Day 4: All About Arms!

#CoreCrew Family Weekend Miles – What an amazing weekend!!! So many miles logged by our little family! I’m only counting the miles added to our activity chain and I have a feeling not all the miles got logged there, but that’s ok. The miles added up quickly!

Total #CoreCrew miles Friday 9/1 – Sunday 9/3 = 341.72!

Pretty amazing Crew! If y’all liked this activity chain, I would love to keep it up every weekend. Let me know if you like this idea. 🙂


Monday Day 4: All About Arms!

Distance running is mentally and physically costly. It requires large outlays of energy. Almost every aspect of the activity adds to that energy expenditure, like holding your body upright and metronomically swinging first one leg and then the other forward and toward the ground. But scientists and coaches know that pumping your arms, although requiring energy, reduces the overall metabolic cost of running by helping to balance the moving body, increase forward propulsion or, perhaps, provide a bit of bounce, helping to lift us off the ground with each stride. In this theory, swinging the arms makes it easier to run.

Since our arms are part of the package and make it easier to run, building their strength is another important part of our training. We don’t need huge guns, but we don’t want weak noodle arms that flail around or fail to support us during tough runs.

Today’s workout targets key areas for our arms and will help us build the strength we need to use them to our advantage. Strong arms can make all the difference between a new PR or a disappointing finish.

While running work on keeping your arms by your side, swinging back and forth but without crossing in front of your body. Push backwards with your elbows to propel you forward. Keep you shoulder, hands and wrists loose to avoid cramping or tenseness in your upper body. Building strength in our shoulders, biceps, triceps and back will make the proper upright & stable posture more comfortable to hold for long periods of time during exercise. While you’re doing today’s exercises, make sure to hold your core tight! No swinging from the waist or rocking back and forth.

Day 4 Plan:

  • Quick Morning Workout
  • Day 4 exercises
  • Bonus Push Ups
  • Quick Before Bed Workout
  • Plan your weekly speed work

Quick Workout Routines:


Day 4 exercises: 2-3 sets of 10

  • Bicep Curls
  • Hammer Curls
  • Tricep Overhead Extensions
  • Chest Presses
  • Plank – :60 or more!

Bonus: Push Ups – 2-3 sets of 10 – There are numerous ways to modify push ups to your fitness level. Start from a higher plane like a bench or wall, do knee push ups or go for it and do full body push ups!


Speed Work: Speed work makes us faster. If you want to improve your times, feel better during long runs, and increase your ability to breathe comfortably while running, you need to add speed work to your weekly routine.

If you normally do speed work once a week and you are racing today (really racing not just running a holiday race for fun) this is your weekly speed work. The rest of your workouts this week should be at your easy pace.

If you are training for a half or full marathon, and usually put in more than one day of speed work or add a tempo run, you can still do another speed workout this week. Just make sure you are putting a rest day or two in between.

Why 800m again?: IIP – Introduce, Improve, Perfect 

This will be the 3rd week doing the 1/2 mile repeats workout. the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) promote the concept of introducing a workout, improving upon the first session, then perfecting the workout. So we are doing the same workout again this week. If you have done this a couple times already, you should be feeling more comfortable with it and can use this week to push harder and see how far you’ve come!

Why are 800m (1/2 mile) repeats so effective? In the last 800M (1/2 mile) of a 5K, the last mile of a 10K, the last 5K of a half marathon, and the 10k of the marathon, YOU have to show up.

This workout is all about chasing that 800m repeat effect: It’s learning how to fight fatigue and battle the breakdown that will come when you’re pushing yourself hard. When you come around the last curve of your final 800M repeat, knowing you finished what you started, you will understand the reason behind speed work. When you finish that goal race and the jet-power showed up, it will be because YOU called for it.

Workout: 800 meter repeats (1/2 mile repeats) – The # of repeats you do will depend on the race distance you are training for.

  • 5K – 800M x 4
  • 10K – 800M x 5
  • Half Marathon – 800M x 6
  • Marathon 800M x 8
  1. Start with your warm up of 1-2 miles. This also depends on you. I prefer a nice long easy warm up and always shoot for 2 miles. In reality, I would love a 3-4 mile warm up because that’s when I really start to feel good!
  2. Take a few minutes to stretch and do some warm up drills like hip hurdles, butt kicks, lunges, slow skips, side skips, bounding, etc…
  3. Go into your workout – take a 2 minute rest in between each 800 meters (1/2 mile). Do NOT take longer than 2 minutes. Force yourself to keep going without letting your heart rate come all the way back to resting.
  4. Finish your full workout.
  5. End with a nice easy 1-2 mile cool down.

