Day 30: Victory!

victoryWe did it y’all! 30 Days of an awesome strength challenge is in the books!

Well, after today of course… Close out the month strong with a killer ab day then grab this photo and shout it out to everyone…VICTORY IS MINE!!!

What an amazing month! So many strong, committed, hard working Crew members this month. I think this is one of the hardest working months we’ve had so far. I couldn’t be more proud!

Finish strong Crew! Victory is knowing you gave it your all…even when you didn’t want too. Victory doesn’t mean you didn’t miss a day…. It means you pushed through, stayed the course and are stronger, more confident and ready to conquer the world!

Day 30 exercises: Abs – 4 sets of 15 

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

  • Crunches
  • Dumbbell Side Bends
  • Russian Twists
  • Plank – Your Choice (:90 2X)

Bonus: Daily Abs – 3 rounds! Daily Abs

GETTTT ITTTT!!!

That’s it for September Crew! The month has flown by yet again and it’s been fabulous. Take time to stretch it out today and get ready for those long runs this weekend.

Brand new month starts tomorrow…who’s ready???

 

Day 29: Don’t Stop Now!

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Day 29 y’all…don’t stop now, we’re almost there!!

2 more days and this month is complete! Legs today, abs tomorrow, then a brand new month starts with our long run on Saturday. Keep pushing…keep getting it done, and let’s bask in the glory of knowing we finished strong!

Day 29 exercises: Legs / Stability – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant
  • Weighted Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Plank – Your choice (:90 2X)

Bonus: 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Pigeon Pose – Everyone has been putting some serious miles in this month, but have you been stretching lately? Are you feeling sore or tight anywhere? Today’s bonus is to take a little extra time to stretch your calves, quads, hamstrings, and back. Of our 7 Key Stretches for Runners + the pigeon pose, what is your stretching position? Which one can you feel helping you the most?

So excited to see some of you trying the Ladder speed work this week. I know it’s a little confusing…and it’s a tough workout…but doesn’t it feel amazing once it’s done and you see how awesome you are? The times I’m seeing show just how bad add this Crew is!

Keep pushing yourself! It’s worth it! 🙂

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Day 27: Focus on Today

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We can’t control what will happen next year, next week…or even tomorrow. But we can focus on what we can do today.

What will you do in the next 24 hours to get closer to where you want to be?

How hard will you work today?

Day 27 exercises: Legs & Stability – 4 sets of 15

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

  • One Legged Bridge
  • Side Lunges
  • Side Lying Leg Raises
  • Plank – Your Choice (:90 2X)

Bonus: 5 Minute Plank – Don’t get nervous…this is a moving plank so you’re not holding one position for the whole 5 minutes. Give it a shot. You’re stronger than you think and I bet you’ll surprise yourself!

5-min-plank


screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-9-12-47-pmSpeed Work: Have a plan to get your speed work in this week? Here’s the workout.

I know speed work seems scary…but once you try it, finish it, succeed, and see results…you will LOVE IT!

That’s all for now Crew….push hard today! 🙂

Day 26: Rise Up & Attack

rise-up-and-attackLast week of the month…last Monday of the month…rise up and attack the week with enthusiasm!

Shoulder and Abs…sound like a strange combination?

Not really. Shoulders and abs are great complimentary bodyparts to work on in the same day. Since they are completely separate body parts, you don’t need to worry about support muscles of either muscle group tiring out.

With 4 sets of 15 coming at us today…we need enthusiasm, a little determination, and a lot of commitment to finish strong! Do you have it in you?

Day 26 exercises: Shoulders and Abs – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Kettle Ball / Dumbbell Swings
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Plank – Your Choice (:90 2X)

Bonus: #BeastModeMonday

With our regular 4 sets of 15…this bonus is not for the faint of heart…or for those with little time on a Monday. But hey…if you like to go beast mode on Mondays, this one is for you! 3 sets…because who doesn’t want to do 5 planks today?!? 😉

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Military Press – Very similar to shoulder presses but at the top you’re going to extend your shoulders all the way up. You can do these with dumbbells so don’t skip them if you don’t have a bar. Watch Scott Herman show us how it’s done.


