Day 27: Easy to Eat…Hard to Burn!

Every drop of sweatRemember how yummy that dinner was last night? Time to work it off Core Crew!

Let every drop of sweat remind you how hard it is to burn off the calories…then don’t ruin it by eating crap!

One day at a time…one meal at a time…baby steps. When you go to reach for crap…think about all those crunches you did today…and WALK AWAY! 🙂

Day 27 exercises:

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Frog Sit Ups – 4 sets of 15
  • Oblique Crunches – 4 sets of 15
  • Reverse Crunches – 4 sets of 15
  • Plank – :30 – 1 min (2X)
  • 100 Crunches – 4 sets of 25
  • Ab Stretches – see below

Bonus: #FlabToFab flab to fab

This bonus is SO doable! Find an extra 15 minutes and get it done! I want to see lots of posts with #FlabToFab today!

Speed Work: I see some people getting their speed work done…but not many. Huge props to Jennifer and Marion for knocking it out! Who else up for a little speed today?

Warm up then get ready for 6 – 10 sets of 200 meter sprints. That’s just over one tenth of a mile. YOU CAN DO THIS! Stop thinking about it…just go do it!

If you need a reminder of how to do it…or how fast you should be going for that .12 mile click here.

Just go do it.. don’t make me come find you and drag some speed out of you! 😉

Stretch Core Crew!! Here’s our 7 Key Stretches for Runners. Give those muscles some love!

Let’s get over the hump and get closer to the weekend. One day at a time y’all…only 3 more days in our April Challenge…finish strong!

Ab Stretches:




Day 20: Go Hard or Go Home

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 5.16.09 AMWhat are we doing today? You got it…Crunching it out for some killer abs!

I don’t know anyone who loves crunches…but we’re doing them everyday because summer is around the corner and we all want to look nice in our bathing suits. Let’s get rid of the muffin top and get those nice toned abs we all crave!

Day 20: “How to” videos

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Frog Sit ups – 3 sets of 15
  • Oblique Crunches – 3 sets of 15
  • Reverse Crunches – 3 sets of 15
  • Plank – :30-1 min (2X)
  • 75 Crunches
  • Ab stretches – These will feel really good today so don’t skip them!

210 varios crunches today…I think that’s enough don’t you? 😉

Bonus: Dead Bugs and Bird Dogs – These exercises will give you a little extra core work today and are very similar to each other except they are switched around. Knock out 3 sets of 10 each for your bonus today. Here’s how to do them.

Other stuff on the agenda…running drills and speed work.

Running Drill: Running Backwards – Strengthen your glutes and hamstring with this drill. It feels awkward but it will help you build strength.

How: Although it will seem awkward at first, try to replicate your forward running motion while moving backward. You’ll still be pushing off of your forefoot and swinging you arms, but you’ll be lunging backward with your hamstrings and using core muscles to stabilize differently than you’re used to while moving forward. Focus on form, not on speed. Do two or four reps of 50 to 100 meters.

Why do we do running drills? Lots of reasons…build strength, improve form, increase cadence.

A lot of our running drills will help you improve your cadence. What is cadence?

Cadence – Stride rate, number of steps per minute or leg turnover. Efficient runners tend to have stride rates of about 180 steps per minute. Increasing stride rate usually means shortening your stride so that you are running the same pace while maintaining a faster cadence.

Cadence is a critical part of running, lowering the stress on ankles, knees, & feet, improving running economy, reducing injury rates, and enhancing running form. Simply…Cadence is how often your feet touch the ground and it’s easy to modify.

Increasing your cadence will help you run faster and more efficiently and it will also help you avoid injuryy. There’s been lots of talk over the last fews years about heel striking and don’t worry…if you are a heel striker…you are not alone. Consider the results of a study done by Pete Larson at the 2009 Manchester City Marathon. Using a high speed camera, Larson filmed runners at the 10km and 32km points of the race, and later classified them according to their foot strike.

At the 10K mark, his results for 936 runners were as follows:

Heel strike: 88.9%; midfoot: 3.4%; forefoot: 1.8%; asymmetrical 5.9%

88.9% heel strikers! Good news! Experts now agree that heel striking alone is not the problem. Instead of it being all about landing on the heel…experts now say “running efficiency is not so much a question of what part of the foot touches the ground first, but how close initial contact is to underneath the hips, i.e. your centre of mass.” In other words, a heel strike that lands close to the hips and on a bent knee causes no significant over-braking or over-loading to the knee.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 5.46.52 AMWe’ve all heard of Meb, who is a classic example of a a runner with a “good heel strike”. American long distance specialist Mebrahtom “Meb” Keflezighi, silver medalist in the 2004 Olympics men’s marathon, winner of the 2009 New York City Marathon, 4th place in the 2012 Olympics.

