets of 15 

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

  • Mountain Climbers – Slowly pull legs in one at a time using your core muscles. Don’t rush this exercise!
  • Standing Oblique Crunch – Use your core! Don’t rely on your legs… this is ab work!
  • Russian Twists – If you’re not already, add weight to this move. I use an 8lb medicine ball because it’s easy to hold.
  • Plank – :60 (your choice)

Bonus: Daily Abs – Another favorite! How many rounds do you have in you today? 2? 3? 4!?! 🙂

Daily Abs

Challenges: We are getting so close to the end of the month. Keep going Crew you are killing it!

  • Burpees – 55
  • Push Ups  Beginner – 17
  • Push Ups Advanced – 90screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-6-46-58-pm
  • Squats – Rest

Who’s doing a little dance for no squats today? Awe…come on…you know you LOVE SQUATS SO MUCH!! 😉

Happy hump day Crew let’s GETTTT ITTTT!!!

Day 22: Training Purgatory

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-5-13-15-amIf you’re in a warm weather climate like me, this is your peak racing season and you’re probably running a lot and generally trying to eat well.

But for others, as you move into the cold season and your races are over for a while, you might be in a bit of a funk.

What happens when you don’t have a race to train for, it’s getting harder to go outside in the cold, and you have the holidays looming with lots of yummy and fattening food ahead?

This is what it was like for Steve Gosner, Physical Therapist, sub 3 hour marathoner and 2 time Iron Man. He calls it “training purgatory”, when a slight “thickening” around his waist and a “sure, why not?” attitude towards desert (beer) and a second helping at dinner are the norm.

A RunSmartOnline.com article called, Training Between Races, emphasizes this “whatever” period as a time to go easy on yourself, take the 2nd helping, and adopt a “zero pressure running” attitude.

This doesn’t mean you should be gluttonous, skip your strength work, and avoid lacing up your running shoes. Hopefully, being in the Core Crew and watching others continue to train gives you some motivation to keep being active, but according to RunSmartOnline, there are ways to maintain your fitness while still giving yourself a chance to rest, recoup, and be ready when your training starts up again.

Here are a few ideas they suggest:

1. Zero Expectation Running

Whether you’re last training cycle was a huge success or a bust, it’s important to reconnect with running. Let’s face it. It’s not uncommon for our running to feel like a chore when we’re training. We rush to fit it all in, juggling a handful of other tasks and schedule.

During your training purgatory go out and run just to run. Set zero expectations of time, distance, and pace. Go out and simply come back when you’re ready. To me, these are the best runs.

2. Keep It Slow

Unless you’re squeezing in a few short races before training officially begins, avoid working too hard. Wouldn’t it suck to stir up an injury before your training cycle begins? Who wants to get off to a rocky start? Not me and I’m guessing not you.

Find a pace between your easy and base building pace. The sweet spot hovers around a pace that you’re breathing is easy and you can chat freely without gasping for oxygen.

3. Prep for Training

As most runners begin training for their spring races it’s important to avoid a complete shut down. Doing so will not only will it zap your current level of fitness, but it could weaken your tolerance to injury when you start training again.

Keep up with your running, but keep it slow and with no pressure added. Prepare for the time when training will start again with strength exercises. Take the 2nd helping, but don’t overdo it, and avoid late night snacking and too much overindulgence.

What are some other ways you help keep yourself in check? How about signing up for your next race? Signing up for a race, even one that is a little far out, could help keep you mentally prepare to keep up your fitness! If your race season is too far in the future to keep you excited, find a race in Florida and come visit! 🙂

In the meantime, strength work is top priority to be ready and stay injury free. It’s ab day…the perfect way to combat that 2nd helping!

Day 22 exercises: Abs – 3 sets (:30 per exercise) 

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

  • Roll Up
  • Pilates Scissors
  • Bird Dog Crunch (left side)
  • Boat Pose
  • Bird Dog Crunch (right side)
  • Side Plank (:30 each side)

Bonus: Daily Abs (3 rounds) + No Junk Food Challenge + Water Challenge

The no junk food challenge usually lasts 21 days, but we’re just making the commitment for one day and since it’s Tuesday, we are also going to drink lots of water! Who’s in?

 


Speed Work: This week’s speed work out is one of my favorites because it’s a great workout and still hurts, but is doable for everyone.

