Day 18: No Knee Wrecking!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Challenges:

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

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

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

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Day 19: Wall Sit Anytime Anywhere!

screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-5-30-20-amMost distance runners will tell you they’ve had a point on one (or many) of their runs where they hit “the wall.” The wall can be both an emotional and a physical barrier. You need mental strength to finish a marathon, but you also need toned muscles!

Wall sits are a great down-and-dirty strength exercise to build strength in your quadriceps and calves. When you’re doing a wall sit, your quads are holding your weight up by pushing it against the wall, and your calves are working to keep your knees bent at a 90° angle.

By strengthening your thigh muscles, you are helping stabilize your knees, which helps lower your risk of injury. Runner’s Knee, which is an unfortunate and common injury for distance runners, can be caused by weak thigh muscles (among other things). By strengthening your quads, you’re helping reduce risk of injury.

Anyone Can Do Wall Sits

Perhaps the greatest thing about wall sits, is that anyone can do them, anywhere, at any time. Can’t find time for your full daily workout? Throw in some wall sits throughout the day. Camping in the woods? Find a tree to lean up against. Got a few minutes before you have to be back at work from your lunch break? Wall sit! Arrive a few minutes before your doctor appointment? The car can provide a solid surface for a wall sit – right there in the parking lot.

Remember, our “challenge” is meant to motivate you to do more than you would each day. We’re not here to beat you up for not getting in every single exercise every single day. If you do…that’s awesome! But we know that busy lives get in the way and the most important thing is being active and adding strength training to your routine.

So when you’re short on time, grab a wall and take a squat. Every little bit counts!

Day 19 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Squats
  • Side Lunges (each leg)
  • Wall sits – 3X (:60) or 1X for 3 minutes!
  • Plank – :60 (your choice)

Bonus: Hip Stability Exercies for IT Band Syndrome and Runner’s Knee

Lots of people suffer from tight hips and IT Bands which lead to pain in and around our knees and down our legs. Hip rotation and pelvic imbalances are also frequent issues for runners that contribute to IT Band Syndrome or Runner’s Knee.

Yes, this is a monthly challenge, but I also hope you find information along the way that you tuck away in your personal arsenal for future use. The exercises in this video help to create additional stability and strength for both prevention and recovery. Check it out.

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 45
  • Push Ups Beginner – 15
  • Push Ups Advanced – 30
  • Squats – 50

Speed Work: Climb ladders

Ladder workouts are speed sessions that vary the length of the work intervals in incremental steps and are a great way to get a mix of several high-intensity running paces in a single session. Go to the track or use your GPS watch to track your distance., warm up with 10 minutes of easy running, and try one of these ladders. Run each interval slightly faster than the preceding one, and jog, walk  400 meters (or just stand still and breath deeply) between each interval.

Starter ladder: 400M (1/4 mile), 800M (1/2 mile), 1600M (mile), 800M (1/2 mile), 400M (1/4 mile).

Advanced ladder: 200M (.1 mile), 400M, 800M, 1200M, 1600M, 1200M, 1000M, 800M, 400M, 200M

Remember that it is always important to do a good warm up and cool down before and after every speed work session. And if you’re not doing running drills to loosen your glutes, hips, quads, and calves…you’re missing out on an important part of the workout.

  1. Warm up
  2. Running Drills: Pick a few and take a few minutes to loosen up. Click here for descriptions of each running drill. Butt Kicks, High Knees, Bounding, Grapevines, Slow Skipping, Hamstring Extensions, Running Backwards, Straight Leg Shuffle, Lateral Bounding
  3. Speed Work
  4. Cool Down

Running today? We usually try to do our strength work before we go for a run…but this time save one of your wall sits for afterwards, when your legs are fatigued. Just one…don’t go overboard with it. When it’s all said and done, take time to stretch out those tired and sore muscles so you’re ready to go long this weekend!

Have a great Thursday Crew! 🙂

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Day 13: Serious Abs Brewing

 

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Want to meet hose abs that have been brewing? I know I do! There’s lots of summer left and plenty of time to show off that tight tummy! Don’t give up on your dreams of walking around on the beach in that teeny bikini!

Wednesday is my favorite ab day…these moves are fun and when you do them right you can really feel the burn!

Take your time and move through each exercise with purpose.

Day 13 exercises: 2 rounds of 10

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

  • Standing Oblique Crunch
  • Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Press Rotation
  • Single Leg Deadlift
  • Towel Mountain Climbers – Let’s see those videos! Keep your core tight and your body as still as possible. Use your core to bring your legs in and go slowly!
  • Burpees
  • Plank – :30 (2X)

Daily absBonus: #DailyAbs – How many rounds do you have brewing in you today?

