Day 26: Squats = Runner’s Best Friend

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According to the Runkeeper.com blog Squats are a Runner’s Best Friend, “One of the biggest squat myths is that squats are bad for your knees. False! This myth comes from a few badly run studies in the 1960s that have since been disproved. More recent studies have instead shown that people who regularly squat have more stable knees.”

Squats provide important benefits to runners and walkers:

  1. Knee Stability
  2. Increased Leg Power
  3. Improved Body Awareness
  4. Injury Prevention

Additionally, “squatting  effectively teaches runners how to be better runners by addressing and improving basic athletic skills. For example, squatting teaches runners how to load and engage their posterior chain, how to stabilize their hips, knees, and ankles, and how to move with good posture and maintain that good posture for longer periods of time.”

To squat effectively, we must address three basic skills:

1. Maintaining posture
2. Adding load
3. Adding torque

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Focusing on developing our athletic skill with posture, load, and torque, a runner’s relationship with strength training can be changed forever. While we want stronger hamstrings, we cannot just do hamstring exercises and expect better running results. Why? Because the whole is greater than the sum of its muscular parts. We must strengthen the other areas around our hamstring to help support those muscles and take some of the load off that area. Squats are a great way to strength and support our hamstrings!

So even if you aren’t doing the extra squat challenge this month…today YOU SQUAT! 😉

Day 26 exercises: 3 sets of 15 

****Click here for how to videos**** 

  • Squats
  • Side Lunges (3 sets of 15 for each leg)
  • Wall Sit – :60 (3X)
  • Plank – :60 (3X)

Bonus: Squat Challenge (75 additional Squats) 

Challenges: I know these are getting harder to fit in as the numbers go up but we are almost done! Keep pushing Crew don’t you dare give up!

  • Burpees – 55
  • Push Ups Beginner – 18
  • Push Ups Advanced – 105
  • Squats – 75

Remember Crew….we are building brutally strong legs this month! The month is almost over so hold on tight and keep up the great work! 🙂

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Day 26: Get Motivated…Get Moving!

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The day after Christmas and we’re moving like slugs. Overly full bellies and wonderful memories wrapping us like hugs.

One day of indulgence and too little activity has us bloated and slow….only a few of the dedicated were out running in the snow.

For most, the only moving we did was the couch to the kitchen…the table to the bed. Is your body craving activity or is it just in my head?

All the sweets make me feel like I haven’t been active in weeks!

Time to get motivated…time to get moving…

Let’s work off those calories and  get our bodies grooving!

Happy Monday after Christmas Crew…rest day is over…let’s get sweaty! 🙂

Day 26 exercises: 

  • Donkey Kick Workout
  • Bonus: Calorie Burn – How many rounds do you need?
  • One :60 Plank of your choice

Donkey Kick Workout – Follow along with me below and let’s get those buns burning!


Bonus: Calorie Burn – 1 round burns 100 calories. How many cookies did you eat? 😉

I’m committing to at least 3 rounds today!

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Plank: Don’t forget your :60 plank. I want to see some proof! Video yourself for your one minute plank of choice. There’s so many options…what’s your favorite?


Speed Work: Throwing in some speed this week will help you burn off those remaining calories and following our IIP (Introduce, Improve, Perfect) mantra, we have one more week of 1/4 mile repeats. If you’ve been consistent this week should be your fastest week yet! Plan ahead for when you will get this done so the time doesn’t slip away. Come on Crew it’s the last week of the year…end the year with a FAST one!

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!)


New Year, New Goals, New Dreams…

New Year’s is less than a week away…so it’s time to start thinking about goals. Here’s what I want to do….write down your goal and send it to me. It can be through FB PM here or you can be even more accountable and post it in Strong to the Core. Don’t make a willy nilly goal…think about it. It needs to be realistic and attainable. I will make a spreadsheet listing everyones goals for 2017. I won’t share it…but I will keep it handy to remind you throughout the year. Send me your address along with your goal. Close to the end of the year, I will mail you a note with the goal you set to see how close you are. Deal?

These are “active” goals that we will work on throughout 2017. It can be running a certain number of miles, reaching a goal weight, hitting a goal time at a race…just make it realistic and attainable. Think about it…and send it to me before Sunday.

The new year stands before us…let’s write an active, healthy, strong, and powerful chapter for 2017!

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Days 26 & 27: Tank Top Arms

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It’s the weekend! Many of you have already done your long runs and just need to bust out some arms today or tomorrow…others still need to get that long run in! Don’t skip it…make it happen!

Sometime this weekend, get a good arm workout in! We haven’t focused much on arms this month, but we know that strong arms carry us through the end of tough runs. Strong shoulders and back keep us upright and moving forward when we get tired and tend to slouch. 3 sets of our Sunday arms then 1 set of Tank Top Arms will give you a nice burn!