Workout: 4-6X 800M (1/2 mile repeats) 

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles (slow)
  2. 4-6x 800M – 1/2 mile repeats with :90 rest in between sets
  3. Cool down – 1-1.5 miles (slow)

Total of 3-6 miles depending on your distance level. If you’re in “training purgatory” the lower level of 3 miles is a great way to work up a sweat and keep your speed in tact. If you’re in peak training and have a race coming up, go for the longer distance and bust out 6 miles with 3 miles of speed work!


Once again, we are coming up on the end of the month. November 22nd means it’s time to plan for December and I want to hear your ideas for next month’s strength work. ALL ideas welcome! Video yourself doing your favorite strength exercises, or just let me know what you want to work on. Don’t be shy! Reach out to me and post in Strong to the Core, or private message me here. If we aren’t “friends” on Facebook, please friend me because I love to get to know you better by seeing your everyday life. 🙂

Whether your in peak training season, or in “training purgatory” let our Core Crew help keep you active. Stay involved, post what you’re up too, and when you get your exercises done. Posting helps keep you motivated and means we can cheer you on!

No matter what keeps you going….get moving and be active Crew! 🙂

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Day 8: Insanity Is…

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Yea yea…we know….insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results. That’s usually true…unless it’s ab day…then doing the same thing over and over again will bring different results. Nice, strong, trim ABS!

Our Tuesday and Thursday Ab routine is the same as last week. The only difference….now we’re stepping it up to 3 rounds. 3 rounds of each exercise for the rest of the month. In this case, insanely doing the same routine over and over while bracing that core will bring awesome results!

Day 8 exercises: Abs – 3 rounds – :30 each exercise for all exercises = 1 round

****Click here or how to videos****

  • Roll Up
  • Pilates Scissors
  • Bird Dog Crunch – Right Side
  • Boat Pose
  • Bird Dog Crunch – Left Side
  • Side Plank – :30 each side

Daily Abs

Bonus: #DailyAbs – In the spirit of INSANITY and doing the same thing over and over again….it’s back to our #DailyAbs!

3 rounds….1-2 minutes per round + a short rest in between sets = an extra 10 minutes. It would be INSANE if you couldn’t find the time! Come on Crew you got this!

 


five-minute-plank

Extra Credit: #5MinutePlank

What’s Ab day without a 5 minute plank?

This is a moving plank so you aren’t holding the same position for very long. Stick with it and prove to yourself just how strong you are!

 


Sarah’s Calorie Burn: Throw in a little extra calorie burn if it’s a rest day form running!

  • 25 Squats
  • 60 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Push Ups
  • 50 Crunches

Speed Work: The “Short” Ladder – Check out this week’s speed work by clicking here for Monday’s post and scrolling down. Do you have a plan to get your speed work in?


People often call runners “insane” because we push ourselves past normal limits. We endure pain when others would quit. We get up early, have crazy workout routines, and skip “normal” fun stuff to sweat, have sore muscles, and lose toenails.

But we know the truth. Although runners might be “insane” to a normal person, insanity is…the definition of fun!

Don’t be normal…normal is boring. Be awesome…be different…be a little insane…Be you!

And by that I mean…get up and get to work on those abs Crew! 😉

Day 3: How Bad Do You Want It?

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-8-25-43-pmWe have choices to make every day that affect our goals.

What will we eat healthy? Will be will active? Do we run or rest? Will we stay hydrated? Will we stretch and roll out our legs?

How do we decide? A new study suggests that our decisions rely on two separate networks in our brain: “one that determines the overall value, the risk versus reward of individual choices, and another that guides how you ultimately behave.

The study’s co-author Ralph Adolphs, a professor of psychology at Caltech, explains the distinction: “Your valuation network is always providing you with information about what’s rewarding around you, the things you want to do or buy, but also lots of distracting things popping into your vision.”

Glascher explains that people tend to choose immediate gratification rather than delayed reward, and we ignore risks when the reward seems large. The trick is to go with your gut feeling about whether a choice is good or bad, and to ignore distractions and impulse behaviors. It’s about making decisions that benefit us in the long run versus ones that make us feel good in the moment, but leave us feeling bad after it’s done. Ultimately, it’s about choice.

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-9-28-23-pmChoice is the purest expression of free will, and the freedom to choose allows us to shape our lives exactly how we wish. But choice is difficult because it also represents sacrifice. Choosing something inherently means giving up something else, something we might want tomorrow, or next week.

