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 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 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 20: It’s Monday!!

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Great workout right?!?! I know you’re super excited about LOTS of burpees!


Calm down Crew…we’re not doing 100 burpees for time….but doesn’t 3 sets of 10 for our arms and core sound EASY now? 😉

It’s Monday y’all let’s do this!

Day 20 exercises: 3 sets of 10 

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

  • Upright Row + Flies
  • Inchworm Push Up
  • Squat Thrust + Curl & Press
  • Side Planks – :30 each side
  • Wall Sit – :60

Challenges:

  • Superman – 1:55
  • Push Ups – 50
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – 150 seconds (2:30) If you can’t fathom holding a plank this long, break it up into a “rolling” or “moving plank and shift into different plank positions for 2:30.  Regular plank, side planks, plank reaches, plank jacks, whatever type of plank works for you. You can do this!

Bonus: Burpees – 3 sets of 10 – Better than 100 right? 🙂


Speed Work: 4 x 1200 meters (.75 mile) 

This is a tough workout but extending the distance for our speed work is an important part of holding that faster pace a little longer. Don’t go too fast…find a pace you can hold for the .75 mile then stop to jog, walk, or just stand still and breathe, then do it again!

Remember to start with a 10-15 minute warm up and some running drills and finish with a 10-15 minute cool down.


Show the world your Monday BAD-ASSERY…who knows…maybe you’ll inspire someone.

Get up and get moving Crew!

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Day 16: High Intensity Booty Work

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-5-44-52-amQuick workout, high intensity…it’s leg day!

Strength and stamina is the name of the game. Let’s do this!

Day 16 exercises:

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

  • Donkey Kick workout (see video below)
  • Moving Clamshells – 3 sets of 10
  • Side Lying Leg Raise – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

Challenges:

  • Superman – Rest day
  • Push Ups – 40
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – 2:00 (120 seconds!)

Bonus: 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Loved all the yoga yesterday! Let’s keep up that wonderful stretching today and finish it off with our 7 Key Stretches for Runners.

Donkey Kick Workout:


Speed Work: WHOOOHOOOO for SPEED!! Some awesome speed work happening this week! If you haven’t gotten yours done yet…today is likely the last day to get it in before resting up for long runs this weekend. Here’s this weeks workout.

Workout: 800M, 400M X 3 or 4

  1. Warm up – 1 – 1.5 miles slow and easy. Get your hear pumping and your breathing going
  2. 800M (1/2 mile) – Remember those times I gave you for 400’s? Double that and slow it down just a tad. (See times below)
  3. Rest 90 seconds – walk, jog, or stand still and breahte
  4. 400M (1/4 mile) – Do not run these too fast. Remember the key is to be steady here. So you shouldn’t be running these at top speed. Take your 800M (1/2 mile) time and cut it in half.
  5. Rest 90 seconds – walk, jog, or stand still and breathe
  6. Do it all again!
  7. Repeat this cycle 3 -4 times. 3 times = 2.25 miles / 4 times = 3 miles
  8. Cool down – 1 – 1.5 miles slowly to bring your heart rate down keep your legs moving

1/4 Mile is equivalent to 400 meters or one lap of a standard-sized track while 800 meters is 1/2 mile or 2 laps around a standard-sized track.  Here’s a few examples of where your interval times would range, depending on your mile time.

For this workout, you should take the times below and slow them down just a tad. I run 400M in about 1:45 – 1:50, so for this workout, I’ll run 800M in 4:05-4:08 and the 400M in 1:55 – 2:00. You can do this. Don’t overthink it. Just go out and run a little faster than you’re used to! 🙂

During a conversation pace run, if you average a:

  • 14:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 3:00.
  • 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:45.
  • 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:30.
  • 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:15.
  • 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:00.
  • 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:45.
  • 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:30.
  • 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:15.

Today’s workout is a doozy…fast, high intensity that will leave you sore and tired. But oh man that’s a good sore. Let’s knock it out and have a great day Crew! 🙂

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Day 15: Halfway There!