Speed Work: This week’s speed work is a tough ladder workout. Since the intervals are longer, you want to start out a little slower and work your way faster towards the end. The last 2 sets of 400 meters…go all out!

How fast should you do running? This workout should be done at your 10K speed, which is slower than last weeks 5K speed but faster than you would run a half marathon. How does that translate into actual time spent running? Take your 400m from last week and add :10 – :15 then multiply by 4 for the mile, by 3 for the 1200 meters (.75 mile), and by 2 for 800 meters (1/2 mile). For your last two 400 meters (.25 mile) crank up the speed and finish strong at your 5K pace. Check out the pace chart below…

Ladder Workout:

  • Warm up – slow mile
  • Faster mile – 10K speed
  • 1200M (.75 mile)
  • 2x 800M (.5 mile 2X)
  • 2X 400M
  • Cool down – slow mile
  • Total of 5.25 miles

Tough workout…who will put on their big girl panties and give it a shot? If you raced this weekend, you get a speed work pass…don’t try this workout on tired legs. Rest up this week and just bust out some short, slow recovery runs. Don’t worry, we’ll have speed work next week. 😉

Pace Chart: Example for 30 minute 5K

  1. 2:10 – add :10 so that makes = 2:20
  2. multiply by 4 for your mile = 9:20
  3. multiply by 3 for .75 = 8 minutes
  4. multiply by 2 for 800M = 4:40
  5. 400M – Speed back up and try to hit those 400M times so go all out and run 2 400 meters in 2:10

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Seems a little complicated but it’s fun and you when you’re done you will feel amazing!

Not feeling ready for the ladder yet? That’s ok! Throw in some fartleks (speed bursts) during one of your mid week runs. Choose an object in the distance and pick up the pace till you get there…see that light pole? How about that stop sign? Do 8-10 speed bursts in your run session. Remember to BREATHE deep. Belly breathing during speed work is essential to building your VO2 max and getting the most out of this workout!


After a HUGE racing weekend and lots of long runs, please take the time to stretch!

Last week of the month Crew! Let’s go hard and finish strong cause good things come to those who sweat! 🙂

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Days 24 & 25: Relax…You Got This!

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Oh, the long run. It’s both the bane and the bliss of every runner’s existence.

Regardless of what your “long” run distance may consist of, we all go through the same range of emotions leading up to this oh-so-important run.

  • Usually the anxiety starts midday Friday. We start thinking that there is no way we can actually run whatever distance we’re scheduled the next day. We get this feeling in our stomach that is half nerves and half a bad reaction to our lunch. This normally subsides about the time we go to bed—you know, 9pm because we’re really fun on Fridays…
  • We start out our long run feeling happy to be running with a group, or loving the time get get to oursleves. The moon is high, the air is cool (only because it’s still early and the sun isn’t up yet), and we are moving! It feels great.
  • Soon we’re overestimating how far we’ve gone. We’ll think we’ve run seven miles when it’s only been three. Right about then we just want to end it.
  • We have to have small goals to check off while running long. Usually it goes like this: only 3 miles to the turnaround and then we’re halfway done! Only 2 miles until the water stop and pretzels! Less than a 5k until we are DONE!
  • We made it. Now it’s time to eat, stretch, and nap!

When it’s all said and done, we wonder why we had so much anxiety in the first place. We know we are strong. We know we can handle it. We know once we’re out there we’ll be burning calories, sweating buckets, making progress, and loving it!

So the questions is…are you having fun when you’re out there? That’s the most important thing right? This is supposed to be fun! Over thinking the run beforehand will drain your motivation. Try not to stress about it. You have it planned, you know you can do it…so trust your training and relax…you got this!

Whether you’re going long on Saturday or Sunday…make sure your having fun, and don’t forget…we still have work to do on the day we’re not running.

Here’s the weekend skinny… Leave it as is, or switch it up…but plan it out and get it done.

