Day 19: Wall Sit Anytime Anywhere!

screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-5-30-20-amMost distance runners will tell you they’ve had a point on one (or many) of their runs where they hit “the wall.” The wall can be both an emotional and a physical barrier. You need mental strength to finish a marathon, but you also need toned muscles!

Wall sits are a great down-and-dirty strength exercise to build strength in your quadriceps and calves. When you’re doing a wall sit, your quads are holding your weight up by pushing it against the wall, and your calves are working to keep your knees bent at a 90° angle.

By strengthening your thigh muscles, you are helping stabilize your knees, which helps lower your risk of injury. Runner’s Knee, which is an unfortunate and common injury for distance runners, can be caused by weak thigh muscles (among other things). By strengthening your quads, you’re helping reduce risk of injury.

Anyone Can Do Wall Sits

Perhaps the greatest thing about wall sits, is that anyone can do them, anywhere, at any time. Can’t find time for your full daily workout? Throw in some wall sits throughout the day. Camping in the woods? Find a tree to lean up against. Got a few minutes before you have to be back at work from your lunch break? Wall sit! Arrive a few minutes before your doctor appointment? The car can provide a solid surface for a wall sit – right there in the parking lot.

Remember, our “challenge” is meant to motivate you to do more than you would each day. We’re not here to beat you up for not getting in every single exercise every single day. If you do…that’s awesome! But we know that busy lives get in the way and the most important thing is being active and adding strength training to your routine.

So when you’re short on time, grab a wall and take a squat. Every little bit counts!

Day 19 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Squats
  • Side Lunges (each leg)
  • Wall sits – 3X (:60) or 1X for 3 minutes!
  • Plank – :60 (your choice)

Bonus: Hip Stability Exercies for IT Band Syndrome and Runner’s Knee

Lots of people suffer from tight hips and IT Bands which lead to pain in and around our knees and down our legs. Hip rotation and pelvic imbalances are also frequent issues for runners that contribute to IT Band Syndrome or Runner’s Knee.

Yes, this is a monthly challenge, but I also hope you find information along the way that you tuck away in your personal arsenal for future use. The exercises in this video help to create additional stability and strength for both prevention and recovery. Check it out.

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 45
  • Push Ups Beginner – 15
  • Push Ups Advanced – 30
  • Squats – 50

Speed Work: Climb ladders

Ladder workouts are speed sessions that vary the length of the work intervals in incremental steps and are a great way to get a mix of several high-intensity running paces in a single session. Go to the track or use your GPS watch to track your distance., warm up with 10 minutes of easy running, and try one of these ladders. Run each interval slightly faster than the preceding one, and jog, walk  400 meters (or just stand still and breath deeply) between each interval.

Starter ladder: 400M (1/4 mile), 800M (1/2 mile), 1600M (mile), 800M (1/2 mile), 400M (1/4 mile).

Advanced ladder: 200M (.1 mile), 400M, 800M, 1200M, 1600M, 1200M, 1000M, 800M, 400M, 200M

Remember that it is always important to do a good warm up and cool down before and after every speed work session. And if you’re not doing running drills to loosen your glutes, hips, quads, and calves…you’re missing out on an important part of the workout.

  1. Warm up
  2. Running Drills: Pick a few and take a few minutes to loosen up. Click here for descriptions of each running drill. Butt Kicks, High Knees, Bounding, Grapevines, Slow Skipping, Hamstring Extensions, Running Backwards, Straight Leg Shuffle, Lateral Bounding
  3. Speed Work
  4. Cool Down

Running today? We usually try to do our strength work before we go for a run…but this time save one of your wall sits for afterwards, when your legs are fatigued. Just one…don’t go overboard with it. When it’s all said and done, take time to stretch out those tired and sore muscles so you’re ready to go long this weekend!

Have a great Thursday Crew! 🙂

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Day 19: Choose to be Strong

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For many of us, poor performance or lack of increasing better results in our favorite sport, leads to a whole lot of self-deprecating thoughts like “I suck,” “Why do I even do this?” and, “Why aren’t I better?” It can become a real inner battle and a catalyst to depression and quitting. But there is hope!