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Technically…we’re OVER halfway there. With only 28 days in February, this is our first 28 Day Challenge. Take advantage of the short month and KILL it Crew!

13 days left. Keep pushing and finish the month strong!

With that said…it’s time for an “easy” day. Who’s up for some yoga to stretch out those tight legs and hips? ME!!!

Day 15 exercises:

Challenges:

  • Superman – 1:30 (90 seconds)
  • Push Ups – 40
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – 1:30 (90 seconds)

Bonus: Code of Abs 

Looking for a little something more today? Throw in a few rounds of this Code of Abs workout and fire up that core!

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Speed Work: You’ve seen it three times now…what are you waiting for? Go get you some speed!

Workout: 800M, 400M X 3 or 4

  1. Warm up – 1 – 1.5 miles slow and easy. Get your hear pumping and your breathing going
  2. 800M (1/2 mile) – Remember those times I gave you for 400’s? Double that and slow it down just a tad. (See times below)
  3. Rest 90 seconds – walk, jog, or stand still and breahte
  4. 400M (1/4 mile) – Do not run these too fast. Remember the key is to be steady here. So you shouldn’t be running these at top speed. Take your 800M (1/2 mile) time and cut it in half.
  5. Rest 90 seconds – walk, jog, or stand still and breathe
  6. Do it all again!
  7. Repeat this cycle 3 -4 times. 3 times = 2.25 miles / 4 times = 3 miles
  8. Cool down – 1 – 1.5 miles slowly to bring your heart rate down keep your legs moving

1/4 Mile is equivalent to 400 meters or one lap of a standard-sized track while 800 meters is 1/2 mile or 2 laps around a standard-sized track.  Here’s a few examples of where your interval times would range, depending on your mile time.

For this workout, you should take the times below and slow them down just a tad. I run 400M in about 1:45 – 1:50, so for this workout, I’ll run 800M in 4:05-4:08 and the 400M in 1:55 – 2:00. You can do this. Don’t overthink it. Just go out and run a little faster than you’re used to! 🙂

During a conversation pace run, if you average a:

  • 14:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 3:00.
  • 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:45.
  • 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:30.
  • 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:15.
  • 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:00.
  • 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:45.
  • 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:30.
  • 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:15.

When that moment comes when you want to quit…think about all those who don’t have the strength and ability you do, then…

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Day 13: Secret Weapon

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At the end of yesterday’s half marathon, there is a bridge…it doesn’t look that big…but it’s deceiving. You’re tired, downright exhausted…then here comes the hill.

I had my own secret weapon  at the Donna 26.2 to Finish Breast Cancer race. I had Frank Samu, a friend and speedster who was just out having fun, smiling TONS, taking photos, and giving out high fives. Frank caught me around mile 7 and to my surprise, he stuck with me for the rest of the race. It was a godsend, because it was a hard one for me.

I had started our pacing a few friends but the crowd was thick and I lost them around mile 5, so when Frank caught me and said he was just out having fun, I knew it was time for me to go to work.

I usually use a Galloway style running method during races, a method some people call intervals and others know as the run/walk/run method. But with Frank running by my side, I knew there was no more walking in my future.

I cut out the walk breaks and just started running and let me tell you, it was hard! We were keeping  a steady low 9s pace which was doable for me so I just pressed on. 

Then we saw it…the bridge. As we started our incline, Frank knew I was tired. He could hear my labored breathing and of course he could hear me cussing about my quads (which were on fire). But he kept saying, “stay right here on my hip” and we kept moving forward.
Frank told me, “shorten your steps and use your arms.” He was right. I shortened my steps where they were merely a footstep in front of each other and used my arms to power up that bridge. We did it. I did it. I got up that bridge without stopping…and at the top are so many people cheering and screaming with signs and smiles. You run through a wall of people so thick you that you can’t help but feel their energy. The the bridge is conquered and it’s all downhill with less than a mile to the finish line. 

