Day 11: Disaster Waiting to Happen

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Run harder…you’ll be fine…

NO WAIT! Running harder without giving some attention to the other less fun stuff could be a real disaster!

If you’re still not convinced that hip strength is important, or think you’re good to go and don’t need to worry about it, I hope you’ll keep an open mind and continue reading…

An Active.com article called Runners and Weak Hips, spoke with Jason Fitzgerald, a 2:39 marathoner and coach in the Washington D.C. area, who attributes hip weakness to the constant sitting we do in our daily lives. Fitzgerald said, “When you consider how important proper hip strength is for runners and the fact that most runners don’t do the specific strength exercises that bolster the hip muscles, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

You read that right, he said, “Disaster waiting to happen.”

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Since the hips stabilize each leg during the stance phase of the running gait, strength in that area is particularly vital. “Hip weakness throws off all that stability, resulting in excess movement not only at the hip, but also at the knee,” says Fitzgerald. “The two most common injuries that result from weak hips include illiotibial band syndrome or patellofemoral pain syndrome, but in fact, many other injuries could occur from weak hips, including Achilles tendinopathy, shin splints and plantar fasciitis.”

All that from weak hips!

A study in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine discovered an association between overuse injuries in the lower extremities and poor strength in the muscles around the hip region, including the hip abductor, adductor and flexor.

Chris Johnson, a New York City-based physical therapist and amateur elite triathlete explains, “If a runner is really weak in that area, it can set the stage for overcompensation injuries.” When certain muscles aren’t strong enough to do the work they are supposed to do during running, other muscles take on that work; this can result in overuse issues. When you strengthen your entire kinetic chain, individual muscles aren’t required to do more than they are built to do.

Fitzgerald has his athletes try a one-legged squat to determine hip strength. “You should be able to squat down so your femur is about parallel with the ground and your knee remains pointed straight ahead,” he says. “If you’re wobbling all over the place and your knee collapses inward, you have hip weakness.”

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Can you do a Pistol Squat? I’m pretty sure that no one is this group can do a full pistol squat. That means we ALL need to work on our hip strength. Yep, that means you!

I hope this has made an impact and you’re ready to to jump in and do some hip strengthening exercises with us. Even if you’re already strong in that area, there’s always room for improvement. What better time to do it when the exercises are quick and when everyone else is getting it done too!

We change it up a bit on Friday’s just to keep things from getting boring, but if you have an extra 8 minutes and 36 seconds, then go ahead and run through our Modern Mom hip video too. 🙂 Here’s the link to our page with that video.

Day 11 exercises: Hips – 3 sets of 10

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

  • Brigid’s Runner Clams
  • Side Lying Leg Lift
  • Reverse Clams (feet up)
  • Forearm Plank (:60)
  • Pigeon Pose

Bonus: Single Leg Bridge & Donkey Kicks

Single-Leg Bridge: Lie on your back with both legs bent and your feet flat on the ground. Lift your left leg off the ground and extend it while you raise your lower back and butt. Hold the position for two seconds and lower back downwards in a controlled manner. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each leg.

Donkey Kicks: Get on all fours again, but this time you will only be lifting and extending your legs, keeping your hands on the ground. Instead of extending the leg backwards like you did during Bird Dogs, keep the knee slightly bent and kick upwards, with the bottom of your shoe facing the sky. Repeat 15 to 20 times on each side.


So…long runs coming up! What’s on your schedule this weekend? Anyone racing? Tell us about it so we can cheer you on!

Racery: Our #CoreCrew virtual race through Paris is already half way over! Are you getting your miles in a logged? We already have one Crew member who’s crossed the finish line. Way to go Lisa Lasseter! Who’s next? Here’s the top five runners so far!

Don’t forget to log your miles. You should get an email each day reminding you to log but if you can’t find it, or need to go back and log some miles you missed, here’s the link.

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Lisa Lasster is done and Jennifer Stoner is right behind her. She’s being chased by Amiee Cords, Catherine Wogoman, and Annette Williams! Tight race…but don’t count out those runners out of camera, they might sneak up and steal the show. Keep watching!


Last but certainly never least…STRETCH! Take some time to stretch out those legs after all the work you’ve put in this week and the work you’ve got coming this weekend. Your body will thank you!

7 Key Stretches for Runners

If you’re still on the fence about this month hip strength focus…think about how much it sucks to be sidelined from an injury. With the fun races we all have coming…ain’t nobody got time fo dat! Have a great Friday Crew! 🙂

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Day 29: Don’t Stop Now!

