Day 6: Never Skip Monday!

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Pump your arms and your legs will follow.

It’s a thought we have during the last stretch of a long run, with our legs losing the will to move…let alone run.It’s opposition, learned in elementary school gym class, but most of us have never given it much thought since then. Opposition keeps us from falling over to one side. (Thanks, arms!) When running, your arms act as a counterbalance against your legs, and vice versa: when we’re running along and speed up your arm swings, your legs will naturally pick up the pace so that, again, you don’t fall over.

While having less-than-strong arms probably won’t land you on the pavement, strengthening your arm muscles is vital to keeping you upright, in proper form, and running efficiently. Plus, when you hit it hard during the home stretch of an endurance event, your arms have to kick into overdrive. If they are worn out and fatigued by the time you get to mile 12 in a 13.1, they may very well be why you don’t hit a new PR.

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Training our triceps, deltoids, shoulders, and back are most important. Strengthening your lats as well as the muscles around your shoulder blades can help keep your back straight, transfer power to your arms, and stabilize your shoulders. When we’re running, our triceps and deltoids are doing most of the work. A lot of the forward swing, which we would think is thanks to our biceps, is actually momentum. Of course, it’s still important not to ignore your biceps, because they look good and we don’t want any muscular imbalances.

Today’s arm day is quick and simple. Remember to use today’s short reps to learn the exercises and do them correctly to avoid injuries and wasted time working the wrong muscles.

We’re working our arms today but these moves also incorporate our core muscles so keep your core tight and use that mid-section power to hold you steady while performing these moves.

Day 6 exercises: 2 sets of 10

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

  • Rotational Shoulder Press
  • Standing Core Dumbbell Swing
  • Push Ups
  • Wall Sit (After your run) – :60

Challenges:

  • Ab Challenge – 20 Crunches, Bicycle Crunches, & Leg Lifts + :30 Plank
  • Burpees – 20

Bonus: #SlenderSexyArms – If you have extra time today and want to do a little more, try this bonus arm workout. Use small weights or water bottles. DO NOT USE LARGE WEIGHTS FOR THESE EXERCISES! I also usually do not jump for the jumping jacks. Focus on powerful movements up and down with your arms and cut out the jumping portion.

Slender sexy arms


Speed Work: You probably see lots of our #CoreCrew members putting up new personal records on tough races. Why? SPEED WORK! Speed work is key to getting faster AND to running stronger during our long runs. Putting a little speed into your routine once a week will make our long runs speed easier and require less effort.

Workout: 4-8X 800M (1/2 mile repeats 4-8 times) 

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles easy
  2. 1/2 mile repeats with slow jog or stop and stand still and breathe in between sets
  3. Cool down 1-1.5 miles easy

Wondering how fast or how much effort you should be putting into this workout? Look at the chart below and find a recent 5K time or what you think you would be able to ru for a 5K. The pace next to it is for 1/4 mile repeats (or 400meters) Take that time than double it and add 8-10 seconds. So if you run a 5K in 25 minutes you should run your 400 meter repeats in about one minute 49 seconds. So for 800s you double that to 3 minutes 38 seconds then add 8-10 seconds getting 3:48-3:50 per 800 meters (or every 1/2 mile).

I know this sounds a little confusing so if you aren’t sure please reach out to me and ask. I will help you figure out where you should be.

If you are new to speed work. Start small and don’t overthink it. Start with 4x 1/2 mile repeats (total of 2 miles) and just practice getting close to your time goal each for each 1/2 mile. If you have been doing speed work for a while or are used to go longer distances, suck it up and go for 8x and watch your pace on the first few sets. Don’t try to go all out and beat that pace time. The goal here is stay right on target and hit that time, not to go faster in the beginning and burn out so you can’t finish the workout.

Need help? PLEASE PM me here and let’s chat!

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Let’s get to work! It’s Monday…the day that sets the tone for the week. Work hard and get your mind right for the week ahead! We all know the #1 rule to working out and making sure our week goes according to the plan… NEVER SKIP MONDAY!

GETTTT ITTTT CREW!! 🙂

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Day 6: Ridiculously Amazing Friday!

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-8-34-08-pmYAYYYY…it’s Friday!!

I’m so excited for a ridiculously amazing Friday and a fantastically fun Saturday at Run Disney for the Disney Half Marathon in Orlando, Florida!

But before we get to the ridiculously amazing stuff…we have to get the work out of the way…..AB DAY!!

Our abs (our core!) holds everything together. Runners and…well everyone…get HUGE benefits from a strong center of gravity. But runners especially, because a a strong core helps us achieve stability, balance, posture and overall control.