There are two types of runners: those who just run and those who are well-balanced athletes.

Well balanced athletes cross-train and perform strength training. They’re usually stronger, healthier, and more successful athletes who are able to keep reaching new levels of performance.

On the other hand, the runners who just run tend to get injured often and wonder why they aren’t able to make much progress over the long term.

Does this look familiar? Yep…we’ve been down this road before. Well-balanced athletes don’t need to spend all day in a gym building muscle; they don’t focus on “bulking up”. But adding strength training to your routine allows a runner’s body to become more resilient to the demands of running.

According to breakingmuscle.com, strength training is one of the best forms of cross training runners can do…consider it the “ideal cross training.”

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A strong body will counteract the effects of repetitive pounding our boys takes when we’re running and any preexisting conditions will be less likely to get worse.

Strength training helps to improve structural weaknesses in your body, whether in the muscles, joints, or connective tissues. Often, this will eliminate the source of many common running injuries. For example, runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, can be caused by hip dysfunction – tight or weak hips cause compensations elsewhere that result in knee injuries.

Strength training builds core strength, which is particularly important for distance runners. A strong core will not only look great, it also contributes to better posture throughout the day and while running. This means you’ll be a more efficient runner.

Strength training even will help you run faster. By improving your efficiency, allowing you to impart more force into the ground, and train healthy for longer periods of time, you’ll finish races faster than ever before.

Run pain-free, shave some time off your favorite distance, and improve structural weaknesses in the your body….strength training is the key. On top of these benefits, runners will also gain valuable higher energy levels, increased bone density, a stronger metabolism, and less body fat.

Which athlete do you want to be? Be more than a runner…be a well-balanced athlete who can’t be beat because you never give up.

Day 19 exercises:

  • Donkey Kick Workout – Butt, Hips, Thighs and Glutes
  • Bonus: Ab Pyramid
  • Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-8
  • One :60 Plank of your choice

Donkey Kick Workout: Last week you followed along with me so I thought I’d give you a break and let you follow along with this cool chick today.


Bonus: Core Work! – Ab Pyramid 

We did this one a lot in the past and we’re bringing it back today. 1 round all the way through for today’s bonus workout.

ab-pyramid


Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-8

  1. 1 minute skaters
  2. 20 Squats
  3. 15 Push Ups
  4. 10 Superman
  5. 1 minute Jumping Jacks
  6. 20 Lunges
  7. 15 Tricep Dips
  8. 10 Mountain Climbers

Speed Work: Remember me talking about the RRCA strategy IIP?

Introduce, Improve, Perfect

This strategy allows us to introduce a workout (maybe not doing it very well), then improve on that workout (getting better) and finally perfecting that workout (doesn’t mean you don’t still have room to improve, but you will know how to do it).

We’ve been changing it up each week lately but I want to bring this strategy back…you got it…same speed work as last week…more 1/4 mile repeats. Since we are revisiting the same speed workout, I also want to remind you of some tips you can use to get better at it. Adding a couple of these to your workouts each week will help you improve.

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Speed workout: 6x – 8X 1/4 mile repeats

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!)


We can all be more well-balanced and stronger athletes. Getting stronger doesn’t mean we won’t have some disappointing races or training runs, but it will help you feel better, lose weight, run faster easier, and prevent injuries.

So let me ask you again….what type of athlete do you want to be?

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Days 19 & 20: Runner Problems

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Ready to go LONG?!?!?

As runners, we always have to “work around” getting our long runs in. Well…maybe it’s really that we work the rest of our weekend around our long run. 😉

In order to get it done, feel good, and make sure our family and friends aren’t mad at us, we have to PLAN! What’s your plan? Plan ahead to be successful!

Remember to make time for arms on Sunday too. 🙂

Day 19 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Side Plank (:30 each side)

Day 20 exercises: Arms – 3 sets of 15 (Stepping it up to 15 reps per set!) 

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

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

Bonus: PUSH UPS!!  – Sunday’s bonus arm work – 3 sets of 15 push ups

Take time to stretch Crew. It’s important for recovery!

