Day 8: YAY for YOGA!

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-7-32-48-pmAfter lots of great strength work, tons of mileage with our weekend long runs and races, AND logging miles for our Paris virtual race….I am so thankful for a yoga day!

Heading out for “stupid early” 4am track but will be looking forward to coming home, stretching it all out, and quieting my mind and body before the rest of the day begins!

When you wake up and see yoga do you think…

“Oh yay, yoga day…a little time for me!”


“Oh yay, yoga day…a day I can skip…”

Do you feel like yoga day isn’t important? Is it a day you won’t feel guilty about letting slide by?

We put this “rest” day from strength training in for a reason…because it’s important to make time to relax, to stretch, and to clear your mind of clutter. But there are other reasons to add yoga to your routine. As a runner, I stress the importance of flexibility and strength…but yoga has so many more benefits. Which reason speaks to you?


We know why we should do it…but we have to make the time.

Will you make a little time for you today?

It’s just as important as every other day. So don’t skip it.

Plan ahead. You’re worth it.

Day 8 exercises:


  • Superman – Rest
  • Push Ups – 30
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – :45 Plank (One more you can do this!)

Speed Work: Who’s doing speed work today? 1/4 mile repeats are on the menu!

Workout – 6X-12X 400M (1/4 mile) – If you are just easing into speed work for the first time. Keep it short and do 1/4 mile repeats 6 times for a total of 1.5 miles. If you’ve been doing this for a while now, and are training for a longer distance race…don’t be lazy…get in those 12 1/4 mile repeats for a total of 3 miles of speed work. Remember to warm up AND cool down. Both are very important parts of this workout. If you have questions, reach out to me. Let’s chat about how to make this work for you.

1/4 mile repeats can be done on the track, treadmill, or on the road with a GPS watch. Do whatever works for you…but don’t skip it. I know it can be daunting…but speed work will not only help you get faster, but it will also help you increase your breathing abilities and make your long runs 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.

*1:00 standing or walking rest in between each set.

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, during a conversation paced run, you average a:

  • 14:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 3:00.
  • 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:45.
  • 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:30.
  • 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:15.
  • 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:00.
  • 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:45.
  • 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:30.
  • 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:15.

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


This quote spoke to me today and I wanted to share it. We are here to get stronger. To run father and faster. We want to stay on the road doing what we love. But the truth is…it’s so much more important than that. Every day that we do a little more than we would without each other’s support is a day we work towards a longer, healthier, more active life.

All the little movements we make time for help us live longer, healthier lives in the future.

Days 8 – 11: Be Strong Crew!

Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 7.55.21 PM.png

As much as I hate to leave you for 4 days…I am so excited for Ragnar Trail Alafia Springs! I might check in here and there but for the most part, you’ll be on your own through Saturday so please BE STRONG and push through this weekend.

Make us Ragnarians proud! 🙂 We’ll take TONS of photos for you…but I want to see TONS of action while we’re out on the trails!

Since I won’t have much internet access, I’m putting Days 8-11 in this post so you can refer back to it through Sunday. Here’s the lowdown…

  • Thursday: 10 Minutes Abs + :60 Plank of your choice
  • Friday: Modern Moms Hips and Butt + :60 Plank of your choice
  • Saturday: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + :60 Plank of your choice
  • Sunday: Plank (Your Choice – :60) + Rest OR 10 Minute Active Stretching

Remember that these days can switch up so if you need to go long on Friday or Sunday, move things around to make it work for you and your schedule.

Thursday: 10 Minutes Abs + :60 Plank of your choice

Our core is what holds up together when we’re running and a strong core will keep you upright and moving forward during long training runs and races. We are the #CoreCrew and talk a lot about core work…so it should be no surprise that Thursday is a great 10 minute ab workout!

If you’re feeling really good…double it up and make it a 20 minute workout! 🙂

Friday: Modern Mom Hips and Butt! 

This was such a great workout last month that I couldn’t let it go. So we’re doing it agin in December! Different moves from our Monday/Wednesday workout so even if you’re still feeling sore….you can still do this and it might even help stretch out those sore muscles a bit.

5 minutes per leg + one :60 Plank of your choice!

Saturday: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + one :60 Plank

How long are you going this weekend? Any races planned? Let us know so we can cheer you on! Don’t forget to take 10 minutes after your run to knock out one :60 plank and STRETCH!

Most runners don’t stretch until after they are injured….taking a few minutes to do it now can ease aches and pains, help you feel less tight AND keep you from being sidelined and off the road.