Day 4 “how to” videos:

Bicep Curls: Use a barbel or dumbbells, keep your back straight and strong and use your arms without swinging or rocking.

Hammer Curls: Next in our series is our hammer curl, called that because it looks kind of like a hammer. So instead of having your palms facing up, like you do with most bicep exercises, you’re going to have the weight perpendicular to the floor. Just like you’re holding a hammer.

Tricep Overhead Extensions: When we’re running and need to push our elbows backwards to propel us forward our triceps are doing the work. Strengthen them with this tricep Overhead extension.

Chest Presses: You can do this exercise using your stability ball, a bench if you have one, or lying on the floor. Our video shows how to do them from the stability ball. The same form technique applies to all positions.

Forearm Plank: The basic plank doesn’t involve moving at all. This is referred to as an isometric exercise. The key with the plank is to engage you core muscles in the right way so that through the effort of balancing and stabilizing your body, you are giving your core muscles a fantastic workout. And if you don’t think you can get a good workout by holding still, just wait until you try to hold a plank for 30-60 seconds…you’re going to feel it!

That’s all for now Crew. Once again…it’s time to DOMINATE MONDAY!!!

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Days 3 & 4: Go Long!

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Whether you’re training for a 5K or 10K…or have an upcoming Half or Full Marathon, you should have a long run in your weekly plan. Long might mean something a little different to each of us…but a long run is an important part of every runners training program.

While the Runner’s World story “Why Non-Marathoners Still Need Long Runs: Long runs help you race better at any distance” might be referring to elite runners, we can all apply it to our own training in smaller ways.

In November of 1961, legendary coach Arthur Lydiard told the 1960 800m gold medalist, Peter Snell, to go run a marathon. Before that, Lydiard had Snell incorporating the Waiatarua circuit, a grueling, 22-mile long run up and down the Waitakere Ranges in New Zealand, as part of his 100-mile training week. What was a man who would race for less than 2 minutes doing running for 2 hours? This type of training was completely unheard of for middle-distance runners back in those days.

But it paid off.

Only two months after his Lydiard-mandated marathon, Snell ran a world-record mile (3:54). And in the 1964 Olympics, he won gold in the 800 and 1500m events.

The long run has been popular ever since.

Why is this? What are the physiological changes long runs produce that are beneficial to someone who is racing for a short period of time? According to Running Times columnist and coach, Greg McMillan, there are three key physiological adaptations that occur in the body during a long run: enzymatic, capillary and musculoskeletal.

When you run long, you increase enzymes in your muscle cells and grow capillaries, which are the small vessels that surround the cells. These important changes allow more oxygen to be delivered to working muscles.

You also strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments. “These adaptations help you in shorter races like the 5K because it’s still primarily an aerobic activity,” McMillan says. “The more oxygen that you can deliver to the working muscles, the better your performance will be. And the stronger your muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments become, the more you are capable to conduct better race-specific training like intervals.”

So how far is far enough? According to Arthur McMillan, for non-marathoners, the right long-run length “depends where you are in your running career.” For someone not accustomed to running long, he advises working up to 90 minutes to properly stimulate the body’s adaptations. McMillan then suggests that athletes increase the duration of their long runs up to 2-3 hours.

Rubio has an alternative approach. Instead of prescribing a minimum time limit, he breaks out the long run using percentages of weekly mileage. At first he has runners run long using 20 to 25 percent of weekly mileage at an easy pace. He has them alternate other long runs using approximately 15 percent of weekly mileage preferably on a hilly course. Progression is key.

The take away…both Rubio and McMillan agree that runners training for shorter distance events still need long runs.

Beginning runners should follow these guidelines, even if they are working towards a 5K or 10K race and not a half or full marathon.

  • 15 miles/week = 3.75 mile long run
  • 20 miles/week = 5 mile long run
  • 25 miles/week = 6.25 mile long run
  • 30 miles/week = 7.5 mile long run

If you’re comfortable with a half marathon distance (13.1 miles) and just want to maintain your fitness and be ready to run a half marathon on short notice (maybe not run your best time but be able to finish without too much discomfort) your long run should be 8-12 miles. Besides maintaining your fitness, these long runs will give you all the benefits: increase muscle and capillary growth, allow more oxygen to your working muscles (allowing shorter runs to become easier), and to strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments.

