Day 9: Drop It Low…Let Me See Yo Hip SWING!

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Working out doesn’t have to be a drag…

Let’s have some fun…turn up the music and rock it out Crew!

Drop it low and let me see yo hips SWING!

Day 9 exercises: Hips – 1 round per leg – Follow video below

  • Side Leg Pulse
  • Side Bicycle
  • Leg Stir
  • Big Circle
  • Hot Potato
  • Back Butt Press
  • Forearm Plank – :60
  • Pigeon Pose – :30 each leg

Bonus: Yesterday was a doozie so we’re taking it a little easier today. What’s your favorite hip or glute strength exercise? TONS of options…take a short video of your favorite and share it with the Crew!


Sarah’s Calorie Burn: Easy extra to throw in

  • 25 Squats
  • 60 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Push Ups
  • 50 Crunches

Speed Work: Who’s doing speed work this week? I’m hitting the track this morning and Catherine is joining me YAY!! Early morning for us but we’ll share how it goes when we get done. What’s your plan to get it in? Click on the “short ladder” link and scroll down for this weeks workout.

The “Short” Ladder


Racery: The race is ON with 17 out of 30 runners on the board! 24 miles through Paris in 7 days. Remember, it doesn’t matter who crosses first….it’s all about getting those miles in.

24 a little over your weekly average? Add a mile to your daily run and get a long run in this weekend and you’ll get it done! Click here to log your miles and see the scenery along the way.

10 spots still left in the race and plenty of time to jump in. Click here to join now and start logging your miles!

Life is too short for boring workouts. Make it fun and let me see those hips SWING!

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Day 13: Strength & Stability Leads to Greater Mobility & Better Technique

stregnth-and-stabilityIn theory, running isn’t a two-legged activity. Of course, we have to use both legs, but it’s really a series of one-legged stances conjoined by the act of managing a controlled fall.

There is never a time when both feet are on the ground. So single leg strength and stability couldn’t be more important for runners.

While we’re running the body does whatever it takes to stay upright and balanced, often recruiting the strength of other muscles. We must work harder than normal to run the same pace over a given distance, especially as the bigger, stronger muscles become fatigued; this leads to a reduction in running economy.

A reduction in running economy causes some muscle groups to overcompensate, leading to gait changes, which can cause nagging dilemmas such as a sore Achilles tendon or iliotibial band syndrome to more serious injuries such as anterior knee pain or plantar fasciitis.

What’s the solution? Work on strength and stability the same way you run—one leg at a time. Single-leg balance training teaches you to isolate and strengthen specific balance muscles while improving your reaction time. Only when muscles are balanced can the body run fast and efficient for long periods of time.

Lucky for us, our Tuesday Leg/Stability day hits these marks perfectly so let’s get to work!

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

  • One Legged Bridge – 3 sets of 10 each side
  • Side Lunges – 3 sets of 10 each side
  • Side Lying Leg Raises – 3 sets of 10 each side
  • Plank – Your Choice (:45 2X)

Bonus: Single-Leg Balance Drill 

“Think” – dynamic warm up – single leg swing we do before a race to loosen up but without using something to keep our balance.

WHY: The most relevant to running, it activates your arch to maintain good foot and ankle alignment.

HOW: Start by standing on your left leg, lift your right leg straight toward the 12 o’clock position if you were standing on a clock. Gently swing the right leg forward and back, from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock. Repeat 10 to 15 times each leg. It’s important to use this exercise to build balance and strength so do your best not to hold onto anything but it’s ok to stand close to a wall or doorway to keep from falling.


Speed Work: Have you made a plan to get your speed work done this week? Do you know what intervals and the pace you should be running? If not, please click here and scroll to the bottom of Monday’s post for all the info.

Remember that speed work is not just for runners who want to log faster times; speed work will also help you improve your running/breathing economy, resulting in feeling better/breathing better during your long runs!

Throw in some post run stretching and don’t forget to log your miles for Racery! Current team standings are below:

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Don’t let you excuses catch up with you…Keep Running Crew! 🙂

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Days 10 & 11: Long Run + Stuff & Arms/Back

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Time for our favorite workout of the week…our long run!

This weekend instead of doing the same old boring long run, let’s throw in some fun stuff.

“Stuff” refers to adding strides, surges, pickups or progressions to the typical easy or steady long run. The goal in adding these components is to change the stimulus for adaptation ever so slightly. By adding in some faster running toward the end of the long run, you force recruitment of muscle fibers that generally are never trained at an easy or steady pace. By slightly changing which muscle fibers are recruited, you now train those harder-to-recruit fast twitch-type fibers under aerobic conditions, therefore increasing their endurance.