You can see him here landing on his heel…but you can also see how his knee is bent and his foot lands closer to his body…not straight out in front of him.

What does this mean for us? It means that you shouldn’t worry so much about how your foot lands…but about where your foot lands in reference to your body. Increasing your cadence will force you to pull your landing leg back and closer to the center of your body.

Try this Running Turnover Drill during your runs this week and let us know what you find. Don’t try this while doing your speed work…pick a different run.

Turnover Drill: Find and improve your cadence

  1. Slowly jog about half to three-quarters of a mile.
  2. Begin to run at your normal pace. Once you’ve hit your stride, start your stopwatch, and for :15 count the times your right foot pushes off. Multiply by four. That’s your turnover rate.
  3. Jog a bit more at slow speed, and then repeat Step 2, trying to increase the number of footfalls per minute by two to five.
  4. Repeat up to four more times, trying to increase your footfalls every time. Stop increasing the number of footfalls when you’re not running comfortably anymore.

Speed Work: We are still working on our 1/4 mile repeats. IIP – Introduce, Improve, Perfect. Find this week’s speed work and the pace you should be running here.

When it’s all said and done…don’t forget to stretch!

That’s all for today Core Crew. Keep inspiring each other and yourself to do a little more than you thought you were capable of. Get out of your comfort zone and make it a great Hump Day! 🙂

Ab Stretches and 7 Key Stretches for Runners:


Day 13: No More Ab Neglect!

abs neglectedWe are runners. Runners love to run…duh… But ignoring ab work could mean more than slower running, it can also mean breathing issues which leads to more problems….like pain.

This was an interesting topic for me to look into today because while I knew that core work is important for us…I didn’t know how much our core work could affect our breathing patterns. And I didn’t realize how ineffective breathing could cause pain in other areas of our body while running.

We know the obvious…breathing properly helps us keep a stead pace and avoid side stitches…but did you know that:

“dysfunctional breathing patterns have the potential to wreck our bodies. Inhibition of respiratory stabilizers like the diaphragm, TVA, multifidus, obliques and the pelvic floor muscles will force your body to rely on other less efficient muscles to keep you alive and breathing. Most often respiratory dysfunction will drive compensatory facilitation upward and downward into the surrounding muscles of the shoulders and hips.”

The result is often pain/stiffness in at least 1 of 3 places:

1). Neck/Shoulders (Specifically the Scalenes, SCM and Pectoralis Minor)

2). SI Joint/Lumbar Spine

3). Anterior Hip

Interesting right? Did you know that inefficient breathing could lead to pain in your neck, shoulders, back, and hips? Read more about how our breathing affects other aspects of our body, how you can increase your breathing efficiency, and other exercises that will help you get back on track and avoid unnecessary  with this article by Movement as Medicine.  We are going to try one of them today…with “90/90 breathing” as our bonus exercise.

Day 13 exercises: “How to” videos

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Frog Sit ups – 3 sets of 10
  • Oblique Crunches – 3 sets of 10
  • Reverse Crunches – 3 sets of 10
  • Plank – :30-1 min (2X)
  • 50 Crunches
  • Ab Stretches – see below

Bonus: 90/90 Breathing 

90/90 breathing has been found to be extremely effective at re-establishing the zone of apposition in people who are chronically overextended and is frequently a first choice when treating clients with shoulder mobility and hip impingement issues. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Lie on the floor with your heels on a bench, couch or even a wall. If you use a wall, put your heels on the wall with your toes off. Pull your heels down toward the floor and lift your butt off the ground slightly.
  2. Your head should be flat on the ground. If this is uncomfortable, use a small pillow under your head. Take a deep breath through your nose, and then blow all of the air out of your mouth. Keep exhaling until there is absolutely no air left in your lungs. Pause for two seconds then breathe in. Repeat this five times.
  3. During this drill, you should exhale with enough force to you feel your abs working. Your exhale should last at least eight seconds, and the inhale should be three or four seconds.

