Day 23: Earn Your Cookies

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2 more days till Christmas and for lots of us…only 1 more day till tons of yummy food comes our way on Christmas Eve! Ready to Earn Your Cookies?

Put in the work today and burn some serious calories at your long run tomorrow, then you can enjoy your feast and the time with your family without guilt!

Great workout coming today Crew, let’s get to it!

Day 23 exercises:

  • Modern Moms Hip Strength
  • Bonus: Snowman Workout – 10 Rounds
  • Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-12 (Last Day!!)
  • One :60 Plank of your choice

Modern Moms Hip Strength: By now this should be burned into your brain…almost so you can do it without following along with the video. But for our newbies…and for those who’ve skipped it a few times, here’s our Friday hip strength workout.


Bonus: Snowman Workout – 10 Rounds 

Push ups, Sit ups and Squats…great calorie burn/strength workout…and 10 rounds might seem like a lot but this should be quick…if not painless. Rock it out!

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screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-5-10-48-amExtra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-12

Last day for our 12 Days of Christmas. Who will be glad this is over?

  1. 1 minute skaters
  2. 20 Squats
  3. 15 Push Ups
  4. 10 Superman
  5. 1 minute Jumping Jacks
  6. 20 Lunges
  7. 15 Tricep Dips
  8. 10 Mountain Climbers
  9. 10 Burpees
  10. 20 Side Lunges
  11. 15 Pike Push Ups
  12. 10 Plank Shoulder Taps

Finish off your day with one :60 plank of your choice then take 10 minutes
to stretch before our long runs tomorrow. The benefits of our 7 Key stretches for Runners are improved performance, better range of motion, joint stabilization and injuries avoidance. I know you’re busy doing all those last minute things to get ready for the holidays but your body is craving these stretches so make the time to do them!


Want to work extra hard on Monday to erase the holiday gluttony and guilt? I don’t! Think before you eat and make good choices this weekend starting now! This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself, just think MODERATION and be AWARE of what is going in your belly!

Eat slowly, take small portions, and drinks lots of water to go with your wine!

No excuses Crew…let’s get to work and EARN YOUR COOKIES!

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Day 20: Small Efforts Every Day

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If you want to be successful, you have to put in the work…every single day. You don’t have to kill it…small efforts repeated day in and day out make all the difference!

I saw that Alison took it back to Day 1 over in New Zealand, so I figured we’d follow her lead. Day 1 was a full body compound movement video that everyone loved so let’s do it again.

Also on Day 1 we did the No Junk Food Challenge….with Christmas in just a few days, let’s get ready for all the yuminess coming our way and take a day to detox first! No Junk Food today y’all! Can you do it? Put down the junk…just for 1 day!

Day 20 exercises: 

  • Full Body Compound Workout Video
  • Bonus: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-9
  • Finish with one :60 plank

Follow video below (3 times) and finish it off with a :60 plank

What you will need: If you don’t have this equipment substitute and make it work! Your dumbbells will work just fine in place of the medicine ball and kettle bells.

  • Kettle bell or dumbbell
  • Jump rope (or just pretend you’re using a jump rope and simulate the exercise
  • Medicine Ball – Or you can use your dumbbell for this too

Bonus: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-9

  1. 1 minute skaters
  2. 20 Squats
  3. 15 Push Ups
  4. 10 Superman
  5. 1 minute Jumping Jacks
  6. 20 Lunges
  7. 15 Tricep Dips
  8. 10 Mountain Climbers
  9. 10 Burpees

Last thing…bust out one :60 plank to round off your day then stretch it out and hit the shower!

Speed Work: Introduce, Improve, Perfect – 6x – 8X 1/4 mile repeats

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

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

*2:00 standing or walking rest in between each one.

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

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

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

Put on your game face Crew and let’s get to work!

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Day 19: Choose to be Strong

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For many of us, poor performance or lack of increasing better results in our favorite sport, leads to a whole lot of self-deprecating thoughts like “I suck,” “Why do I even do this?” and, “Why aren’t I better?” It can become a real inner battle and a catalyst to depression and quitting. But there is hope!

There are two types of runners: those who just run and those who are well-balanced athletes.