Strides and surges are two easy ways to get a little more bang for your buck during the long run without adding much undue fatigue. They both work by changing the muscle fiber recruitment slightly, and can prevent the post-long run flatness that often occurs. This happens because the faster segments change the tension in the muscles and leave you with some “pop” in your legs instead of staleness.

Strides should be done immediately after the completion of the long run and should include four to ten by 100-meter runs in length at about your 10K race pace. This should be seen as an introductory session, which then progresses to surges over the following weeks.

Surges should be done during the last 3-4 miles of the long run and should include segments where you pick it up to around 10K race pace and then back off to your easy pace for a short segment. I recommend starting with 5 x 30-second surges with two minutes of easy running between reps and work your way up progressively to where you’re doing 8-10 x 45 to 60-second surges with 2-3 minutes recovery in between.  This should not be a taxing workout, but instead a comfortable surge that lets the legs loosen up a little bit.


Pickups and progressions are two slightly more challenging options for adding some spice to your long run. The goal of these runs is to press the pace down so that the body gets used to increasing speed, increasing the aerobic demand, and recruiting muscle fibers when glycogen levels are getting progressively lower at the end of the long run. Once again, we are looking at training muscle fibers that aren’t normally trained aerobically and triggering the body to become more efficient with using up its glycogen stores.

Pickups should be introduced in small doses. Start by picking up the pace to marathon race effort or slightly faster during the last 5 minutes of your long run. Every few weeks, increase the length of the pickup by 5 minutes until you get to the point where the last 20 minutes of your long run is done at a quicker pace.

Progression long runs, on the other hand, should take a gradual approach. Instead of spending the last bit of your long run making a sudden change in speed, spread that speed increase out over a longer distance. Start with a gradual progression over the last quarter of your long run (the last 4 miles of a 16 mile run, for example) and increase that until the last half of your long run is spent gradually ratcheting down the speed. The goal is the same: get down to just faster than marathon race pace by the end of the run.

Progression runs sound very similar to negative spits, but there is a difference. Negative splits refers to your time coming down a little bit each mile. A progression run is where your time stays very similar during the first part of your run and then you choose a point where you pick up the speed and hold that pace over the last portion of your run.

What type of run will you choose this weekend?

  • Strides
  • Surges
  • Pickups
  • Progression

Remember these different long runs are not just for distances over 10 miles. You can do these types of workouts with any mileage…just make a conscious choice before you start and add it in as you go. If you’re doing a 3-5 mile long run and want to do a progression run, do the first 1.5-2.5 miles at a slower pace then pick up the pace and hold it for the last 1.5-2.5 miles. If you’re thinking pickups, for the last 5-10 minutes of your run, pick up your pace to the pace you want to run at your next race.

The whole point here is to start taxing your body a little each long run so it starts to get easier and more comfortable. This way, when it’s time to race, you’re ready to hold that faster pace.

Whatever you decide, make a plan before you head out. Having a plan is very important to ensuring you know what to do, how to do, and are successful following through.

Day 10 exercises: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Plank – Your Choice (:45 2X) 

Day 11 exercises: Arms/Back – 3 sets of 10 

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

  • Burpees
  • Bicep Curls 21s (3 sets of 21)
  • Wide Rows
  • Plank – Your Choice (:45 2X)

Bonus: Active Recovery and/or Yoga for Runners – use today’s bonus to get you moving and stretching out your muscles after your long run. Go for a short easy run (30 min or less), or chill out and go through our Yoga for Runners at home. Either way, an active recovery will help with post-run soreness and stiffness.

Racery: Don’t forget to keep logging your Racery miles. Click here for the Racery page to log your miles and see how your team is doing.

Current team standings:

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Before you go…I want you to make a decision on what kind of “stuff” you’re adding to your long run. Post it in Strong to the Core under this pinned post so we can keep you accountable and cheer you on!

Have a fabulous weekend and get ready to go the distance Crew! 🙂

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Day 1: Back On Track!

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Good morning Crew! Ready to get back on track?

Kicking off the month with leg day…. We all know why we need to do more with our legs then just run…what more is there to say???

Let’s GETTT ITTT!! 🙂

Day 1 exercises: 2 sets of 10

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

  • Donkey Kicks + Fire Hydrants
  • Weighted Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Plank – Your Choice (:30 2X)

Bonus: Weighted Hip Thrust – 

If you want to run faster, you’ve got to do more than just speedwork. We know the strength training is a critical. According to Jen Ator, fitness director of Women’s Health, “Lifting is a key component to building speed. The more power you can generate with each stride, the faster you can run. The stronger you are, the longer you can generate that power without fatiguing, meaning you’ll be able to maintain that pace.”

