Day 12: Magic Legs


Everyone knows runners have the best legs! But we still have to work for them…

How do we build “magic legs” that will take us the distance? Strength work!

Let’s chat about some myths that maybe you’ve heard before…

MYTH: Runners don’t need to lift weights. To get stronger, run more.

TRUTH: Running–and the optimal balance of volume, intensity and pace-specific work–will always be the primary focus of a distance runner’s training program. And rightly so. Strength training, however, presents a different physiological stimulus, one that includes a host of distinct benefits that running doesn’t provide, but which are crucial to health and optimal performance.

Takeaway: Runners need strength training in addition to running!

MYTH: The key area to work on is the core; running works all other areas.

TRUTH: Research indicates that upper-body, lower-body and midsection strength training all contribute to improved running performance. You should do exercises that involve all of the major muscle groups. Rather than specifically strengthening an area that you assume is weak, you are better off developing strength in all muscle groups, which will create balance and synergy.

Takeaway: Our core is important, but we need to strengthen our upper and lower body too.

MYTH: Lift with quick movements to work power and improve speed.

TRUTH: It’s more effective to lift and lower the weight slowly. Take two to three seconds to lift the weight and at least four seconds to lower the weight. A mantra for the distance runner is, “To become fast, lift slowly.”

Takeaway: Lift slowly!

MYTH: Use light weights and don’t exhaust yourself when lifting for distance running.

TRUTH: Many runners assume that lifting heavy weights can predispose to injury, when in fact, fast movements that create high external forces on joints predispose to injury. Lift a weight heavy enough to exhaust you. Train to the point of momentary muscle fatigue. Focus on continuing each set of exercises until it is utterly impossible to complete another perfect rep. This ensures optimal muscle fiber involvement.

Takeaway: Don’t skimp on the weights. When you are ready to add more weight, do it. You want to continue to get stronger so when it becomes easy, you need heavier weights!

MYTH: Lift on your off or easy days to balance your hard-run efforts.

TRUTH: It is optimal to piggyback strength-training workouts with quality runs. This work complements the training effect of the running, then you fully recover from both on easy days.

Takeaway: Strength work and running the same day is a good idea!

Continuing to strengthen our arms, back, core, hips, glutes, and legs is the best way to build those magic legs (and arms, shoulders, back, core, and glutes) that will carry us through our long runs and races, help us get faster, and keep us safe from injuries. Let’s get to work!

Day 10 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Squats
  • Side Lunges (both sides)
  • Wall sits – :60 3X
  • Plank – :60 (your choice)

Bonus: 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Since our long runs and races are coming up fast (and I was super sore last weekend after last Thursday’s leg work) the only bonus today is to stretch those legs, glutes, and back. Take a few extra minutes to go through our 7 Key Stretches for runners and get ready to go long this weekend!

Want more leg work? Don’t worry….there’s more squats to do. 😉


  • Burpees – 30
  • Push Ups Beginner – 10
  • Push Ups Advances – 50
  • Squats – 40

Water Challenge: The no junk food challenge seemed to go well yesterday so let’s do another challenge today. It’s one that some people struggle with…drinking enough water.

This is another great way to get ready for our long runs because a lot of people don’t start hydrating in advance for long runs. Let’s start now by drinking LOTS of water today! How much should you drink? Check out the charts below and get that water bottle ready for the day.

For me, a 38 year old female weighing around 135 pounds, I should be drinking 9 – 8 oz cups of water or 72 oz each day. How much should you be drinking?

If you find yourself hungry, bored, stressed, or thirsty, grab your water bottle and start guzzling. Have a great day Crew!


Day 12: That Moment When…

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-5-43-15-amThat moment when…you’re running and you feel some pain in your hip, knee, IT Band….

That moment when….you want to go for a run but you think about how your body is hurting and no one can figure out why…

That moment when your hip goes out….and you’re going down!

