Day 28: Decide To Try

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What will you accomplish if you decide to give up?

Before you abandon your dreams, ask yourself a few important questions…

  • Why did you want to pursue this goal to begin with? Has anything changed? You had a good reason for committing to reach your goal and odds are, you still want it as much as you did before; you just stopped believing you could achieve it because your attempts have yet to yield results. You have to ask yourself: If you push through the discomfort, will it be with it in the end?
  • Did you set a smart goal? SMART goals are:
  1. Specific—you know exactly what your world will look like when you achieve this goal.
  2. Measurable—you have a specific plan to mark your progress as you go.
  3. Attainable—you have the attitude and aptitude to make your goal reality.
  4. Realistic—you’re willing and able to do the required work.
  5. Time-bound—you’ve set a concrete timeframe for completion to create a sense of urgency.

If you didn’t set a SMART goal, you may have set yourself up for failure. How can you possibly make something happen if you don’t know exactly what you want, or didn’t really believe you could do it? Are you really willing to walk away when you didn’t give yourself every opportunity to succeed?

  • How much have you already put in? A concept studied in social psychology called “the sunk cost principle” indicates the more we’ve invested in something, the less likely we are to prematurely walk away. How invested are you? How time have you devoted? How many sacrifices have you made? Are you really willing to chalk it all up as a loss because you’re not feeling confident in your abilities?
  • What would you tell someone else if they were in your shoes? Would you tell your best friend to throw in the towel because she can’t possibly reach her goal? Or would you practice your finest motivational speech and help her see what you see in her potential? Unless you’re secretly a frenemy who hopes she fails in life, odds are you’d push her to be her best—so why not push yourself?

It might sound kind of cheesy, but you need to be your own best friend. You, more than anyone in this world, deserve your own belief and motivation.

If there’s some lingering doubt as to whether or not you should keep pushing—don’t give up. Decide to try!

Decide to keep working toward that dream that fills you with passion!

Day 28 exercises: Abs – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Renegade Rows
  • Weighted Sit Ups
  • Dead Bugs
  • Heel Touches
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: #DailyAbs Daily Abs

How many rounds do you have in you today? 2..3..4?

Decide to try and see how far you can push yourself today!

When it’s all said and done, stretch, hydrate and rest up….cause it’s almost time to go long!

Make it a great Friday Crew….and whatever you do…DECIDE TO TRY!

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Day 21: When Life Knocks You Down…

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-6-14-48-amWe all love it when someone notices all the hard work we’ve put in.

You know…”Dang you look good”

“Your legs are amazing”

“You look great, have you lost weight?”

“Your arms are so defined and strong!”

“What are you doing? You look fabulous!”

Comments like these make us want to work harder! If you’re not getting them…maybe you shouldn’t have skipped last week? Last month? You have no one blame but yourself if you’re not putting in the work!

Stop making excuses and get your booty in gear! Start today!

Day 21 exercises: Abs – 3 sets of 15

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

  • Renegade Rows
  • Weighted Sit Ups
  • Dead Bugs
  • Heel Touches
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: 1-2-3 Ab Workout screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-6-24-22-am

We’ve done all these exercises before so they should be familiar. I like these ladder workouts but you can see the finish line…take it one step at a time and work those abs Crew!


November Challenge: I’ve had a few suggestions come in for November but looking for more!

We will definitely have two dedicated hip strength days as that seemed to go over very well. What else would you like to focus on? Any new ab or arm moves you want to try? How about some fun new leg exercises? All ideas and suggestions are welcome and home videos are awesome! Get involved and show us your favorite moves!

Extra Credit: This is for all you burpee haters out there…I know they are hard, I know they hurt, I KNOW they get your heart rate up! But when life gets tough and knocks you down…it’s time for burpees!

3 sets of 10 burpees today Crew! GETTTT ITTTTT!!!! 🙂

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Day 14: Abs On FIIIRRRE!

It’s FRIDAYYYYY!!!!

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Time to set those abs on FIIIRRRRE and get ready for a fabulous weekend full of long runs, races, and fun family time!

Ab day always makes me feel so good. I love working out that area since it’s one that I know ALWAYS need some extra attention…

Let’s get it done and move on to the fun stuff! Who’s racing this weekend? Who’s got a long run coming up to prepare for a race? Let us know so we can cheer you on!

