Day 20: Brand New Week…Let’s Go!

The weekend is over…the relaxing is done.

Let go of the excuses and remember…working out is fun!

LET’S GO CREW!!!

3 sets of 10…arms and core. New speed work and stepping it up to 45 reps for the Ab Challenge and 40 for burpees. You can do this…make a plan, get it done early, and set the tone for the week!

Day 20 exercises: 3 sets of 10 

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

  • Rotational Shoulder Press
  • Standing Core Dumbbell Swing
  • Push Ups
  • Wall Sit – :60 (after run – if running today)

Challenges: 

  • Ab Challenge – 45 Crunches, 45 Bicycle Crunches, 45 Leg Lifts & :80 Plank (1:20)
  • 40 Burpees

Bonus: #BraBulgeWorkout – SLOW AND CONTROLLED

This one may seem like its just for the ladies, but guys you can benefit from stronger, toner arms too! Most of these exercises we have done in the past so you should be familiar with, but if you aren’t sure how to do one let me know and I will post a “how to” video. You don’t need a special ball for the woodchoppers, just use a dumbbell and do them SLOWLY. These are not fast moves. Low reps, slow and controlled movement. Just one set of this workout. Thank  you to Jennifer Oldenburg for suggesting this great workout!

Bra Buldge Workout


Speed Work: Negative Split Run

Many runners do the opposite of a negative split run by going out too fast in the beginning, and then slowing down significantly in the second half of the race. It’s a common mistake because you feel rested and strong in the beginning, so it’s tempting to go out fast. It takes a lot of discipline and practice to achieve a negative split. But if you can hold back and conserve your energy in the first half of your race so that you can run faster in the second half, you’ll perform much better overall.

So we are going to practice. I want you to work on starting  slow and bringing your pace down during your run. Practicing a negative run will help you nail it when it’s important.

Start at your normal “conversation pace” for mile 1 to warm up. For mile 2, speed up just a bit, then speed up a little more for mile 3, etc… The last mile of your run should be at the pace you want to run for your race. Not the overall average, just the last mile. Remember your race will be longer so you have more time to bring that average down. I’m not really concerned with the total distance, but don’t do this on a day that calls for an easy or short run. I want to see you paying attention to your speed and really dialing in on how to pace yourself to get faster as your run progresses. We want to see splits so post your workout when you’re done!


Do not let Monday pass you by. Let’s set the tone and make this the BEST WEEK EVER!!

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Day 18: No Knee Wrecking!

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Knee pain isn’t just a problem for old people: It can hit at any age, says Matthew Abdel, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and associate professor at the Mayo Clinic.

And it’s happening more and more frequently. According to a study from the Boston University School of Medicine, the prevalence of knee pain has increased significantly over a 20-year period. Currently, one in five Americans have suffered knee pain, and it’s the culprit behind a third of all doctor’s visits for muscle and bone pain, says Stephen Nicholas, M.D., founder and current director of New York Orthopedics.

Knee pain can be a problem for anyone, but runners top the list. We want to believe that just being active will keep us strong and healthy, and since it’s time for our long runs, today is a great day to talk about the #1 knee wrecker for runners…

#1 Knee Wrecker: Skipping Our Warmup – We’re all strapped for time and want to make the most out of our run. But jumping right into a workout could really mess up our knees. That’s because warming up lubricates the knee joint, circulates synovial fluid into the knee, improves muscle elasticity, and boosts oxygen flow to the area, reducing your chance of injury to the knees.

Knee Saver: Stretch/Warm Up Before Workout – “The most important thing you can do for your knees is give yourself an appropriate warm up period,” says Dr. Nicholas. “Stretching your lower legs is particularly key for long term running health. When the muscles are unevenly lengthened, the knee caps pull to the side, which causes wear or pain on the joint.”

Set aside at 5-10 minutes before your workout to work on dynamic stretching and drills. Warming up lets your muscles gently strengthen, which is key for healthy knees.

Knees need a full range of motion—to move back and forth, twist a little, and pivot. This will protect you if you find yourself in awkward positions and increased flexibility stresses the joint less.