Frank, thank you, thank you, thank you, for hanging with me! Forgive my potty mouth and know that without you by my side, that “oh I can do 2:05 easy” would not have happened.

Short steps and arm swings Crew. DON’T SKIP ARM DAY!

Day 13 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Upright Row + Flies
  • Inchworm Push Ups
  • Squat Thrust + Curl & Press
  • Side Planks – :30 each side
  • Wall Sit – :60

Bonus Challenges:

  • Superman – 1:10 (70 seconds)
  • Push Ups – 40
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – Rest day 🙂

Speed Work: Want to throw down fabulous new Personal Records like Aicja Grace at yesterday’s Mercedes Marathon? Time for speed work!

This week, we are doing a workout I did at track last week. The key here is to keep your times as steady as possible. Don’t go out too fast…and don’t end too fast. Remember…steady steady steady. But don’t hold back on the speed!

Workout: 800M, 400M X 3 or 4

  1. Warm up – 1 – 1.5 miles slow and easy. Get your hear pumping and your breathing going
  2. 800M (1/2 mile) – Remember those times I gave you for 400’s? Double that and slow it down just a tad. (See times below)
  3. Rest 90 seconds – walk, jog, or stand still and breahte
  4. 400M (1/4 mile) – Do not run these too fast. Remember the key is to be steady here. So you shouldn’t be running these at top speed. Take your 800M (1/2 mile) time and cut it in half.
  5. Rest 90 seconds – walk, jog, or stand still and breathe
  6. Do it all again!
  7. Repeat this cycle 3 -4 times. 3 times = 2.25 miles / 4 times = 3 miles
  8. Cool down – 1 – 1.5 miles slowly to bring your heart rate down keep your legs moving

1/4 Mile is equivalent to 400 meters or one lap of a standard-sized track while 800 meters is 1/2 mile or 2 laps around a standard-sized track.  Here’s a few examples of where your interval times would range, depending on your mile time.

For this workout, you should take these times and slow them down just a tad. I run 400M in about 1:45 – 1:50 so for this workout, I run 800M in 4:05-4:08 and the 400M in 1:55 – 2:00. You can do this. Don’t overthink it. Just go out and run fast! 🙂

  • If you run a 14:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 3:00.
  • If you run a 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:45.
  • If you run a 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:30.
  • If you run a 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:15.
  • If you run a 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:00.
  • If you run a 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:45.
  • If you run a 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:30.
  • If you run a 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:15.

I hope you found some motivation from all the awesoneness that you saw this weekend and are ready to kill it! Let’s start the week off right and get to work!

Have a great Monday Crew! 🙂

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Day 8: YAY for YOGA!

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-7-32-48-pmAfter lots of great strength work, tons of mileage with our weekend long runs and races, AND logging miles for our Paris virtual race….I am so thankful for a yoga day!

Heading out for “stupid early” 4am track but will be looking forward to coming home, stretching it all out, and quieting my mind and body before the rest of the day begins!

When you wake up and see yoga do you think…

“Oh yay, yoga day…a little time for me!”

OR

“Oh yay, yoga day…a day I can skip…”

Do you feel like yoga day isn’t important? Is it a day you won’t feel guilty about letting slide by?

We put this “rest” day from strength training in for a reason…because it’s important to make time to relax, to stretch, and to clear your mind of clutter. But there are other reasons to add yoga to your routine. As a runner, I stress the importance of flexibility and strength…but yoga has so many more benefits. Which reason speaks to you?

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We know why we should do it…but we have to make the time.

Will you make a little time for you today?

It’s just as important as every other day. So don’t skip it.

Plan ahead. You’re worth it.

Day 8 exercises:

Challenges:

  • Superman – Rest
  • Push Ups – 30
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – :45 Plank (One more you can do this!)

Speed Work: Who’s doing speed work today? 1/4 mile repeats are on the menu!