Day 14 exercises: Abs – 3 sets of 10

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

  • Renegade Rows
  • Weighted Sit Ups
  • Dead Bugs
  • Heel Touches
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: 10 Minute Abs – Got a few extra minutes? Throw in this 10 minute abs routine to really set those abs on FIIIIIIRRRREEEE!!! 😉

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-3-39-03-am

There’s a couple moves on here that might not be familiar so check below so make sure you have it all right.

Toe Touches: Let’s make this a lying toe touch. Reach for the sky!


Suitcase Crunches: We’ve done these before…this is just another name for them. Pull it together like like flying up a suitcase.


Scissors: The scissor exercise works all parts of your abdominal muscles to give you a flat and tight stomach.


Spiderman Crunches: Missing our daytime planks? Bringing them back today! You might know this one as a plank with knee to utter arm. Here’s how to do it.

Extra Credit: Round 4 – Who reads all the way to the bottom? Extra credit for being thorough and paying attention to details today! 🙂  Throw in one more round of our Day 14 exercises to get that fire rolling strong!

Who knows the song?? Come on…no Google cheating…who sings this one Crew? Hum it in your head while your setting those abs on fire today!! 🙂

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Day 30: Final Day…a Day to Remember!

didnt do it perfectThis is it Core Crew…Day 30…the final day of our May Challenge!

The month has flown by so quickly…and even if you didn’t do every single day, even if you didn’t do it perfectly…you still did it!

You’re stronger, healthier, and more confident in yourself and your abilities. You know you can do the speed work and you know the running drills make you a better runner. Now put it all together and have a killer last day of May!

It’s Memorial Day and most of us aren’t working. So once you get done with day 30 (arms) ….go out for a run and take time to reflect, give thanks, and remember those who died for our freedom.

5 sets of each exercise and 50 push ups today y’all. Push through and finish strong!

Day 30 exercises:

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 5 sets of 10
  • Renegade Row – 5 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front & Side – 5 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side (2X)
  • 50 Push Ups

Bonus: #RunToRemember Run to Remember

Go for a run…a run to remember! Remember those who have fallen and gave their lives so we can live free. Take time to think abut those men and women and dedicate your run to them. Doesn’t matter how far or how fast…just go run. Come home and knock out our 7 Key Stretches for Runners then go have some fun!

Tomorrow, May 31st is a rest day from strength training since this is a 30 Day Challenge. We will pick up on Wednesday with a brand new challenge! I will be getting it out to you sometime tomorrow.

Have a great Memorial Day and an awesome final day of our May Challenge Core Crew! 🙂

Yes I did it

Day 26: Relentless Forward Motion

Strength-Training-for-RunnersBy now you know how important strength training is for runners…. but there’s always more to learn. If you have a few extra minutes read this post by Relentless Forward Commotion, “Strength Training for Runners: Why You Should Pick Up Weight.” 

If you don’t want to read the full article, here’s an important excerpt:

Yes, specificity of training is a huge component to successful running. In layman’s terms: in order to improve your running, you must run. I won’t argue that fact. But in my opinion, strength training is not only beneficial to your training routine (i.e., it will make you faster and stronger), it is vital in helping to help prevent injury, and will contribute to your overall health and fitness levels.

When I was in school, a good friend of mine, who happened to also be my professor, who happens to be a female sub-3-hour marathon runner (she’s fast) told us that she had once had a DEXA scan (bone density) that revealed something alarming: from the waist down, she had excellent bone density, thanks to the many miles she logged weekly. From the waist up, due to the lack of training her upper body, she was considered pre-osteoporosis. She wasn’t even 40 years old.

Not yet 40, runs a sub 3 marathon, pre-osteoporosis. WHAT?!? So even though this woman was in great shape…she was still facing issues.

Strength training is about more than just getting rid of extra weight and flab, about more than proper form, about more than getting faster…it’s also good for your bones and your overall health!

Strength training takes time and dedication. One workout will not make you stronger…you have to keep doing it every week… you have to commit to relentless forward motion to stay healthy and get stronger. Let’s get to work crew!

Day 26 exercises:

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 4 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 4 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front and Side – 4 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side (2X)
  • 50 Push Ups

Bonus: #AllArmsWorkout All Amrs Workout

We can always do a little more so if you have the time and the determination to get stronger throw in 3 sets of each of these exercises.