Don’t wait till THAT moment that keeps you off the road….

Can you believe it’s already to 12th of December? Holy WOW this month is flying by!

If you aren’t taking advantage of the fast month…and the fast workouts our Crew is doing you’re missing out! Our exercises take 10 minutes a day…that’s it…10 minutes y’all!

On top of being quick, they are very effective! If you’re dealing with some pain below the waist…hips, IT Band, quads, knees, calves, ankles…then you should be doing these hip strength exercises. We’re in our 2nd month focusing on hip work and let me tell you…my body is very grateful. You know I’ve dealt with lots of knee pain this year but that pain has all but vanished since I started strengthening my hips.

After running 30.4 miles in around 22.5 hours this past weekend, I am pain free…PAIN FREE!! I had zero issues with knee pain during the Ragnar Trail race which is the only reason I was able to go the distance. What are you waiting for? Jump in now and start getting stronger…your body will thank you!

Day 12 exercises:

  • Donkey Kick Workout – Follow along with me in the video below
  • Bonus: Clams – 3 sets of 10
  • Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 days of Christmas – Day 1 (see below)

Bonus: Clams – 3 sets of 10 – I know that workout is tough but you can do a little more! Clams are one of the most often recommended exercise to strength our hips. Bust out 3 sets of 10 clams for each leg. Use a resistance band if you have one or do them without…either way you will get results. Come on…you can do them laying down! 😉

Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Day 1 (1 minute Skaters) 

Sarah suggested a great way to add a little more into our routine and to celebrate the holiday. Day 1 is one minute of skaters. Here are 13 different variations on this exercise. Choose one that works best for you and let’s celebrate Christmas the STRONG way! 🙂

Speed Work: 6x -8X 1/4 mile repeats

This has to be everyones favorite speed work. It’s one we can call do without feeling too anxious. Don’t be scared by the phrase “speed workout.”  Speed is a relative term, by which I mean that one person’s “slow” pace might be another’s “fast” pace.  It’s all about pushing yourself beyond what is ‘comfortable’…not trying to do what someone else does. Remember that speed work is about more than just getting faster, it’s about pushing yourself a little more than you’re used too, about building up your endurance so your “normal” speed feels more comfortable therefore going a little faster is easier.

Warm-Up  5:00 jog followed by your choice of Dynamic Movements (high knees, butt kicks, leg swings, sideways shuffles, skipping, etc)

Work-Out – 6-8 x 1/4 Mile Repeats at a pace that is :30 faster than your race pace.

*2:00 standing or 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.

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

Cool-Down  5:00-10:00 easy jog (you’ve earned it!)

This workout is so effective because it will teach your body to move faster for longer periods of time, so hopefully come race day, you’ll be ready to shave a few seconds off each mile….and feel better doing it!

12 Days of Thanks: If you know me well…you know I am a bit of a Christmas scrooge. I love the holiday and the real meaning for the season, but I don’t like being “forced” to buy presents for tons of people just because someone says I am supposed too. I’d rather give thoughtful gifts throughout the year when they are needed…the stress of “gift giving” wears me out!

So as we get closer and closer to Christmas…I like to take off some of the stress and give thanks for some of the special things that happened in 2016. Along with Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas, I would love for us to mention some fabulous memories from our year and give thanks for what truly matters. When you post your 12 Days of Christmas each day, tell us something that made you smile in 2016. Let’s remember the good times before the year is over!

There is always something to be thankful for, and always a reason to keep moving forward. Share your memories with us and let’s find our holiday spirit together.


Days 12 & 13: Long Arms


I wish my arms were long enough to reach around the country and give everyone of you great big HUGS!!

But since my arms are not this long…it’s time to go long today….and work those arms tomorrow! See what I did there? (Up too early on a Saturday with my long run already done. 😉 ) Hopefully my little play on words today will help you remember to go long today…and do arms tomorrow!

