Days 13 & 14: I Run Because I Can

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 5.10.56 PMRain or shine you are piling up the miles, getting ready for the next. But your performance doesn’t seem to be improving, maybe you’re even going backwards, or the fear of injury is creeping in.

Consider the difference between training for running and conditioning for running. Training is the daily run itself; conditioning is about preparing for those runs.

When you are “conditioned” for running, you are prepared for the demand all those miles put on your body. The reality is most runners spend their time training, believing that running alone is the key to running better. But staying in the best running shape means understanding the demands running places on your body and meeting them with a conditioning program.

There are lots of running myths out there, but these two line up well with our long run / rest day weekend routine.

Myth: Stretch alone is enough

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 3.26.51 PM

I know I harp a lot on stretching, but this is a great point to consider as well. I’ve started foam rolling and using a small hand help massager on my legs several times a week. This has made a big difference in the knee pain I’ve experienced lately. Loosening up the muscles that connect all those lower body parts allows my knees to move more freely, to handle the impact more efficiently, and helps prevent inflammation.

Running is a high impact exercise which causes two and a half times your bodyweight to crash into the ground. The impact is absorbed by our muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, fascia, etc. These soft tissues can only take the shock when there is an adequate range of motion available at the joint being impacted. In other words, if your joints can’t move freely, the impact can cause injury.

Action Plan: Stretch, roll, & move. Stretch your quads, calves, hamstrings, IT Band, and back. Our 7 Key Stretches for Runners are the perfect combination to hit all these important muscles. Roll your legs, butt, and back. Start with your calves and work your way up. Hit your IT Band (outside of your knee), move up to your quads and hamstrings, then keep moving up over your butt and to your back. It hurts…but once you get used to it…it hurts so good.

Myth: Recovery is as simple as taking a day off.

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The term “recovery” is often confused withrest, taking complete time off of from movement or activity. While it is important to have “off” days, active recovery plays a key role in maintaining a healthy and effective running game. Scheduled rest days are great, but true healing, nourishment, and recovery actually come from movement, not rest alone. Your muscles work super hard to keep you pounding the pavement and if these intense muscular contractions are not properly balanced with a solid, restorative routine, possible injury becomes probably injury, and you’re in for sore and stiff muscles days after your long run.

Action Plan: In addition to stretching and rolling…you gotta move. Active recovery is less intense and has less volume so plan a short, easy recovery run the day after your long run. When I say short, I mean short. 30-40 minutes tops. And EASY…no sprinting, no technical trails, no watching your mile times. Just go and shake out and loosen up your muscles. If you don’t want to run, cross train…but keep it short and easy as well. Go for an easy bike ride, go swimming, take a nice brisk walk, go to a yoga class or check out our Yoga for Runners. This active recovery will go a long way in helping you walk pain free in the coming days and will keep your head in the right place for your next long run.

What will your active rest day look like? Remember that you can switch up these days to make it work for your lifestyle and schedule but if you go long on Sunday…make Monday an active recovery day. Don’t just go to work and sit down all day. Make time in the morning to get moving before you start the rest of your day.

Day 13 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + High Plank Knee to Opposite Elbow

Plank Challenge Day 13 – High Plank Knee to Opposite Elbow

Day 14 exercises: Active Recovery + 7 Key Stretches for Runners or Yoga for Runners + Low Plank Knee to Same Side Elbow (Calendar has incorrect plank. Watch how to do the correct plank below)

Plank Challenge Day 14 – Low Plank Knee to Same Side Elbow

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge – Day 13

  • 5 Sit Ups
  • 5 Crunches
  • 5 Squats

Ab & Squat Challenge – Day 14

  • 10 Sit Ups
  • 10 Crunches
  • 10 Squats

So this weekend…long run, stretchesyoga, planks, ab & squat challenge and active recovery. Questions? Reach out to your fellow Crew members in Strong to the Core or send me a private message.

If you’re thinking about skipping your long run or giving up before you’re done….remember those who can’t run, what they would give to have this simple gift we take for granted….and run harder for them. They would do it for you.

I run because I can

Day 30: Run, Plank, & Stretch!

Day 30It came fast this month but here we are…the 30th of the month and last day of our July Challenge!

Love that we are ending this month on a Saturday…what better way to end a fabulous month then with a long run!

I hope you all got some great rest last night and are ready to bust out whatever distance is on your schedule. Let us know your plans so we can cheer you on!

Don’t forget your planks and stretching when you done then take tomorrow to rest some more because August is gonna be awesome!

Day 30 exercises: Long Run + Planks (:60 2X) + 7 Key Stretches for Runners 

August sarts in 2 days and it’s time to get your payment in if you’re still due. The PayPal link is below and anyone due will be tagged in today’s post.