Most or all of these exercises should be familiar to you by now. The left and right rows and the flys can be done using a bench or stability ball. See the images below to see how they are done. More questions? Ask! I’m here to help.


Running Drills: We’re going through our list and so far we’ve gotten through High knees, Butt Kicks, Bounding, and Grapevines. Do a few of these before your run to warm up…or after your run to promote good form while you’re tired.

Speed Work: It’s Thursday so hopefully you have already found time for your speed or this week. If not, and you are planning to go long on Saturday, throw in some fartleks or strides today but don’t push too hard and wear yourself out before the weekend. If you still want to see what the speed work is all about, click here for this week’s workout.

Being weak is a choice…so is being strong. What will you choose today?

Choose to be strong today and make it a great Thursday Core Crew! 🙂

being weak is a choice

 

Day 23: Chasing Dreams

7 days to go

Good morning and Happy Monday Crew! Can you believe May is almost over? This month has flown by so fast!

I’m working on getting our June Challenge together this week and would love to hear what you want to work on next month. Suggestions, ideas, specific exercises or areas you’d like to work on are all welcome!

May has been a great month but it’s not over yet…don’t let this week slip away cause we’ve still got work to do! 4 sets may seem a little daunting but it’s time to step it up and push hard! Work hard and keep chasing your dreams. You can do this!

Day 23 exercises: Arm Day

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 4 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 4 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front & Side – 4 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 minute forearm plank (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side (2X)
  • 45 Push Ups

Bonus: #WakeUpWarmUp Wake up Warm Up

Today’s bonus is a great pre run or pre work out warm up so do this first and get that heart pumping!


Running Drills: We’ve all seen those runners on the track who do those funny looking moves before they run. Why do they do them? To improve running form and efficiency. Each of the drills highlights one or more aspects of good running form and accentuates them through repetitive motion, which trains the body to become comfortable with that movement so it can be inserted into your typical running mechanics.

This week we are doing Grapevines again…these are fun and will loosen up your hips, legs and glutes before your run.

Grapevines Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 6.17.10 AM

Why: This drill loosens hip flexors and glutes and increases hip and leg and gluteal mobility while also using lateral strength required to run with good form.

How: Standing upright with your head and torso facing forward, move laterally in one direction by placing your trailing leg in front of the lead leg. Then move the lead leg in that same lateral direction and place the trailing leg in front of the lead leg. Maintain a fluid motion with your arms rotating in the opposite direction from the legs. Do two to four 50-meter reps to the left and right, facing the same direction for each lateral movement.


Speed Work: Lots of our Crew is getting faster and pushing themselves by adding one day of speed work to their routine. It’s not easy but it’s also not as hard as you think. Give it a try and surprise yourself with how strong and capable you are!

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: As of last week my current 5K pace is around 8:40/mile so for these sprints I want to be right around that pace. If you don’t have a recent 5K to use as a marker think about your last race and use it as a guide. Remember that half marathon pace is slower than a 5K so if that is your marker…push yourself and think faster!

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.

Monday is one of those days that makes us cringe…back to real life and back to work. Make this week count and chase your dreams…chase them until you are out of breath….then keep running Core Crew!

Chase dreams

 

Day 19: How Do You Stay Accountable?

AccountabilitySome people like to post…others follow the calendar and get it done without posting. Either way is fine…as long as your being active and getting it done.

Here’s the thing though…one of the things I love about this group is the accountability we give to each other. Setting goals is great…but how many times have you set a goal for yourself but didn’t tell anyone…then life gets in the way and the dream slowly fades away. Telling others what your goals are…and what you are doing to reach them makes you accountable. Even if you’re telling people you don’t know and might not ever meet. Telling others makes it more real.

You can do it on your own…but why? Why not let your Core Crew cheer you on, help keep you accountable, get you past that hump when you want to quit so you can reach your goal? Busy? I get it…but it only takes a minute! And who knows…maybe you’ll be our next challenge winner and bring home the Top 30 Day Challenger medal! 🙂

Day 19 exercises:

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

Bonus: #FiveMinutePlank Five Minute Plank

Who’s up for some extra planking? You’ve heard Paula and Martin talk about the five minute plank and now it’s time to give it a go. This plank moves around and is not as hard as you think but it is a great whole body workout.