So who’s doing what today? Remember if you go long on Sunday, today is arm day for you!

Day 12: Long run + Side Plank (:30 each side) + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Pigeon Pose 

Did you know that I added the pigeon pose to our 7 Key Stretches for Runners? Yep…I did that a few months ago…if you didn’t know…you MUST have our 7 key stretches memorized right? 😉

Day 13: Arms – 3 sets of 10 

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

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

Bonus: #SlenderSexyArmsslender-sexy-arms

Remember this one? Quick effect burn!

I use small weights for this one. Either my 3 lbs or maybe 5 if I’m feeling squirley. Oh and I also just do the arm portion of the jumping jack. Stand tall and really put some power into those up swings with the weights.

Throw in 3 rounds for Sunday’s bonus.

Thinking about Amy Jaynes and her longest run EVER today! 19 miles…I know you can go this girl. Look up at the sky and remember how amazing life is…breathe it in…then run girl!

Good luck to everyone racing and going long today! Feel the big hugs coming from Florida and have a blast!


Day 12: Consistency…Refuse to Give Up!

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-4-45-13-amHey Crew! The Chicago Marathon is over but there’s no more time to rest. Lots more fun races to come and goals more goals to reach!

Consistency is the key to life long health and fitness and our ab exercises are waiting…

I’m excited and proud to say that the scale has also stayed consistent throughout my marathon training this season. Training for MCM last year, I gained weight…but this summer I was able to stay the course and keep the weight off.

Thank you all for keeping me motivated and accountable along the way! Next up…Rock N Roll Savannah! It was such a blessing to meet Martin, Deena, and Alicja in Chicago…and now I get to look forward to meeting so many more of you in Savannah. The gifts keep coming! 🙂

Let’s get to work Crew!

Day 12 exercises: Abs – 3 sets of 10

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

  • Sharon’s Walk Down Plank
  • Lower Body Russian Twist
  • Stamding Side Crunch
  • In and Outs
  • Bedtime Plank


Bonus: #AbPyramid

Bringing back another old favorite today. Throw in this Ab Pyramid to round out today’s ab work and feel the burn! There’s no reason why you can’t have those flat abs…but you’ve gotta do the work!

Speed Work: Silly me…I forgot all about this week’s speed work. Let’s keep it fun and simple and throw in some fartleks this week. Super simple…during your run today, throw in some speed! Pick a spot in the distance and run as fast as you can to that spot…slow it down and recover, then do it again!

Fartleks are a great way to build some speed into your workout and increase your heart rate…another great way to bur some extra calories and work towards those flat abs! 🙂

Extra Credit: Calorie Counting – We all know abs are built in the kitchen so today we are counting calories. Do you know how much you really eat? Counting calories is a great way to see what you’re taking in…and I bet you’ll be surprised how quickly it ads up. If you are not familiar with counting calories a great way to get started is by using the MyFitnessPal app.

Download MyFitnessPal and “friend” me so we can help keep each other accountable. It’s really easier than you think to keep track of what you eat and if you want to lose weight and tone up, this app will help you reach that goal! With the holidays right around the corner we need to be aware of what’s what and consistent with our diet. Make the commitment NOW and be ready to look fabulous in your holiday attire. Who doesn’t want to walk into their family holiday parties and have everyone saying, “OMG, you look amazing!” 🙂

If you feel like slacking today…think about those goals you want to reach then get up and MOVE! You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to be consistent!

Refuse to give up and make it a great day Crew! 🙂



Day 12: Purrrrfect Workout


Today’s ab and shoulder workout is a great way to build upper body and core strength…and it’s the purrrrfect way to start our week!

3 rounds today, throw in a little bonus work, then plan out your running schedule for the week. When will you get your speed work in? Plan now so you have plenty of time to get in some other short runs and recover before going long again on the weekend.

If you want to succeed, you must have a plan!


Before getting started, let’s about “bracing”.