Sunday: One :60 Plank + Rest OR 10 Minutes Active Stretching 

If you decide to do the :60 plank then take the day off…that’s totally fine. We all need rest days and in December when our lives are extra hectic there’s no shame in needing a day with no extra work. But if you have some time and love to feel limber, refreshed, and ready to go on Monday, check out this 10 minutes active stretching routine. I can’t wait to try it when I’m home from Ragnar on Sunday!

Another great activity for Sunday? Active Recovery! Notice a Sunday trend here? 😉

Active Recovery is a great way to shake out those legs after our long runs. Keep it short and slow. 30 minutes…at your easy “long run” pace. Your legs will thank you!

I won’t be chiming in as much this weekend but that doesn’t matter because I know you want to inspire each other. If you feel like skipping days this weekend…think about the rest of your Crew…maybe they’ll see you getting it done and decide not to give up!

Have a great weekend…be active and be strong! 🙂


Day 8: Insanity Is…


Yea yea…we know….insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results. That’s usually true…unless it’s ab day…then doing the same thing over and over again will bring different results. Nice, strong, trim ABS!

Our Tuesday and Thursday Ab routine is the same as last week. The only difference….now we’re stepping it up to 3 rounds. 3 rounds of each exercise for the rest of the month. In this case, insanely doing the same routine over and over while bracing that core will bring awesome results!

Day 8 exercises: Abs – 3 rounds – :30 each exercise for all exercises = 1 round

****Click here or how to videos****

  • Roll Up
  • Pilates Scissors
  • Bird Dog Crunch – Right Side
  • Boat Pose
  • Bird Dog Crunch – Left Side
  • Side Plank – :30 each side

Daily Abs

Bonus: #DailyAbs – In the spirit of INSANITY and doing the same thing over and over again….it’s back to our #DailyAbs!

3 rounds….1-2 minutes per round + a short rest in between sets = an extra 10 minutes. It would be INSANE if you couldn’t find the time! Come on Crew you got this!



Extra Credit: #5MinutePlank

What’s Ab day without a 5 minute plank?

This is a moving plank so you aren’t holding the same position for very long. Stick with it and prove to yourself just how strong you are!


Sarah’s Calorie Burn: Throw in a little extra calorie burn if it’s a rest day form running!

  • 25 Squats
  • 60 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Push Ups
  • 50 Crunches

Speed Work: The “Short” Ladder – Check out this week’s speed work by clicking here for Monday’s post and scrolling down. Do you have a plan to get your speed work in?

People often call runners “insane” because we push ourselves past normal limits. We endure pain when others would quit. We get up early, have crazy workout routines, and skip “normal” fun stuff to sweat, have sore muscles, and lose toenails.

But we know the truth. Although runners might be “insane” to a normal person, insanity is…the definition of fun!

Don’t be normal…normal is boring. Be awesome…be different…be a little insane…Be you!

And by that I mean…get up and get to work on those abs Crew! 😉

Days 7, 8, & 9: No Off Days

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-16-20-pmAre you at your goal weight? Are you hitting your goal times?

If not…there’s no time for slacking!

Not calling anyone fat…so don’t get all huffy puffy…just saying…if you’re not where you want to be…get to work!

Day 7: Abs – 2 sets of 10

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

  • Renegade Rows
  • Weighted Sit Ups
  • Dead Bugs
  • Heel Touches
  • Bedtime Plank :60

Day 8: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Bedtime Plank

Day 9: Arms – 3 sets of 10 **** Stepping up!!

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

  • Halo Curls
  • Shoulder Press with Rotation
  • Push Ups
  • Elbow Kiss
  • Bedtime Plank

No bonuses…except for logging some miles! I will check in here and there when I can and of course will let you all know how things are going in Chicago!

Have a great weekend Crew!


Day 8: No Ifs, Ands Or Jiggly Butts


Got excuses? NOT TODAY! No ifs, ands, or jiggle butts…that means YOU! No Excuses!

You know cardio isn’t a leg workout right?Yes running does wonderful things for our legs and butt…BUT it’s not enough!

The best strength exercises for runners have two characteristics:

  • They prevent injuries by focusing on the specific needs of runners (hip and glute strength)
  • They are compound, multi-joint movements like squats (the machines in the gym do NOT count)

For most runners, the largest benefit of strength training is a reduction in running injuries. With stronger muscles, connective tissues, and more resilience to fatigue, you’ll get hurt less often..and be able to increase your speed easier.

According to,”here is a list of the best strength exercises for runners:

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Lunge
  • Push-up
  • Plank

They’re simple, basic movements that all of us as runners should be able to do.”

The best news? We do all of these exercises!


Need more reasons to ditch the excuses? We all know this…but it never hurts to be reminded…Why do we take the time to strength train? Read on…


Enough chatting…let’s get to work.