Stretch: Wether or not you are running today…take a few minutes to stretch and loosen up all those tight running muscles. Here’s our 7 Key Stretches for Runners.


I’m looking forward to the Corporate Run 5K here in Jax tonight even though I would rather run a half marathon than a 5k….5Ks are hard! I’m also a little nervous about it being a night race since I never run at night but I’m going to eat well today and hope it’s not too hot at 7pm. Planning on a good 1-2 mile pre-race warm up since mile 3 is when I usually start to feel good. We’ll see…but no matter what I plan on having fun!

Wish I could spend my birthday with all of you but since we can’t all celebrate together I am dedicating this bday race to my Core Crew! I will run hard for you guys!

Wherever you are…go hard for me today too and make it an awesome! 🙂

 

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

Day 12: What Makes You Happy?

pretty when happyBeing happy makes us smile…and we’re all prettier when we smile! Find something your thankful for…find a reason to smile…and be happy today!

We’ve worked our legs super hard the last couple days so I couldn’t be happier it’s arm day! 🙂

Day 12 exercises: “How To” Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 3 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front & Side – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – 1 Minute (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side (2X)
  • 30 Push Ups
  • Arm Stretches – take a minute to stretch out those arms after today’s workout!

Bonus: #FightFlabbyArms Fight Flabby Arms

A couple weeks ago we talked about being happy with ourself….not comparing our bodies to others. That’s always true…but it doesn’t mean we don’t want to fight those flabby arms! Take a few extra minutes to throw in this bonus and feel those arms burn today!


Running Drills and Speed Work: Haven’t had a chance to get in your speed work this week? There’s still time! Stop overthinking it and just go out and give it a try! Skipping the running drills? Why? Running drills will help your form…and it’s not hard. Throw in those high knees before your run as a dynamic warm up… or after your run to teach your legs how to run strong when they’re tired.

Click here to find this week’s running drill and speed work…and why and how we do it. Remember…speed work is not just about getting faster. There’s TONS of reasons to throw in some speed!

  1. Build stronger muscles
  2. Boost heart health
  3. Lose weight
  4. Good training in between races
  5. See progress! We all want to see results. See results faster with speed work!

Who’s racing this weekend? Let us know so we can cheer you on!

As always…don’t forget to stretch!

Live happy…run happy…and make it a great day Core Crew!

Run Happy

 

Day 9: Weekend Is Over?

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 4.49.12 AMThe weekend is over? UGH!!! But what a fantastic weekend! Tons of racing, lots of long runs, and our Core Crew being total badasses! Sad that’s it’s over…but it’s time to start a new week!

Stepping up to 3 rounds of 10 for all our exercises and adding a few more push ups…let’s do this!

Day 9 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
  • 25 Push Ups
  • Planks – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Planks – :30 each side (2X)
  • Arm Stretches

Bonus: #CoreChallenge Core Challenge

Even though we love our daily planks…we don’t have a day dedicated to core work this month and we know how important a strong core is for running and for our overall health. Take a few extra minutes to focus on getting that core strong and tight!


Running Drill: High Knees

Running drills highlight aspects of good running form and accentuate them through repetitive motion, which trains the body to become comfortable with that movement so it can be inserted into your typical running mechanics. We keep talking about them because they are meant to be done repetitively…3-4 times a week! If you haven’t already, start working them into your routine. Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 6.14.18 AM

These drills can be done before or after a workout but this week we are doing them after…to reinstate the notion of running with good form while fatigued. 2-4 sets of 15 high knees per side. Focus on posture and getting those knees high. Remember to land soft with a flat foot.

Why: The high knees drill accentuates knee lift and glutes and hamstring power, which are keys to running fast and efficiently, as well as powerful and efficient leg drive.

How: Taking short steps with a very quick cadence, alternate thrusting knees upward until your thigh breaks a plane parallel to the ground. Focus on soft, flat footstrikes near the ball of your foot while using your core to lower your leg down slowly instead of letting it crash to the ground. Do two to four reps of 15 lifts on each knee.

Speed Work: Some runners avoid speed work because they don’t really care about getting faster. Maybe you started running to get healthier or lose weight…and running is a great choice for these goals.

But did you know that speed work can enhance your heart health? That speed work will increase your metabolism and keep it going long after your workout so you continue to burn more calories longer and lose weight faster?