We know the importance of core strength right? Here’s a quick review…

Overall, core strength training reinforces the way that your pelvis, abs, hips, and lower back work together. When our foot hits the ground, our core holds our trunk rock-solid as the kinetic energy from our foot transmits to our hamstrings, up to our arm and back down to our other foot. A conditioned core prevents any wiggling in your torso and keeps you from deflecting energy, so you run faster. All this stability, balance, posture, and control also keeps our lower extremities from getting out of whack, therefore preventing injuries!

It’s Friday…a ridiculously amazing Friday…last day of strength work for the first week of the new year. Push hard today and get it done so you can relax guilt free this weekend!

Day 6 exercises: 2 sets of 10 

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

  • Runners Crunch
  • Oblique Crunches
  • Lying Leg Raise
  • Plank – :60 (Your Choice)

Bonus: Pilates Workouts for Runners – “Swimming” 

Practicing Pilates works well for runners in general, but some exercises stretch and develop some particularly important areas. Watch the video below and do 3 full sets (as described in the video) of the swimming exercise.

Challenges: 

  • Burpees – 30
  • Push Ups Beginner – 6
  • Push Ups Advanced – 25

This weekend I need your good vibes! This will be my first attempt at pacing for a certain time at a race. Yes, I will be the girl holding that flag with the time on it. 2:15 is the goal. I will be using a :90 run and a :30 walk. Run pace is a 9:45(ish) and the plan is to end with a 10:18 average pace. I’m a tad bit nervous just because this is my first time and there will be lots of runners counting on me to get it right. But I know I have your support and I know you will be sending me positive thoughts! Race starts at 5:30am eastern time…so if you’re up (duh we’re runners, we’re all up at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday right?) then send me all those positive thoughts Crew! 🙂


That’s it Crew. No machines…no B.S…just you, your dedication to your health and fitness, and your drive to be better, stronger, and faster in 2017! GETTT ITTT Crew!

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Day 6: Full Body in 10

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-7-20-15-pmWant to perform at your full potential?  If you’re not embracing strength training, you’re leaving a lot that potential behind. You’re also opening up the door to injuries and time off the road.

Runners need strength! We need to target areas of fitness we might not normally pay attention to, like flexibility, balance, mobility, and strength. Studies have shown that strength training can improve body composition by helping you maintain or increase your lean body mass and can decrease your percentage of body fat, helping you look leaner and burn additional calories.

In addition to keeping us from getting hurt, studies show that regular strength training can improve our running economy, or how efficiently our body uses oxygen. In fact, it can increase our running economy by as much as eight percent….what does this mean? We get faster and gain more endurance!

Takeaway:

  • Less injuries – run more without pain!
  • Lose weight – run faster and easier because you weigh less!
  • Increased running economy – use oxygen more efficiently so you can run faster and longer!

Ready for another new workout? I’ve got a good one for you! This full body workout that will take 10 minutes. Work your arms, core, back and legs and get your heart rate up and jumping! This workout requires no equipment so you can do it anywhere, anytime! You know what that means….NO EXCUSES!

10 minutes. No equipment. Full body strength. Get to work Crew! 🙂

Bonus: The Crab Twist – 2 reps of 10 on each side 

Jan sent me this exercise and it looks tough! It will take balance and strength. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

  1. Start in a seated position with your right leg bent, and right foot flat on the floor. Extend your left leg long at a diagonal and reach your right hand toward the ceiling, shifting weight into your left hand.
  2. As you exhale, press into your left hand, lifting your seat and left leg off the floor at the same time.
  3. Twist through your core and reach your right hand to touch your left toe. Then, with control, lower back to the floor to return to your starting position.
  4. That’s 1 rep, do 10. Then switch sides.

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Speed Work: 6 x 800 meters

You know how to do this one.

  • Warm up – 1-1.5 miles
  • 6 1/2 mile repeats (no walking) with a :90 rest in between sets – 3 miles
  • Cool down – 1-1.5 miles
  • Total of 5-6 miles

Remember to stop your watch during your rest. You can job slowly or stand still to get your heart rate down. Then go at it again! Keep track of your times and see how you are improving. Sometimes speed work sucks. It’s common to feel anxious about it and you might even hate it. But once it’s done you will feel amazing and you will see improvements. Just remember that speed work isn’t just about getting faster, it’s also about building up your oxygen intake which translates into easier runs all around.

There will be days when speed work isn’t that speedy. We all have them…don’t get down on yourself about it. Know that it happens and you will do better next time. Just don’t give up!


Water Challenge: Throwing in the water challenge again today. Check the list and find out how much water you should be drinking. This should be every day…but let’s just start with one and go from there. 🙂

Keep track of you r water intake today and let us know how you do!

Lots of fun stuff to do Crew! Best part? It won’t take long!

Get active, get sweaty, feel great….and make it a terrific Tuesday!

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Day 6: Hold Down the Fort

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-5-17-20-amI’m traveling today Crew! Step up and hold down the fort while I’m battling to get to Chicago!