Go through our Day 13 exercises slow…but run through this #DailyAbs workout quickly…from one exercise right to the next. Keep squeezing your abs tight through each circuit!

Extra Credit: When you’re done with your bonus…slow it down again and go through our day 13 exercises one more time! 😉

If you don’t feel the burn after you finish today’s workout…you aren’t doing it right!

What else is going on today? Running Drills? Speed Work? Healthy eating?!?

After all the hard work you put in today…don’t go and ruin it by putting crap in your body! It doesn’t matter what is around you, what your friend eat, what your kids eat, or how much time you have to prepare…what you put in your body is always your decision. How much you put in your body is your decision. No one forces you. You have no one to blame but yourself for not making smart decisions today…choose wisely!

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Day 12: More Sweat Less Jiggle

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The only way to get rid of the jiggle is to sweat it off! There’s no way around it…toned arms that don’t waggle when we wave takes hard work and lots of sweat! Tuesday is tricep day…and these moves will target that arm jiggle.

If you don’t get sweaty…if it doesn’t burn…you’re not giving it all you’ve got!

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Avoid the naughty finger waggle….

Get up…get moving….and get sweaty!

Day 12 exercises: 2 rounds of 10

****Click here for our how to videos for these tricep exercises****

  • Tricep Dips
  • Tricep Push-Ups
  • Tricep Overhead Extensions
  • Dumbbell Kickbacks
  • Burpees
  • Plank – :30 (2X)

Bonus: #FitBodyHIIT

It’s all about sweating today and this Fit Body Hitt program will get you sweaty! Hit each super set hard then take a short (:30) break before you move on to the next set. Don’t rest longer though…get your breath and get moving again.

Don’t freak out over the :90 Plank and Wall Squat (Wall Sit). We’ve been doing these and you can hold these moves. YOU CAN! Give it your best shot and I promise you will surprise yourself with how strong you are!

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Running Drills and Speed Work: We got this week’s running drills and speed work on Monday. Have you made a plan to work it in yet? Without a plan the week will get away from you so plan it out NOW.

If you’re not getting the speed work in today….be accountable and tell us when you will get it done in your Day 12 post.

Click >>> Day 11: Stay Focused for to the link to our running drills and speed work for this week.

That’s it Crew…get to getting sweaty, banish that jiggle and make it a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

 

Day 6: Results or Excuses?

Results or ExcusesWhat are your goals? What kind of results are you striving for? Do you want to lose weight? Get stronger? Get tighter and toner? Run faster? Run farther? Complete a goal race feeling good?

What excuses do you come up with to skip your workout? Seriously…be honest with yourself and with us…what excuse do you use to skip it?

If you only put half effort into your workout, if you workout then eat a bunch of crap, if you  make excuses why you can only get it done every once in a while…whose fault is it that you don’t see the results you want?

My biggest goal is a tighter, toner tummy and stronger arms. My biggest excuse…eating crap. I know how to eat healthy…I know what foods to avoid…but sometimes my belly overrides my brain and I end up eating crap…yummy crap…but crap all the same. I have to make a new commitment every day to eat better…and I don’t always succeed. But I am trying and every day is a new chance to eat better. Taking it one day at a time.

What’s your excuse for not getting the results you want? Put it in writing and makes it more real. Be accountable. Put your excuses out there so we can help you over come them.

Day 6 exercises: 2 rounds of 10 ****Click here for how to videos****

  • Standing Oblique Crunch
  • Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Press Rotation
  • Single Leg Deadlift
  • Towel Mountain Climbers – Use a towel, paper plates, or furniture movers if you have them. Using something to keep your feet on the ground will force you to use your core muscles to pull your legs in. Keep your feet on the floor!
  • Burpees
  • Plank – :30 (2X)

Bonus: #KillerCoreWorkout Killer Core Workout

Today’s core work is quick so if you’re like me and want those tight abs…ditch the excuses and make the extra time for this Killer Core Workout.

Hip Lifts – There’s lots of ways “hip lift” can be interpreted. For today I want you to think side plank hip dips.  30 times each side.

The rest of the exercises should be familiar…except maybe the toe touches. This is another one that can be done many different ways. Today we are going to do a move similar to a V-Up without moving our legs. Remember to keep your legs as straight as possible and avoid swinging by using your core to pull you up. Check out the video below to see how it’s done.