The case for speed work:

  1. Build Stronger Muscles – Speed work recruits different muscles than slow runs do and also strengthens the bones, ligaments, and joints, so they can absorb and adapt to higher workloads. This effect is similar to weight training. The heavier the weight you lift, the stronger your muscle will become because the muscle is having to resist more weight. With speed work, the more you push the leg muscles to move faster, the more total muscle fibers you activate and the more explosively you contract them. This results in greater strength and injury resistance.
  2. Boost Heart Health – Speed sessions evoke an increase in the maximal stroke volume of heart. This is a fairly complicated cardiologic discussion but simply stated, stroke volume is the amount of blood that can be pumped from the heart in one stoke. A greater stroke volume decreases the heart rate and, in a sense, makes the heart more efficient.
  3. Lose Weight – At an easy pace, running a mile burns about 100 calories. However, the faster you run, the more calories you’ll burn during that mile. Plus, high-intensity training keeps your metabolism revved even after the workout is over. What’s more, research seems to suggest that the after burn – the number of calories your body burns after your workout, when your metabolism is revved – lasts for longer when you run faster.
  4. Training Between Races – Speed work helps maintain efficiency by stimulating the central nervous system and activating more slow twitch muscle fibers. More importantly, speed work helps reduce injury by gradually introducing speed into a training schedule.
  5. See Progress – One of the biggest challenges of not training for a specific race is staying motivated. Running an easy pace every day is going to get boring and feel like you’re not making any progress. By running speed workouts – and repeating the same type of workout – you’ll find that you’re running faster, or with less effort, and this is going to make you feel like you’re getting fitter. Even if you don’t have a race goal, all that motivation will keep you going when you don’t want to get out the door or the weather gets bad.speed work does a runner good

So if getting faster isn’t really that important to you…that’s cool. Pick another reason why you should give it a try….then go out and surprise yourself because you can do this!

Speed Workout: Sticking with the IIP format (Introduce, Improve, Perfect) we are doing those 200 meter sprints for the third time this week. If you haven’t tried them yet…this is your week!

200 meter sprints (.12 miles or half way around a track). If you can’t get to a track…just use your GPS watch to calculate the .12 mile distance. It doesn’t have to be exact…but keep it close.

  • Start with six to 10 200-meter repeats at a one-mile to 5-K pace (or an 8 or 9 on an exertion scale of 1 to 10), with a 200-meter jog in between.
  • 200-meter intervals should be run at 12% faster than your 5K pace.

To do this workout it would be helpful to know your current 5K time. If you haven’t ran a 5K recently…use the exertion scale…on a scale from 1-10…you should be running at an 8-9. This means you should be giving it almost all you’ve got for about 1 minute (maybe a little more or a little less depending on your speed. I tend to run these in roughly :44 – :47…that’s using just under a 10 minute mile as my base. Use this as a guide to see how fast you should be doing these repeats.

I am here and available to chat if you want some help figuring out how to do these…or how fast you should e doing them. Remember to start out slower with the first couple sets so you can do the full workout. If you can only do 1 or 2….you’re starting out too fast. Slow down a little so you can get the full benefits of this workout.

Important: Speed work should be done by itself. Don’t go run 4 miles then do speed work. Do a warm up (5-10 min), jump into your speed work (a mile or less total) then do a cool down (5-10 min). All in all…you should be running 3 miles or less on this day. If you’re used to running more miles…don’t worry…I promise this workout will leave you exhausted all on it’s own.Eat less sugar


Food Challenge: After a fun filled Mother’s Day weekend..it’s time to recommit to our Food Challenge…no extra sugar! If you faltered….don’t stress…just pick back up today and commit to cutting back on your sugar intake


Racery: We have begun our journey to run The Great Wall! 51 miles total…if you forgot to log your miles over the weekend here is the link. Alicja Grace is in the lead after her Wisconsin Marathon on Saturday (Way to go Alicja!!!) Who’s going to catch her?


Looks like a lot…but remember to space your training throughout the week. Running drills are quick and can be done every workout…speed should be one day that is spaced out from your long run.

When it’s all said and done…take time to stretch. Broken record here I know…but find some down time…post workout, at the end of your day while you’re watching TV, or maybe before bedtime. Stretch it out and let your muscles recover from all your hard work. Both of our stretching routines are great for runners. Pick one and run through all the stretches.

Go get at it Core Crew….and make it a great Monday! 🙂

running is better