What to do? Try some of these easy running drills before setting out on your long run this weekend:

There are other ways to wreck your knees and we talk about those later…but since it’s time for long runs and races…know that adding a few minutes of an easy dynamic stretching/warm up routine can keep you from feeling pain and save you a bunch of money and time needed for Dr. visits.

Day 18 exercises: Long Run/Race + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Plank (:60) + Wall Sit (:60)

Challenges:

  • Ab Challenge – 40 Crunches, 40 Bicycles Crunches, 40 Leg Lifts + :70 Plank (1:10)
  • Burpees – Rest

Don’t forget that our long runs are FUN! Make them fun by taking out the stress…go for an easy paced run for a distance that puts you out of your comfort zone but don’t stress to the point that it is no longer fun. Come home feeling revitalized and STRONG! Then knock out your ab challenge and stretch it out Crew!

Remember that you are doing this for you. Running has given you courage, strength, determination, and a way to love yourself first. Never outrun your joy of running!

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Day 13: Get Fired Up!

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Are you FIRED up for another great week? Or are you starting to feel the drain of the month and already wanting to slack?

We are almost halfway into the month and if you’re already feeling the flame subside, it’s time to reset again and keep it back into high gear! Remember…this month is all about keeping that fire lit and pushing through STRONG!

If you’re already waining, I want you to take a few minutes to remember why you are here. Think about your short and long term goals and kick start that fire that got you moving in the first place. Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 5.42.28 AM

I know you’ve probably got a million things on your to do list…. but this one needs to move to this top!

You WANT it. You NEED it. You DESERVE it.

GET FIRED UP CREW!!!

Day 10 exercises: 3 sets of 10 – Arms and Core 

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

  • Rotational Shoulder Press
  • Standing Core DB Swing
  • Push Ups
  • Wall Sit – :60 (post run)

Challenges:

  • Ab Challenge: 30 Crunches, 30 Bicycle Crunches, 30 Leg Lifts + :50 Plank
  • 30 Burpees

Bonus: #CardioStrengthWorkout – If you are running today, no need to throw in the extra bonus. If not…take the extra time to throw in a round or 2 of this cardio strength routine. Get FIRED up and get that heart pumping! 🙂

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Speed Work: Ah the dreaded speed work…but with great work comes great rewards! Remember that speed work has added benefits….

Upping the Oxygen – One part of the speed formula built around a variable known as VO2 max. VO2 max is a laboratory measure of the maximum amount of oxygen your body can process at peak effort. In other words, it’s a measure of the power of your aerobic engine with all the part—heart, lungs, capillaries and muscles—working at aerobic maximum. VO2 max is developed through training at high intensities. This is important for running short distances like a 5K AND long distances like a marathon! Speed training also forces the body to learn to make use of “higher” energy systems not taxed during slower workouts. According to a Runners World article on speed training for marathoners, “The benefit [of speed work] is that you develop energy systems that utilize higher rates of glycogen and less fat than marathon pace. As you become more economical at faster paces, in theory you should become more economical with fat utilization at the slower pace, the marathon pace.” They also note that such training helps the body deal with glycogen depletion late in the marathon.

What do they suggest? Mile repeats! Yep…longer distance speed work is essential to building up your VO2 Max and learning to tax your body for longer periods of time to increase your oxygen intake.

So there it is…speed work this week is mile repeats. FUN! 🙂

To find out how many of these little buggers you are running this week, look at your total average weekly mileage, then factor in 8-10%. That is your distance for speed work.

  • 10-15 miles per week = 1-2 miles @ 10K pace
  • 20 miles per week = 2 miles @ 10K pace
  • 30 miles per week =  3 miles @ 10K pace
  • 40 miles per week = 4 miles @ 10K pace
  • 50 miles per week = 5 miles @ 10K pace
  • 60 miles per week = 6 miles @ 10K pace

These repeats should be done at about 10K pace which is a tad slower than 5K pace but faster than you would run a half marathon. For example, my current 5K pace is about 8:25/mile, and my 15K pace is about 9:05/mile. So I should be right in the middle of that running my mile repeats at about an 8:40 – 8:45 pace for each mile.

Between each mile: stop, breathe, take a drink of water, then go again. These rest periods can be about 2 minutes each. If you don’t want to stop altogether you can slow it down to a walk or jog, but don’t skimp on the rest period, and don’t take too long either. You don’t want your heart rate coming all the way down to resting.