5K specialist Chris Solinsky goes as long as 2 hours for his long runs. You might think this sounds crazy or counter productive…but Solinsky says, “[The long run] teaches your body to be efficient. Before I did long runs, when I was in high school, I was a lot less efficient than I am now. The long runs groom your body into running as effortlessly as possible.”

So what is your long run plan? Going out Saturday or Sunday?

Whatever day we don’t go long is a planned rest day but it’s still important to stretch! Oh…and don’t forget that one :60 plank on our long run and rest day!

Day 3 Exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretch for Runners + :60 Plank (Your Choice) 

Day 4 Exercises: One :60 Plank (Your Choice) + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Rest! 

Even if you have no races in the works…the long run is addicting. The feelings after finishing your long run…empty, clean, worn out, sweat purged…the good ache of muscles that have done you proud…that feeling is worth every early weekend morning.

Eat a good dinner, hydrate, go to bed early…then get up and purge yourself of all the stress built up during the week. Go long Crew! 🙂

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Day 4: Brutally Strong Hips

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Our pelvic floor, quads, hamstrings, knees, calves, and feet are constantly under fire. Without strong hips and glutes, they might just blow!

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 in walking, standing and running. They stabilize and align the hip, decelerate your swinging leg while running, and provide power in your footstrike and push-off.

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 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 butt and maintaining good form if you prep yourself in this way.

If you’re not running, then you have time to throw in an extra round! 😉 Either way, finding time for these lower body exercises means running stronger, faster, and with less pain.

Day 4 exercises: Hips – 3 sets of 10

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

  • Brigid’s Runner Clams
  • Side Lying Leg Lift
  • Reverse Clam (knees together / feet up)
  • Forearm Plank (:60)
  • Pigeon Pose (stretch both legs!)

Bonus: Fire Hydrants – 3 sets of 10

  • lock the elbows and abduct the hip at 90 or 45 degrees
  • draw the navel in
  • look at the ground

Need a refresher on fire hydrants? Check out the video below.


It’s Friday y’all! The weekend is when people tend to get lazy and slack off. Remember that this is a process. To get stronger, you have to stick with the plan.

It doesn’t take long but done consistently, that lingering pain that keeps coming back might finally GO AWAY!

Take it day by day….keep working towards your goals!

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Day 4: Don’t Stop Till You’re Done!

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-5-08-03-amNo joking around…today is a doozie and our legs are gonna feel it!

It will probably hurt and you might hate it…but what doesn’t kill us WILL make us stronger and that’s the whole point right?

Push through today…it’s only 2 sets of 10. Don’t you dare give up on yourself!

Day 4: Legs – 2 sets of 10

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

  • Lunge Squats – Blame Jan 😉
  • Plank Donkey Kicks – (similar to regular donkey kicks but bottom leg is extended)
  • Booty Boxes – fire up those glutes!
  • Split Squat – in between a squat and a lunge, emphasis goes on front leg
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: Pigeon Pose and Quad Stretch – We don’t have tons of exercises to do today but these are not easy so instead of doing more…make sure you’re form is on point and take a few minutes to stretch out those quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Tomorrow is speed day for lots of you, so don’t overdo it…but don’t stop when it hurts….stop when you’re done!


Speed Work: This week’s speed work is 6 rounds of half mile sprints with a :90 rest in between. This should be easier to do without adjusting your watch. Before I started going to track I liked to do speed work in my neighborhood because I knew where the mile marks were and this one should be an easy workout to do that way. Go out for an easy half mile warm up then turn around and go back home. Then set out for a faster quarter mile and go back home again, making a half mile. Do this 6 times taking a break in between each set and writing down your times. When you’re done go out for another slow and easy cool down mile. 5 miles in total. You can do this Crew!

When I say “sprints” know that pace is relative to what you can do. Your sprint is different than the next person. Don’t let this scare you or keep you from trying.  Each time you run a little bit faster than you’re used too…magical things happen inside your body! It’s so cool to see how that last cool down mile is a faster than your warm up…while still feeling like you’re going your normal pace. The point…your normal pace gets faster! 🙂

Click here for the workout and pace chart to find out how fast you should be running.

Watch your form today Crew. Do these moves in front of a mirror to make sure you’re doing them correctly. Today, it’s all about getting to know the exercise and building confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Building strong legs is a process…but when you get those people asking how you got those strong, sexy legs…you tell them, “Whatever it takes!” 🙂

whatever-it-takes

 

 

Days 3 & 4: Preparing for Extraordinary

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Might just be an ordinary training day…but every run is another step towards that extraordinary moment when you reach your goals.

