Day 27: Love Your Legs!

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I know…I know…we are sore. We are tired. We don’t feel like working our legs…

Come on…ladies and gentlemen alike…our hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves are undoubtedly extremely important in keeping us on the road and running strong.

So suck it up, power through, and love your legs today!

Day 27 exercises: Legs / Stability – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Hero Lunge – :30 each leg
  • Fire Hydrant with Kick
  • Pistol Squat
  • Single Leg Hip Thrusts
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: #StairWorkout – 2-3 rounds

No stairs? That’s ok…run through the rest of the workout then add an extra mile to your daily run. 🙂

stairs-workout


Speed Work: I saw very little speed work this week. What happened? Get it done today or your chance to bring the speed this week will be gone. Too close to long runs to put extra pressure on those legs after today. If you do have speed work on the schedule today, strength work comes first! Here’s the workout:

  • Warm Up – 1 mile (or more)
  • Mile Repeats – 2-3 miles – No walking during your mile repeat. Run 1 mile then rest for 2 minutes. Stand there. Breathe. Do not walk. Start your watch over or hit that “lap” button before each mile. After you get your breathe back (don’t wait too long, 2 minutes is enough recovery time) then do another mile. Repeat 2-3 times.
  • Cool down – 1 mile (or more)
  • Total of 5-6 miles
  • Stretch! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

If your lower limbs aren’t feeling hungover…you didn’t work them hard enough!

Love your legs Crew!

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Day 25: Reality Check

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-5-29-37-amWe talk a lot about getting stronger and running faster…and focus little on how strength training will help us burn more calories.

Reality check! If you want to lose weight, lose inches, fit into your clothes better, or just slim down a bit… throwing strength training into the mix will give you that extra calorie burn long after your workout is done!

We’ll never stop running, but throwing some iron in the mix will help you reach those side goals Crew!

Day 25 exercises: Legs / Stability – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Lunge Squats
  • Plank Donkey Kicks
  • Booty Boxes
  • Split Squats
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: #Hip Strength – 2-3 sets of 10

You’re going to see these exercises and more hip strength in next months challenge so learn to love them!

  • Clams knees together
  • Clams feet together
  • Side lying leg raises

Speed Work: Mile Repeats – ****Repeated from Monday’s Post****

Last week we did a “mile test run” to see where we were at. The workout was intended to be one fast mile after warm up and cool down. This week we are doing 2-3 of those miles, but not at your fastest speed. You want to be at about 85%-90% of your 5K race pace. Think of it as a “tempo pace”. Your tempo pace should be a little faster then the time you would be able to hold during a half marathon. For example, my fastest half marathon is just under 2 hours (average 9:10/mile), so my tempo pace for these mile repeats would be around an 8:55. Never ran a half? That’s ok! I know the numbers are a little daunting to some, but don’t stress. Reach out to me by PM here and let’s chat. I will help you figure out where you should be.

  • Warm Up – 1 mile (or more)
  • Mile Repeats – 2-3 miles – No walking during your mile repeat. Run 1 mile then rest for 2 minutes. Stand there. Breathe. Do not walk. Start your watch over or hit that “lap” button before each mile. After you get your breathe back (don’t wait too long, 2 minutes is enough recovery time) then do another mile. Repeat 2-3 times.
  • Cool down – 1 mile (or more)
  • Total of 5-6 miles
  • Stretch! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Lots of exercises today…I know it will take a little bit to get through them. But hey, if you want something bad enough, you make the time!

Excuses are easy…will you take the easy way out today? Or will you make time to do the work?

Make it a great Tuesday Crew! 🙂

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Day 20: Leg Day Again??

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-5-19-14-amWho else is NOT ready for leg day again??

With lots of miles, a killer leg workout on Tuesday, speed work, and wall sits…this week has been brutal!

But we got this Crew! Take it slow and steady and push through!