Day 24: Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Plank – Your Choice (:90 2X)

Day 25: Arms / Back – 4 sets of 15

  • Burpees
  • Bicep Curls 21s (4 sets of 21)
  • Wide Rows
  • Plank – Your Choice (:90 2X)

Bonus: Active Recovery – Short run (30 min or less at conversation pace), walk, swim, bike, play outside with the kids, yoga. Choose something that will get your muscles loose and that will promote healthy, active recovery after your long run. Being sedentary after a hard work out will only make you more stiff and sore…get moving!

Remember…our long distance runs make our hearts stronger…and our legs and lungs too…

Eat good, hydrate, get your outfit and gear ready, then relax…you got this!

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Day 23: Making Progress

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-8-16-29-pmEvery workout is a step towards our goals…let’s make some progress baby!!

While running doesn’t directly target our abs, we can certainly use it to help define our abdominal muscles. After all, it burns the layers of fat that prevent your abs from appearing.

But sadly, running alone won’t do the job. We have to eliminate those extra calories from our diet that turn into belly fat. Even if we run 50 miles a week, our belly won’t vanish if we eat donuts and french fries all day long.

Healthy eating and running are a great start, but you know we need to do even more…time to make some progress on our core!

Oh yea…I messed up yesterday…OOPS! Time to step up our planks to :90 Crew…you got this!!

Day 23 exercises: 4 sets of 15

  • Crunches
  • Dumbbell Side Bends
  • Russian Twists
  • Plank – Your Choice (:90 2X)

Bonus: Stick Crunch – 2 sets of 15

Benefit: Strengthens the abdominal wall and improves the stability of the pelvis and lower spine during running.

Lie on your back, bend your knees, and draw them as close to your chest as possible. Grasp any type of stick or rod (such as a broom handle) with both hands, positioned shoulder-width apart. Begin with your arms extended straight toward your toes. Now squeeze your abdominal muscles and reach forward with the stick until it passes beyond your toes. (This is a very small movement—just a few inches.) Pause for one second and relax.

Here’s a super quick video to show you how it’s done.

Take a few minutes to stretch out and roll those legs!

YAY for Friday!! Let’s get this workout done and get ready for another fabulous weekend. 🙂

yay-its-friday

 

Day 22: Bootylicious

bootyliciousYou wanted booty work right? Well let’s get bootylicious!

Many of the AMAZING glute activation exercises that we should all be doing are those funny looking moves that Jane Fonda used to do in her leotard with ankle weights.

They are the moves that most people, especially guys, avoid.

However, everyone from the professional athlete to the guy or gal sitting behind the desk for 9 hours a day, should do those funny looking glute activation moves!

By activating your glutes, you can reduce your risk of injury and alleviate back pain. You can also improve your speed and have strong, sexy legs all by doing these stupid looking moves.

Donkey kicks will wake up your entire core, activating your glutes and warming up your abs and shoulders. Fire hydrants are another great way to wake up the glute medius, which is a critical muscle for maintaining balance and preventing knee and ankle injuries. Squats help improve knee stability, leg power, and body awareness, as well as prevent common running injuries. Deadlifts are one the greatest exercises of all-time and fantastic for runners. Whether your goal is strength, power, speed, or endurance, deadlifting can help you achieve that goal.

Strengthening your glutes will improve your hip’s stability, help you run faster and change direction more quickly…and hey…a nice strong bootylicious derriere is so worth the work!

Day 22 exercises: Legs/Stability – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant
  • Weighted Squats
  • Deadlift
  • Plank – Your Choice (:60 2X)

Bonus: Weighted Hip Thrusts – Yep…we’re doing them again. Weighted hip thrusts are an easy exercise to throw in the mix today and adding these to our regular Thursday routine is the perfect way to round out our stability workout.

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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Time to get bootylicious…and build that solid base we need to stay injury free and run faster and longer!

The weekend is close! Let’s exercise, eat healthy, and be happy today Crew!

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Day 21: Run Your Day

run-the-day

Will you run your day? Or will you let your day run you?

Who decides how your day goes? Do you? Or do you let everything else going on decide how your day will go?