Life’s not about checking an item off your to-do list, although lists do make it easier to get things done. Life’s about being content with where you’ve been, honest with yourself about where you are now, and the courage to make the right choices about where you’re going. It’s about being proud of who you are, the effort you make daily, what you represent, and the impact that you’re having on others.

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-9-28-34-pmAt the end of the day, contentment lands directly with the choices that you make. So give some serious thought to every choice you face.

“Life is a sum of all your choices.” Are you happy with the path that you’re choosing for yourself? The choice is yours.

How bad do you want it? 

Day 3 exercises: Abs – 2 sets (:30 each move)

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

  • Roll Up
  • Pilates Scissors
  • Bird Dog Crunch (Right Side)
  • Boat Pose
  • Bird Dog Crunch (Left Side)
  • Side Plank (:30 each side)

Daily AbsBonus: #Daily Abs 

Back to a favorite of mine. How many rounds will you choose to do today? How bad do you want trim, strong abs?

This bonus only takes about 1-2 minutes per round. Give yourself a minute to rest in between rounds, then go at it again.

Got an extra 8 minutes for 3 rounds? 10-12 minutes for 4 rounds? 15 minutes for 5 rounds?

Who wants it the most??


Speed Work: TONS of great speed work yesterday! Super proud of everyone who gets out there and tries it. No matter how well it goes today, it benefits you. Better breathing, faster leg turnover leading to a higher cadence, ultimately…more confidence. If it doesn’t go as planned, keep trying! Don’t go out too fast in the beginning and DON’T beat yourself up. Every time you try you will get a little bit better. Don’t give up! Click here and scroll down for this week’s speed work.

When you’re done, don’t blow it by making bad food choices. Think about the risk versus reward, avoid distractions and impulsive snacking. Decide now to make good choices today. Get moving, eat healthy, drink water, stretch, do everything in your power to reach the goals that are important to you.

If those goals are important, you’ll find a way. So…how bad do YOU want it?

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Day 28: Decide To Try

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What will you accomplish if you decide to give up?

Before you abandon your dreams, ask yourself a few important questions…

  • Why did you want to pursue this goal to begin with? Has anything changed? You had a good reason for committing to reach your goal and odds are, you still want it as much as you did before; you just stopped believing you could achieve it because your attempts have yet to yield results. You have to ask yourself: If you push through the discomfort, will it be with it in the end?
  • Did you set a smart goal? SMART goals are:
  1. Specific—you know exactly what your world will look like when you achieve this goal.
  2. Measurable—you have a specific plan to mark your progress as you go.
  3. Attainable—you have the attitude and aptitude to make your goal reality.
  4. Realistic—you’re willing and able to do the required work.
  5. Time-bound—you’ve set a concrete timeframe for completion to create a sense of urgency.

If you didn’t set a SMART goal, you may have set yourself up for failure. How can you possibly make something happen if you don’t know exactly what you want, or didn’t really believe you could do it? Are you really willing to walk away when you didn’t give yourself every opportunity to succeed?

  • How much have you already put in? A concept studied in social psychology called “the sunk cost principle” indicates the more we’ve invested in something, the less likely we are to prematurely walk away. How invested are you? How time have you devoted? How many sacrifices have you made? Are you really willing to chalk it all up as a loss because you’re not feeling confident in your abilities?
  • What would you tell someone else if they were in your shoes? Would you tell your best friend to throw in the towel because she can’t possibly reach her goal? Or would you practice your finest motivational speech and help her see what you see in her potential? Unless you’re secretly a frenemy who hopes she fails in life, odds are you’d push her to be her best—so why not push yourself?

It might sound kind of cheesy, but you need to be your own best friend. You, more than anyone in this world, deserve your own belief and motivation.

If there’s some lingering doubt as to whether or not you should keep pushing—don’t give up. Decide to try!

Decide to keep working toward that dream that fills you with passion!

Day 28 exercises: Abs – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Renegade Rows
  • Weighted Sit Ups
  • Dead Bugs
  • Heel Touches
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: #DailyAbs Daily Abs

How many rounds do you have in you today? 2..3..4?

Decide to try and see how far you can push yourself today!

When it’s all said and done, stretch, hydrate and rest up….cause it’s almost time to go long!

Make it a great Friday Crew….and whatever you do…DECIDE TO TRY!

