Day 29: New Monday…New Goals

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 7.09.31 PMOnly 2 days left in our August Challenge…what?!?! Every month seems to fly by and we start so strong then seem to falter towards the end of the month. It happens…

I know it gets harder as the number of sets go up. I know you get tired and busy and feel like you might as well wait to start over again next month…but get that crap out of your head and start the new month today instead of Thursday. It is Monday after all!

Let’s bust out these 2 days super strong, take a break on Wednesday, then attack September with a vengeance!

Day 29 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Jumping Jacks (50 2X)
  • Walking Push Ups
  • Forearm Plank Jacks
  • Inchworm with Shoulder Taps
  • Plank Challenge Day 20 – Get a Move On! (:45 3X)

Plank – Get a Move On! This plank gets us moving. Remember to hold your core in tight and focus on controlling each move. It’s better to go slow and do it right then be fast and sloppy! Here’s the steps and the Plank Challenge video for Get a Move On! is below.

  1. Start in a high plank with toes on a towel, gliders, or paper plates.
  2. Walk your hands forward four steps.
  3. Open your legs wider than hip-width to a straddle (similar to a plank jack) position, five times.
  4. Walk your hands back four steps.
  5. Continue in this manner for 45 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge Day 29 – I have no excuse but that I totally forgot about this part of our August challenge over the weekend. I hope you’ve been keeping up with it. If not…no worries…jump back in and let’s finish it strong.

  • 30 Sit Ups
  • 90 Crunches
  • 95 Squats

Speed Work: Last week of the month and I think we should do something fun and  unstructured. How about some Fartleks this week? YAY! 🙂

Fartlek Workouts are not only fun to say out loud, but they’re fun to run. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and that is exactly what it’s all about. Unlike tempo and interval work, fartlek is unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts with easy throughout. After a warm-up, you play with speed by running at faster efforts for short periods of time (to that tree, to the sign) followed by easy-effort running to recover. It’s fun in a group setting as you can alternate the leader and mix up the pace and time. And in doing so, you reap the mental benefits of being pushed by your buddies through an unpredictable workout. The goal is to keep it free-flowing so you’re untethered to the watch or a plan, and to run at harder efforts but not a specific pace.

Speed work is meant to be spaced out so it’s a good few days away from your other “effort” sessions. Effort sessions are speed, hills, tempo, and long run. So if you do your long runs on the weekend, speed work should be on Tuesday or Wednesday. Most of us are mid level runners so 2 “effort” sessions a week are plenty. If you’re feeling good you can throw in one more but don’t overdo it.  Remember the general rule of thumb…80% of our runs should be at a conversation pace!

I had my first good nights sleep last night in a week and wow I feel pretty darn good this morning. Not running good yet…but I can see the finish line of this injury and am feeling positive! Can’t wait to tackle arms today and be active. Oh how my body is craving it!

Find that fire within you and let’s get to work Crew! 🙂

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Day 22: Confidence is Beautiful!

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 8.21.17 PMConfident people radiate strength, passion and conviction and self confidence looks so good on you.

Own it! ROCK IT!!!

Radiate that confidence today…remind yourself you can do this and use it to power through today’s workout!

Strong, toned arms will give you the confidence to wear tank tops, bathing suits, and that sexy little black dress.

Looking fabulous in your favorite top is great…but the self confidence that strength and a healthy body bring us is always the best outfit.

Day 22 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Jumping Jacks (3 sets of 50)
  • Walking Push Ups
  • Forearm Plank Jacks
  • Inchworm with Shoulder Taps
  • Plank Challenge – Day 22: Step Up Your Side Plank (:45 3X)

I’ve spoken with some of you who have issues with jumping jacks. If that’s you, remember to switch those out for something equivalent that will get your heart rate up a bit. How about some mountain climbers or high knees?

Step Up Your Side Plank: Today’s plank puts together three moves we’ve already worked on this month. Go slowly and focus on holding in your core for each move. It’s not about rushing through it…it’s about having control. Here’s the steps.