Day 20 exercises: Legs / Stability – 3 sets of 15

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

  • Hero Lunge :30 each side
  • Fire Hydrant with Kick
  • Pistol Squat
  • Single Leg Hip Thrusts
  • Bedtime Plank
  • Stretch! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Bonus: #HipStrength screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-5-40-01-am

I went to see a PT at CORA Rehabilitation yesterday on the advise of my PRS Running Coach. What did PT say? Knee pain most likely caused by unstable & insufficient hip strength…. what?!?! I do my strength exercises! Yes..he said he could tell…strong quads, strong calves…but since my pain shows up after longer distances he thinks my hips start to falter (possible stride fluctuation) as I get tired. Knee pain started at mile 15 in Chicago and mile 10 at this past weekend’s Marine Corp Half.

As we all know our hips connect to our quads, which attach our knees, which follow all the way down our legs to ankles and feet. So when our hips are misaligned our just get tired and cause our stride to go askew it shows up in other places down our body.

PT: “I can tell you do strength work, but do you focus on hips?”

Me: “Well, we are doing lots of squats, fire hydrants, and pistol squats this month.”

PT: “Pistol squats are great. Make sure you’re knee is not folding in when you do them. Very important to keep that knee aligned with your hip. What about clams and side leg lifts?”

ME: “Hmmmmm…not this month.”

PT: “Add in clams (knee up and foot up) and side leg raises. Hip instability is a problem for lots of runners. When you have strong legs but your hips haven’t caught up your hips can misalign after long bouts of hard work.”

Sigh…makes sense…but dang more work to do! Who’s up for some extra hip strength work with me today?

  • Clams – Knee up – 3 sets of 10 each side
  • Clams – Feet up – 3 sets of 10 each side
  • Side lying leg raise – 3 sets of 1e each side

For the side lying leg raises make suer your leg stays behind your body. Don’t let that leg com in front of your hips. Body should be very straight.  It is also important to keep the foot flexed and pointed straight ahead of you.

He also gave me a band to use during these exercises. It’s very small and just a stretching band to give me some resistance. Who has one? If you do, use it. If not, look into getting one. They are super cheap and I’m thinking about throwing these exercises in again in November. Monster walks anyone? 🙂  screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-5-44-18-am

Here are some resistance bands I found on Amazon Prime for $6.99 but I’m sure you can also find them at your local Walmart for pretty cheap. This is what they look like.

PT did something called Astym which wasn’t too nice feeling but was a very intense version of rolling. He said Astym regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and removes unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions. Rolling is your AT HOME version of this treatment Crew so if you’re not taking time to roll, make the time and prevent your muscles and tendons from getting to the point where you need more invasive therapy!


Speed Work: Lots of super speedy miles this week YAY! Jessica and I went to track with PRS last night and did some mile repeats…so fun HAHA 😉 PT told me to go at 60% after treatment but of course I pushed a little harder. Jessica did awesome finishing her 2nd mile repeat in 8:41!! Go JESS!!!

Have you logged in your speedy mile yet this week? If not, try it out today and see where you’re at!

Here’s the workout: Mile “bench mark” run 

We want to see how fast you can run 1 mile, and I also want to show you how going faster is possible for you!. Make sure you are well rested and have fresh legs then go out and do a 1-2 mile warm up, rest for a few minutes, then run with your heart and do a mile as fast as you can. Cool down with 1 more mile then call it a day. 3-4 miles total. I want to see some super fast for you miles Crew! Do your warm up and cool down miles as slow as you want. All I want to see if that 1 mile time. Have fun with it and surprise yourself with how fast you can go!

Lots of info…and lots of stuff to do today! But no one gets stronger without a little struggle and a lot of hard work!

Get up! Get Moving! And make it an awesome Thursday Crew!

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Day 18: Out of My Way…It’s Leg Day!!

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-5-23-12-amEvery runner should be as excited as Richard Simmons for leg day!

Strong legs carry us farther, keep us on the road longer, and let’s face it…strong runner legs just look good. 🙂

Get excited, get out of your OWN way, and get to working those legs Crew!

Day 18 exercises: Legs / Stability – 3 sets of 15

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

Bonus: #PlanksForRunners planks-for-runners

Since we aren’t doing tons of planks this month, today we are throwing in this round of planks for runners. 2 sets of this plank circuit Crew! Work it out!


Speed Work: Mile “bench mark” run. We want to see how fast you can run 1 mile, and I also want to show you how going faster is possible for you!. Make sure you are well rested and have fresh legs then go out and do a 1-2 mile warm up, rest for a few minutes, then run with your heart and do a mile as fast as you can. Cool down with 1 more mile then call it a day. 3-4 miles total. I want to see some super fast for you miles Crew! Do your warm up and cool down miles as slow as you want. All I want to see if that 1 mile time. Have fun with it and surprise yourself with how fast you can go!