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Day 30: Victory!

victoryWe did it y’all! 30 Days of an awesome strength challenge is in the books!

Well, after today of course… Close out the month strong with a killer ab day then grab this photo and shout it out to everyone…VICTORY IS MINE!!!

What an amazing month! So many strong, committed, hard working Crew members this month. I think this is one of the hardest working months we’ve had so far. I couldn’t be more proud!

Finish strong Crew! Victory is knowing you gave it your all…even when you didn’t want too. Victory doesn’t mean you didn’t miss a day…. It means you pushed through, stayed the course and are stronger, more confident and ready to conquer the world!

Day 30 exercises: Abs – 4 sets of 15 

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

  • Crunches
  • Dumbbell Side Bends
  • Russian Twists
  • Plank – Your Choice (:90 2X)

Bonus: Daily Abs – 3 rounds! Daily Abs

GETTTT ITTTT!!!

That’s it for September Crew! The month has flown by yet again and it’s been fabulous. Take time to stretch it out today and get ready for those long runs this weekend.

Brand new month starts tomorrow…who’s ready???

 

Day 16: Short and Sweet…

short-and-sweetToday’s workout is short and sweet so let’s get it done and move on to the weekend!

It’s an early up and out the door for me and some Jax Crew members so I’ll let you find your motivation to get today’s ab work done. 3 sets of 10 + a few rounds of Daily Abs and you’re good to go!

But hey…our workout is short and sweet so all the more reason to watch what you eat! 😉

Day 16 exercises: Abs – 3 sets of 10

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

  • Crunches
  • Dumbbell Side Bends
  • Russian Twists
  • Plank – Your Choice (:45 2X)

Bonus: #DailyAbs Daily Abs

How many rounds do you have in you today?

All that’s left is thinking about your weekend plan. Hydrate, rest, think about your pre-run meals, and STRETCH!

Don’t forget what we’ve done this week. Throw in a back bend and a straddle stretch to open your back, shoulders, hips, thighs, and hamstrings. So many areas hit with just two stretches.


Quick Racery update from last night. If you logged some miles screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-6-29-08-pmafter about 6:30pm those aren’t counted in this update.

The top teams are pretty neck and neck. I know we’ve got some serious miles being logged this weekend so I’m excited to see where we stand on Monday!

Love you all and will see you after 22! Time to chase some dreams…run out of breath…then keep running! 🙂

chase-dreams-keep-running

Day 9: No Six-Pack Needed

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Six Pack Abs are a highly coveted physical attribute in the world of health and fitness. The pursuit of health perfectionism has become an obsession, and a thin waistline adorned with six-pack abs is at the forefront. But chasing a body shaped by conventional standards of attraction and achieving an ideal midsection can turn out to be a long and dangerous road,  leading to hormonal, emotional, and physical issues.

This isn’t because six-pack abs are inherently bad or unhealthy, it’s because the pursuit and achievement of six-pack abs can bad and unhealthy for us.

Why?

1. They serve no functional purpose. 

Having a visible six-pack serves no functional purpose for the human body. This is because defined abdominal muscles are usually the result of extraordinary leanness, not increased functionality and strength. While having a strong, stable core is most definitely necessary to support the body – it doesn’t have to be visible to function properly.

2. It won’t make us any healthier.

Because having a six-pack serves no functional purpose, it’s safe to assume it also doesn’t provide any added health benefits. There are plenty of healthy, fit and athletic men and women without a six-pack, many of whom are stronger and faster than those who sport abdominal definition.

4. It’s important to support our body with food.

To achieve the leanness needed see abdominal definition, we have to eat less food than our body requires. As a result, it’s easy to become obsessed with food intake, and it becomes was all you think about every-second-of-the-day. Eating below our necessary caloric needs, means not recovering well from training, and being much more prone to injury. This also leads to bouts of depression and anxiety.

Having a healthy relationship with food and being in love with how it nourishes our body, is the best outlook. Loving the way we look, what our body does for us, and not thinking twice about eating chocolate at 3pm is worth way more than anything a six-pack has to offer.

7. We have other fitness goals. 

Achieving a six-pack takes a hella lot of work. When abdominal definition is the end-goal, almost all of your fitness time must dedicated to becoming lean. This is not our end goal. Our end goal is to become stronger, faster, and healthier.