  1. Start in a side plank on your right side.
  2. Dip your right hip toward the floor for two reps, then lift your left leg off your right for two reps.
  3. Rotate your left elbow to your right for two reps.
  4. Do three sets on each side.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge – Day 22

  • 20 Sit Ups
  • 25 Crunches
  • 45 Squats

Extra Credit: #SexyArmWorkout – If you have a little extra time…and the confidence to know you can get through it…power through this Sexy Arm Workout. This ones hits every part of our arms!

sexy arms

Speed Work: This week’s speed work is the one I did at track last week and it was tough but fun! What is your plan to get it done? Plan a day to make it happen this week Crew! Reach out to me anytime with questions…

  • Warm Up – 1 mile at conversation pace
  • 3X 800M – These intervals should be done at a pace 1-2 minutes faster than your conversation pace…but not at all out top speed. Rest 1-2 minutes in between each 800 meters (1/2 mile)
  • 3X 400M – These will be your fastest intervals of the day and should be done a little bit faster than your 800s. Think of negative splits during a normal run…you start out slower than progressively get faster throughout your run. Same concept here…run each interval a little faster than the last. Save your speed for the end so your confidence builds during each round.
  • Cool Down – 1 mile at conversation pace

If you’d like a more precise pace to run these intervals, find your most recent 5K or 10K and private message me here. Let’s chat and I’ll help you find the pace that’s right for you. Don’t be shy…better to know what you’re doing than to guess!

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 8.12.02 PMThis is a tough workout but if you start slow and build your way up you will finish feeling strong and confident! You can do this so stop doubting yourself and give it a try!

If it hurts…you’re doing it right! Keep going…it’s just your body changing for the better!

Rock that self confidence Crew….it is your best accessory! 🙂

 

Day 15: Stepping Up

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We’re at the halfway point…and it’s Monday! Time to step it up and become the best version of yourself!

If you’ve already fallen behind or failed to get a good start, now is the time to shake it off and move forward. Forget about the days you’ve missed…don’t worry about “making them up”.  Brush it off, get focused, and commit to a strong finish!

Stepping it up not only means recommitting to finish strong…it also means it’s time to add another set to our daily exercises. 3 sets of 10 for this week Crew….let’s rock it out!

Day 15 exercises: 3 sets of 10 

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

  • Jumping Jacks (50 2X)
  • Walking Push UPs
  • Forearm Plank Jacks
  • Inchworm with Shoulder Taps
  • Plank Challenge Day 15 – Boost Your Heart Rate (:45 3X)

Plank Challenge – The “Boost Your Heart Rate” Plank puts together a few of the planks we’ve done so far this month. Take your time and do each step correctly the first time then power through sets 2 & 3 to get your heart beating faster! Here’s the steps

  1. Start in a low forearm plank
  2. Do two plank up-downs.
  3. Bring each knee to its opposite elbow.
  4. Do 5 plank jacks.
  5. Repeat for :45
  6. Do 3 sets

Here’s the “Boost Your Heart Rate” how to video

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge Day 15:

  • 20 Sit Ups
  • 30 Crunches
  • 20 Squats

Arm Bonus: #SlenderSexyArms – Bringing back another of my favorites! This Slender Sexy Arms bonus workout won’t take long but it will make your arms burn! I know a lot of you don’t like jumping jacks…and for this workout, I usually simplify that move too. For the jumping jack portion, don’t jump, focus on the arm portion and really feel the power in your arms just doing the up and down arm movement with your weights.

You do not need heavy weights for this…I use small 2 pound dumbbells. If you don’t have small weights, grab some water bottles or something that is lighter than what you normally use on arm day.

Slender sexy arms

Speed Work: 4x 400M – At first this workout might not seem to taxing but I want you to run these 400M (.25 mile) at 95% effort so basically at almost your top speed with a half mile recovery in between each set of 400 meters. Here’s how to set it up.