Day 26 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + :60 Plank 

Day 27 exercises: Arms – 3 sets of 15 

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

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

Bonus: Tank Top Arms – 1 set all the way through!

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I’m heading down to Cocoa Beach to meet Gina Hadala (Can’t wait to meet you Gina!!) and to cheer on Gina, Catherine, and Melissa at the Space Coast Half Marathon! Anyone else going that I can look for on the course? I’ll be riding my bike back and forth the out and back course so look for me!

Anyone else racing around the country today or tomorrow? Let us know so we can cheer you on!

If you already went long or raced in the last couple days, knock out some arms then get some rest! Final few days of November are coming up so let’s finish strong Crew!

 

Day 26: Rock Those Abs!

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Our Wednesday workout is awesome…rock those abs Crew!

I’m headed out super early this morning for a speed session at the track. I’ll probably be home before most of you wake up, will rock out our ab work, then I’ll be napping! 😉

4 sets of 15 + 5 minute plank + lower back stretch….make time and rock those abs!

Day 26 exercises: Abs – 4 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

Bonus: 5 Minute Plank

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Extra Credit: Lower Back Stretch – This one’s for Jennifer…but all of us will benefit!

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Speed Work: Who’s joining me in spirit for speed work today? I wanna see some mile repeats! Here’s the workout:

This week we are doing 2-3 mile repeats, but not at your fastest speed. You want to be at about 85%-90% of your 5K race pace. Think of it as a “tempo pace”. Your tempo pace should be a little faster then the time you would be able to hold during a half marathon. For example, my fastest half marathon is just under 2 hours (average 9:10/mile), so my tempo pace for these mile repeats would be around an 8:55. Never ran a half? That’s ok! I know the numbers are a little daunting to some, but don’t stress. Reach out to me by PM here and let’s chat. I will help you figure out where you should be.

  • Warm Up – 1 mile (or more)
  • Mile Repeats – 2-3 miles – No walking during your mile repeat. Run 1 mile then rest for 2 minutes. Stand there. Breathe. Do not walk. Start your watch over or hit that “lap” button before each mile. After you get your breathe back (don’t wait too long, 2 minutes is enough recovery time) then do another mile. Repeat 2-3 times.
  • Cool down – 1 mile (or more)
  • Total of 5-6 miles
  • Stretch! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Whatever happens today….do not give up! Rock those abs Crew cause this is for YOU!

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Day 26: Rise Up & Attack

rise-up-and-attackLast week of the month…last Monday of the month…rise up and attack the week with enthusiasm!

Shoulder and Abs…sound like a strange combination?

Not really. Shoulders and abs are great complimentary bodyparts to work on in the same day. Since they are completely separate body parts, you don’t need to worry about support muscles of either muscle group tiring out.

With 4 sets of 15 coming at us today…we need enthusiasm, a little determination, and a lot of commitment to finish strong! Do you have it in you?

Day 26 exercises: Shoulders and Abs – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Kettle Ball / Dumbbell Swings
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Plank – Your Choice (:90 2X)

Bonus: #BeastModeMonday

With our regular 4 sets of 15…this bonus is not for the faint of heart…or for those with little time on a Monday. But hey…if you like to go beast mode on Mondays, this one is for you! 3 sets…because who doesn’t want to do 5 planks today?!? 😉

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Military Press – Very similar to shoulder presses but at the top you’re going to extend your shoulders all the way up. You can do these with dumbbells so don’t skip them if you don’t have a bar. Watch Scott Herman show us how it’s done.


Speed Work: This week’s speed work is a tough ladder workout. Since the intervals are longer, you want to start out a little slower and work your way faster towards the end. The last 2 sets of 400 meters…go all out!

How fast should you do running? This workout should be done at your 10K speed, which is slower than last weeks 5K speed but faster than you would run a half marathon. How does that translate into actual time spent running? Take your 400m from last week and add :10 – :15 then multiply by 4 for the mile, by 3 for the 1200 meters (.75 mile), and by 2 for 800 meters (1/2 mile). For your last two 400 meters (.25 mile) crank up the speed and finish strong at your 5K pace. Check out the pace chart below…

Ladder Workout:

  • Warm up – slow mile
  • Faster mile – 10K speed
  • 1200M (.75 mile)
  • 2x 800M (.5 mile 2X)
  • 2X 400M
  • Cool down – slow mile
  • Total of 5.25 miles

Tough workout…who will put on their big girl panties and give it a shot? If you raced this weekend, you get a speed work pass…don’t try this workout on tired legs. Rest up this week and just bust out some short, slow recovery runs. Don’t worry, we’ll have speed work next week. 😉

Pace Chart: Example for 30 minute 5K

  1. 2:10 – add :10 so that makes = 2:20
  2. multiply by 4 for your mile = 9:20
  3. multiply by 3 for .75 = 8 minutes
  4. multiply by 2 for 800M = 4:40
  5. 400M – Speed back up and try to hit those 400M times so go all out and run 2 400 meters in 2:10

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Seems a little complicated but it’s fun and you when you’re done you will feel amazing!