Day 8 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Donkey Kicks + Fire Hydrants
  • Weighted Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Plank – (:45 2X)

Bonus: #WallSitChallenge screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-6-14-25-pm

I know you love wall sits so lets do it 3 times!

Wall sit with heel raise for 1 minute, single right leg raise for :30, then single left leg raise for :30.

You can do this! Take a break into between if you need to but push through!

No ifs, ands, or jiggly butts…and no excuses Crew!



Day 8: Exercise Makes You Happy!

Exercise makes me happyHey Crew, it’s Monday and we all know the saying…never miss a Monday!

We know exercise is good for us. It keeps our weight in check, makes us stronger, and keeps us feeling youthful.

But did you know that exercise can also make you a happier person? It’s true!

When you work out and stay active on a regular basis, it’s not just a coincidence that you feel less stressed out, less anxious, and generally happier.

Here are 6 reasons why exercising makes us happy:

1. It releases happy chemicals into your brain. Dopamine, a chemical that plays a role in happiness, is a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness. The best way to increase your brain’s dopamine production? Exercise. So run, lift, jump, play…and get happy.

2. It makes you less stressed out. Working out eases stress by helping you sweat out the day’s worries and regular exercise helps you become less stressed out in the long term as well. Raising your heart rate and triggering a burst of hormonal changes is a low level form of stress. When you subject yourself to the stress of exercise enough, your body will start to get better at handling the rest of life’s stressors. Less stress equals a happier, healthier life. 🙂

3. It energizes you. You no doubt have days when you just feel too tired to exercise. But no matter how exhausted you are from daily life, do your best to muster up all the willpower you have and work out. More likely than not, you’ll feel more energized after your workout than you did before it. And more energy equals greater happiness.

4. It boosts your confidence. When you don’t feel good about how you look, it’s easy to have low self-esteem. When you start to exercise and see your body transform, that can quickly change. Exercise will help you like how you look and make you feel stronger, more independent, and more confident. There’s nothing like a boost in confidence to increase overall happiness.

5. It eases anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety, exercise may be a simple cure. Recent studies on the effects of exercise show that in people suffering from anxiety, the immediate mood boost from exercise is followed by longer-term relief, similar to that offered by meditation and talk therapy. Next time you’re feeling anxious, try a hard workout. You’ll feel happier for days on end!

6. It fights insomnia. Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleeping problems of insomniacs and people with sleeping disorders. Regular exercise significantly improve your sleep quality and give you that pep that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning and DO things. That equals greater happiness, every time!

What are you waiting for? Get up, exercise, and be happy!  You’ll feel more confident, energized, and calm. You’ll be a healthier and happier person for life!

Day 8 exercises: 2 sets of 10

  • Jumping Jacks (50 2X)
  • Walking Push Ups
  • Forearm Plank Jacks
  • Inchworm with Shoulder Taps
  • Plank Challenge Day 8 – Nail the Basics (:45 3X)

Nail the basics: This plank includes several moves. See the list below and move through each step for :45. Repeat three times.

  1. Start in a forearm plank.
  2. Do two knee taps, one with each knee.
  3. Transition to a high plank.
  4. Tap each hand to its opposite shoulder.
  5. Return to forearm plank.

Here’s a quick video to show you the steps.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge Day 8

  • 30 Sit Ups
  • 40 Crunches
  • 60 Squats

Extra Credit: Recovery Run (slow, easy, and short) – If you went long this weekend, it’s a good idea to go out and get it a short, slow and easy recovery run. Short means SHORT! 30-40 minutes tops. Easy means do not push pace. Don’t even worry about your time. Just shake our your legs and get them ready for the week.

Speed Work: We have several new Crew members this month so we are going back to the basics are starting with some 200M repeats (or .12 miles) for our speed work. Check it out and reach out to me with any questions.

If you have done these before you should have a benchmark for how fast you should be running. Take a look and see what you did before and match or beat those times. If you’re new to speed work, just go out and run at a relaxed sprint pace. Don’t push as hard as you can. You should be able to breathe but it won’t be easy.

  • 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!

impossible until doneFinal thought on speed work. Don’t worry! Ask a few people in our group like who have been doing the speed work consistently (Jennifer Moro-Ortiz or Amiee Cords are great examples) about how they feel when they are done, about how they got past the anxiety over the speed, and how much their times have improved. Once you do it and it’s over… you feel fabulous and strong

That’s all for now Crew. Go out and have a fantastic, active Monday! 🙂


Day 8: Armed and Fabulous

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 1.53.50 PMWe love arm day! Strong, toned, sexy arms…plus the strength to pull us through the end of those long runs!

What more incentive do you need to work hard today?

Friday’s workout is fun and fabulous! Just 2 rounds of 10 for another week.  Stick with it and get stronger now so you can step it up next week!