According to the Runner’s World article, “Building Running Specific Core Stability”, bracing is the neuromuscular exercise of abdominal bracing, which entails simultaneously co-activating all of the muscles that surround the spine. The purpose is to teach the body how to prepare for stabilization.

If you’re jostled in a race, getting tired and need your core stability to hold you upright, or lose your footing in a race or trail run, your brace should naturally engage, stiffening the spine and improving your ability to quickly reposition. Bracing should be performed during all core and whole-body strength/stability training.

To practice bracing, pretend you’re going to be punched in the stomach; this should stimulate all the muscles to tighten around the spine. However, you must be able to do this without holding your breath. Training the brace independent of breathing is essential for optimal exercise execution and performance in sport. This brace will help “groove” this supportive pattern so that, over time, it will activate with an unconscious effort.

Practice “bracing” a few times before you start your exercises, think ‘getting punched in the stomach’, and hold that position for a ten count, then release. Practice “bracing” a few times then use this core activation while you’re doing each of the exercises. This simple move is one you can do anywhere, anytime to tighten and tone your abs, and to train them to support yourself unconsciously when you need it most.

Day 12 exercises: Abs & Shoulders – 3 sets of 10 + Planks

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

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Kettle Ball / Dumbbell Swings
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Plank – Your Choice  (:45 3X)

Bonus: Bird Dog with Squares – Get on your hands and knees and brace with a neutral spine. Without moving your spine, reach out one leg and the opposite arm. Outline a square with each outstretched limb while maintaining the curve in your spine. Return both to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Perform 3 sets of 6 repetitions per side. Add this to your ab arsenal for a great bonus workout whenever you have a few extra minutes.


On to the fun stuff!

Speed Work: Last week we did a 5K to see where we’re at and what kind of pace we need to run for our speed intervals. Did you write your time down? Grab it and let’s see what you’re doing this week.

Workout = 1 mile warm up; 400M x 10-12X (2.5-3 miles); 1-2 mile cool down – Total of 5-6 miles 

Yes it’s a tough workout…but you can do it! A track is ideal for speed work but this is an easy workout to do on the road or the treadmill too. Do a slow warm up for 1 mile, then move into your 400M intervals. That’s either 1 time around the track, or .25 mile. After 400 meters (.25 mile), stop, rest, and breathe for :60. Then do it again for a total of 10-12 .25 mile repeats. When you’re done head out for a 1-2 mile cool down.

These intervals should not be done all out. Start a little slower than your goal pace so you have enough left to do all 10-12 repeats. If you can hold that pace, or close to it, for each interval you’re doing it right! If not…keep trying!

Below are 5K times with short interval paces and time goals starting at a 25 minute 5K. If your 5K is below 25 minutes or over 40 minutes, let me know….but this should cover most of us.


***RRCA Pace Chart Developed by Amby Burfoot ( Only 5K times and paces listed here***

Example: My current 5K PR (ran at a race in May 2016) was 27:04. So I would use the 27 minute guideline and  run my intervals at a 7:50 pace, with the goal of finishing each one in around 1:58.

We ran this drill at my PRS track workout last week and I was able to pull times between 1:47 – 1:55 each. What did my Coach say? “You can run a faster 5K then 27 minutes.” This may be true…but I need more practice in order to put them all together. Remember, we are taking a :60 break in-between each interval to rest, breathe, and recover. It is a great confidence booster though and give me the motivation to keep working on it.

Speed work takes time, and practice. Do your best, write down your times, and compare your results each week. Remember…speed doesn’t come overnight, but if you keep working on it…you will get faster. Be patient and work hard Crew!

Questions? I’m here to help so please ask. if you are confused, don’t just go out willy nilly and do “whatever”. Reach out to me and let’s make sure you have your plan ready to go.

Let’s get to work and start the week off with a bang!


Day 12: Motivation Dust

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 8.15.14 PM

Lacking motivation today? Need some fairy dust to give you energy and get you moving in the right direction?