Speed Work: Wednesday is a great day for some speed work! This week we are doing short bursts of speed with a quick recovery. Here’s your workout:

  • 6 x 200M (90 recovery between sets) 
  1. Warm up – 1/2 mile to 1 mile SLOW (conversation pace)
  2. Drills – high knees, butt kicks, skipping, grapevines (3 sets of 15-20)
  3. Sprints with recovery (:90 between sets)
  4. Cool down – 1/2 mile to 1 mile SLOW (conversation pace)

This is a fast workout and you will only run 2-3 miles TOPS. Your lungs may be on fire…but the cool down will help and you will recover quickly.

Your speed work can be done any day of the week but make sure you give yourself 2-3 days before and after your long run to recover. This is a hard workout and your muscles need time to rebuild!

Part of rebuilding your muscles includes eating protein within 30 minutes after your workout. Plan ahead so you know what you will eat when you’re done. Make sure it’s high in protein and your muscles will thank you!

When you’re done…take time to stretch! We don’t have a day dedicated to stretching or yoga this month but you know it’s important to make the time.

Rise above

Lots to do and plenty of reasons not to do it. Do any of these sound familiar?

<<<<<<<<<<

You are not the person you may have been in the past.

Rise above your excuses and get one step closer to your goal.

Start right now.

Day 5: To Die For Triceps

To Die For Triceps

I couldn’t be prouder of everyone working so hard on Independence Day! My Crew killed it!

With so much running…followed up by awesome leg work…it’s a great day to sculpt some “to die for” triceps!

Instead of being jealous of those beautiful arms we see on others…let’s get to work because those tight, toned, sculpted arms don’t build themselves!

Day 5 exercises: 2 rounds of 10 ****Click here for how to videos****

  • Tricep Dips
  • Tricep Push Ups
  • Tricep Overhead Extensions
  • Dumbbell Kickbacks
  • Burpees
  • Plank – :30 (2X)

Full Body BlastBonus: After all the holiday food and festivities…we need a little extra cardio in our life today. If you over-indulged… don’t beat yourself up. Just throw in this bonus routine and burn off those calories baby!

#FullBodyBlast

With a little downtime from racing, it’s back to the road training. Remember that you need your rest to stay healthy and injury free….but don’t forget your speed work!


Speed Work: 6X 200M (90 recovery between sets) 

Key here…run fast…but not as fast as you can. Get through all 6 sets of 200 meters (or .12 miles) then rest for 90 seconds and do it again.

Before you start, remember to warm up with a 1/2 to a full mile slow jog, then do your running drills, high knees, butt kicks, skipping, grapevines, then run through your sprints, then finish with a cool down…another 1/2 to full mile slow jog.

  1. Warm up
  2. Drills: high knees, butt kicks, skipping, grapevines (3 sets of 15-20)
  3. Sprints with recovery
  4. Cool down

This is a fast workout and you will only run 2-3 miles TOPS. Your lungs may be on fire…but the cool down will help and you will recover quickly.

Your speed work can be done any day of the week but make sure you give yourself 2-3 days before and after your long run to recover. This is a hard workout and your muscles need time to rebuild!

Ready for an awesome Tuesday workout? All that counts is how you do today. Take it one day at a time and those days will add up! Get up, get moving, and let’s GETTT ITTT Crew! 🙂

How you do today

Day 22: Wake Up and Be Awesome!

Good Ab Day

Ready for a killer Ab day?!? YES!!!

Wednesday is my favorite day this month…I love this ab routine!

You know you’ve worked your abs hard when it hurts to sneeze or laugh so today after you finish your workout find your favorite funny meme and post for us so we can laugh and feel all that hard work we put in! 🙂

First thing…when you get up…before you shower and get ready for work…let’s bust out the #MiniMorningWorkout again. It’s quick, fun and a great way to get our heart pumping first thing in the morning!

Mini Morning Workout

Day 22 exercises: 4 sets of 10

  • Knee Cross Crunch
  • Double Arm Reach
  • Side Imprint
  • Cross Body Chop
  • Medicine Ball Slam
  • Star Plank – :60 each side

Bonus: 100 Crunches in sets of 25 in between Day 22 exercises. Tag your post with #100Crunches!

Thigh Challenge: Day 22 – Love to see so many of you keeping up with the #ThighChallenge this month. Keep it up!

  • 35 Fire Hydrants
  • 90 Scissors
  • 6o Inner Thigh Leg Lifts

Running Drills: Grapevines – Yes I know I keep talking about it…that’s because I want you to do these running drills EVERY time you run! Before or after…either way they will help you improve your running form and efficiency!

Speed Work: Options, options options! Whatever you choose…give it your all!

  • Fartleks
  • Interval Sprints – 200M, 400M, 800M, 1200M, Mile Repeats
  • Tempo Run

Fun, fantastic workout coming at you today! Give it all you’ve got and make sure you…

Wake up and be awesome