Workout – 6X-12X 400M (1/4 mile) – If you are just easing into speed work for the first time. Keep it short and do 1/4 mile repeats 6 times for a total of 1.5 miles. If you’ve been doing this for a while now, and are training for a longer distance race…don’t be lazy…get in those 12 1/4 mile repeats for a total of 3 miles of speed work. Remember to warm up AND cool down. Both are very important parts of this workout. If you have questions, reach out to me. Let’s chat about how to make this work for you.

1/4 mile repeats can be done on the track, treadmill, or on the road with a GPS watch. Do whatever works for you…but don’t skip it. I know it can be daunting…but speed work will not only help you get faster, but it will also help you increase your breathing abilities and make your long runs easier.

Warm-Up  5:00 jog followed by your choice of Dynamic Movements (high knees, butt kicks, leg swings, sideways shuffles, skipping, etc)

Work-Out – 6-8 x 1/4 Mile Repeats at a pace that is :30 faster than your race pace.

*1:00 standing or walking rest in between each set.

1/4 Mile is equivalent to 400 meters or one lap of a standard-sized track.  Here’s a few examples of where your interval times would range, depending on your mile time.

If, during a conversation paced run, you average a:

  • 14:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 3:00.
  • 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:45.
  • 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:30.
  • 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:15.
  • 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:00.
  • 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:45.
  • 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:30.
  • 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:15.

Cool-Down  5:00-10:00 easy jog (you’ve earned it!)


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This quote spoke to me today and I wanted to share it. We are here to get stronger. To run father and faster. We want to stay on the road doing what we love. But the truth is…it’s so much more important than that. Every day that we do a little more than we would without each other’s support is a day we work towards a longer, healthier, more active life.

All the little movements we make time for help us live longer, healthier lives in the future.

Day 7: Hips and Core – Strength and Balance

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Lots of us have gone to the chiropractor and been told we are unbalanced. We can see this in running pictures too…but there are ways to correct this without expensive, thrice weekly doctor visits.

How? Strengthen our hips and core and work on our balance. By strengthening these areas, we are more likely to stand tall and keep our body in line at the end of a long race or training run.

Keeping our spine and hips in line keeps our oxygen flowing, allows our legs and knees to remain stable, and helps us avoid pain and injuries in our lower extremities.

It happens to all of us. At the end of a long race or training run, we tend to slouch and let our posture fall. We are tired and we just want to finish so our brain forgets and we begin to let things fall apart.

Below are images of me at Rock N Roll Savannah back in November before we started doing a lot of hip strength and balance work wearing my knee brace and consistently suffering from knee pain.

(Excuse the watermarks…I didn’t purchase these photos)

Since then I have dedicated a lot of time to hip strength and it has paid off. My posture has gotten  much better and my knee pain has all but disappeared. Case in point, see the pictures below from this past weekend at Rock N Roll New Orleans. Hips and aligned and knee brace is gone…and so is the pain in my knees.

I’ll never say “don’t see a doctor,” but if you’re having on-giong pain, and can’t figure out how to make it go away, strengthening your hips is a great start. I saw many different doctors, had x-rays and MRI’s and even cortisone shots in both knees…but until I started getting stronger in these area, nothing took the pain away.

It’s important to stretch and roll our legs too…I know I know…so many things to do…but as athletes, we must use every tool in our arsenal to be healthy and strong in order to stay on the road pain free.

Today’s hip strengthening and balance exercises had been key parts of my journey and I hope you embrace these exercises and make them part of your tool kit to success too.

Day 7 exercises: Hips strength video is found below and how to videos for single leg deadlifts and squats are in the link below.

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

  • Modern Moms/Dads Hip Strength -1X all the way through on each side
  • Single Leg Deadlifts – 2 sets of 10 for each leg
  • Squats – 2 sets of 10
  • Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

Challenges:

  • Superman – :40
  • Push Ups – 30
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – Plank for additional :45

Speed Work: Everyone’s favorite speed work and undoubtedly the least dreaded is 1/4 mile repeats. So this week, it’s time to put some pep in your step and pour on the speed.