If you’re going long on Saturday, try to get out on Sunday for a few SLOW miles. Keep it short and easy (30 minutes or less). We call this “active recovery” and it will help your body recover better than laying around and stiffening up.

If you can’t get out for a run both days, find other ways to be active. Play outside with your kids, go for a walk with your spouse, go for a bike ride. Just don’t sit around idle…I promise you will feel better on Monday if you are active the day after your long run.

No matter how far your long run is…just GO RUN! 🙂

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Day 19: Get Ripped Now!

summer-bodies-made-in-winterOk ok…so it’s not quite winter yet…at least not in Florida. But why wait till it’s cold out and we’ve already put on the holiday weight to start makes strides towards our summer body?

Why not start working on ripped abs now, make smart eating choices, and be closer to our goal when it’s really crunch time?

This is my favorite ab day in October! Lots of fun exercises that keep us moving and keep our core engaged…let’s do this Crew!

Day 19 exercises: Abs – 3 sets of 15

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

  • Sharon’s Walk Down Plank
  • Lower Body Russian Twist
  • Standing Side Crunch
  • In and Outs
  • Bedtime Plank
  • Stretch! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Bonus: Ripped Abs  screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-5-37-44-am

This looks challenging…who’s up for it? Take your time and get through each move. Just 1 set of this extra workout Crew you got this!


Extra Credit: Sore legs after yesterday? That means you worked hard! Extra credit today…1 minute wall sit. Yea…it’s gonna hurt…do it anyway! 😉


Speed Work: Courtney CRUSHED her speed mile challenge yesterday. Who else has a fast mile coming today? Let’s see it!

Workout – Mile “bench mark” run We want to see how fast you can run 1 mile, and I also want to show you how going faster is possible for you!. Make sure you are well rested and have fresh legs then go out and do a 1-2 mile warm up, rest for a few minutes, then run with your heart and do a mile as fast as you can. Cool down with 1 more mile then call it a day. 3-4 miles total. I want to see some super fast for you miles Crew! Do your warm up and cool down miles as slow as you want. All I want to see if that 1 mile time. Have fun with it and surprise yourself with how fast you can go!


November Challenge: I’ll keep reminding you about this as we inch closer to November because I’m thinking about next month challenge and new exercises! Jan and Sharon shared their favorites with me last month and they have gone over really well with our Crew! Maybe you take a class and have a favorite move, maybe you saw it on a video somewhere, maybe it’s just a go to move you love! Video yourself doing your favorite exercise or if you’re shy find a video or good explantation of how to do it then send it to me. Being a part of the month’s exercise line up makes you feel even more part of our Crew and gives you an extra reason to push harder! Show me what you’ve got!


Don’t wait till winter is over and you have LOTS of work to do. Do something TODAY that your future self will than you for! And remember Crew…don’t spoil all that hard work by eating crap!

Make it a great Wednesday! 🙂

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Day 19: Ab-solutley Necessary

big-girl-pantiesWhether you want to or not…strong abs are AB-SOLUTLEY necessary!

No…you don’t need a six-pack…but you do need strength because strong abdominal muscles help make you a better runner!

Since the abdominal muscles support the rest of the torso, runners with strong abs have better posture, a more stable gait, and fewer low-back problems.

Added bonus: Our abs also help us move our legs and shift our hips, so we derive more power for these actions when our abs are well-developed.

Having back pain? Work on your core! Having hip issues? Your core will help you stabilize those hips! Legs tired? Focus on that strong core to pull those legs when they just don’t want to take another step…

Yes Crew…Our ab days are AB-SOLUTLEY necessary. Don’t skip them!

Day 19 exercises: Abs & Shoulders – 3 sets of 15

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

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Kettle Ball / Dumbbell Swings
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Plank – Your Choice (:60 2X)

Since I was a slacker and didn’t get you a post over the weekend, I neglected to check the calendar and remind you that we’ve moved up to :60 planks. OOPS! We’ve moved up! You’ve got this Crew! We’ve been working on it and now it’s time to add another :15 to those planks!

Bonus: In and Outs + Dead Bugs

Yes…2 bonus moves today. Two fun ones though so don’t cringe. These are great core stabilizing moves. Go through each exercise 3 times for 10-15 reps.

