Day 10: Dear Abs

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Love our Friday ab work! You might not be able to see them yet….but they are brewing! Work hard today and feel the burn!

Day 10 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Runners Crunch
  • Heel Touches
  • Bridge Pullover
  • Side Planks – :30 each side
  • Wall Sit – :60

Challenges:

  • Superman – :50
  • Push Ups – 30
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – One more :60 Plank

Bonus: Add a little extra burn today with a few rounds of Daily Abs Crew! A few means 3! 🙂

Daily Abs

Food Challenge: What is ab day without a No Junk Food Challenge? Don’t waste all that hard work by eating crap! This is usually a 21 Day Challenge but we like to take things one day at a time. No Junk Food…just for today Crew! You got this!

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Love your abs today! That’s right Crew…you thought you were done but you have time for one more round of #DailyAbs. Give it a little extra and love your abs…AGAIN!

Happy Friday Crew! 🙂

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Day 10: Brutally Strong Hips

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We’ve talked a lot about the importance of strong hips and glutes. But it never hurts to hear it again…

Let’s review the November 4, 2016 post for those who haven’t heard this stuff yet, and for those who need a reminder…

When it comes to running strong, efficiently, and injury free, it’s all in the hips and butt!

Our hips and glutes work together to provide postural stability when we’re walking, standing and running. Our glutes stabilize and align the hip, decelerate our swinging leg while running, and provide power in our footstrike and push-off.

When we are pounding pavement (or any other kind of terrain), our pelvic floor, quads, hamstrings, knees, calves, and feet are constantly under fire. Without strong hips and glutes, those essential lower extremities might just blow!

The problem is that runners often have weak hips and glutes, leading to discomfort, inefficiency and—worst of all—injury.

According to the TrailRunnermag.com article 4 Hip-Strengthening Exercises to Help You Run Strong, “Trunk muscles—including your hips and glutes—are arguably the most important part of your running anatomy. Pay attention to them to prevent injury and stay strong.”

Weakness in your glutes is related to a lack of “recruitment,” explains Toni Dauwalter, a Physical Therapist at Accelerated Sports Therapy and Fitness in Minneapolis. “Two big reasons for [glute weakness are] our sitting lifestyle and a history of back pain and injury,” she says. “There isn’t much need for core recruitment in the sitting position, especially the frequently adopted work position of forward head and shoulders and rounded spine.”

When do you do your strength work? We’ve talked about this before too and ideally, the best time to do your strength training is right before you run. Doing these basic exercises just before heading out for a run will not only allow you to warm up a bit, but they will also remind you of which muscles you should be engaging while running and you’ll be more inclined to practice things like firing up through your glutes and maintaining good form.

Ready to fire those glutes and keep building strong hips? Let’s get to work Crew!

Day 10 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant (3 sets of 10 for both legs)
  • Butt Lift Bridge
  • Clams (3 sets of 10 for both legs)
  • Plank – :60 (Your choice)

Bonus: Modern Mom’s Hip Strength! – Why not? Throw in the workout for a great 8 minute burn!

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 30
  • Push Ups Beginner – 8
  • Push Ups Advanced – 36
  • Squats – Rest

Speed WorkPick up on pickups – “Speed Play” 

Speed play is the simplest form of speed work. “We simply introduce pickups during a run,” says Bob Glover, who supervises training programs for the New York Road Runners Club.

Pickups are segments of faster-paced running injected into an existing run.

In this first step, runners on a favorite 3-mile course begin choosing landmarks and running to them at a quicker-than-normal pace.

“It might be the next street light, it might be the top of a hill,” says Glover. “We tell them to do six or eight of these during the run.”

Same loop, same scenery, just the occasional decision to run slightly faster for a while.

“This takes away the stress of going to a track,” says Glover, “because in the minds of many of these people, you don’t go to the track unless you’re good.”

FARTLEKS!!! Go out and choose small portions of your run to pick up speed. Have fun with it!


Weak or strong? What will you choose today?

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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 10: Abs Defined

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-5-15-24-pmIt’s Ab day again and we can’t talk about abs without talking about how our they affect our running….but come on…we’re ALWAYS talking about running…

There are two types of runners: those who have great abs, and those who want them! Go ahead, admit it: you want great abs! It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Besides looking good, great abs really are healthy. Research has shown that, for both genders, there is a strong correlation between the amount of abdominal fat a person has and the risk of developing metabolic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Obviously, men and women with visible abdominal muscles have a small amount of belly fat and therefore a lower risk for these diseases.

Blah Blah Blah…right? Yea we all know great abs are healthy, but more important (to us) how to do they affect our running???

It’s no coincidence that great abs also result in other benefits specific to runners: better running performance and fewer injuries!

Visible abdominal muscles result not just from having a small amount of abdominal fat but also from having well conditioned core musculature. Strong abs increase the stability of your hips, pelvis, and even your knees during running. (SCORE!)