With that in mind…our bonus exercise today comes from Ator’s “Get Stronger To Run Faster” workout. We already do a lot of what she includes, but here’s one you may not have seen before. Great for the core, legs, glutes, and hips!

Weighted Hip Thrust: With a dumbbell resting in the crease of your hips, sit on the floor with the bottom of your shoulder blades touching a bench or couch or even a chair if it’s study and won’t hurt your back. Drive through your heels and thrust your hips up toward the ceiling while contracting your glutes. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Lower and repeat 8 to 10 times for 3 sets.

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Racery: Our virtual race through the Blue Ridge Parkway starts Friday 9/2 so there’s still plenty of time to jump in and join or start a new team. This is a FREE virtual race. All you have to do is run and log miles online for your team. Don’t worry if you’re not putting up high mileage, every runner counts! Here’s the link.

Oh one last thing…with long runs coming up fast…take a few minutes to go through our 7 Key Stretches for Runners after a good leg workout today. 🙂

Get to work Crew…LET”S DO THIS!

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Day 1: Start Strong Finish Stronger!

Start Strong Finish StrongerHere we go Crew! A brand new start to a fabulous new month!

Time to shake off last’s months regrets and start the month with a bang!

We’ve got a bunch of new exercises and plenty of running to do to get ready for the upcoming fall and winter races. Start by telling us what your goals are and how we can help you reach them. What races are on your schedule? Do you want me to watch for you? Do you want us to come give you a swift kick in the behind?

Do you want us to leave you alone and let you flounder? HA! Don’t go there cause you know that won’t happen. 😉

The first of the month is a great time for some new “before” pics. Save them for your eyes only or share them with the group. Either way they will help you see how far you come…or how little you improve from being lazy…

Remember whether you think you can succeed, or think you can’t, is up to you…either way you will be right! It’s time to step it up so let’s think positivity and give it all we’ve got!

We’re starting off with 2 rounds of 10 this week except for the jumping jacks which is 2 rounds of 50. Watch the how to videos and get familiar with these exercises because as we progress through the month it will get harder.

Day 1 exercises: Arms – 2 rounds of 10 

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

  • Jumping Jacks (50 2X)
  • Walking Push Ups
  • Forearm Plank Jacks
  • Inchworm with Shoulder Taps
  • Regular Forearm Plank – :45 (3X)

Lots of planks today which of course are also great for our core. Each day we will be doing a different plank. If you’re new to the group and new to planks please do a regular forearm plank until you are ready to move on to more advanced moves. The forearm plank is an awesome full body exercise that will strengthen your arms, back, legs, and core….and we do them every single day so learn to love them! 😉

Watch as Scott Herman (one of my favorites) shows us how to do a regular forearm plank.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge – Day 1 30 Day Ab & Squat Challenge

This will be 1 of our bonus workouts this month…don’t worry I will add more…but this is VERY doable. It won’t take long so I hope to see everyone jumping in on this!

  • 10 Sit Ups
  • 10 Crunches
  • 10 Squats

Easy peasy right? You got this!

Since it’s day 1 and we have plenty of time…I’m going to wait to add this week’s speed work. Don’t worry…we’ll get to it. Plan ahead for when you will make it happen though because they only way to get faster….is to run fast!

The only other thing I’d love to see lots of today is miles! The first day of the month is a great day to log some miles and start the month off strong. If you didn’t sign up for the Racery, Castle to Wales Race, there is still time. Here is the link and there is a free option if you don’t care about the medal. This course is 113.2 miles through you through lush national parks, quaint villages, bustling port towns, and of course–castles!

If 113.2 miles is a little much for you, there are lots of other Racery options for you to jump in on. Or….I could start one for our team? If there’s enough interest I will get one going today!

Who’s ready for the best month yet?!?

Are you prepared to give it your very best? Are you ready to get closer to your dreams?

Keep going! Don’t quit till you have nothing left! I know it hurts…I know your tired…give me more! Give it your best!

One day at a time. You CAN do this! Do Not Quit! Go out and kill it Crew! 🙂

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!

Day 16: Fully Armed

Rise and Shine

Science has shown that the momentum of the arms is important for lifting the body upwards off the ground, and also for balancing out the body’s rotation with each stride. When the shoulder and arm muscles become fatigued, arm motion changes and this decreases the whole body’s running efficiency, translating into wasted energy and slower times.

Fatigue affects runners in different ways but there are some general trends which athletes show as their form begins to break down. This includes “dropping the arms,” where the athlete bends the elbows less, and “crossing over” when the athlete’s wrists come closer to the body’s midline. Runners also tend to swing their arms less as they tire.