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Day 29 y’all…don’t stop now, we’re almost there!!

2 more days and this month is complete! Legs today, abs tomorrow, then a brand new month starts with our long run on Saturday. Keep pushing…keep getting it done, and let’s bask in the glory of knowing we finished strong!

Day 29 exercises: Legs / Stability – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant
  • Weighted Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Plank – Your choice (:90 2X)

Bonus: 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Pigeon Pose – Everyone has been putting some serious miles in this month, but have you been stretching lately? Are you feeling sore or tight anywhere? Today’s bonus is to take a little extra time to stretch your calves, quads, hamstrings, and back. Of our 7 Key Stretches for Runners + the pigeon pose, what is your stretching position? Which one can you feel helping you the most?

So excited to see some of you trying the Ladder speed work this week. I know it’s a little confusing…and it’s a tough workout…but doesn’t it feel amazing once it’s done and you see how awesome you are? The times I’m seeing show just how bad add this Crew is!

Keep pushing yourself! It’s worth it! 🙂

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Day 22: Bootylicious

bootyliciousYou wanted booty work right? Well let’s get bootylicious!

Many of the AMAZING glute activation exercises that we should all be doing are those funny looking moves that Jane Fonda used to do in her leotard with ankle weights.

They are the moves that most people, especially guys, avoid.

However, everyone from the professional athlete to the guy or gal sitting behind the desk for 9 hours a day, should do those funny looking glute activation moves!

By activating your glutes, you can reduce your risk of injury and alleviate back pain. You can also improve your speed and have strong, sexy legs all by doing these stupid looking moves.

Donkey kicks will wake up your entire core, activating your glutes and warming up your abs and shoulders. Fire hydrants are another great way to wake up the glute medius, which is a critical muscle for maintaining balance and preventing knee and ankle injuries. Squats help improve knee stability, leg power, and body awareness, as well as prevent common running injuries. Deadlifts are one the greatest exercises of all-time and fantastic for runners. Whether your goal is strength, power, speed, or endurance, deadlifting can help you achieve that goal.

Strengthening your glutes will improve your hip’s stability, help you run faster and change direction more quickly…and hey…a nice strong bootylicious derriere is so worth the work!

Day 22 exercises: Legs/Stability – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant
  • Weighted Squats
  • Deadlift
  • Plank – Your Choice (:60 2X)

Bonus: Weighted Hip Thrusts – Yep…we’re doing them again. Weighted hip thrusts are an easy exercise to throw in the mix today and adding these to our regular Thursday routine is the perfect way to round out our stability workout.

Weighted Hip Thrust: With a dumbbell resting in the crease of your hips, sit on the floor with the bottom of your shoulder blades touching a bench or couch or even a chair if it’s study and won’t hurt your back. Drive through your heels and thrust your hips up toward the ceiling while contracting your glutes. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Lower and repeat 8 to 10 times for 3 sets.

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Time to get bootylicious…and build that solid base we need to stay injury free and run faster and longer!

The weekend is close! Let’s exercise, eat healthy, and be happy today Crew!

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Day 15: Don’t Get Comfortable!

dont-get-comfortableDid you know that when we run, we add hit the pavement with 3-4 times our body weight on each footfall?

3-4 TIMES OUR BODY WEIGHT!!!

If you ever wondered why strength training is crucial for runners…now you know! If you’re comfortable with the weight you’re using, it’s time to step it up and get out of your comfort zone!

In order to fully maximize performance, endurance athletes should improve their overall strength in relation to their bodyweight. That means adding heavier strength training into the mix. Building strength helps runners absorb force better when their feet crash into the pavement and produces more force to propel us off the ground. Which all happens in the blink of an eye.

How do we build more strength? We add more weight to our exercises…and the perfect place to to start is our squats and deadlifts. If you’re working out from home, use your heaviest weights for these exercises today. If you find that’s it’s easy, it’s time to think about getting some heavier weights!

If you’re hitting the gym, pick up weights heavier than you’re used to.

Adding heavier weight targets type II muscle fibers — those responsible for power generation and maximal strength. By increasing type II muscle fibers, runners will be able to produce and absorb more force even over distance. Think about it…every time you hot the pavement, 3-4 TIMES YOUR BODYWEIGHT crashes into the ground.

Are you comfortable? Time to step it up!

Not only are we adding weight, we’re also adding reps! This week we move up to 3 sets of 15. You got this!