Today, you decide how your day will go. You set the tone. Don’t let anything get in the way of of your good mood.

No matter what happens, you run your day…don’t let the day run you.

Day 21 exercises: Arms & Back – 3 sets of 15

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

  • Push Ups
  • Hammer Curls or Hammer Swings
  • Monkey Arms
  • Planks – Your Choice (:60 2X)

Bonus: #RunYourDay

Today’s bonus is all about you. Do something that makes you happy. Maybe it’s a run or a walk. Maybe it’s yoga. Maybe it’s a bike ride, lunch with a friend, taking the kids to the park or an hour to yourself to read a good book. Whatever it is…make time for it. No matter what else is going on…set it aside and do something that makes you happy.

Does speed work make you happy? Click here for this weeks speed work. 😉

Run your day. Choose happiness.

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Day 20: Bring It On

bring-it-on

In the old days, runners ran.

Seriously, ask runners a few generations older than you what they did for their daily workout, and they’ll likely answer: “I ran.”.

But no matter what race you’re preparing for, you might not want to stick to this old training routine. We’ve learned a lot over the last 30 to 40 years…and like so many other things, running has evolved.

This is not news to the Core Crew. We know we need to add strength training…right? We know that runners need to do more than just run. Runners need to be strong and athletic. If we’re not strong, we can get hurt even if we practice good running form. In fact, some injury statistics put the annual injury rate for runners as high as 85 percent!

Reducing the injury rate isn’t that difficult, though. In fact, according to Greatist.com, “runners can [get stronger and reduce their chance of injury] effectively with just 10 to 20 minutes of strength training each day.

YAY!!! This is GREAT news! Our daily challenge won’t take long, but it will make you stronger and your chances of injury will go down. Does this mean you’ll never get injured? Well no…but if I can increase my chances of staying on the road by getting stronger, I’ll take it!

This same article says the best exercises for runners are compound movements like deadlifts and squats (got em), bodyweight exercises like planks and push ups (got those too), and hip and glute strengtheners (covered!).

Lastly, the article says we should stretch and foam roll. Well dang…we do that too! 🙂

So what are we waiting for? Bring on the leg work!

Day 20 exercises: Legs / Stability – 3 sets of 15 

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

  • One Legged Bridge
  • Side Lunges
  • Side Lying Leg Lifts
  • Plank – Your Choice (:60 2X)

Bonus: Runners Touch screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-7-43-34-pm

Strike a pose in perfect running position with one leg in high knee position. Balancing on the one leg, bend at the hip and touch the toe that’s on the ground with the opposite hand while the leg in the air rotates under and back. Make sure the standing leg remains stable and as straight as possible while enabling you to touch the ground. Be sure to prevent the moving knee from crossing midline while that leg straightens out behind you. Come back up to running position quickly without losing balance, pause for a second or two, and repeat 10 times. Switch legs and repeat. Throw this in the rotation with today’s workout and do 3 sets for each leg. (No you don’t need to use a kettle ball as shown in the picture.)


Speed Work: ONE…just ONE Crew member committed to speed work yesterday. What do I have to do to convince you to give it a try? Do I need to come meet you at the track? I would if I could!! Check out this week’s speed work in yesterday post here. Scroll to the bottom for the workout and pace info.

Strong legs are a key ingredient for staying on the road injury free! And as a side bonus…strong legs look good and will help us run faster! GETTTT ITTTT Crew!! 🙂

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Day 19: Ab-solutley Necessary

big-girl-pantiesWhether you want to or not…strong abs are AB-SOLUTLEY necessary!

No…you don’t need a six-pack…but you do need strength because strong abdominal muscles help make you a better runner!

Since the abdominal muscles support the rest of the torso, runners with strong abs have better posture, a more stable gait, and fewer low-back problems.

Added bonus: Our abs also help us move our legs and shift our hips, so we derive more power for these actions when our abs are well-developed.

Having back pain? Work on your core! Having hip issues? Your core will help you stabilize those hips! Legs tired? Focus on that strong core to pull those legs when they just don’t want to take another step…

Yes Crew…Our ab days are AB-SOLUTLEY necessary. Don’t skip them!