I wish I was a magical creature and had a mythical motivation dust to help you through your workout and your day. Truth is…you don’t need magic to find your motivation. You’re part of the Core Crew and you have all the motivation you need right inside you!

Intrinsic motivation is part of who you are….all you need to do is reach down deep and bring it out.

You’re magical fairy dust comes from four factors: enjoyment, control, interest, and confidence.

Enjoy what you’re doing, have control over your environment, be interested in the activity, and know you can be successful. These four factors are your magical fairy dust.

What does this mean for our Friday? Find the fun in your workout, take control and pick the exercise that interests you most, then remember that you are strong and powerful and can get through anything you put your mind too.

So today’s workouts are the Standing ab and Daily ab routines. Our calendar says to do each one twice….but today you have the choice. Pick which workout you like better and rock it out! You can do today’s plank or choose any plank that we’ve done this month. Make it fun and make it yours. Feel the burn in your abs and find the confidence that is already deep down inside you.

Day 12 exercises: Your choice – 4 sets of abs

  • Standing Abs
  • Daily Abs
  • Plank Challenge Day 12 – Low Side Plank with Hip Dips (:45 3x) or choose a plank that you like and knock it out.

Plank Challenge Day 10 – Low Side Plank with Hip Dip:

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge Day 12

  • 45 Sit Ups
  • 60 Crunches
  • 70 Squats

No extras on Friday but you can always do another set of abs! Or take time to stretch out those legs and get lots of rest because it’s almost time to go long!

Our 7 Key Stretches for Runners or Yoga for Runners are both great ways to get lose and limber for the weekend!

I’m not the fitness fairy….but I do believe in you. Now get up and get moving Crew! 🙂

no magic potions


Day 12: More Sweat Less Jiggle

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 6.02.42 PM

The only way to get rid of the jiggle is to sweat it off! There’s no way around it…toned arms that don’t waggle when we wave takes hard work and lots of sweat! Tuesday is tricep day…and these moves will target that arm jiggle.

If you don’t get sweaty…if it doesn’t burn…you’re not giving it all you’ve got!

finger waggle gif

Avoid the naughty finger waggle….

Get up…get moving….and get sweaty!

Day 12 exercises: 2 rounds of 10

****Click here for our how to videos for these tricep exercises****

  • Tricep Dips
  • Tricep Push-Ups
  • Tricep Overhead Extensions
  • Dumbbell Kickbacks
  • Burpees
  • Plank – :30 (2X)

Bonus: #FitBodyHIIT

It’s all about sweating today and this Fit Body Hitt program will get you sweaty! Hit each super set hard then take a short (:30) break before you move on to the next set. Don’t rest longer though…get your breath and get moving again.

Don’t freak out over the :90 Plank and Wall Squat (Wall Sit). We’ve been doing these and you can hold these moves. YOU CAN! Give it your best shot and I promise you will surprise yourself with how strong you are!

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 6.17.46 PM

Running Drills and Speed Work: We got this week’s running drills and speed work on Monday. Have you made a plan to work it in yet? Without a plan the week will get away from you so plan it out NOW.

If you’re not getting the speed work in today….be accountable and tell us when you will get it done in your Day 12 post.

Click >>> Day 11: Stay Focused for to the link to our running drills and speed work for this week.

That’s it Crew…get to getting sweaty, banish that jiggle and make it a terrific Tuesday! 🙂


Days 11 & 12: Weekend Loading…

Weekend LoadingOur weekend is loading and it’s gonna be a blast!

Down here in Jax we are eating, racing, eating, running some more…and partying!! I wish you could all be here to hang out with us but we will make sure to take TONS of pics!

Even though we do plan on having fun…racing and running is our love and we will be doing plenty of it!

Run for the Pies is Saturday night…and we will also be hitting the trails on Sunday morning. What are you weekend plans? Racing? Long run? Whatever your plans are…make them active and make them awesome!