In and Outs – This move will strengthen your core and work your hip flexors.

  1. Begin by sitting on the floor or on a bench with your legs raised and your body leaning back.
  2. Bring your knees and chest together by leaning forward and pulling your legs up.
  3. Make sure to keep your abs tight and engaged during the movement. Your head and neck should stay up and forward.
  4. Lower your legs back down towards the floor. Keep them raised just off the ground.
  5. At the same time, lean your upper body back down to the starting position.

Dead Bug – This exercise helps to improve the overextended posture or excessive anterior pelvic tilt that can be a root of back pain and which can manifest into more profound back issues. Use this exercise to strengthen your abs and favour the proper posture.

  1. Lay flat on your back with your hands extended above you toward the ceiling. Bend your knees in 90 degree angle and raise your thighs until they are perpendicular to the floor. Now deeply exhale and embrace your abs to bring your ribcage down and flatten you back onto the floor. You shouldn’t be able to fit your hand in between the floor and your lumbar spine. Hold this position throughout the whole exercise.
  2. Slowly lower the right arm and the left leg down to the floor simultaneously. Lower them down until just before the lower back starts to rise off the ground (starts to arch). On your way down exhale all the air out of your lungs forcefully. Then slowly return to the starting position while inhaling. Alternating sides and continue the movement for specific number of repetitions or a certain period of time.

Speed Work: Slightly disappointed that I only saw 2 people…2 PEOPLE…get in speed work last week. Hopefully I just missed those posts?

I had cortisone shots in my knees on Tuesday and missed my track workout…but I threw in 5 fast miles at the end of y 22 miler on Friday…what was your excuse?

If you read y posts regularly, you know I subscribe to the RRCA IIP thought process. Introduce, Improve, Perfect. So if you did do speed work last week YAY!! Let’s do that again and IMPROVE! If you didn’t get it done, here’s another chance to introduce this speed work into your schedule this week. Yes Crew…10-12 x 400M. Let’s get it!

Two weeks ago 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 is the same chart from last week with 5K times, 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.

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Now…please PLAN for your speed work. Think about what day this week will be best for you to get this done. Without a plan…chances are it won’t happen. So in today’s post, I want to see when you are planning to get your speed work done. Deal?

When it’s all said and done, don’t forget to stretch!

Alrighty Crew…time to get to work! Cause we all know…

never-miss-monday-workout

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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Day 19: The Balanced Athlete

Balanced AthleteThere are two types of runners: those who just run and those who are well-balanced athletes.

Well-balanced athletes do cross-training exercises and add strength work to their routine. These athletes are usually stronger, healthier, and more successful….they are also able to keep reaching new levels of performance.

On the other hand, runners who just run tend to get injured often and wonder why they aren’t able to make much progress over the long term.

Which athlete would you rather be?

Part of our well balanced lifestyle includes strong arms…and our triceps are no exception.

Our triceps help stabilize our shoulders and as they become stronger, the strength and stability of our shoulders and elbows increase. The functionality, flexibility and range of motion of our arm increases the more we work and strengthen these muscles.

We know that runner’s need strong arms to carry us through long runs and power us up tough hills. Today, feel that burn in the back of your arms…and use those strong arms when you hit the road.

Day 19 exercises: 3 rounds of 10

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

  • Tricep Dips
  • Tricep Push-Ups
  • Tricep Overhead Extensions
  • Dumbbell Kickbacks
  • Burpees
  • Plank – Your choice – :45 (2X)

Bonus:#GarageCircuitCardio  Garage Cardio Circuit

If you’re not running today…you need some cardio. Throw in 3-5 rounds of this Garage Circuit Cardio to get your heart rate up and burn some calories!

If you are running today…how about those hill repeats? If you missed it…click here for Monday’s post and scroll down to see what’s up.

Hill work can be done outside or on the treadmill and is a form of speed work that will make us stronger, more well-balanced athletes. Give it a shot!

Does your head scream no….while your heart whispers yes?

If reality makes you feel like it can’t happen…but hope tells you that it’s possible… what do you do? What’s the worst that can happen? You get a little bit stronger???

Listen to your heart and give it your best shot!

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