If you’re not sure what your 10K pace is, PLEASE reach out to me and let’s chat. I have a great tool for helping you figure out what your pace can and should be. PM me here and let’s figure it out.

That’s all for now Crew…another fabulous week ahead of us. Time to unleash your potential and GET FIRED UP!

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Day 9: It’s HIP to be STRONG!

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This should really say, “when you 80, or 85, or 90…because we have some STRONG women in their 60s who are no where close to hip replacements! But you get the point. Not only do we want strong hips for the long haul, but strengthening our hips fires up a chain reaction that reverberates all the way down our legs.

Strong hips mean less pain and fewer injuries in our legs. In fact a recent active.com article states,

Since the sport of running has begun to enjoy a second boom in recent years, much attention has been paid to injury prevention. More specifically, the industry has focused largely on both foot strike and footwear as major causes of running ailments. It turns out, however, that there’s another culprit that runners often overlook: hip weakness.

Jason Fitzgerald, a 2:39 marathoner and coach in the Washington D.C. area, says that hip weakness has become more prevalent as a result of the sitting we do in our daily lives. “When you consider how important proper hip strength is for runners and the fact that most runners don’t do the specific strength exercises that bolster the hip muscles, it’s a disaster waiting to happen,” he says.

Since the hips stabilize each leg during the stance phase of the running gait, strength in that area is particularly vital. “Hip weakness throws off all that stability, resulting in excess movement not only at the hip, but also at the knee,” says Fitzgerald. “The two most common injuries that result from weak hips include illiotibial band syndrome or patellofemoral pain syndrome, but in fact, many other injuries could occur from weak hips, including Achilles tendinopathy, shin splints and plantar fasciitis.”

If you read all the way through that, you noticed that hip weakness can cause IT Band syndrome (IT Band pain), patellofemoral pain syndrome (knee pain), Achilles tendinopathy (Achilles problems), shin splints (ouch!), and plantar fasciitis (lots of Core Crew dealing with this one).

So now you know, when I go on and on about hip strength…I am not making this stuff up!

I’m in a lot of running groups, and I know I get a lot of eye rolls when I bring up strength work as a means to elevate leg pain. Everyone wants the quick easy answer to getting back on the road. They want to ice the injury, rest a little, and come back pain free.

Well yes, ice is never a bad idea. Resting when we have pain is always a good thing too… Rolling is also a great way to relax our muscles and relieve some of the pressure…but if that’s all you do, the pain will come back. You’re not getting stronger and finding a way to keep the injury from happening, you’re just masking it for the moment and then wondering why your body hates you.

So I will continue to harp on you about strengthening these areas. And you can keep rolling your eyes at me and keep hurting…or you can get to work on making yourself stronger. The choice is yours Crew!

I hope you’ll choose wisely and….

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Day 9 exercises: 3 sets of 10 (adding another set! 🙂 ) 

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

  • Single Leg Hip Lift
  • Split Squat (weighted)
  • 4-way Band Walk (low squat walk if you don’t have bands)
  • Wall Sit – :60 (post run if you are running today)

Challenges:

  • Ab Challenge – 25 Crunches, 25 Bicycle Crunches, 25 Leg Lifts + :40 Plank
  • 20 Burpees

Bonus: Donkey Kick Workout 

An oldy but a goodie! This one hurts y’all. It isn’t easy but it is only 10 minutes and you will feel the burn. Someone (I forget who this early) asked me to post my video instead of the original so here it is. Follow along with me and let get us some strong and powerful hips!


Speed Work: Today is pretty much the last day you should be doing speed work if you are going long this weekend. If you are racing this weekend….do NOT do speed work today. You will not benefit from pushing yourself this close to a race. Time to take it easy, do some strength work and trust your training.

If you’re not racing, and not going long till Sunday, time to go fast! Here’s this week’s workout:

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  (:90-2:00 rest 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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Another thought…back pain can also result from weak hips…so it’s not just our legs that suffer. EVERYONE can benefit from these strength exercises. Ignore the underlying problem and you will continue to suffer.

Stop masking the problem. Fix it by getting stronger!

Let’s get to work and have a great day Crew! 🙂

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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