Remember to take time to pamper yourself with some Yoga on Sunday! All the links you need for stretching and yoga are below.

Day 11 exercises: Long Run + Low Side Plank (:45 each side) + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Thigh Challenge (if you committed)

  • 18 Fire Hydrants
  • 45 Scissor Kicks
  • 35 Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Day 12 exercises: Yoga for Runners – Unknot Yourself  + High Side Knee Tuck (:45 each side) + Thigh Challenge

  • 20 Fire Hydrants
  • 50 Scissor Kicks
  • 35 Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Bonus: #WeekendWarrior Weekend Warrior

This will be a tough addition but you don’t have to do it all at once. Grab a pen and paper and roll through it little by little. Knock it out by Sunday night and you can call yourself a #WeekendWarrior!

A few things to keep in mind this weekend…

  1. Don’t skip your workout!
  2. Don’t pig out! Continue to watch what you eat…but do give yourself a chance to relax and enjoy a few treats.
  3. Limit alcohol – Yes we will be having a few drinks…indulge…but don’t over-indulge.
  4. Drink lots of water!

Don’t let the weekend ruin your progress. Fight hard for Self Control!

Fight for Self Control


Day 12: What Makes You Happy?

pretty when happyBeing happy makes us smile…and we’re all prettier when we smile! Find something your thankful for…find a reason to smile…and be happy today!

We’ve worked our legs super hard the last couple days so I couldn’t be happier it’s arm day! 🙂

Day 12 exercises: “How To” Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 3 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front & Side – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 Minute (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side (2X)
  • 30 Push Ups
  • Arm Stretches – take a minute to stretch out those arms after today’s workout!

Bonus: #FightFlabbyArms Fight Flabby Arms

A couple weeks ago we talked about being happy with ourself….not comparing our bodies to others. That’s always true…but it doesn’t mean we don’t want to fight those flabby arms! Take a few extra minutes to throw in this bonus and feel those arms burn today!

Running Drills and Speed Work: Haven’t had a chance to get in your speed work this week? There’s still time! Stop overthinking it and just go out and give it a try! Skipping the running drills? Why? Running drills will help your form…and it’s not hard. Throw in those high knees before your run as a dynamic warm up… or after your run to teach your legs how to run strong when they’re tired.

Click here to find this week’s running drill and speed work…and why and how we do it. Remember…speed work is not just about getting faster. There’s TONS of reasons to throw in some speed!

  1. Build stronger muscles
  2. Boost heart health
  3. Lose weight
  4. Good training in between races
  5. See progress! We all want to see results. See results faster with speed work!

Who’s racing this weekend? Let us know so we can cheer you on!

As always…don’t forget to stretch!

Live happy…run happy…and make it a great day Core Crew!

Run Happy


Day 12 & 13: Weekend Options

my face on race dayGood morning Core Crew! It’s race day for lots of us and I know the rest of you are getting in those long runs today so I’m gonna keep it short.

Remember that you have options on the weekend. Get your long run, planks and stretches in today…or switch it up and do your long run on Sunday and knock out abs today. 🙂

Day 12 exercises:

  • Long run – Conversation pace – This means you can talk or sing out loud consistently while running. Unless you’re racing…then keep quiet and haul butt!
  • Plank – :30 (2X)
  • Stretch! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Day 13 exercises:

  • Mountain Climbers – 60X (each side)
  • Heel Touches – 40X (each side)
  • Bicycle Crunches – 40X (each side)
  • Plank – :45 (2X)
  • Side Planks – :45 each side
  • One Arm Camel Stretch
  • Spinal Stretch on Stability Ball

Here are the how to videos and the stretches are below.

I can’t wait to hear all about your race or long run….remember I want to see those splits…nice sexy splits with your first miles being the slowest! Go out and have a blast Core Crew! 🙂