November Challenge: Can you believe it’s already the 18th of the month? Our months always go so fast! Time to start thinking about November and new exercises! Jan and Sharon shared their favorites with me last month and they have gone over really well with our Crew! Maybe you take a class and have a favorite move, maybe you saw it on a video somewhere, maybe it’s just a go to move you love! Video yourself doing your favorite exercise or if you’re shy find a video or good explantation of how to do it then send it to me. Being a part of the month’s exercise line up makes you feel even more part of our Crew and gives you an extra reason to push harder! Show me what you’ve got!


Final Thoughts: Richard Simmons is known for his positivity and non competitive nature, and that’s what we strive for in our Core Crew too. We want this group to be supportive of everyone, no matter what your current physical level is. It’s not about being stronger or faster than the person posting before or after you, it’s not about being perfect or doing every single exercise every day.

It’s about getting stronger, faster, and healthier than you are today. It’s about constant movement, activity, and a healthy lifestyle. Simmons may give us a good laugh, but he also shares messages of positivity and hope.

Which Simmons quote is your favorite? Which one will you apply to your life today to give you that boost of energy and confidence you need to go the extra mile and do a little more than you normally would? Share with us which quote spoke to you when you tell your Crew you got it done today!

Make it a terrific Tuesday Crew! 🙂

 

Day 13: Killer Legs

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Who needs pretty feet when we have rocking legs?!?!

Runners have great legs…it comes from lots and LOTS of miles. But without strength training, our killer legs might fail us. They might leave us standing on the sidelines.

Without strength training, we won’t reach our full potential.

Strength training is one of the single most important non-running aspects of training that can help us become better runners. Doing legwork to supplement our roadwork strengthens muscles and joints, which can improve race times and decrease our risk of injury.

In addition to running more efficiently and reducing the risk of injuries, 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.

Recap…strength training will:

  1. help us become better runners
  2. reduce our risk of getting hurt
  3. decrease our body fat

Let’s do this!!

Day 13 exercises: Legs / Stability – 3 sets of 10

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

  • Hero Lunge – :30 each side
  • Fire Hydrant with Kick
  • Pistol Squat
  • Single Leg Hip Thrusts
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: 100 Squats! 

Work those legs and have a killer day 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 27: Focus on Today

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We can’t control what will happen next year, next week…or even tomorrow. But we can focus on what we can do today.

What will you do in the next 24 hours to get closer to where you want to be?

How hard will you work today?

Day 27 exercises: Legs & Stability – 4 sets of 15

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

  • One Legged Bridge
  • Side Lunges
  • Side Lying Leg Raises
  • Plank – Your Choice (:90 2X)

Bonus: 5 Minute Plank – Don’t get nervous…this is a moving plank so you’re not holding one position for the whole 5 minutes. Give it a shot. You’re stronger than you think and I bet you’ll surprise yourself!

5-min-plank


screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-9-12-47-pmSpeed Work: Have a plan to get your speed work in this week? Here’s the workout.

I know speed work seems scary…but once you try it, finish it, succeed, and see results…you will LOVE IT!

That’s all for now Crew….push hard today! 🙂

Day 20: Bring It On

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In the old days, runners ran.

Seriously, ask runners a few generations older than you what they did for their daily workout, and they’ll likely answer: “I ran.”.

But no matter what race you’re preparing for, you might not want to stick to this old training routine. We’ve learned a lot over the last 30 to 40 years…and like so many other things, running has evolved.

This is not news to the Core Crew. We know we need to add strength training…right? We know that runners need to do more than just run. Runners need to be strong and athletic. If we’re not strong, we can get hurt even if we practice good running form. In fact, some injury statistics put the annual injury rate for runners as high as 85 percent!

Reducing the injury rate isn’t that difficult, though. In fact, according to Greatist.com, “runners can [get stronger and reduce their chance of injury] effectively with just 10 to 20 minutes of strength training each day.