Day 15 exercises: Legs/Stability – 3 sets of 15 

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

  • Donkey Kicks + Fire Hydrants – Have some leg weights? Add them!
  • Weighted Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Plank – Your Choice (:45 2X)

Bonus: Weighted Hip Thrusts – Everyone really seemed to enjoy them and after Cris Denniston mentioned them yesterday, I knew it was time to throw them back in the mix. Here’s a reminder on how to do them.

Weighted Hip Thrust: With a dumbbell resting in the crease of your hips, sit on the floor with the bottom of your shoulder blades touching a bench or couch or even a chair if it’s study and won’t hurt your back. Drive through your heels and thrust your hips up toward the ceiling while contracting your glutes. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Lower and repeat 8 to 10 times for 3 sets.

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Speed Work: Everyone has been killing it tis week and I’m sure I’ve some of your awesome posts, but I’ve been watching for it and am sad to say speed work has not been on the menu for many of you. Jennifer Moro-Ortiz killed her 10 x 400s yesterday…is Jen the only one who wants to get faster and building better breathing economy? I know that’s not true!

If you’re going long tomorrow or Saturday, sorry Charlie, you’ve already missed the speed work boat this week. It’s too close to your long run to have enough time to recover fully. Next week, PLAN BETTER!

If you’re going long on Sunday, you still have time. I’d LOVE to see some awesome speed work today!! Click here to find this week’s workout and the pace you should be running for each 400M interval.


Next up…STRETCH! If you had a hard time with yesterday’s back bend, you need to work on overall flexibility. I know what you’re going to say, I’m too old, I’ll never be flexible again, it’s nit worth worrying about. WRONG! Flexibility takes effort and practice, and after a few months of consistent stretching, I am able to get down into a full straddle!

It really is difficult to exaggerate the importance of hip flexibility and strength for every athletic activity.

The hips provide most of the incredible power and force that our lower body can generate for running and jumping, and deficiencies in strength and flexibility in this area of the body can mean the difference between a winning performance or a painful end to the game.

Beyond just getting stronger and more flexible to improve our running, issues with our hips can negatively impact your daily life. Possible issues include pain, decreased mobility for activities such as stooping and squatting, and even difficulty with simple daily encounters such as jumping over a puddle in the street.

Straddle Stretching: Throw in some straddle stretching today. Watch the video below to see all the key points in our legs that benefit from this stretch. No I don’t want to you go and spend money on the Kinesiologial stretching programs, but this will show a few quick ways to ease into this awesome stretch. I’d love to see some straddle pics today! 🙂

Don’t forget our 7 Key Stretches for Runners + a good Pigeon Pose! Take the time after your workout, our save it till later when you’re relaxing in front of the TV. No matter when you do it, please stretch out those glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and back….long runs are coming!

It’s strong Thursday Crew! Because….you never know who you’re inspiring! 🙂

be-strong

 

Day 8: No Ifs, Ands Or Jiggly Butts

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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 StrengthRunner.com,”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!

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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…

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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!

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Day 27: Where Is Your Gym?

my-gymBeing inspiring at 3:30am doesn’t come easy…especially when you’ve got to get out the door for a 15 mile run. But here goes.

Get to work! 😉

All kidding aside…it’s Friday and it’s almost the weekend! Where will your gym be today?

My gym is outside in the crisp, clean morning air with some of my favorite people. Today is our first 15 mile training run to prepare for the Chicago Marathon. Going long is exciting and nerve racking but friends make it easier and fun.

Find your passion… find your reason to get moving…find your gym and make today count. Take a pic of your gym and share it with us…maybe you’ll inspire someone to get up and get moving!

Day 27 exercises:

  • Pistol Squats – 2 sets of 6 (each leg)
  • Fire Hydrant + Donkey Kick – 4 sets of 10
  • Squats – Your Choice – 4 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side (2X)
  • 50 Push Ups

Bonus: #StretchItOut

Since it’s almost time to go long over the weekend knock out leg day then take the extra time to go through our 7 Key Stretches for Runners. Your body will thank you!

That’s all I’ve got, but you’re a runner…you understand. Go out and make it a great Friday Core Crew! 🙂

runners understand

Day 24: Do It For The Legs

Oh My Gosh….those legs….

Walk Strong…Kick Hard…Let me see you LUNGE!

Look at them legs…they’re amazing!

