Day 3: Secret Sauce

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-5-44-15-amAs runners, we love to RUN! The feeling of wind through our hair, the rhythmic sound of footfalls, and the satisfying completion of a tough workout are what keep us coming back for more every day. If we wanted to be gym junkies we’d do that instead, right?

But if the only form of exercise you’re getting is running, you’re missing out on a variety of benefits that could actually help your running. Strength and core exercises are the perfect complement to running. They optimize your running so you can keep going without injuries, and even race faster. Almost every training plan you look at includes cross training…well Core Crew…strength training IS cross training!

So now that you’ve admitted to yourself that you need to work on your strength, your first thought is probably leg work. I mean runners need strong legs right? Yes it’s true, strong legs are important…but so is a strong core.

A strong core helps runners with our stability, balance, posture and overall control. Core strength training reinforces the way that your pelvis, abs, hips and lower back work together. Here are three reasons why core strength work is so important.

  1. Core Work Helps You Stay Healthy – Injury prevention is a top goal for every runner because it can help you run more consistently without injuries. Core strength plays a vital role in stabilizing your entire body during running by maintaining a neutral pelvis, and delaying the breakdown in your form when you’re fatigued.
  2. Strength Exercises Improve Your Running Economy – Not only does core work strengthen your body and prevent injuries, but it also helps improve your running economy, otherwise known as running efficiency. Core workouts do this by allowing your body to use more muscle fibers during any given workout. Sometimes your body can’t recruit as many muscle fibers as possible. Using the same muscles over and over again means you get tired more quickly. But if you have a larger pool of muscle fibers to work with, you can delay fatigue and run faster. It’s important to remember that your “core” is more than just your abdominal muscles. The core includes your hips, glutes, hip flexors, obliques and lower back.
  3. Core Workouts Can Help You Run Faster – What happens when you combine injury prevention with higher efficiency? You run faster! Injury prevention is the real key to getting faster because when you can string together weeks, months and even years of consistent training, then you’ll see dramatic improvement in your race times. Long-term success (in other words, improvement) in distance running is all about consistency.

Strength training is so important that it’s often called the “secret sauce” of good training. It helps your marathon or half marathon pace this year become your easy pace next year. Consistency is what allows your 5K pace to soon become your 10K pace or your half-marathon pace as your new 5K pace becomes faster.

Let’s dig into that secret sauce and fire up our core Crew!

Day 3 exercises: 2 sets of 10

****Click here for “how to” videos****

  • Windshield Wipers
  • Standing Knee Cross Crunch
  • Side Imprint
  • Wall Sit – Do this AFTER your run if you’re running today. Doing a wall sit on tired legs is a great way to get them used stress and make them stronger.

Challenges:

  • Ab Challenge – 15 Crunches, Bicycle Crunches, Leg Lifts + :20 – :30 Plank
  • 10 Burpees

Bonus: #AbsOnFire – If you have time for a little more today, throw in this Abs on Fire workout. If you can’t get in all 3 rounds that’s ok. Do what you can because every little bit counts!

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-5-21-49-am

Most likely you are familiar with sit ups and side planks, but if you’re not sure how to perform the heel touches, spiderman mountain climbers, and sprinter sit ups, watch the videos below.

Heel Touches: One of my FAVORITE ab exercise!


Spiderman Mountain Climbers: We’ve done these before, they were just called plank with heel to same elbow. Here’s how to do it.


Sprinter Sit Ups: Otherwise known as Runner Crunches! Another #CoreCrew favorite. Here’s how to do it.

Our workout today seems like a lot but you can breeze through it pretty quickly. Do what you can and remember that Core work is an essential part of becoming a stronger, healthier, FASTER runner! 🙂 

When you’re done…feel those flaming abs and know you killed your workout today Crew!

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-5-23-09-am

 

Day 29: Healthy Hump Day!

laziness fuels lazinessWhat will you choose today? Lazy or active?

This is so true! When we’re lazy…we feel tired, run down, sad, and even more lazy! And we eat bad!

