Day 6: Never Skip Monday!

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Pump your arms and your legs will follow.

It’s a thought we have during the last stretch of a long run, with our legs losing the will to move…let alone run.It’s opposition, learned in elementary school gym class, but most of us have never given it much thought since then. Opposition keeps us from falling over to one side. (Thanks, arms!) When running, your arms act as a counterbalance against your legs, and vice versa: when we’re running along and speed up your arm swings, your legs will naturally pick up the pace so that, again, you don’t fall over.

While having less-than-strong arms probably won’t land you on the pavement, strengthening your arm muscles is vital to keeping you upright, in proper form, and running efficiently. Plus, when you hit it hard during the home stretch of an endurance event, your arms have to kick into overdrive. If they are worn out and fatigued by the time you get to mile 12 in a 13.1, they may very well be why you don’t hit a new PR.

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Training our triceps, deltoids, shoulders, and back are most important. Strengthening your lats as well as the muscles around your shoulder blades can help keep your back straight, transfer power to your arms, and stabilize your shoulders. When we’re running, our triceps and deltoids are doing most of the work. A lot of the forward swing, which we would think is thanks to our biceps, is actually momentum. Of course, it’s still important not to ignore your biceps, because they look good and we don’t want any muscular imbalances.

Today’s arm day is quick and simple. Remember to use today’s short reps to learn the exercises and do them correctly to avoid injuries and wasted time working the wrong muscles.

We’re working our arms today but these moves also incorporate our core muscles so keep your core tight and use that mid-section power to hold you steady while performing these moves.

Day 6 exercises: 2 sets of 10

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

  • Rotational Shoulder Press
  • Standing Core Dumbbell Swing
  • Push Ups
  • Wall Sit (After your run) – :60

Challenges:

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

Bonus: #SlenderSexyArms – If you have extra time today and want to do a little more, try this bonus arm workout. Use small weights or water bottles. DO NOT USE LARGE WEIGHTS FOR THESE EXERCISES! I also usually do not jump for the jumping jacks. Focus on powerful movements up and down with your arms and cut out the jumping portion.

Slender sexy arms


Speed Work: You probably see lots of our #CoreCrew members putting up new personal records on tough races. Why? SPEED WORK! Speed work is key to getting faster AND to running stronger during our long runs. Putting a little speed into your routine once a week will make our long runs speed easier and require less effort.

Workout: 4-8X 800M (1/2 mile repeats 4-8 times) 

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles easy
  2. 1/2 mile repeats with slow jog or stop and stand still and breathe in between sets
  3. Cool down 1-1.5 miles easy

Wondering how fast or how much effort you should be putting into this workout? Look at the chart below and find a recent 5K time or what you think you would be able to ru for a 5K. The pace next to it is for 1/4 mile repeats (or 400meters) Take that time than double it and add 8-10 seconds. So if you run a 5K in 25 minutes you should run your 400 meter repeats in about one minute 49 seconds. So for 800s you double that to 3 minutes 38 seconds then add 8-10 seconds getting 3:48-3:50 per 800 meters (or every 1/2 mile).

I know this sounds a little confusing so if you aren’t sure please reach out to me and ask. I will help you figure out where you should be.

If you are new to speed work. Start small and don’t overthink it. Start with 4x 1/2 mile repeats (total of 2 miles) and just practice getting close to your time goal each for each 1/2 mile. If you have been doing speed work for a while or are used to go longer distances, suck it up and go for 8x and watch your pace on the first few sets. Don’t try to go all out and beat that pace time. The goal here is stay right on target and hit that time, not to go faster in the beginning and burn out so you can’t finish the workout.

Need help? PLEASE PM me here and let’s chat!

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Let’s get to work! It’s Monday…the day that sets the tone for the week. Work hard and get your mind right for the week ahead! We all know the #1 rule to working out and making sure our week goes according to the plan… NEVER SKIP MONDAY!

GETTTT ITTTT CREW!! 🙂

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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!

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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!

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Day 2: So Hip It Hurts!

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-7-05-31-pmYou guessed it Crew…it’s HIP DAY!!

And today’s workout is SO hip it hurts!

We’re starting out short and sweet with just 2 sets of 10. This is so you will take the time to watch the “how to” videos and learn how to do them correctly so you don’t get hurt. Don’t worry…things will get harder!

These are new exercises for most of us so don’t just go out all willy nilly and leave form by the wayside. Take your time and go through your 2 sets of 10 with purpose and precision.

Day 2 exercises: 2 sets of 10

****Click here to “how to” videos****

  • Single Leg Hip Lift
  • Split Squat (weighted)
  • 4-Way Band Walk – you need a band for this one but if you don’t have one please get into a squat position and do a 4-way low walk. You can purchase bands very inexpensively at Target, Walmart or Amazon.
  • Wall Sit – :60

Challenges:

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

Bonus: Modern Mom Hip Strength

Since we have lots of newbies and today is a short day, we are adding in a great bonus workout. Modern Mom Hip Strength is a video we’ve been doing for a few months now. Not only does it help you slim down and trim fat from your thighs, it also builds great hip strength! 4 minutes per leg…easy to fit into your routine today.


It’s late in the week which means it’s time to start thinking about our long runs. Planning ahead is key to making it happen and making it a great run. Think about what day is best for you, what time fits best with your lifestyle and schedule, and what you should be eating and drinking between now and then. Start hydrating now!

What’s your plan? Tell us about it and make yourself accountable to make it happen and successful.

The fire is burning Crew…keep stoking those flames and let’s watch it grow!

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