Well balanced athletes cross-train and perform strength training. They’re usually stronger, healthier, and more successful athletes who are able to keep reaching new levels of performance.

On the other hand, the runners who just run tend to get injured often and wonder why they aren’t able to make much progress over the long term.

Does this look familiar? Yep…we’ve been down this road before. Well-balanced athletes don’t need to spend all day in a gym building muscle; they don’t focus on “bulking up”. But adding strength training to your routine allows a runner’s body to become more resilient to the demands of running.

According to breakingmuscle.com, strength training is one of the best forms of cross training runners can do…consider it the “ideal cross training.”

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A strong body will counteract the effects of repetitive pounding our boys takes when we’re running and any preexisting conditions will be less likely to get worse.

Strength training helps to improve structural weaknesses in your body, whether in the muscles, joints, or connective tissues. Often, this will eliminate the source of many common running injuries. For example, runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, can be caused by hip dysfunction – tight or weak hips cause compensations elsewhere that result in knee injuries.

Strength training builds core strength, which is particularly important for distance runners. A strong core will not only look great, it also contributes to better posture throughout the day and while running. This means you’ll be a more efficient runner.

Strength training even will help you run faster. By improving your efficiency, allowing you to impart more force into the ground, and train healthy for longer periods of time, you’ll finish races faster than ever before.

Run pain-free, shave some time off your favorite distance, and improve structural weaknesses in the your body….strength training is the key. On top of these benefits, runners will also gain valuable higher energy levels, increased bone density, a stronger metabolism, and less body fat.

Which athlete do you want to be? Be more than a runner…be a well-balanced athlete who can’t be beat because you never give up.

Day 19 exercises:

  • Donkey Kick Workout – Butt, Hips, Thighs and Glutes
  • Bonus: Ab Pyramid
  • Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-8
  • One :60 Plank of your choice

Donkey Kick Workout: Last week you followed along with me so I thought I’d give you a break and let you follow along with this cool chick today.


Bonus: Core Work! – Ab Pyramid 

We did this one a lot in the past and we’re bringing it back today. 1 round all the way through for today’s bonus workout.

ab-pyramid


Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-8

  1. 1 minute skaters
  2. 20 Squats
  3. 15 Push Ups
  4. 10 Superman
  5. 1 minute Jumping Jacks
  6. 20 Lunges
  7. 15 Tricep Dips
  8. 10 Mountain Climbers

Speed Work: Remember me talking about the RRCA strategy IIP?

Introduce, Improve, Perfect

This strategy allows us to introduce a workout (maybe not doing it very well), then improve on that workout (getting better) and finally perfecting that workout (doesn’t mean you don’t still have room to improve, but you will know how to do it).

We’ve been changing it up each week lately but I want to bring this strategy back…you got it…same speed work as last week…more 1/4 mile repeats. Since we are revisiting the same speed workout, I also want to remind you of some tips you can use to get better at it. Adding a couple of these to your workouts each week will help you improve.

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Speed workout: 6x – 8X 1/4 mile repeats

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

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

*2:00 standing or walking rest in between each one.

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

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

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


We can all be more well-balanced and stronger athletes. Getting stronger doesn’t mean we won’t have some disappointing races or training runs, but it will help you feel better, lose weight, run faster easier, and prevent injuries.

So let me ask you again….what type of athlete do you want to be?

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Day 16: Hip Hip Hoo Ray for Friday!

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-8-22-18-pmWho doesn’t love Fridays?!?!?

There’s so many reasons to be excited for the weekend…but of course for us runners…it’s all about that long run! 😉

What’s your long run plan this weekend? Racing? Long training run? Just feel like getting your runner’s high?

Whatever your plan is…let us know so we can support you and cheer you on!

But wait…before we get to the weekend we have one more day of hip work! You know the drill…Modern Mom’s Hip Workout is one of everyone’s favorites. No bonus today…just hips, Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas and STRETCHING!!

Oh wait…no bonus but there is some extra credit…take a picture of your favorite stretch. It can be one of our 7 Key Stretches for Runners or one of your favorites.  Show us how you get limber before your long run!