Runner Legs…they’re amazing! But we all know that to get those tone, strong runner legs…we have to do more than just run! So when you want to skip it…when you get busy…have too much going on…and think about putting it off till another day…

Do it for the legs!

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Day 24 exercises:

  • Pistol Squats – 2 sets of 6X each leg
  • Fire Hydrant + Donkey Kick – 4 sets of 10
  • Squats – Your Choice – 4 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 Minute (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side (2X)
  • 45 Push Ups

Bonus: #CircuitTraining  burning belly fat

Got a little more in you today? Do it for the Legs! 😉


Running Drills: Grapevines

Speed Work: Warm Up + 4X 400M + 4X 200M + Cool Down

Need a little more info about this week’s running drills and speed work? Click here to find out why…and how we do them.

Before you drop from exhaustion…take a few minutes to stretch out those hips, quads, hamstrings, and calves! Our 7 Key Stretches for Runners will have you feeling nice and limber.

Day 24 is gonna be a killer! What are you waiting for? Get to work Core Crew!

Day 10: Positive State Of Mind

mind of matterOur brain is the boss. It orders the body what to do and what not to do. If we can find a way to coax the brain out of cowering in the face of stress, our bodies will follow.

Being tired, stressed out, and faced with numerous other daily tasks that keep us from getting our workout in will not go away….but willpower can overcome physical obstacles.

When you willfully subject yourself to stress, such as training, taking care of your family, and working every day, you become better able to cope with all the stressors in your life. Training increases your self-belief and your confidence in what you can do.

The unquestioning devotion that runners display seems to be the key to living the double life as a runner and a mere mortal. Put yourself in a positive state of mind and allow for extraordinary feats of strength.

Day 10 exercises: “How To” Videos

  • Pistol Squats – 2 sets of 4x (each leg)
  • Fire Hydrant + Donkey Kick – 3 sets of 10
  • Squats – Your Choice – 3 sets of 10
  • Planks – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Planks – :30 each side (2X)
  • 25 Push Ups
  • 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Bonus: #SexyLegWorkout (Thank you Alison 🙂 )  Sexy Leg Workout

Mind Over Matter – Push a little harder than you thought you could and run through this extra leg circuit today.

The only thing holding you back is you.


Running Drills and Speed Work:

  • High Knees
  • 200 meter sprints (6-10X)

Need more info on this week’s running drill and speed work? Click here to find out the “why and how”. Still have questions? Message me!

Remember Core Crew…willpower can overcome physical obstacles.

Are you a a runner…or a mere mortal? You are a runner…Go out and run! 🙂

Think you can

Day 6: Keep it Light but Keep Pushing!

slow progress better than no progress

Hey Crew! It’s 3am and I am getting ready to head out to meet up with some friends to run our Virtual Race and Make it Count for Runwell. 13.1 miles coming up in beautiful Jekyll Island, GA! Pics to come with bibs and medals. 🙂

It is leg day…but since we are so close to the weekend with lots of long training runs and races coming up…I want our Friday leg days to be light and easy. I still want you to take Friday’s seriously and work your legs…just no extras or bonus. We don’t want over tired, sore legs going into long, tough training runs or races.

Even though we are keeping it light and easy…we are still making progress and getting stronger. Remember that slow progress is better than no progress! Think clean eating and lots of stretching to get ready for the weekend!

Day 6 exercises:

  • Pistol Squats – 2 sets of 3 (each side)
  • Fire Hydrants and Donkey Kicks – 2 sets of 10
  • Squats – Your Choice – 2 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 Minute (2X)
  • Side Planks – :30 (each side)
  • 20 Push Ups
  • Stretch!

How is everyone doing with the “No Extra Sugar” Challenge so far this month? So far,  I’ve had no extra sweets. I’ve skipped the chocolate, peanut butter ice cream that’s in my freezer and avoided foods high in sugar…what are you doing to cut out the extra sugar?

This should be a pretty quick workout today. If you want to run…go for it…but keep it short and keep it easy….then come home and stretch or go through our Yoga for Runners again.

See you all on the other side of 13.1 for Runwell! Hope everyone has a fabulous Friday! 🙂

Day 3: Killer Legs

Killer Legs

Running does amazing things for our body…like giving us killer legs! But running without strength training…means less power for those tough runs when we need an extra push to get to the finish line.

But how do we get it all done?

According to Runner’s World article called How Best to Combine Strength Training and Running,

“Many runners now accept that they’ll perform and feel better if they do more than just run. That’s especially true for people who took up the sport as adults and whose non-running hours include a lot of sitting. Regular strength training, including for your legs, can help to correct muscle imbalances and weaknesses that are common in modern life.”