It’s important to love our relationship with fitness. We don’t need to spend hours working on our core, we just want to be strong enough to carry us through our tough runs and look decent in our clothes. We want to do activities that we enjoy, not spend hours doing core work.

We want to be healthier, stronger, and more fit…but that doesn’t mean we have to have that “coveted” six pack abs.

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Don’t worry about pleasing this two percent of people because six-pack abs are not requirement of physical attractiveness, and pursing a six-pack would be a complete waste of our time.

Six-pack abs are not inherently bad or unhealthy. If you’re sportin’ a six-pack and have a vibrant, healthy body and outlook on life – keep at it! But next time you’re inclined to “pin” an image adorned with six-pack abs designed to tell you “your body isn’t good enough unless it looks like this” – I challenge you to ask yourself, “Who am I doing this for?”

Let’s be healthy, strong, and fit. Let’s work towards reaching our goals, without obsessing over the perfect body image. Yes you need to watch your caloric intake…but not to the point of obsession. Be mindful, without going to far.

Today’s workout will help you achieve your goals, without taking all day!

Day 9 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Crunches
  • Dumbbell Side Bends
  • Russian Twists
  • Plank – Your Choice (:45 2X)

Bonus: #DailyAbs – There’s always the options to do a little more…but our Daily Abs routine is quick and efficient. Do a few rounds for an extra burn, then enjoy your day. Relax, get some rest, hydrate, stretch, roll out your legs…and get ready for those long runs!

Daily Abs

Day 2: Too Easy?

Too easy what's nextOur first ab day this month is 3 simple moves…and only 2 sets of 10 so I want to see EVERYONE getting it done today.

NO EXCUSES CREW!

If you get it done and it seemed too easy…do another set! 3 sets of 10? No problem! 😉

Day 2 exercises: 2 sets of 10

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

  • Crunches
  • Dumbbell Side Bends
  • Russian Twists
  • Plank – Your Choice (:30 2X)

Bonus: Scorpion – This video is a little long but PLEASE watch it. Great explanation of why this exercise is important and how to do it. This exercise is designed to increase power, speed, strength, flexibility, mobility and prevent injury. Great overall exercise for any athlete, but especially runners. Do 15 reps (both sides).

Daily Abs

Remember…if this is quick and easy for you…do another set of our Day 2 abs.

Or you can always throw in a few sets of our Daily Abs. This routine is a simple but effective core workout. Easy to run through a few sets pretty quickly.

Now…rest up, hydrate, eat well, STRETCH and get ready to go long this weekend!

Remember…you EARN your body. So get to work! 😉

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Day 19: Increased Awesomeness

increased awesomenessWhy are we active every day?

Why do we do our best to make good food choices?

Because daily exercise and healthy eating leads to increased awesomeness!

We’re not perfect. We don’t always make the best choices…we don’t always get our exercises done…but we try!

We are active. We support each other and hold each other accountable. We know that the more good choices we make…the more awesomeness is coming our way!

Friday is Ab day and ab work must be done. We need a strong core to stay stable and upright when we’re running and to keep our hips in line and rest of us working properly. But if we don’t make healthy food choices…all those ab exercises don’t count…so make a conscious effort to make good choices today Crew!

Day 19 exercises: 3 sets of each workout

  • Daily Abs
  • Standing Abs
  • Plank Challenge Day 19 – High Plank Reach (:45 3X)

Plank Challenge – Day 19: High Plank Reach – Simple plank…but won’t be easy! Here’s the steps. **We have a few people dealing with shoulder issues…please just do a regular forearm plank if you are having pain.

  1. Assume a high plank position.
  2. Walk your hands as far forward as you possibly can, drawing your navel in and squeezing your butt.
  3. Hold for 45 seconds; do three sets

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Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge – Day 19: So yesterday was a rest day…OOPS…so take today as a rest day…or bust out day 19..it’s easy. 😉

  • 5 Sit Ups
  • 5 Crunches
  • 5 Squats

That’s it…no extra credit. Just stretch, hydrate, eat well…and get ready for those long runs!

Paula, Amiee, Jessica, Diane, Heather, and I are all going long today to get it out of the way before the weekend. Amiee and I are doing 22, Paula is hanging for 20, and Jessica is going for 12 (her longest! 🙂 ) Not sure how long Diane will hang with us but she’s a beast so we’ll be chatting it up for hours. 🙂

Make good choices Crew…take the road to increased awesomeness!

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