Day 16 exercises:

  • Modern Mom Hip Workout for strong trim hips
  • Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-5
  • Extra Credit – Show us how you get limber!

Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-5

  1. 1 minute skaters
  2. 20 Squats
  3. 15 Push ups
  4. 10 Superman
  5. 1 minute jumping jacks

Extra Credit: Show us your favorite stretch. Choose one from our 7 Key Stretches for Runners or show us your favorite!

I’ve forgotten all about our daily one minute plank this month…OOPS! We’re already doing some good core work this month but before you clean up and go on with the rest of your day, knock out one :60 plank of your choice and let us know which one gets your core working the most!

Remember to let us know what’s on your schedule this weekend and SMILE cause…

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Day 15: WAAAAOOH We’re Halfway There…

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Take my hand…we’ll make it I swear! WAAAAAOOOHHH….livin’ on a prayer!

Just barely hanging on this month? The holidays can make us feel like any moment we could collapase from exhaustion! Hold on Crew…we’re halfway there! Christmas is right around the corner and the month is half way over. Don’t give in to the sweets or the stress. Keep pushing!

Today’s workout is made JUST for runners! It’s an active strength workout that includes stretching and strength. I think we’re gonna like it! Love the straight arm push ups….and remember back in the day when we did that scorpion pose? Yep! Doing it again!

Day 15 exercises:

  • Popsugar Strength Workout for Runners – 10 minutes
  • Bonus: 5 Minute Core Workout for Runners with Anna
  • Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-4

Bonus: 5 Minute Core Workout for Runners – Have a little more energy left and an extra 5 minutes? Work through this PopSugar Core workout for Runners!


Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-4

  1. Day 1 – 1 minute skaters
  2. Day 2 – 20 Squats
  3. Day 3 – 15 Push Ups
  4. Day 4 – 10 Superman

Speed Work: Seeing some killer speed workouts this week! If you’re going long on Saturday, you should’ve already got your speed work done so you have time to recover. If you like to go long on Sunday, you’ve still got time….throw in some speed today! Here’s the workout.

6x – 8X 1/4 mile repeats

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

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

*2:00 standing or walking rest in between each one.

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

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

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


Stretching: I’ve neglected to talk much about stretching lately but you I hope by now you are doing it without tons of reminders! Remember that runners who stretch before they get injured have less chance of being sidelined! So before you quit for the day, run through our 7 Key Stretches for Runners!

We’re halfway there Crew…keep pushing! Instead of livin’ on a prayer, we’re livin’ on a healthy, active lifestyle that keeps our energy up and enables up to push through this stressful month. Don’t forget to take a moment to reflect on your year and share with us your most thankful moment today!

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Day 14: Switch it Up

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Hey Crew! This morning I woke up with a headache…how does that happen? I don’t think I’ve ever woken up with a headache before. Maybe my body still needs some recovery? Weird… anyway…making this short and sweet today!

We all love runners with strong glutes! They certainly look good…and they help us run stronger and keep injuries at bay. Since we’ve been doing the Donkey Kick video for a while now, I thought you’d like to switch it up a bit. Jan sent me another great core and glute workout so let’s try this one instead of the Donkey Kick Workout today. Oh…but there’s still donkey kicks in this workout. 😉

Day 14 exercises:

  • Core and Glutes for a Stronger Lower Body – 10 minute workout
  • Bonus: Sexy Arm Workout – We’ve been neglecting our arms a bit so throw in today bonus arm workout.
  • Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas: Days 1-3

Bonus: Sexy Arm Workout – 1 round 

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Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1-3 

  1. 1 minute skaters
  2. 20 Squats
  3. 15 Push Ups

Speed Work: 6x – 8X 1/4 mile repeats

Want to know why this workout is so effective, how it helps us not only get faster but also run more efficiently, and some tips on how to incorporate speed work into your routine? Click here and scroll down for a great read! 

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

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

*2:00 standing or walking rest in between each one.

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

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

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


12 Days of Thanks – Day 3: Don’t forget to take a moment to reflect back on your year and think of something that made you smile or someone your thankful for. So instead of counting the days till Christmas…we’re making our days count. Have an active, blessed day Crew!