Watch this video to see how it’s done and take your time breathing deeply to get the maximum impact. I struggle with my breathing and always have to make a point to focus on it while I’m running. I also have shoulder and neck pain which I know is also a result of tensing up while I’m running…maybe this will help! 🙂

Running Drills and Speed Work: Yesterday before my killer workout with the Runwell crew I got there early and did a warm up mile and the running drills. Let me tell you…I would not have been able to keep pace if I had neglected this warm up. The team with an Olympian coach as our leader set out fast at around a 9:20 for the first mile. For me…that is almost race pace…so warm up was key. I did a mile and a half at an 11 min mile then a few running drills to loosen up. Boy was I glad I did! If I hadn’t…I would’ve been seeing their backsides way in the distance…

Remember to warm up with a 1/2 to a full mile…take a few minutes to get in some running drills that we’ve been practicing…then set out on your speed work. Click here to find this week’s running drills and speed work. Don’t forget why we are doing the same routine as last week…IIP: Introduce, Improve, Perfect. Runwell Virtual Make it Count Medal

Virtual Race: If you haven’t had a chance yet…check out this month’s Make it Count  virtual race benefiting Runwell. The Runwell team is changing the lives of those suffering from addiction. Can you help make a difference and make your miles count? I already got my medal and it is really nice…the best virtual race medal I’ve gotten for running miles I would run either way…check it out.

Sometimes I like seeing who reads to the bottom to make sure they aren’t missing anything…so today I am throwing in an extra ab bonus. Knock it out then tag your post with #BrowniePoints to let me know you’re paying attention. 😉

Brownie Points: In and Outs (50X) – 2 ways to do them

Last but never least….take time to run through our 7 Key Stretches for Runners! When your relaxing at the end of your day…watching TV and reading or whatever it is you do to wind down…take a few minutes to stretch your muscles to keep them soft and pliable. Your body will thank you!

So…on the schedule for Wednesday, Day 13: Abs, Bonus – 90/90 breathing, running drills, speed work. Get to it and make it a great day Core Crew! 🙂

Ab Stretches:

Day 6: Discipline-The Bridge Between Goals and Accomplishments


Running is a Discipline whose virtues carry over into every aspect of your life.

It is not only true that everything you do affects your running…but your running affects everything you do.

Running teaches you to distinguish between “wishing” and “wanting.”

Lots of people “wish” they could do their best, but they aren’t wiling to make the lifestyle changes necessary to turn their wishes into reality. Running is about setting goals and wanting those goals so passionately that you make the sacrifices necessary to attain them. Even when you don’t attain your goals, the experience of chasing them empowers you.

In life we must distinguish “wishing” from “wanting.” The skill set and attitudes you develop in pursuing those goals you want in running and fitness are the same skill set and attitudes that will empower you to move beyond wishing to achieve those goals you want to attain in every aspect of your running career…and the rest of your life.

Running encompasses every aspect of your being — what you eat, what you drink, how much you sleep, how you arrange your life, how you spend your time. Running is a lifestyle that demands you embrace a disciplined approach to everything you do, because everything you do affects your effectiveness as a runner. Everything you do shows up with some immediacy during a road race…and no other sport is quite like running in this regard. Running is more than a sport…it’s a lifestyle.

Do you have the discipline it takes to reach your goals? To go the extra mile and work on your strength, flexibility, speed, and eating habits? All of these factors play a role in how well you feel, how you look, your mental state….and wether or not you’ll reach your goals.

Make the commitment…one day at a time, one workout at a time, one meal at a time. Choose to make being healthy a lifestyle.

Day 6 exercises:

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Frog Sit Ups – 2 sets of 10
  • Oblique Crunches – 2 sets of 10
  • Reverse Crunches – 2 sets of 10
  • Plank – :30 – 1 min (2X)
  • 25 Crunches

standing abs

We have some “new to us” exercises today so check out our “how to” videos to see how to do them correctly.

Bonus: Since all of our ab exercises are on the floor…how about throwing in some #StandingAbs to round out the day?

Running Drills & Speed Work: Hamstring Extensions and 1/4 mile repeats are on the schedule this week. Click here and scroll down to see how to do each of them and work them into your routine today!

When your done…take a few extra minutes to stretch those abs and run through our 7 Key Stretches for Runners. Remember that flexibility and muscle softness will ward of injuries and keep you on the road!

Ab Stretches:

Discipline will separate those who will reach their goals…and those who are still just wishing for them. Who will you be today?

Make the time Core Crew…get it done then tag your post with #Discipline and let the Crew know YOU HAVE IT!

Smile and make it a great Hump Day! 🙂