Day 12: Magic Legs

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Everyone knows runners have the best legs! But we still have to work for them…

How do we build “magic legs” that will take us the distance? Strength work!

Let’s chat about some myths that maybe you’ve heard before…


MYTH: Runners don’t need to lift weights. To get stronger, run more.

TRUTH: Running–and the optimal balance of volume, intensity and pace-specific work–will always be the primary focus of a distance runner’s training program. And rightly so. Strength training, however, presents a different physiological stimulus, one that includes a host of distinct benefits that running doesn’t provide, but which are crucial to health and optimal performance.

Takeaway: Runners need strength training in addition to running!


MYTH: The key area to work on is the core; running works all other areas.

TRUTH: Research indicates that upper-body, lower-body and midsection strength training all contribute to improved running performance. You should do exercises that involve all of the major muscle groups. Rather than specifically strengthening an area that you assume is weak, you are better off developing strength in all muscle groups, which will create balance and synergy.

Takeaway: Our core is important, but we need to strengthen our upper and lower body too.


MYTH: Lift with quick movements to work power and improve speed.

TRUTH: It’s more effective to lift and lower the weight slowly. Take two to three seconds to lift the weight and at least four seconds to lower the weight. A mantra for the distance runner is, “To become fast, lift slowly.”

Takeaway: Lift slowly!


MYTH: Use light weights and don’t exhaust yourself when lifting for distance running.

TRUTH: Many runners assume that lifting heavy weights can predispose to injury, when in fact, fast movements that create high external forces on joints predispose to injury. Lift a weight heavy enough to exhaust you. Train to the point of momentary muscle fatigue. Focus on continuing each set of exercises until it is utterly impossible to complete another perfect rep. This ensures optimal muscle fiber involvement.

Takeaway: Don’t skimp on the weights. When you are ready to add more weight, do it. You want to continue to get stronger so when it becomes easy, you need heavier weights!


MYTH: Lift on your off or easy days to balance your hard-run efforts.

TRUTH: It is optimal to piggyback strength-training workouts with quality runs. This work complements the training effect of the running, then you fully recover from both on easy days.

Takeaway: Strength work and running the same day is a good idea!


Continuing to strengthen our arms, back, core, hips, glutes, and legs is the best way to build those magic legs (and arms, shoulders, back, core, and glutes) that will carry us through our long runs and races, help us get faster, and keep us safe from injuries. Let’s get to work!

Day 10 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Squats
  • Side Lunges (both sides)
  • Wall sits – :60 3X
  • Plank – :60 (your choice)

Bonus: 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Since our long runs and races are coming up fast (and I was super sore last weekend after last Thursday’s leg work) the only bonus today is to stretch those legs, glutes, and back. Take a few extra minutes to go through our 7 Key Stretches for runners and get ready to go long this weekend!

Want more leg work? Don’t worry….there’s more squats to do. 😉

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 30
  • Push Ups Beginner – 10
  • Push Ups Advances – 50
  • Squats – 40

Water Challenge: The no junk food challenge seemed to go well yesterday so let’s do another challenge today. It’s one that some people struggle with…drinking enough water.

This is another great way to get ready for our long runs because a lot of people don’t start hydrating in advance for long runs. Let’s start now by drinking LOTS of water today! How much should you drink? Check out the charts below and get that water bottle ready for the day.

For me, a 38 year old female weighing around 135 pounds, I should be drinking 9 – 8 oz cups of water or 72 oz each day. How much should you be drinking?

If you find yourself hungry, bored, stressed, or thirsty, grab your water bottle and start guzzling. Have a great day 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 15: Drink More Water

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Good morning Crew! Time to work those abs and what better way to kick off our Tuesday then another water challenge!

Are you getting enough water? Maybe you should have a glass right now!

We all know that drinking lots of water helps keep runners hydrated but do you really know how important it is for our body and our performance?

Rebecca Scritchfield, a Washington D.C.-based nutritionist and ultra marathoner said, “The importance of hydration cannot be overstated, and for most busy runners, it can be hard to remember that water bottle.”

With busy lives, sometimes it’s hard to remember to drink enough water. Like anything else, it takes a while to form a habit. But getting this part of our training in check could mean a world of difference on the road.

Check out this study by the University of North Alabama for the  American College of Sports Medicine,

Researchers rounded up 13 distance runners and had them run a 75-minute evening run, followed by a 10K time trial the next morning on two separate occasions. They monitored sweat loss, hydration and 10K performance in both instances. The difference between these two evening/morning runs was how much the runners drank. After one of the evening runs, they rehydrated 75 percent of their sweat loss, which is typical of what many runners do. After the other evening run, they rehydrated 150 percent of their sweat loss, which is what the American College of Sports Medicine suggests.

The difference in 10K performance the following morning during both experiments was striking. When runners replenished 150 percent of their sweat loss, their 10K times were on average over a minute faster, which was a three percent improvement over running at the 75 percent hydration state. Put into other terms, that could be the difference between a 4:00 and 3:52 marathon.

That’s an EIGHT minute marathon difference, just from being hydrated!

Here’s a few more tips on the benefits of drink water and ways to help you drink more!

Confused about how much water you should be drinking each day? Here’s a great chart showing us a good water consumption for us AND our children. Yes…kids need to drink more water too!

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Todays’ extra credit challenge: DRINK MORE WATER!

Who will take this water challenge an extra step today and get their kids in the mix? Talk to them about why water is important and take a pic of you all enjoying a glass of water for the Crew. 🙂

Day 15 exercises: Abs – 3 rounds – :30 each exercise

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

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

Bonus: The Hollow Rock 

Well known in the CrossFit world and a perfect core exercise for runners, this exercise is easier said than done. Lying on your back with your arms raised up behind your head, begin rocking by lifting your feet and legs up and then simultaneously lifting your upper body and arms. Your body should move like a rocking chair, while engaging the abs throughout the movement.

Watch the tutorial video below for how to do it and ways to modify the move for anyone who’s never done it before.


Speed Work: Have a plan to get your speed work in this week? Without a plan, it’s easy to let it slip by! Click here and scroll down for this week’s speed work.


Ready to take your abs to the next level? Bust out today’s 3 rounds + the bonus + the extra credit water challenge and don’t forget to get your kids involved too! Remember, everyone benefits from drink water but runners need even more!

Have a terrific Tuesday Crew!

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