Pray for those of us traveling today…I have a feeling the airports are gonna be a madhouse. Pray for the Florida, Georgia and South Carolina folks….safety first!

Get your workout in and support your Crew!

Day 6 exercises: Legs – 2 sets of 10

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

  • Hero Lunge (:30 each side)
  • Fire Hydrant with Kick
  • Pistol Squat
  • Single Leg Hip Thrusts
  • Bedtime Plank (:60)

Bonus: #KillThoseCalves – This bonus workout is pretty simple but a great way to build some extra calf strength. Add it to your routine today!

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That’s all for now Crew. Give each other some extra support today! 🙂

 

Day 6: I Like Strong Glutes…

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We know the core (hips, transverse abdominis, lower back) are important for preventing running injuries, but without exercises to strengthen your hips, glutes and hamstrings, your body will break down.

We must learn how to engage our glutes when running to run faster and more efficiently.

It’s true that some of the power in the running stride comes from your quads and calves, but the reality is that the quads and calves play only a minor role in your ability to generate a powerful stride compared to the hips, hamstrings and glutes.

How strong are your hips, glutes, and hamstrings? Don’t ignore the power these parts of our legs have an our ability to run faster and stronger!

Day 6 exercises: 2 sets of 10

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

  • One Legged Bridge
  • Side Lunges
  • Side Lying Leg Raises
  • Plank – Your Choice (:30 2X)

Familiar with theses exercises and feeling good after 2 sets? Throw in one more round to feel the burn and make it count!

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 5.49.11 AMBonus: #BalanceAndReach – Balance and Reach is an exercise brought to us a few months ago by our very ow Jennifer Moro-Ortiz. It’s a great exercise for hip stability and strength. If you’re doing it right…you’ll also feel it in your butt too. Use those glutes and hips to keep yourself balanced and to move your legs back and forth smoothly. Click here to watch the video and see how it’s done. Work through 2 sets of 10 on each side.


Speed Work: Seeing so many of us racing 5Ks yesterday, I thought it would be Speed work does a runner gooda cool idea to find out where your 5K pace stands so you have a way to gage your pace for other speed work. If you raced a 5K or any distance yesterday or this past weekend…you’ve already done your speed work for the week….don’t add another “effort workout”.

If you didn’t race this weekend, perform your own 5K! Remember that the warm up is an essential part of doing your best 5K. Run at least a mile at a slow conversation pace. Jessica and I ran a 12 min mile to warm up before our 5K yesterday. Then we were able to pull out 3 9 min miles during the race. Without that warm up, we would’ve been dead on the course after mile 1.

It’s also important to run a short cool down afterwards. So when you’re done, slow it down and run another 1/2 to full mile at your conversation pace. All in all you should have 4-5 miles with this workout. Let us know how you did and write down your pace for future reference when we talk about speed work drills. This information will help you determine how fast your interval sprints should be. More to come on that later…


Ready for a great Tuesday? Remember….we need strong, stable muscles in every part of our legs to get the speed and stability we want during our key races. Skipping leg day because you feel that you get enough strength from just running is a bad idea….

Get to work and fire up those legs Crew! 🙂

strong legs for running

Day 6: Results or Excuses?

Results or ExcusesWhat are your goals? What kind of results are you striving for? Do you want to lose weight? Get stronger? Get tighter and toner? Run faster? Run farther? Complete a goal race feeling good?

What excuses do you come up with to skip your workout? Seriously…be honest with yourself and with us…what excuse do you use to skip it?

If you only put half effort into your workout, if you workout then eat a bunch of crap, if you  make excuses why you can only get it done every once in a while…whose fault is it that you don’t see the results you want?

My biggest goal is a tighter, toner tummy and stronger arms. My biggest excuse…eating crap. I know how to eat healthy…I know what foods to avoid…but sometimes my belly overrides my brain and I end up eating crap…yummy crap…but crap all the same. I have to make a new commitment every day to eat better…and I don’t always succeed. But I am trying and every day is a new chance to eat better. Taking it one day at a time.

What’s your excuse for not getting the results you want? Put it in writing and makes it more real. Be accountable. Put your excuses out there so we can help you over come them.

Day 6 exercises: 2 rounds of 10 ****Click here for how to videos****

  • Standing Oblique Crunch
  • Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Press Rotation
  • Single Leg Deadlift
  • Towel Mountain Climbers – Use a towel, paper plates, or furniture movers if you have them. Using something to keep your feet on the ground will force you to use your core muscles to pull your legs in. Keep your feet on the floor!
  • Burpees
  • Plank – :30 (2X)

Bonus: #KillerCoreWorkout Killer Core Workout

Today’s core work is quick so if you’re like me and want those tight abs…ditch the excuses and make the extra time for this Killer Core Workout.