PayPal link for Strong to the Core

Thank you for your continued support! Go out and kill those long runs today and let us know how it went! Amiee and I are headed out for 20 and Catherine and Diane are joining us for the back 10. It’s super early (3am) and I am ready for this challenge but do I see an early nap in my future!

Make it a great day Crew! 🙂

Days 16 & 17: Keep the Dream Alive

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 4.26.09 AMGetting up and out the door is the hardest part of our long run.

That’s what they say…but it’s not really true…

The hardest part of our workout…is our workout!

We run for what seems like forever, we sweat buckets in the heat, our lungs ache and our legs scream….but when we are done we feel empowered, we feel revived, we feel amazing!

As you battle with yourself to get out of your comfy bed, to leave your family at home, to get sweaty and tired…think about how you feel once it’s done, once you’ve depleted your body of all it’s energy. There’s no better feeling than clearing your mind of all the stress from your week.

Yes our body will be taxed to its limit…but the power that this workout will have on your mind is worth every step. Once it’s done, you’re ready to tackle anything. Well…after a nap. 😉

Keep the dream alive…get up and get moving!

Day 16 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Plank – :45 (2X)

Day 17 exercises: #AbPyramid + 2 extra Planks (:45 each)

Weekend Bonus: Yoga for Runners – Sometime this weekend, preferably after your long run, find a quiet place to relax, concentrate on your breathing, and stretch out your body and your mind. This is a great way to get ready for another grueling week. Tax your body…then take a little time to Unknot Yourself.

Ab pryamid

 

Days 9 & 10: Make Time To Run

Make time to runWithout a doubt the long run is one of the most important parts of our overall training cycle. Hopefully you have a pack of like minded people ready to go long with you this weekend.

If you must go solo…there are ways to make it easier. Let’s face it, if you’re following your training plan you’re physically ready to go the distance…it’s the mental part that is agonizing.

Here are some tips to make it easier to get out the door.

  • Plan ahead: If it’s actually written down in your calendar, you’re more likely to do it.
  • Get it done early: Don’t wait till Sunday, cross it off your to-do list on Saturday if possible. Lift that weight off your back early so it’s not looming over your head all weekend.
  • Get online: Your Core Crew is your support system and we an be a HUGE motivator. If you post that you’re going out for a 12 miler, you won’t want to let us down…right? Go ahead and #RunBrag afterward to celebrate too!. Your run post just might inspire someone else to head out for their run, too!
  • Get your gear on: Lay out your outfit the night before and put it on right away in the morning. You’ll feel silly sitting in your house in your running clothes, so hit the roads where those kicks really belong!
  • Pick a killer playlist:  There’s something to be said for those times when one of your favorite tunes comes on and nudges you to pick up the pace a bit. To be safe, only use one earbud with the volume just loud enough to hear it so you are safe.
  • Focus on the half-way point: The first half of a long run is usually the hardest part because you feel like you’re heading away from home. Even if you still have a ways to go, you get excited when you’re halfway done because it feels like every step is a step toward home. Breaking up the run into parts makes it more manageable and less daunting.
  • Be creative with your route: Try not to run the same roads all the time. Changing up the scenery can help beat the boredom.
  • Remember that it’s worth it in the end: It feels pretty darn sweet finishing a long run. Savor it.

Are you ready to go long? What’s holding you back? We are all here waiting for you to finish…waiting for you to brag about how awesome you are…waiting to tell you how proud of you we are…

Don’t let us down! Of course we’ll still love you if you do…. So even more important…don’t let yourself down. You know you want it…go out and get it!


Remember…if you need to wait until Sunday to get your long run in…spend a little time working those abs on Saturday! Switch it up and make it work for you!

When you’re done….PLEASE make time to stretch!

Day 9 exercises:

Day 10 exercises:

  • Ab Pyramid – 1 set
  • Plank – :30 (1X)

If you are thinking about skipping your long run this weekend because you’re tired, or don’t feel like it, or have to many other things to do…remember that this is your YOU time. You deserve this time for yourself…to be healthy, to be sane!

So if you’re feeling blah, tell yourself…no way am I giving up this time for me… no way…

Run I will

Day 2 & 3: Mind Over Miles

Mind over milesIt’s the weekend and we all know what that means…time for our long run! How far are you going?

Whatever “long” means to you…make it count!

Go a little farther than you’re used too…a little farther than what you are comfortable. When you want to quit… keep thinking…mind over miles…mind over miles…and keep going.

Make yourself accountable and tell us what kind of miles you’re doing this weekend. Saturday or Sunday…either day works…just get out there and do your thing!

If you go long on Saturday…Sunday is Abs. If you go long on Sunday…bust out our ab work on Saturday then stretch and rest up for your long run on Sunday.