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles slow
  2. 400M sprint at 95% effort
  3. half mile recovery – slow (1 minute slower than your normal easy pace)
  4. repeat 3 more times
  5. cool down 1- 1.5 miles slow
  6. Total workout should be 5-6 miles with 1 mile total of fast splits

If you watched some track and field this weekend and caught any of the 400M races, you can see how taxing this distance at an all out speed can be. Those 1/2 mile recovery jogs are important so don’t skip or shorten them. Of this 5-6 mile workout, only 1 mile (4 x 400) should be done at your all out speed. Questions? Please ask! Reach out to your Crew in our FB group here or send me a private message here and let’s chat about it.

You can do this workout on a track, treadmill or in your neighborhood with a GPS watch. Don’t overthink it…just go out and start with a slow warm up, then push pace for a quarter mile, jog slow for a half mile, repeat this process 4 times, then recover with a nice and easy mile to mile and a half cool down.

The best way to get your speed work done is to plan ahead so you are mentally and physically prepared for it. Make sure to leave a few days in between your hard workouts and other effort sessions (hill work, tempo run, long run).

Rise up and be the best version of yourself Crew….your world is waiting! Shine and sparkle with sweat and give it all you’ve got!

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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 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 1: Start Strong Finish Stronger!

Start Strong Finish StrongerHere we go Crew! A brand new start to a fabulous new month!

Time to shake off last’s months regrets and start the month with a bang!

We’ve got a bunch of new exercises and plenty of running to do to get ready for the upcoming fall and winter races. Start by telling us what your goals are and how we can help you reach them. What races are on your schedule? Do you want me to watch for you? Do you want us to come give you a swift kick in the behind?

Do you want us to leave you alone and let you flounder? HA! Don’t go there cause you know that won’t happen. 😉

The first of the month is a great time for some new “before” pics. Save them for your eyes only or share them with the group. Either way they will help you see how far you come…or how little you improve from being lazy…

Remember whether you think you can succeed, or think you can’t, is up to you…either way you will be right! It’s time to step it up so let’s think positivity and give it all we’ve got!

We’re starting off with 2 rounds of 10 this week except for the jumping jacks which is 2 rounds of 50. Watch the how to videos and get familiar with these exercises because as we progress through the month it will get harder.

Day 1 exercises: Arms – 2 rounds of 10 

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

  • Jumping Jacks (50 2X)
  • Walking Push Ups
  • Forearm Plank Jacks
  • Inchworm with Shoulder Taps
  • Regular Forearm Plank – :45 (3X)

Lots of planks today which of course are also great for our core. Each day we will be doing a different plank. If you’re new to the group and new to planks please do a regular forearm plank until you are ready to move on to more advanced moves. The forearm plank is an awesome full body exercise that will strengthen your arms, back, legs, and core….and we do them every single day so learn to love them! 😉

Watch as Scott Herman (one of my favorites) shows us how to do a regular forearm plank.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge – Day 1 30 Day Ab & Squat Challenge

This will be 1 of our bonus workouts this month…don’t worry I will add more…but this is VERY doable. It won’t take long so I hope to see everyone jumping in on this!

  • 10 Sit Ups
  • 10 Crunches
  • 10 Squats

Easy peasy right? You got this!

Since it’s day 1 and we have plenty of time…I’m going to wait to add this week’s speed work. Don’t worry…we’ll get to it. Plan ahead for when you will make it happen though because they only way to get faster….is to run fast!

The only other thing I’d love to see lots of today is miles! The first day of the month is a great day to log some miles and start the month off strong. If you didn’t sign up for the Racery, Castle to Wales Race, there is still time. Here is the link and there is a free option if you don’t care about the medal. This course is 113.2 miles through you through lush national parks, quaint villages, bustling port towns, and of course–castles!

If 113.2 miles is a little much for you, there are lots of other Racery options for you to jump in on. Or….I could start one for our team? If there’s enough interest I will get one going today!

Who’s ready for the best month yet?!?

Are you prepared to give it your very best? Are you ready to get closer to your dreams?

Keep going! Don’t quit till you have nothing left! I know it hurts…I know your tired…give me more! Give it your best!

One day at a time. You CAN do this! Do Not Quit! Go out and kill it Crew! 🙂