When we’re active we feel powerful and happy, we eat better and we want to be more active!

The choice is always yours….what will you choose? CHOOSE ACTIVE!!!

Day 29 exercises: 4 sets of 10! 

  • Knee Cross Crunch
  • Double Arm Reach
  • Side Imprint
  • Cross Body Chop
  • Medicine Ball Slam
  • Star Plank – :60 each side

Bonus: #ShapeUp&SlimDownShape up and slim down bonus

Thank you Brandi for finding us this great bonus workout! I like the looks of this one….let us know if you like it too and we’ll throw it in the mix for future workouts as well. 🙂

How many rounds can you fit in your active schedule today? Try to run through the whole routine without a rest then take a break and go at it again!

Thigh Challenge: Day 29

  • Fire Hydrants – 47X each leg
  • Scissor Kicks – 120X
  • Inner Thigh Leg Lifts – 75X each leg

Lots to do today. Pick your activity level then get at it!

Some great ideas came in for July and I am working hard to put together a killer routine for us. Hope I can get it all done; workout, July Challenge, work, and watch the kids. Whew! It’s gonna be a long one….but I’m ready for an active day and I know you are too! Let’s do this Core Crew! Fuel up and make it an awesome healthy hump day!

Healthy Hump Day

Day 22: Wake Up and Be Awesome!

Good Ab Day

Ready for a killer Ab day?!? YES!!!

Wednesday is my favorite day this month…I love this ab routine!

You know you’ve worked your abs hard when it hurts to sneeze or laugh so today after you finish your workout find your favorite funny meme and post for us so we can laugh and feel all that hard work we put in! 🙂

First thing…when you get up…before you shower and get ready for work…let’s bust out the #MiniMorningWorkout again. It’s quick, fun and a great way to get our heart pumping first thing in the morning!

Mini Morning Workout

Day 22 exercises: 4 sets of 10

  • Knee Cross Crunch
  • Double Arm Reach
  • Side Imprint
  • Cross Body Chop
  • Medicine Ball Slam
  • Star Plank – :60 each side

Bonus: 100 Crunches in sets of 25 in between Day 22 exercises. Tag your post with #100Crunches!

Thigh Challenge: Day 22 – Love to see so many of you keeping up with the #ThighChallenge this month. Keep it up!

  • 35 Fire Hydrants
  • 90 Scissors
  • 6o Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Running Drills: Grapevines – Yes I know I keep talking about it…that’s because I want you to do these running drills EVERY time you run! Before or after…either way they will help you improve your running form and efficiency!

Speed Work: Options, options options! Whatever you choose…give it your all!

  • Fartleks
  • Interval Sprints – 200M, 400M, 800M, 1200M, Mile Repeats
  • Tempo Run

Fun, fantastic workout coming at you today! Give it all you’ve got and make sure you…

Wake up and be awesome

Day 15: Embrace and Appreciate

Today I will

Day 15…halfway through June!

Each month when we hit the 15th, I always marvel at how quickly the month has passed and how proud I am of each of you! We push so hard each day in our personal and professional lives and sometimes we have to slow down and take a moment to appreciate what we have accomplished.

So today…in addition to everything on life’s “to do list” stop and take a minute to think about what makes you smile, what makes you get up each morning and keep going, about how far you’ve come…

If you’re feeling down, defeated, or just plain tired…remember how each day is a gift and take a moment to appreciate the the ability to wake up and see the day unfold…the ability to make each day the best one yet.

Day 15 exercises:  ****Click here for how to videos****

3 sets of 10 + Plank

  • Knee Cross Crunch
  • Double Arm Reach
  • Side Imprint
  • Cross Body Chop
  • Medicine Ball Slam
  • Star Plank – :45 each side

Bonus: #AbPyramid  Ab pryamid

An oldy but a goody…and one of my favorites! If you have a little extra time today…go back to the basics and work that #AbPyramid!

Thigh Challenge: Rest Day! 