Hip Lifts – There’s lots of ways “hip lift” can be interpreted. For today I want you to think side plank hip dips.  30 times each side.

The rest of the exercises should be familiar…except maybe the toe touches. This is another one that can be done many different ways. Today we are going to do a move similar to a V-Up without moving our legs. Remember to keep your legs as straight as possible and avoid swinging by using your core to pull you up. Check out the video below to see how it’s done.


Speed Work: Wednesday is a great day for some speed work! This week we are doing short bursts of speed with a quick recovery. Here’s your workout:

  • 6 x 200M (90 recovery between sets) 
  1. Warm up – 1/2 mile to 1 mile SLOW (conversation pace)
  2. Drills – high knees, butt kicks, skipping, grapevines (3 sets of 15-20)
  3. Sprints with recovery (:90 between sets)
  4. Cool down – 1/2 mile to 1 mile SLOW (conversation pace)

This is a fast workout and you will only run 2-3 miles TOPS. Your lungs may be on fire…but the cool down will help and you will recover quickly.

Your speed work can be done any day of the week but make sure you give yourself 2-3 days before and after your long run to recover. This is a hard workout and your muscles need time to rebuild!

Part of rebuilding your muscles includes eating protein within 30 minutes after your workout. Plan ahead so you know what you will eat when you’re done. Make sure it’s high in protein and your muscles will thank you!

When you’re done…take time to stretch! We don’t have a day dedicated to stretching or yoga this month but you know it’s important to make the time.

Rise above

Lots to do and plenty of reasons not to do it. Do any of these sound familiar?

<<<<<<<<<<

You are not the person you may have been in the past.

Rise above your excuses and get one step closer to your goal.

Start right now.

Day 6: Rise Up and Attack!

Rise upHey Crew! Hope you all had a great weekend! So many fabulous races and long runs!! Our racing and long run weekends are what we work hard for all week and you guys killed it! 🙂

We’ve had a few days to let our abs recover from the workouts last week and now it’s time to get back to work on our Core!

Let’s rise up…get moving…and attack today with enthusiasm!

Day 6 exercises:

Today is the first Iron Strength Core Workout and while the overall workout is new… the exercises are not. We’ve done these before…now it’s time to put them together for an awesome core workout! Rest between supersets but power through each set while being careful to do each move correctly.

Low side plank with crunch is below. Keep that core tight!

Side Plank Knee to Elbow Crunch STACK

Bonus: #DailyAbs Daily abs – For an extra burn today bust out this #DailyAbs workout. You can do this right after Iron Strength or wait until later in the day to get those abs fired up again.

Thigh Challenge: Day 6

  • 12 Fire Hydrants
  • 25 Scissor Kicks
  • 25 Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Running Drills and Speed Work: We took a break from Running Drills and Speed work last week to get acquainted with our new June Challenge but it’s time to put them back in the rotation this week!

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 5.56.01 AMRunning Drill: Slow Skipping – This is one of my favorites! This move makes you feel like a kid again…and is great for building calf and foot strength.

Why: This drill helps develop calf and foot strength needed during the toe-off phase of the gait cycle while also stimulating neuromuscular timing for running with high cadence. It also accentuates the high-knee action of the lifted leg during a running stride.

How: Skip with a moderate leap off of one foot and return to the ground and immediately leap off the other foot, main- taining a compact arm swing as if you were running. This slow-action skipping drill should have a staccato rhythm. Do two or four 50-meter reps.

Speed Work:

  • 8X 400M with 1-2 minute rest between sets

Let’s talk 400-meter repeats. One lap. You know, quarters. A 400-meter lap of the track is barely less than a quarter-mile, or 440 yards. Yes they are hard…but so valuable!

George Sheehan, the one time medical editor for Runner’s World magazine, whose slogans “Listen to your body,” and “We are each an experiment of one” said:  “Every runner must do quarters. If you’re a miler or-yes-a marathoner, doing quarters can develop dormant speed just waiting to go on display.”

Listen up though… If you are racing this weekend. You should be in TAPER MODE!

You should NOT be doing speed work the week of your race. So for all those doing Run for the Pies this weekend in Jax…or any other race this weekend….SKIP THE SPEED WORK!

If you do not have a track to do your speed work, these 400M (1/4 mile repeats) are fairly easy to do on the road. You can do them using interval workouts. Run a 1/4 mile HARD then walk or jog slowly to recover.

When it’s all said and done…and you are relaxing in front of the TV winding down for the day….grab some carpet and do your 7 Key Stretches for Runners!

Another fun week is upon us…Gwen is coming to Jax on Friday to do Run for the Pies with us Jax folks and we are having a pool party on Sunday! Can’t wait!!

It’s Monday…Rise up and attack the day with enthusiasm Core Crew!

rise up and attack