Zach Sabatino, a member of the U.S. World Cross Country Championships team, said,

“As a long distance runner I believe that a strong upper body is crucial to running efficiently and fast. There is no need to be bulky, but we do need upper body strength. Even though we are running with our legs, the arms, back and chest do a lot of work.”

The next time you cross the finish line…throw your arms up in the air in victory! Show off those muscles…after all, they helped you get there faster! 🙂

Sticking with 3 sets of 10 this week…but we are adding some push ups. Let’s get to it!

Day 16 exercises: “How To” Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 3 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front and Side – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Planks – :30 each side (2X)
  • 35 Push Ups
  • Arm Stretches

 

Lean Arms PyramidBonus: #LeanArmsPyramid 

Thanks again to Alison Stewart for finding our arm bonus for today! If you don’t like it…blame Alison! 😉


Running Drills: Going through these running drills one at a time to make them easier to remember…add one in each week to help your form and get stronger!

Bounding

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 5.32.43 AMWhy: Bounding increases foot, calf and hamstring muscle power and develops single-leg  stance stability necessary to maintain fluid running form while fatigued

How: On a flat or very slightly downhill slope, alternate thrusting into the air off one leg in an exaggerated skipping motion. The focus should be on a powerful leap into the air and a quick (but not super fast) cadence. Your arm motion should be synced to the opposite leg’s action, holding steady for the brief moment while you’re off the ground. Do three to four reps of 10 leaps on each leg.

See how high she is off the ground? This motion will propel you high into the air….giving you power and stability. And it’s fun! This is one of those drills that will make you feel like a kid again. Try it! You can do these before your run as a dynamic warm up…or after your run to focus on form and power when you’re tired.


Speed Work: Ready for some new speed work? We did 200m sprints for 3 weeks in a row and it’s time to move on. But before you do…take a minute to look back at your 200m times. Did they get faster each week? Did they seem easier each week? I hope so!

Same concept…IIP – Introduce, Improve, Perfect. But this week we are combining 400m and 200m. We’ll do 4X 400m then 4X 200M. After the first set of 400s the 200s will seem easy. Run them at the same pace. Don’t feel the need to speed up for the 200s. You will be tired and it will be mentally challenging. Push through and it will be an awesome workout!

Workout:

  • 1 mile warm up (conversation pace)
  • 4X 400M
  • 4X 200M
  • 1 mile cool down
  • Total of 3.5 miles

400 meters is just shy of a 1/4 mile so if you’re not doing your speed work on a track (which is fine) think 1/4 mile repeats. That will make it easier to use your watch or other GPS device to track yourself. If you are on a track…400M is 1 lap around the track using the inside lane. Stick to that inside lane or you are adding a little distance to each lap.

Pace: Run these faster than 10K pace and closer to what you can do for 5K. This will feel slow early in the workout but will catch up with you.

Example: My 5K pace is around 8:52/mile and my 10K pace is around 9:13/mile so for these sprints I want to be somewhere in the middle of those times….roughly around a 9 min mile. Want to know what your pace should be? Reach out to me with your current 5K and 10K times and I will let you know how fast you should be running these sprints.

Purpose: This workout is ideal for high-end aerobic training and lactate tolerance. It pushes the envelope of the maximum pace you can hold for a 10K. This is a great workout to do with friends. Just be sure you keep focused on hitting the pace that is appropriate for you. That said, don’t be afraid to push each other. You have to challenge yourself to find out what you are capable of, so don’t let the pace drop throughout this workout. Consistency is the key.

Remember…speed work isn’t just for sprinters! Speed work is great for distance runners because it builds up your threshold and teaches your body to allow for more oxygen consumption. This will translate into the ability to breathe easier during those long runs…and yes…it will make going faster easier too.

Plan ahead to get your speed work in. There is no “right” day…it depends on your running schedule. It is important to give yourself rest days in between speed and long runs…so make sure your speed work is 3-4 days before your planned long run.


Racery: For those that need it….here is the link to our Great Wall race. 6 have finished and there’s plenty of time for everyone else to cross that finish line. If you are injured…go out and walk those miles!


Virtual Race: Did everyone finish their Virtual “Make it Count” for Runwell race this past weekend? If you forgot to post…let us know that you finished and show off that pretty medal you earned! Here is the link to our group event.

When it’s all said and done…remember to stretch! Throw in our 7 Key Stretches for Runners…or run through the Yoga for Runners. Take your time with them and get in a good stretch. Plop in front of the TV or put on some music and just relax. Our Key stretch and Yoga are both are a great ways to stretch out your aching muscles and avoid injury.

It’s Monday y’all…start strong and set the tone for the week. Make it great! 🙂

Mondays start strong