The result is less strain on your muscles and connective tissues and less chance of injury. Also, by minimizing wasteful movement at the joints, strong abs make your stride more efficient, so you can run faster, longer. That’s what we all want right? To run faster and longer!

Even if you run 50 miles a week, your paunch won’t vanish if you continue to eat donuts and french fries all day long. We have to eliminate those extra calories from your diet that are turned into belly fat. So diet is an important part of the equation.

If you’ve worked hard and only have a very small amount of belly fat, you still need to condition your abdominal muscles with core strength exercises, because your core muscles won’t show through if they are poorly conditioned.

The take away: Eat Good and Do Your Ab Exercises! 🙂 

Day 10 exercises: Abs – 3 sets :30 each move 

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

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

Bonus: There are dozens of abdominal exercises you can use to strengthen your midsection; the best ones for runners are those that have the most functional carryover to the act of running. I’ve done tons of research and the 3 exercises below are the best of the best for runners. Pick one, or do all three and tell us which one was your favorite. If you love the exercise keep doing it on ab day. Progress by adding additional repetitions.

I’m not adding videos for these so you need to pay close attention to the directions. But I would love to see your video to show others and to see if you’re doing it correct!

*Side Note: You may notice that these exercises not only target our core, but they’re also great for our hips and pelvis! 🙂

Lying Draw-In with Hip Flexion

Benefit: teaches your deep abs to stabilize the pelvis during alternating leg movements.

Lay face up with your head supported by a large pillow or foam roller. Begin with your legs bent 90 degrees and your thighs perpendicular to the floor, feet together. Engage your deep abs by drawing your navel toward your spine. While holding this contraction, slowly lower your right foot to the floor, return slowly to the starting position, and then lower the left foot. If you find this easy, you are failing to hold the contraction of your deep abs. Lower each foot to the floor 8 to 10 times.

Hip Twist

Benefit: strengthens the abdominal muscles that prevent excessive trunk rotation during running

Lay face up with your arms resting at your sides and your palms flat on the floor. Extend your legs directly toward the ceiling, keeping your feet together, and point your toes. Keeping your big toes side-by-side, tip your legs 12 to 18 inches to the right by twisting at the hip, so that your left buttock comes off the floor. Fight the pull of gravity by maintaining stability with your abs and obliques. Pause for a moment, then return slowly to the start position, again using your core muscles to control the movement. Repeat on the left side.

Supine Running

Benefit: strengthens the lower abs and hip flexors with a running-specific leg action

Lay face up with your arms resting at your sides. Begin with your legs extended and your feet raised two inches above the floor, heels together. Press the small of your back into the floor. Now draw your left knee toward your head while keeping your right leg extended and your lower spine in contact with the floor. Return to the starting position and then draw your left knee toward your head. Repeat 8-12 times with each leg.


Speed Work: For most of us, today is the last chance to do speed work before our long run this weekend. What are you waiting for? Click here and scroll down for this week’s “short” ladder workout.


Stretching: I’ve laid off harping about stretching lately….does that mean your not doing it? I can talk about it more! 😉 If stretching is not part of your every day routine, your body is missing out on a very important and relaxing part of the plan. If you’ve yet to face an injury use stretching as prehab rather than rehab! If you’ve had some niggling pain this should be a no brainer for you! Our 7 Key Stretches for Runners hit all the major parts and it doesn’t take long. Please, take time to stretch.

That’s all for today Crew. Getting defined abs is another step in the process to becoming a more efficient, faster runner. And all those other health benefits too…take your time and use your core to power through our exercises today!

If you hear that voice inside that yells “can’t” DON’T LISTEN. Push harder and listen for the voice that whispers CAN!

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Day 10: Total Body Blast

Werkout of the Day

Ready for a hard and fast total body blast?

It’s Wednesday…middle of the week, and time to get to werk!

Day 10 exercises: 2 sets of 10

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

  • Superman
  • Single Arm Reverse Lunge & Press
  • Single Arm Deadlift to Hop
  • Mountain Climbers with Towel or Furniture Movers
  • Plank Challenge Day 10 – Low Plank with Hip Dips (:45 3X)

Day 10 Plank – Low Plank with Hip Dips: We’ve done this one before but if you are familiar, or need a reminder, check out this video to see how it’s done.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge Day 10 

  • 10 Sit Ups
  • 10 Crunches
  • 25 Squats

Extra Credit: Total Body Blast – This extra credit is meant to be hard and fast. You can do this pretty quickly so no “I don’t have time” excuses! 😉

Total Body Blast

Speed Work: Today is a great day for speed! Click here and scroll to the bottom to find this week’s speed work.

I’m heading to the track this morning with the PRS Running Club. I’ve been wanting to join them for a while now and I am excited! Can’t wait to share with y’all how it goes.