We’re all in different places in our training….so whether you’ve got 3 miles or 20 miles…it’s your long run. Own it. Give it all you’ve got. Remember that your choice to keep going in that moment when  you want to quit may be the difference between reaching those goals…or falling short.

Don’t stop until you finish what you started.

Day 4: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Plank – Your choice (:30 2X)

You just com­pleted more miles than you’ve run the rest of the week com­bined. You’re tired. You just want to go home, take a hot shower, and sit down. Of course, we all want that after our long run. Some of us do exactly that.

Others, the ones more likely to actu­ally make it unin­jured to the race they’re train­ing for, take the extra ten min­utes and stretch before sitting down. Stretch­ing probably sounds as appeal­ing as apply­ing hydro­gen per­ox­ide to your burst blis­ter, but it’s just as help­ful for a clean out­come. If you’ve already ded­i­cated hours to your run, what’s ten more min­utes that will help work some lac­tic acid out of your poor tired mus­cles and reduce sore­ness later? Plus…it will feel good, I promise. Click here for 7 stretches that will have you feeling pretty close to normal tomorrow.


Day 5: Arms & Back – 2 sets of 10

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

  • Burpees
  • Bicep Curls 21s
  • Wide Rows
  • Plank – Your Choice (:30 2X)

Bonus: #LowerBackWorkout Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 3.49.36 PM

A healthy back is as important to your running as fit legs. According to Runner’s World, “If your back muscles aren’t strong, they’ll tend to fatigue faster, taking energy away from other muscles, and changing your stride, which can lead to injury.”

This lower back workout helps to reduce pain, tension, stiffness, and soreness….all of which will feel very good after our long runs this weekend.

 


Wonderful, fulfilling exhaustion… Want that amazing feeling?

Better be in it for the long run!

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Day 4: Be in the Running

Be in the RunningSuccessful runners don’t just have impressive quads and glutes. They have muscular arms and shoulders that help them maintain speed throughout their races.

A strong arm swing helps to counterbalance the lower body and to propel the body forward while contributing to overall good form.

Being “in the running” doesn’t mean you’re looking to win a race, or set a new PR, or even racing at all. Maybe you’re just looking to lose weight, reach a milage goal, or just to get toner, leaner, and stronger. Being “in the running” just means your are working towards whatever goal you’ve set for yourself.

So how can you ensure you’re in the running…and covering that middle ground that is the first step towards reaching your goals? Strong arms. Today’s exercises are fun, challenging, and doable. Take each new exercise one step at a time. Build the arm strength that will carry you through the tough times and get you closer to your goals.

Day 4 exercises: 2 rounds of 10

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

  • Front and Side Arm Raises
  • Incline Push Ups
  • Rolling Forearm Side Plank (10X per side = 1 round)
  • Tricep Dip with Leg Lifted
  • Plank Challenge Day 4 – Plank Jacks (:45 3X)

Plank Challenge: Plank Jacks are fun! Don’t overthink it. Get in your plank position and hold your core tight then jump your feet in and out for :45. Repeat 3X. Watch how to do it below.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge Day 4

  • 10 Sit Ups
  • 25 Crunches
  • 40 Squats

Extra Credit: Weight Free Arms Weight free arms

Want a little more arm action? Work through this weight free arm set. I like that it includes some arm stretches and circles. Good way to stretch them out after a tough workout.

Fun day ahead Crew. We are runners. Don’t mess with us!

Get up, get moving, work those arms, and make it a great day! 🙂

Dont mess with me I'm a runner

Day 4: Celebrate Freedom!

Independence DayGood morning and Happy 4th Core Crew! Tons of racing going on today…good luck to everyone! Run with joy and thankfulness because you are FREE!

We all have lots of other fun family stuff to do today but that doesn’t mean skip your workout…2 rounds of 10…too easy? Throw in one or both of the bonus workouts! Would love to see some families getting involved today! 🙂

Day 4 exercises: 2 rounds of 10 ****Click here for “how to” videos!****

  • Goblet Squat
  • Butt Lift Bridge
  • Front Kick + Round Kick
  • Wall Sit – :30
  • Burpees
  • Plank  :30 (2X)

Bonus: #FireCrackerWorkout and/or #Family4thWorkout

There are people all over the world who don’t have the freedom to workout when they want…who don’t have the freedom to celebrate with family and friends. There are people who gave their time and their lives so we could be free!

Celebrate freedom…give it your all! Don’t skimp out today…remember to drinks LOTS of water (in-bewtween whatever else you’re consuming 😉 )…work hard…make it awesome! 🙂

Celebrate Freedom