As runners we struggle with balancing our running with other types of workouts. That makes sense right? Because all we really want to do is run!

There is a way to balance it all though. This article sites a 2014 study where runners did two types of strength workouts, one at maximal effort and one at sub maximal effort, waited 6 hours, then did a tough running workout…here is what lead researcher, Kenji Doma, Ph.D., of James Cook University suggests.

First, Doma advises, don’t schedule a hard running workout later in the day of a weight session. “Running at maximal effort is impaired six hours [after] lower-extremity resistance training, and therefore trained to moderately trained runners will need more than that to recover for running sessions set at high intensities,” he says.

In addition, “running at maximal effort is still impaired 24 hours after lower-extremity resistance training,” Doma says. “Therefore, in the case of trained and moderately trained runners undertaking high-intensity running sessions after lower-extremity resistance training, they may need more than one day to recover.”

Second, Doma found that running performance at lower intensities was unaffected by the weight workouts. “Runners could undertake strength training and running sessions on the same day six hours apart as long as the running session is set at sub-maximal intensities,” Doma says.

If possible, Doma says, try to arrange your schedule so that on days that you run and lift, running comes first.

Key points:

  • Run first – If you want to run on the same day you do your leg workout…run first.
  • The day after your leg workout…you can run…just make it an easy workout..not a tough speed workout. Since we are doing legs on Tuesday and Thursday this month…do your speed work on Monday or before your leg workout on Tuesday. If you want to run on Fridays…make that an easy workout as well. Perfect for our schedule since we like to go long on the weekends.

Final Point: Our leg workout is at sub-maximal effort. Yes it will get tougher as the month goes on…but we are not spending and hour in the gym focused solely on legs. Don’t overthink this. Our workouts gradually increase in effort throughout the month and can be done relatively quickly at home. But you should still give your legs time to recover and think about how you will schedule your workouts as we progress through the month.

Day 3 exercises: Click here for How to Videos

  • Pistol Squats – 2 sets of 3X each leg
  • Fire Hydrant + Donkey Kick – 2 sets of 10
  • Squat – Your choice – 2 sets of 10 (Let us know what kind of squats you choose today. Remember there are about 40 different types of squats listed on our “how to” videos page in case you need some ideas or want to try something new.)
  • 15 Push-Ups
  • Planks – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Planks :30 each side (2X)
  • 7 Key Stretches for Runners

How do you do your planks? A lot of us do a continuous plank that rolls from the regular plank position onto our sides then back again. Doing it this way might make it easier AND make the time go by a little faster. I like to do a :30 regular plank, then shift to each side for :30 each then finish up with another :30 regular plank at the end. A 2 min round of planks…and I do this twice. Once at the beginning of our workout and again at the end. Overall I am planking for 4 minutes total each day.

If you are new to planks, work your way up. Some of the runners in our group has been planking almost every day for a year or more. Don’t get discouraged. I promise it will get easier as you get stronger!

Bonus: Glute Toner Workout Tight Glutes

Thank you to Alison Stewart who found a great bonus again for us today! (I could get used tot his Alison 😉 ) Do one round of this workout after your daily exercises today then post using #ToneGlutes to let us know you went the extra mile!


Running Drills and Speed Work: This week’s running drills and speed work were in yesterday (Monday’s) post. If you need a reminder, click here. Do not hesitate to reach out to me through PM on FB if you have questions about the 200 meter sprints or how fast you should be doing them. I can explain in more detail and help you find your pace. Remember to schedule your speed work for AFTER your run today.

Running Drills can and should be done before or after EVERY running workout. Experts suggest doing after a warm up (5-10 min) or post run when you need to train your body how to keep good form when you’re tired.

Final takeaway today….strength training makes us stronger and gives us toner legs. Don’t skip your strength workout! I’ve been working on leg strength or over a year now…and the result…well I have some killer legs y’all!

When it’s all said and done. Don’t forget to stretch! Stretching does a body good…and keeps the injuries at bay. I’ve been working on getting more flexible since August 2015 when Silas started taking karate and I saw them doing straddles. This didn’t happen overnight…but it is super cool that I can do this at 37…well almost 38. 🙂

Here is the link again for our 7 Key Stretches for Runners. Learn to love them and they will love you back!

Let’s get to it and make it a great Tuesday Core Crew! 🙂