Workout – 6X-12X 400M (1/4 mile) – If you are just easing into speed work for the first time. Keep it short and do 1/4 mile repeats 6 times for a total of 1.5 miles. If you’ve been doing this for a while now, and are training for a longer distance race…don’t be lazy…get in those 12 1/4 mile repeats for a total of 3 miles of speed work. Remember to warm up AND cool down. Both are very important parts of this workout. If you have questions, reach out to me. Let’s chat about how to make this work for you.

1/4 mile repeats can be done on the track, treadmill, or on the road with a GPS watch. Do whatever works for you…but don’t skip it. I know it can be daunting…but speed work will not only help you get faster, but it will also help you increase your breathing abilities and make your long runs easier.

Warm-Up  5:00 jog followed by your choice of Dynamic Movements (high knees, butt kicks, leg swings, sideways shuffles, skipping, etc)

Work-Out – 6-8 x 1/4 Mile Repeats at a pace that is :30 faster than your race pace.

*1:00 standing or walking rest in between each set.

1/4 Mile is equivalent to 400 meters or one lap of a standard-sized track.  Here’s a few examples of where your interval times would range, depending on your mile time.

  • If you run a 14:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 3:00.
  • If you run a 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:45.
  • If you run a 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:30.
  • If you run a 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:15.
  • If you run a 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:00.
  • If you run a 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:45.
  • If you run a 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:30.
  • If you run a 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:15.

Cool-Down  5:00-10:00 easy jog (you’ve earned it!)


That’s all for today Crew. Let’s keep working on our hip strength and balance so we can stop that annoying lower extremity pain and stay on the road doing what we love…running!

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Day 3: Wasted Energy

There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to strength training. But runners often tend to ignore our core and back which are key areas that can translate into wasted energy on the road.

“Runners need a strong core and back to stabilize the spine and pelvis,” says Dr. Richard Hansen of High Altitude Spine and Sport in Boulder, Colo. “This reduces injury risk by helping to evenly distribute the forces that are being absorbed with each step and helps to improve running economy by reducing energy lost to unnecessary body sway.” If you’re not strong in these areas,  when you begin increasing your running volume, it can eventually lead to tissue breakdown and injury—especially in the lower leg and hip.

A healthy back is as important to your running as fit legs. If your back muscles aren’t strong, they tend to fatigue faster, taking energy away from other muscles, and changing your stride, leading to injury. Runners with a strong back and core tend to have better posture which translates into more efficient use of energy. A weak back and core are bio-mechanical inefficiencies that waste energy.

To avoid these common running issues, we need to spend some time stregnthening these areas. Lucky for us it doesn’t take hours in the gym and lots of expensive equipment. A few sets of back and core focused moves like the bridge pullover and side planks will help us strengthen and support our back and core which will help us use our energy more efficiently!

Working our upper and lower back prevents weak, rounded shoulders and poor arm carriage. Make sure you pull your shoulder blades together with the bridge pullover and our bonus bird dog exercise. Do not arch your lower and when lowering the weight, ensure your shoulder blades separate slightly to allow for a slight stretch of the muscles in between them.

Day 3 exercises: 2 sets of 10 

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

  • Runner’s Crunch
  • Heel Touches
  • Bridge Pullover
  • Side Planks – :30 each side
  • Wall Sit – :60

Bonus: Bird Dog – 2 sets of 10 – I like this video as it gives you a way to modify the exercise for beginners. Take a look and try it out. Remember to keep your spine flat and stable. When adding the arms, squeeze the shoulder-blade together to add some upper back work as well.

Challenges:

  • Superman – :20
  • Push Ups – 25
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – One more plank – :30

Core Crew Virtual Race: We’re running through Paris logging 24 miles for the next 7 days. Are you in? Our virtual races are fun and might help you grab a few extras miles this week. Race starts today so click here to sign up. It’s a free and fun way to challenge yourself to do a little more than usual.

Before you stop for the day, take time to get familiar with our 7 Key Stretches for Runners! These will help you get loose and ready to go long this weekend.

Don’t waste energy thinking about skipping your strength training. Just get up and get it done! 😉

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