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Day 13: Pain In My Abs

Temporary pain in our abs leads to less pain in our back!

Pain in our backs is usually the result of a weak core…so today’s workout will not only strengthen our core and get us ready to be able to run stronger…but it will also help us work towards eliminating back pain that comes from age, poor posture, long bouts of sitting, standing, reaching, and everything else in our daily lives that makes our back scream!

10 minutes tabata style…:20 on, :10 off and switch. Too easy? Do it twice!

Day 13 exercises:

  • 10 Minutes Core Workout – Pain In My Abs
  • Bonus – Round 2!
  • Extra Credit: Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas – Days 1 & 2

Pain in My Abs – Follow along with this 10 minute ab workout for a stronger core and less back pain.


Bonus: Round 2! – We’ve done ALL these exercises before so you are familiar with them. Take an extra 10 minutes and run through this workout again to burn some extra calories and build that strong core!


Sarah’s 12 Days of Christmas: Days 1 & 2

  1. Day 1: 1 Minute skaters
  2. Day 2: 20 Squats

Speed Work: Speed work is never done! Once a week you should be adding in some faster workouts. I will continue to say it…speed work is done just about getting faster!

According to Active.com:

Speed work is not just about running faster. It’s about moving as efficiently as possible. Many experts agree that improved speed, even in some body movements, will result in measurable improvement in all other movements as well.

Even if you’re not competing, moving more efficiently, and therefore faster, means that you pack more work into any given time spent exercising. Cardiovascular improvement and muscular power are additional benefits of increased speed that every runner can appreciate, whether racing or not.

See…I didn’t just make it up! 😉

Here’s a few tips to help your running efficiency and your speed. Practice these techniques by concentrating on one of them and focusing on the elements of running form that it represents. Practice only one or two terms at a time for short periods or distances. Then repeat the practice or move on to another element.

  • Focus: Keep eyes straight ahead on a horizontal plane. Avoid tilting your head up or down, right or left.
  • Fix: Keep your elbows bent so that your arm is at a 90-degree angle.
  • Rotate: Rotate the shoulders so that your hand moves down and backward past the hip with force.
  • Hammer: At the end of the arm rotation, have your wrist relaxed and on a hinge so that the hand can follow through as though it is wielding a hammer.
  • Squeeze: Keep your arms close to your chest so there is no space between the arms and upper body.
  • Pinch: Pinch your shoulder blades together to keep your back straight.
  • Arch: Curve the lower back slightly.
  • Punch: Punch your knee out and forward in the initial movement from the ground.
  • Cycle the foot: When the foot leaves the ground, bring the heel to the hip, followed by punching the knee out and forward. These movements should be made in as much of a straight line as possible.
  • Snap: Pull the foot down and back until the back of the leg is straight.

As always, it’s is very important to warm up, do some drills, then go into your speed work. When you’re done…it’s equally as important to cool down before you quit for the day.

Here’s this week’s speed workout: 6x – 8X 1/4 mile repeats

This has to be everyones favorite speed work. It’s one we can call do without feeling too anxious. Don’t be scared by the phrase “speed workout.”  Speed is a relative term, by which I mean that one person’s “slow” pace might be another’s “fast” pace.  It’s all about pushing yourself beyond what is ‘comfortable’…not trying to do what someone else does. Remember that speed work is about more than just getting faster, it’s about pushing yourself a little more than you’re used too, about building up your endurance so your “normal” speed feels more comfortable therefore going a little faster is easier.

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

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

*2:00 standing or walking rest in between each one.

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

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

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

This workout is so effective because it will teach your body to move faster for longer periods of time, so hopefully come race day, you’ll be ready to shave a few seconds off each mile….and feel better doing it!

12 Days of Thanks – Day 2: Take a moment to think about something that made you smile this year and share it in your daily post.

We have several Crew members who are going through tough times…Brandy lost her best friend, Jennifer lost her father-in-law, Lisa lost her dad last week. Jose and Jamie are suffering from back pain, Kathleen is recovering from eye surgery….these are just a few of the struggles…I know there are more.

You are in our thoughts and prayers and we know you will pull through stronger and wiser…but in the meantime…keep going….

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