Day 8 exercises: 2 rounds of 10

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

  • Reverse Curls
  • Hammer Curls
  • Kettle Ball Squat + Overhead Press
  • Air Punches – :30
  • Burpees
  • Plank – :30 (2X)

Bonus: #SculptedArmsSculpted Arms Workout

Take these moves nice and slow. Use good technique and focus on really feeling that burn in your arms.

  • 1 round = You got this!
  • 2 rounds = You are killing it!
  • 3 rounds = Are you kidding me?
  • 4 rounds – BEAST MODE!!

In case you need a reminder…below are images for the Back Rows and Upright Rows, and Skull Crushers.

You know what’s next…so rest up Crew! Take some time to stretch out and plan your weekend.  Plan to eat well, hydrate, and rest….all in preparation to go long!

Get armed and make Friday fabulous Crew! 🙂


Day 8: Apple Core Strong

Strong core helps withWe know a strong core will help us become better runners….but there are many more benefits to core work!

Core work helps us lift strong and heavy, which makes us stronger runners…

Core work helps with posture, which makes us stand taller and helps us breathe better when we run…

Core work aids us in becoming more flexible…and flexibility allows us to continue running without injury…

Core work helps eliminate back pain, which means we can run more!

Yes all of these positive effects benefit us in other aspects of our daily life….we didn;t even mention a nice tight, flat tummy…but all we really care about is running… 😉

Core Work ROCKS! Let’s get to it!

Day 8 exercises: ****Click here for “how to” videos****

The calendar says 2 sets of 10…that’s a typo…we are stepping  up to 3 sets of 10 this week!

  • Knee Cross Crunch
  • Double Arm Reach
  • Side Imprint
  • Cross Body Chop
  • Medicine Ball Slam
  • Star Plank – :45 each side Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 5.29.23 AM

Bonus: 5 Burpees + 10 Weighted Sit Ups between each set of core exercises

Hopefully breaking these burpees into 3 sets of 5 will make it seem less daunting and more doable. In between each set…knock out 5 burpees + 10 Weighted Sit Ups then tag your post with #AppleCoreStrong. Think about how strong an apple core is…it’s the core that holds it all together!

Thigh Challenge: So many of you are keeping up with the #ThighChallenge this month so far. Know what that tells me? My Core Crew has serious commitment in June! Love your dedication so far this month Crew! Keep it up! 🙂

  • 15 Fire Hydrants
  • 35 Scissor Kicks
  • 30 Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Running Drills and Speed Work: Remember…if you are racing this weekend, you should skip the speed work this week…but you CAN still do the running drills! Want more info on these drills? Click here to see the why and how.

  • Running Drill: Slow Skipping
  • Speed Work: 6-8X 400M (3-4 miles with 1 full mile warm up and cool down = 5-6 miles total) Don’t forget to stop (or walk) in between sets and recover before going at the next 400M.

It’s Wednesday y’all…halfway through our week and closer to the weekend when us Jax peeps get to hang with Gwen and conquer Run for the Pies! So excited to race with everyone and enjoy our relaxing day by the pool on Sunday! I wish you ALL could be here to join us!

When it hurts and you want to quit…remember that a strong core will improve your technique, your strength, your stamina…and will compliment everything you do! Get through it and make it a great day! 🙂

strong core

Day 8: Step Yo Game Up!

Step yo game upIt time to Step Yo Game Up Core Crew!

It’s Friday!!! Day 8 and week 2 of our April Challenge means it’s time to step it up to three rounds of 10 and add another 25 crunches to each day. You CAN do this! Do not doubt your self or make excuses!

We all love arm day and Friday is the perfect time to rest our legs and focus on getting our arms strong and powerful to carry us through those long runs…and to work towards those toned, sexy arms we all want.

Day 8 exercises: “How to” videos

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Bicep Curl + Overhead Press – 3 sets of 10
  • Front Arm Raise – 3 sets of 10
  • Side Arm Raise – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – :30 – 1 minute (2X)
  • 50 Crunches

I like to put the front and side arm raises together to form one exercise. It’s your choice… do what is best for you then remember to stretch out those arms afterward. Arm stretches are below.

Bonus: #BurningGuns Burning Guns

Feel like you want to push a little harder today? Check out this Burning Guns workout and let us know how many rounds you had in you.

Long runs and lots of racing going on this weekend. Tell us what’s on your schedule so we can cheer you on!

If you didn’t get in your speed work this week.. don’t worry…you’ll have another chance this week. Get in short easy runs today…or rest up for the weekend.

One last important thing…take time to get in the 7 Key Stretches for Runners today. Your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and IT-Band will think you!

That’s it for now Core Crew…make it a great day! 🙂