No fear Crew! Time to get to WERK! 🙂

 

Days 9 & 10: Make Time To Run

Make time to runWithout a doubt the long run is one of the most important parts of our overall training cycle. Hopefully you have a pack of like minded people ready to go long with you this weekend.

If you must go solo…there are ways to make it easier. Let’s face it, if you’re following your training plan you’re physically ready to go the distance…it’s the mental part that is agonizing.

Here are some tips to make it easier to get out the door.

  • Plan ahead: If it’s actually written down in your calendar, you’re more likely to do it.
  • Get it done early: Don’t wait till Sunday, cross it off your to-do list on Saturday if possible. Lift that weight off your back early so it’s not looming over your head all weekend.
  • Get online: Your Core Crew is your support system and we an be a HUGE motivator. If you post that you’re going out for a 12 miler, you won’t want to let us down…right? Go ahead and #RunBrag afterward to celebrate too!. Your run post just might inspire someone else to head out for their run, too!
  • Get your gear on: Lay out your outfit the night before and put it on right away in the morning. You’ll feel silly sitting in your house in your running clothes, so hit the roads where those kicks really belong!
  • Pick a killer playlist:  There’s something to be said for those times when one of your favorite tunes comes on and nudges you to pick up the pace a bit. To be safe, only use one earbud with the volume just loud enough to hear it so you are safe.
  • Focus on the half-way point: The first half of a long run is usually the hardest part because you feel like you’re heading away from home. Even if you still have a ways to go, you get excited when you’re halfway done because it feels like every step is a step toward home. Breaking up the run into parts makes it more manageable and less daunting.
  • Be creative with your route: Try not to run the same roads all the time. Changing up the scenery can help beat the boredom.
  • Remember that it’s worth it in the end: It feels pretty darn sweet finishing a long run. Savor it.

Are you ready to go long? What’s holding you back? We are all here waiting for you to finish…waiting for you to brag about how awesome you are…waiting to tell you how proud of you we are…

Don’t let us down! Of course we’ll still love you if you do…. So even more important…don’t let yourself down. You know you want it…go out and get it!


Remember…if you need to wait until Sunday to get your long run in…spend a little time working those abs on Saturday! Switch it up and make it work for you!

When you’re done….PLEASE make time to stretch!

Day 9 exercises:

Day 10 exercises:

  • Ab Pyramid – 1 set
  • Plank – :30 (1X)

If you are thinking about skipping your long run this weekend because you’re tired, or don’t feel like it, or have to many other things to do…remember that this is your YOU time. You deserve this time for yourself…to be healthy, to be sane!

So if you’re feeling blah, tell yourself…no way am I giving up this time for me… no way…

Run I will

Day 10: 100% Hard Core

Hard Core boxerThe only time you fail…is when you refuse to get back up.

We all fall down…or fall off…the exercise wagon. We get complacent or just too darn busy. But life is like a boxing match…you’re not defeated when you fall…only when refuse to stand again.

Stand up…stand strong…refuse to let life keep you down. Hard Core means getting hit and standing back up to take it again. We have to take life at it comes…but we don’t have to cower and be a sissy…when you get hit hard in the core…your core will be strong enough to take it…and to bounce back like a boxer.

Day 10 exercises: ****Click here for “how to” videos****

3 sets of 10 + Plank

  • Standing Core Stabilization
  • Overhead Dumbbell Side Bend
  • Triangle Press
  • Medicine Ball Side Throw
  • Kettle Ball Windmill
  • Reverse Plank – :45

Bonus: #HardCore Hard Core Exercises

All of these exercises are pretty self explanatory… except maybe the Body Saw. Check out the video below then grab some furniture movers…or a small towel and saw your way to a stronger core!

Oh…and I am not a fan of lunges… If you’re like me and are worried about too much pressure on your knees, do the push up and skip the lunge in the final exercise.

Thigh Challenge: Rest Day! 🙂 Take a break from the thigh/booty work today…but we’ll be back at it strong tomorrow!

Running Drills and Speed Work: No speed work this week? No worries….there’s always next week. Think ahead and plan when you will get your speed work in. If you plan ahead it won’t seem as scary…and once you do it, you’ll see that it’s not as hard as you think. If you already got your long run in during the week…speed work on the weekend is never a bad thing! I will be doing speed work at my 5K on Saturday…running fast for Run for the Pies!

You CAN still do your running drills. In fact, you can do them every single day. Who has tried the slow skipping this week? Doesn’t is kinda make you feel like a kid again? It’s fun, promotes calf and foot strength…and stimulates muscular timing for running with a higher cadence.

That’s all for today Crew. Remember that life is going to throw punches…but you are 100% HARD CORE and you will not be defeated! Get back up, brush it off, and take a swing of your own.

Make it a great Friday Core Crew! 🙂

100 hard core