Ab pryamidDay 2: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Plank (:30 – 2X)

Day 3: Abs – Ab Pyramid (1 round) + 1 extra :30 Plank

No bonus this weekend. Just running, planks, 1 round of abs and stretch! If you have some extra time…throw in some Yoga for Runners and relax your mind and get ready for the week!

Monday is the 4th…and yes we are working out. Make a plan to get it done early before you start hanging with family and friends and enjoying the holiday. addicted to the long run

Wonder why you get up earlier on the weekend…and even look forward to it? It’s all about those feelings you get at the end. Chase that feeling of being empty, clean, worn out and sweat purged. Love that good ache of muscles that have done you proud!

Chase that Runner’s High and make it a great weekend Core Crew! 🙂

Days 18 & 19: Go Long and Stretch Deep

Accomplishments starts with tryingOnce again the weekend is upon us and it’s time to slow down, go long, and stretch deep.

Going long means doing a little more than we’re used too and the only way to accomplish something new and scary…is to try. The extra mile doesn’t come easy but when we finish…it’s the best feeling in the world.

When you’re faced with the decision to get out there for your long run…or skip it and go back to bed, remember that every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. So shake off those nerves, lace up your running shoes, and go make some new memories!

Day 18 exercises:

Day 19 exercises:

Running and Yoga support and enhance each other..here’s a few reasons why you should take the time for the deep stretch:

  1. Injury prevention: Running is a high impact activity, and our quads and hamstrings can get very tight both immediately after a run and long term if you’re a frequent runner. Continually stressing tight muscles can lead to injury. Combining running with stretching and a regular yoga practice is an excellent strategy for easing the tension of tight muscles, improving muscle length and toning. Yoga will complement the strength and power developed through running, and will help maintain mobility and stability within the joints. This will all help to support running and other activities.
  2. Breathing: This sounds silly perhaps, but yoga teaches you how to breathe. Not just that, yoga teaches you how to breathe in an efficient way so that you can actually breathe through some level of discomfort. Yoga reminds us that we can focus on our breath when doing something active like running, and make it into a type of moving meditation. This is part of, what runners refer to as, getting into “the zone” and being able to just keep on keeping on.
  3. Challenge: Many beginning yogis have quite possibly encountered a challenging pose and thought there was no earthly way they could do it. But with a regular practice and good guidance, one day they found themselves able to do that once unattainable pose, and to do it fluently to the point that they experienced that euphoric buzz of having faced a challenge, met it head on, and done what it is they set out to do. I think that those experiences in yoga teach us how to face other challenges in our lives too. This includes our goals in running; whether we want to run faster, run longer, or run more regularly.
  4. Toned body and mind: Running is, of course, a great cardio workout, but we know we’re also meant to work on whole body muscle tone and strength building to stay physically balanced. A very fitness oriented style of yoga, such as power/vinyasa/fit yoga, certainly offers a toning workout. In this style of yoga we maintain challenging poses and “all guns are firing” to support us. And of course the meditative effects of the yoga movements, and the treat of relaxation at the end of a yoga session, contribute to the mental health benefits we need to balance the physical fabulousness of our running and yoga practices.
  5. Recovery: The body does need rest to actually reap the benefits of the physical and mental activities that we do. Muscles need a chance to recover and the slower, more nurturing segments of our yoga practice encourages the muscles to let go of tension and metabolic waste while holding on to the positive effects of our work. A regular yoga practice also helps us to establish good sleep patterns and other healthy habits.

Don’t skip your stretches and Yoga this weekend Crew. It’s an important part of the plan and will help you become a more efficient, less injury prone runner.

When you slow down and focus on your muscles a deep stretch feels just like a good massage…and who doesn’t want a good massage after a nice long, hard run.

Deep stretch good massage

Days 11 & 12: Weekend Loading…

Weekend LoadingOur weekend is loading and it’s gonna be a blast!

Down here in Jax we are eating, racing, eating, running some more…and partying!! I wish you could all be here to hang out with us but we will make sure to take TONS of pics!

Even though we do plan on having fun…racing and running is our love and we will be doing plenty of it!

Run for the Pies is Saturday night…and we will also be hitting the trails on Sunday morning. What are you weekend plans? Racing? Long run? Whatever your plans are…make them active and make them awesome!

Remember to take time to pamper yourself with some Yoga on Sunday! All the links you need for stretching and yoga are below.

Day 11 exercises: Long Run + Low Side Plank (:45 each side) + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Thigh Challenge (if you committed)

  • 18 Fire Hydrants
  • 45 Scissor Kicks
  • 35 Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Day 12 exercises: Yoga for Runners – Unknot Yourself  + High Side Knee Tuck (:45 each side) + Thigh Challenge

  • 20 Fire Hydrants
  • 50 Scissor Kicks
  • 35 Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Bonus: #WeekendWarrior Weekend Warrior

This will be a tough addition but you don’t have to do it all at once. Grab a pen and paper and roll through it little by little. Knock it out by Sunday night and you can call yourself a #WeekendWarrior!