Not feeling ready for the ladder yet? That’s ok! Throw in some fartleks (speed bursts) during one of your mid week runs. Choose an object in the distance and pick up the pace till you get there…see that light pole? How about that stop sign? Do 8-10 speed bursts in your run session. Remember to BREATHE deep. Belly breathing during speed work is essential to building your VO2 max and getting the most out of this workout!


After a HUGE racing weekend and lots of long runs, please take the time to stretch!

Last week of the month Crew! Let’s go hard and finish strong cause good things come to those who sweat! 🙂

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Day 26: Brand New Ending

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 8.08.02 PMWhat if you could decide today to make a brand new ending to your story? Would you take that opportunity?

Or would you sit back and sulk about the bad choices you made yesterday…or last week?

You can’t go back and start over…yesterday is gone…last week is in the past…but you can start from now…right now…and make a brand new ending.

Don’t wait until tomorrow, or next week. Don’t put off working towards your goals one more minute.

Get up right now and move towards your brand new ending!

Day 26 exercises: 3 rounds of 10

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

  • Tricep Dips
  • Tricep Push Ups
  • Tricep Overhead Extensions
  • Dumbbell Kickbacks
  • Burpees
  • Plank – :60 (2X)

Bonus: Find one small thing that you can do today to work towards your brand new ending. Make a better food choice, push a little harder than you usually do, write down your goal and tell someone else what that goal is…be accountable.

These are just a couple ideas. Choose whatever makes you feel good, whatever makes you want to leave the past in the past and move forward starting today. I hope to see some great ideas and some fabulous steps towards lots of brand new endings!


Don’t forget about ideas for August! I want to know what you want to do and areas you want to work on. If you don’t speak up…I can’t help you reach your goals!

 

Day 26: Relentless Forward Motion

Strength-Training-for-RunnersBy now you know how important strength training is for runners…. but there’s always more to learn. If you have a few extra minutes read this post by Relentless Forward Commotion, “Strength Training for Runners: Why You Should Pick Up Weight.” 

If you don’t want to read the full article, here’s an important excerpt:

Yes, specificity of training is a huge component to successful running. In layman’s terms: in order to improve your running, you must run. I won’t argue that fact. But in my opinion, strength training is not only beneficial to your training routine (i.e., it will make you faster and stronger), it is vital in helping to help prevent injury, and will contribute to your overall health and fitness levels.

When I was in school, a good friend of mine, who happened to also be my professor, who happens to be a female sub-3-hour marathon runner (she’s fast) told us that she had once had a DEXA scan (bone density) that revealed something alarming: from the waist down, she had excellent bone density, thanks to the many miles she logged weekly. From the waist up, due to the lack of training her upper body, she was considered pre-osteoporosis. She wasn’t even 40 years old.

Not yet 40, runs a sub 3 marathon, pre-osteoporosis. WHAT?!? So even though this woman was in great shape…she was still facing issues.

Strength training is about more than just getting rid of extra weight and flab, about more than proper form, about more than getting faster…it’s also good for your bones and your overall health!

Strength training takes time and dedication. One workout will not make you stronger…you have to keep doing it every week… you have to commit to relentless forward motion to stay healthy and get stronger. Let’s get to work crew!

Day 26 exercises:

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 4 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 4 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front and Side – 4 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side (2X)
  • 50 Push Ups

Bonus: #AllArmsWorkout All Amrs Workout

We can always do a little more so if you have the time and the determination to get stronger throw in 3 sets of each of these exercises.

Most or all of these exercises should be familiar to you by now. The left and right rows and the flys can be done using a bench or stability ball. See the images below to see how they are done. More questions? Ask! I’m here to help.


Running Drills: We’re going through our list and so far we’ve gotten through High knees, Butt Kicks, Bounding, and Grapevines. Do a few of these before your run to warm up…or after your run to promote good form while you’re tired.

Speed Work: It’s Thursday so hopefully you have already found time for your speed or this week. If not, and you are planning to go long on Saturday, throw in some fartleks or strides today but don’t push too hard and wear yourself out before the weekend. If you still want to see what the speed work is all about, click here for this week’s workout.

Being weak is a choice…so is being strong. What will you choose today?

Choose to be strong today and make it a great Thursday Core Crew! 🙂

being weak is a choice