Day 19 exercises: Abs & Shoulders – 3 sets of 15

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

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Kettle Ball / Dumbbell Swings
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Plank – Your Choice (:60 2X)

Since I was a slacker and didn’t get you a post over the weekend, I neglected to check the calendar and remind you that we’ve moved up to :60 planks. OOPS! We’ve moved up! You’ve got this Crew! We’ve been working on it and now it’s time to add another :15 to those planks!

Bonus: In and Outs + Dead Bugs

Yes…2 bonus moves today. Two fun ones though so don’t cringe. These are great core stabilizing moves. Go through each exercise 3 times for 10-15 reps.

In and Outs – This move will strengthen your core and work your hip flexors.

  1. Begin by sitting on the floor or on a bench with your legs raised and your body leaning back.
  2. Bring your knees and chest together by leaning forward and pulling your legs up.
  3. Make sure to keep your abs tight and engaged during the movement. Your head and neck should stay up and forward.
  4. Lower your legs back down towards the floor. Keep them raised just off the ground.
  5. At the same time, lean your upper body back down to the starting position.

Dead Bug – This exercise helps to improve the overextended posture or excessive anterior pelvic tilt that can be a root of back pain and which can manifest into more profound back issues. Use this exercise to strengthen your abs and favour the proper posture.

  1. Lay flat on your back with your hands extended above you toward the ceiling. Bend your knees in 90 degree angle and raise your thighs until they are perpendicular to the floor. Now deeply exhale and embrace your abs to bring your ribcage down and flatten you back onto the floor. You shouldn’t be able to fit your hand in between the floor and your lumbar spine. Hold this position throughout the whole exercise.
  2. Slowly lower the right arm and the left leg down to the floor simultaneously. Lower them down until just before the lower back starts to rise off the ground (starts to arch). On your way down exhale all the air out of your lungs forcefully. Then slowly return to the starting position while inhaling. Alternating sides and continue the movement for specific number of repetitions or a certain period of time.

Speed Work: Slightly disappointed that I only saw 2 people…2 PEOPLE…get in speed work last week. Hopefully I just missed those posts?

I had cortisone shots in my knees on Tuesday and missed my track workout…but I threw in 5 fast miles at the end of y 22 miler on Friday…what was your excuse?

If you read y posts regularly, you know I subscribe to the RRCA IIP thought process. Introduce, Improve, Perfect. So if you did do speed work last week YAY!! Let’s do that again and IMPROVE! If you didn’t get it done, here’s another chance to introduce this speed work into your schedule this week. Yes Crew…10-12 x 400M. Let’s get it!

Two weeks ago we did a 5K to see where we’re at and what kind of pace we need to run for our speed intervals. Did you write your time down? Grab it and let’s see what you’re doing this week.

Workout = 1 mile warm up; 400M x 10-12X (2.5-3 miles); 1-2 mile cool down – Total of 5-6 miles 

Yes it’s a tough workout…but you can do it! A track is ideal for speed work but this is an easy workout to do on the road or the treadmill too. Do a slow warm up for 1 mile, then move into your 400M intervals. That’s either 1 time around the track, or .25 mile. After 400 meters (.25 mile), stop, rest, and breathe for :60. Then do it again for a total of 10-12 .25 mile repeats. When you’re done head out for a 1-2 mile cool down.

These intervals should not be done all out. Start a little slower than your goal pace so you have enough left to do all 10-12 repeats. If you can hold that pace, or close to it, for each interval you’re doing it right! If not…keep trying!

Below is the same chart from last week with 5K times, short interval paces and time goals starting at a 25 minute 5K. If your 5K is below 25 minutes or over 40 minutes, let me know….but this should cover most of us.

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Now…please PLAN for your speed work. Think about what day this week will be best for you to get this done. Without a plan…chances are it won’t happen. So in today’s post, I want to see when you are planning to get your speed work done. Deal?

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

Alrighty Crew…time to get to work! Cause we all know…

never-miss-monday-workout