A few things to keep in mind this weekend…

  1. Don’t skip your workout!
  2. Don’t pig out! Continue to watch what you eat…but do give yourself a chance to relax and enjoy a few treats.
  3. Limit alcohol – Yes we will be having a few drinks…indulge…but don’t over-indulge.
  4. Drink lots of water!

Don’t let the weekend ruin your progress. Fight hard for Self Control!

Fight for Self Control

 

Days 4 & 5: Laugh Hard and Run Long

good laugh long runAfter a long hard week…what’s the best way to relax? A good hard laugh and a long run will cure almost anything! 🙂

Felling down, or stressed, or just plain over your week means you need some “you” time so get up, get dressed, and let’s go long!

Grab a good friend…or a good book on tape and laugh your way through the miles. Come home refreshed on your Runner’s High and be ready to tackle the rest of your weekend!

Day 4 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Low Side Plank (:30 each side)

Day 5 exercises: Yoga for Runners – So I have to admit that I have yet to make our Yoga for June page….I’m sorry! This week has been non-stop go go go… and I won’t make any more excuses…but it just isn’t done yet. If you are going long on Sunday and need a relaxing yoga day today…go ahead and run through our May Yoga poses one more time. If you are going long today and doing Yoga on Sunday…stand by…I do have new Yoga ready (in my head) and will have the new page done and up by tomorrow. 🙂

Thigh Challenge: Thigh Challenge is going strong so if you opted to jump in for this…don’t forget those leg moves today. Thankfully, they are still minimal reps so you should be able to complete them even sore and tired after your long run.

  • 12 Fire Hydrants
  • 25 Scissor Kicks
  • 20 Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Racery: Today, we are starting a Spartan inspired Racery from Athens to Sparta for a total of 132.9 miles in teams of 5. If you have not signed up yet there is plenty of time to jump in. Click here to join a team…or if the teams are full..start a new team!

What else….hmmmm…I think that’s all for today but let me tell you…I think the last few days have been the most pumped up and exciting start to a new month yet!

Keep pushing Core Crew….be active every single day! We have a few injuries but even those sidelined Crew members are finding ways to be active and keep moving…so inspiring!!

move fasterGood luck to everyone racing this weekend! Alison has her first ever 10K today and I’m sure there’s are others racing this weekend too! GOOD LUCK!!

If you’re chatting during a race, if you feel comfortable…you’re not moving fast enough! Unless you’re just there to have fun (which is fine) race day is the time to bring all that training together and leave everything you’ve got on the course!

Days 28 & 29: Success = Sum of Small Efforts

drained and tiredWe’re all tired…sore…drained…physically and emotionally. It’s been a tough month with so much going on. Family, work, working out… being everything to everyone…

You’ve been going so hard all month…and let me tell you… it has been amazing to watch you get stronger, fitter, and more confident!

But the month is not over…yet. You have to keep going…keep pushing…just a few more days Core Crew!

The weekend is all about the long run! What is your plan? No matter what “long” means to you…make a plan…and make it happen. Our plans don’t always work out exactly as we want…but without them we are much less likely to reach our goals!

Day 28 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Plank – 1 minute (1X) + Side Plank – :30 each side (1X)

Day 29 exercises: Plank – 1 Minute (1X) + Side Plank :30 each side (1X) + Rest (or make up a missed day)

Remember…our calendar is just a guideline. Make it work for you. Switch up the days to fit in your schedule, but don’t stop moving because every small effort…repeated day in and day out…moves us closer and closer to our goals!

Make it a great weekend Core Crew! 🙂

Sucess is the sum

Days 21 & 22: Weekend Challenge

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 6.13.30 AMGood morning Crew! YAY for the weekend!!

We all know what the weekend means in this group…long runs! How far are you going this weekend? I hope you’re hitting the pavement with friends or solo for some long miles. Remember to smile through the pain and enjoy that runner’s high!

Throwing out a little extra challenge this weekend. You can do it today or tomorrow…or both! Let’s see who has the gumption to go the extra mile and burn some added calories…cause life never keeps us down…we get up and do burpees! 😉

Weekend-Challenge-4-26-15-minute-fat-burnerDay 21 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches + Planks (1 minute regular & :30 each side) + Weekend Challenge?

Day 22 exercises:  Planks (1 minute regular forearm plank + :30 each side) + Weekend Challenge + Rest

These days can be switched up to fit your schedule this weekend so whatever works best for your family and lifestyle is perfect! Just remember how hard you’ve worked all week and don’t sit around being lazy and going backwards.

Life will try to knock us down…but the Core Crew gets back up and flails ourselves around screaming NO WAY…can’t keep us down cause we do burpees!

Make it a great weekend! 🙂