Speed Work: Loved seeing all the speed work variations yesterday! If you didn’t get in some speed… stop thinking about it….just go out and push pace! Here’s some options:

  • Fartleks – “speed play” or unstructured bursts of speed
  • Intervals sprints – 200M, 400M, 800M, mile repeats with rest between sets
  • Tempo Run – Click here to read more about Tempo Runs
  • Progression Run – think negative splits

July Challenge: Since it’s the 15th, I need to start thinking about July…I know July already DANG!! All ideas are welcome! Love adding your favorite workouts in our routine and sharing them with our Core Crew so don’t be shy…what do you want to focus on next month?


Another hump day with lots of do….but most important today…appreciate life and everything you’ve been given. Embrace the day knowing that you have the power to make it great! 🙂

embrace each day

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 1: Do A Little More

Get up and do thisHey Core Crew! It’s Day 1 of our June Challenge and I am so excited to get going on a brand new month with new exercises! We are really focusing on our core this month and I hope you will see major changes as we progress through the month.

Core work is great…but the changes will be minuscule if you don’t pay attention to what you eat! I almost said “diet” but that’s such a negative word. We want to make changes in the way we eat…real changes that last and that make a difference…because we all know that diets don’t last30 Day Food Challenge

You have to get up every morning and tell yourself “I CAN DO THIS!” You have to remind yourself to make healthy choices. Choices that you can keep making without feeing deprived. When we add “food challenges” I don’t want you to think of it as meaning you “can’t” have what you love…just be mindful of what you are putting in your body. Think about all the hard work you are putting in and about the results you want at the end.

No fast food, no white bread, no fried foods…that’s the easy part for me. The hard part of this food challenge will be cutting soda and packaged snacks. I am NOT a cook. I don’t like to cook…so we tend to eat a lot of packaged stuff. I am committing to you today that I will not buy any packaged snacks this month. I will cook more (ok I will try to cook more) and I will cut back to only one soda a day (baby steps). No one is perfect…certainly not me…but I am going to give it my best because I really want that toned, flat tummy!!!

What is the hardest thing for you? What can you do to make this part of the challenge easier and more manageable?  Share and inspire someone!

Day 1 exercises: 2 sets of 10 ***Click here for How To Videos***

  • Stadning Knee Cross Crunch
  • Double Arm Reach
  • Side Imprint
  • Cross Body Chop
  • Medicine Ball Slam
  • Star Plank – :30 each side (1X)

I love burpeesBonus: I don’t want to get crazy and make you work out all day on Day 1…but this month is all about “doing a little extra” so if you’re on board with pushing yourself a little harder…it’s time for some burpees!

Burpees are a great whole body workout…and when done correctly they really target our core. Knock out 10 Burpees today and tag your post #ILoveBurpees! Remember to keep your core engaged even if you are doing modified burpees. If you need a modified version… step down and back and focus on form and technique. Keep that core tight! Thigh Challenge

Thigh Challenge: A few of us said yes to a Thigh Challenge this month but this is just for you and will not be part of our “Monthly Challenge Winner” program. The challenge isn’t too difficult but will get time consuming towards the end of the month. Throwing in some thigh action with the abs work will really round out your summer workout!

Day 1:

  • 5 Fire Hydrants (each leg)
  • 10 Scissor Kicks
  • 10 Inner Thigh Lifts (each leg)

Lots to do and of course today is #GlobalRunningDay! Over 2.5 million people across 171 countries have pledged to run today. “Global Running Day is a day for people around the world to celebrate the joys of running. Participation is easy—just pledge to take part in some type of running activity on June 1, 2016. It can be a solo lap around the block, a long run with friends, or even a game of tag with your kids.”

I challenge you to get out and be active! Walk, run, skip…whatever…just move! You can pledge your miles here! I pledged 10 miles today and I’m going to break it up with 7 miles this morning and another 3.1 tonight at 1St Place Sports.

June, Day 1 is on Core Crew! Remember the theme this month….

“Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can” Let’s make it GREAT! 🙂

Do a little more