YAY!!! This is GREAT news! Our daily challenge won’t take long, but it will make you stronger and your chances of injury will go down. Does this mean you’ll never get injured? Well no…but if I can increase my chances of staying on the road by getting stronger, I’ll take it!

This same article says the best exercises for runners are compound movements like deadlifts and squats (got em), bodyweight exercises like planks and push ups (got those too), and hip and glute strengtheners (covered!).

Lastly, the article says we should stretch and foam roll. Well dang…we do that too! 🙂

So what are we waiting for? Bring on the leg work!

Day 20 exercises: Legs / Stability – 3 sets of 15 

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

  • One Legged Bridge
  • Side Lunges
  • Side Lying Leg Lifts
  • Plank – Your Choice (:60 2X)

Bonus: Runners Touch screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-7-43-34-pm

Strike a pose in perfect running position with one leg in high knee position. Balancing on the one leg, bend at the hip and touch the toe that’s on the ground with the opposite hand while the leg in the air rotates under and back. Make sure the standing leg remains stable and as straight as possible while enabling you to touch the ground. Be sure to prevent the moving knee from crossing midline while that leg straightens out behind you. Come back up to running position quickly without losing balance, pause for a second or two, and repeat 10 times. Switch legs and repeat. Throw this in the rotation with today’s workout and do 3 sets for each leg. (No you don’t need to use a kettle ball as shown in the picture.)


Speed Work: ONE…just ONE Crew member committed to speed work yesterday. What do I have to do to convince you to give it a try? Do I need to come meet you at the track? I would if I could!! Check out this week’s speed work in yesterday post here. Scroll to the bottom for the workout and pace info.

Strong legs are a key ingredient for staying on the road injury free! And as a side bonus…strong legs look good and will help us run faster! GETTTT ITTTT Crew!! 🙂

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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 6: I Like Strong Glutes…

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We know the core (hips, transverse abdominis, lower back) are important for preventing running injuries, but without exercises to strengthen your hips, glutes and hamstrings, your body will break down.

We must learn how to engage our glutes when running to run faster and more efficiently.

It’s true that some of the power in the running stride comes from your quads and calves, but the reality is that the quads and calves play only a minor role in your ability to generate a powerful stride compared to the hips, hamstrings and glutes.

How strong are your hips, glutes, and hamstrings? Don’t ignore the power these parts of our legs have an our ability to run faster and stronger!

Day 6 exercises: 2 sets of 10

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

  • One Legged Bridge
  • Side Lunges
  • Side Lying Leg Raises
  • Plank – Your Choice (:30 2X)

Familiar with theses exercises and feeling good after 2 sets? Throw in one more round to feel the burn and make it count!

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 5.49.11 AMBonus: #BalanceAndReach – Balance and Reach is an exercise brought to us a few months ago by our very ow Jennifer Moro-Ortiz. It’s a great exercise for hip stability and strength. If you’re doing it right…you’ll also feel it in your butt too. Use those glutes and hips to keep yourself balanced and to move your legs back and forth smoothly. Click here to watch the video and see how it’s done. Work through 2 sets of 10 on each side.


Speed Work: Seeing so many of us racing 5Ks yesterday, I thought it would be Speed work does a runner gooda cool idea to find out where your 5K pace stands so you have a way to gage your pace for other speed work. If you raced a 5K or any distance yesterday or this past weekend…you’ve already done your speed work for the week….don’t add another “effort workout”.

If you didn’t race this weekend, perform your own 5K! Remember that the warm up is an essential part of doing your best 5K. Run at least a mile at a slow conversation pace. Jessica and I ran a 12 min mile to warm up before our 5K yesterday. Then we were able to pull out 3 9 min miles during the race. Without that warm up, we would’ve been dead on the course after mile 1.

It’s also important to run a short cool down afterwards. So when you’re done, slow it down and run another 1/2 to full mile at your conversation pace. All in all you should have 4-5 miles with this workout. Let us know how you did and write down your pace for future reference when we talk about speed work drills. This information will help you determine how fast your interval sprints should be. More to come on that later…


Ready for a great Tuesday? Remember….we need strong, stable muscles in every part of our legs to get the speed and stability we want during our key races. Skipping leg day because you feel that you get enough strength from just running is a bad idea….

Get to work and fire up those legs Crew! 🙂

strong legs for running