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?!? 😉

abs-shoulders-knees-toes

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

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-32-54-pm

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! 🙂

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-4-38-34-am

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

Day 5: A Runner’s Secret Weapon

running arm swing secret weaponWhat if you had a secret weapon that you could pull out during a tough race?

What if your arms could carry you through those final miles when your legs are screaming at you to stop?

Runners who focus on their arms when feeling fatigued are able to to maintain a good rhythm, stride frequency (cadence) and posture.

Working your arms, shoulders, and back increases muscle strength and promotes good posture, which improves breathing and arm swing. Arm swing is the X factor in running well!

We don’t need huge biceps. We don’t need to lift lots of heavy weight. But taking the time to strengthen and tone our arms is the secret weapon that will help us finish strong. And it doesn’t hurt that it will be easier to pick up our kids or grandkids, open tight jars, and look good in those summer tanks. 🙂

Day 5 exercises: “How to” Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 2 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 2 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front & Side – 2 sets of 10
  • 20 Push Ups
  • Plank – 1 min (2X)
  • Side Plank – :30 each side
  • Arm Stretches – see below

Bonus: #ILoveMyArms I love my arms

Love your arms and try this extra arm workout today. What’s a few more planks and push ups? 😉


Loving all the running drills and speed work! I know it’s intimidating…but give it a try. I promise it will be over fast. You will be tired…but you will feel amazing! Go back and check out this weeks drills and speed work here.

We are seeing times come down…and those faster times are feeling easier too. Even if you think “I don’t care about my time” the speed work will help your regular runs feel easier. Not only are you working on speed…you’re also training your body to get used to the added oxygen it needs…ever heard of VO2 max?

VO2 max is a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use…and this can be improved with training. Improvements in VO2 max occur due to increases in the amount of blood your heart can pump with each contraction (your heart’s stroke volume) and a variety of adaptations in your muscles, such as increases in the size and number of mitochondria in your muscle fibers.

Throwing around some confusing stuff here…but the take away is that speed work intervals will help you increase the amount of blood your heart can pump with each contraction. This “harder than normal” workout will force your muscles to adapt and will increase the number and size of your mitochondria. All this translates into the ability to breathe easier during hard runs. Who doesn’t want to breathe easier while we’re working hard?

We’ll go over this again…but it’s something I want you to think about. Remember that speed work isn’t just about getting faster…it’s about teaching your body to adjust and use oxygen in the most productive way.

That’s it…get to work Core Crew! Make today fabulous!

Oh…and don’t forget to stretch. Stretch out your arms (arm stretches below) and our 7 Key Stretches for Runners are always a good choice…or take a few minutes to run through the Yoga for Runners routine. A few stretches before bedtime will help you relax and fall asleep easier too! 🙂

Arm Stretches:

 

Day 2: Don’t Want to Workout? Do it Anyway!

want to workout

What do you do on days you don’t want to work out? If you’re part of the Core Crew…you work out anyway!

Especially on Mondays! Monday is the day we set the tone for the week…and we all know you never miss a Monday workout!

For all our new Core Crew members…welcome welcome welcome!! We are so happy you’ve decided to join our Crew and can’t wait to watch you get stronger, faster, and healthier!

Find your inspiration, think about your goals, and let’s get to work.

Day 2 exercises: Click here for “How To” Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 2 sets of 10 (please watch how to video)
  • Renegade Rows – 2 sets of 10 (both sides)
  • Arm Raises – front and side – 2 sets of 10
  • Planks – 1 min (2X)
  • 15 Push ups
  • Arm Stretches – see below

Bonus: #SlenderSexyArms

Slender sexy armsAlison Stewart did this one yesterday on her day 2 (she’s in New Zealand and she’s a good 12 hours ahead of us) and it’s one of my favorites so let’s do it again with her. I use my small 2 lb weights for this bonus. The jumping jacks are hard with weight so o them slowly or don’t jump and just work your arms in the jumping jack movement. I would rather you go slow and do each move carefully and really feel the burn instead of rushing through it.


Running Drills: Some of you are doing these (thank you Jennifer Moro-Ortiz! 🙂 ) and some of you aren’t. Do these drills after an easy 5-10 min warm up as dynamic stretching or they can be completed after a run to reinstate the notion of running with good form while fatigued. Running drills can dramatically improve your running form and economy (or the ability to run fast efficiently) and increase your stride cadence and racing speed.

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. We will start the list over this week and reintroduce each one to you.

Butt Kicks 

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Butt Kicks

Why: Butt kicks engage the hamstrings and accentuate the recovery portion of the running gait and improve leg turnover cadence.

How: Run in place with your thighs more or less locked in a neutral position and try to kick yourself in the glute with your heel on each stride. Focus on keeping the rest of your body still and simply flicking your lower leg backward. If you’re not making contact, you need to improve your dynamic range of motion. Do two or four reps of 15 kicks with each leg.


Speed Work: Staying with the IIP format (Introduce, Improve, Perfect) we are doing those 200 meter sprints again this week. Here’s why we do it…and how to do them.

“I’m running my first half or full marathon, so I’m focused only on building distance.”

According to Runner’s World, this statement is

“the bane of many first-time marathoners: Near the end of a long run (or the actual race), they run out of fuel and their form falls apart. Fast repeats teach your body what it feels like to have a light, quick turnover—a biomechanical efficiency applicable to any speed or distance, says St. Pierre. Quick repeats also strengthen seldom-used “fast-twitch” muscles so they can be called upon when your other muscles are trashed at the end of a long race, he adds. And the workouts improve running economy, teaching the heart to pump more blood per minute and deliver oxygen to the muscles more efficiently, so that slow runs feel easier.”

Whether you’re training for a 5K or a Marathon….runners who add speed work to their routine will benefit from faster times and increased endurance!

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 pretty much giving it all you’ve got for about 1 minute (maybe a little more or a little less depending on your speed.

The beauty of this workout is that it’s over very quick! Your lungs may be on fire afterward, but you’ll live. 😉 If you are not sure how fast you should be running these sprints…please reach out to me. I will help you figure it out.

Did you make a note of your times from this workout last week? If so…it should be a little easier this week and you should be able to match those time. If not…write it down and let’s see how we can progress over the next few weeks.
Eat less sugar


Don’t forget about our May Food Challenge…Eat Less Sugar! Remember to skip the sweets and desserts. Small changes equal big results and this small change can make a huge difference!

When it’s all said and done…remember to stretch Crew! I know it’s hard to find time to stretch…but you will benefit greatly from these stretches. I harp on these because most runners start stretching AFTER they get injured….and I want to help you avoid those injuries and stay on the road. Love them and they will love you back! Here’s our 7 Key Stretches for Runners.

I have not forgotten about our April “Top Challenger” and will be diving into our numbers today. If you are new…posting allows me to track who’s getting it done….and who’s not. I have a program I use that gives me details about our group…so post away and remember to include that day’s number. Ex: “Day 2 done” or whatever you want to write. Posting also allows us to cheer you on and support you!

Lots to do this week….remember the speed work can be done any day that is good for you. If you do your long runs on the weekend, save the speed work for Tuesday or Wednesday which will give your legs time to recover after your long run…and before you next long run. If you go long during the week…speed it up on the weekend. Whatever works best for your schedule.

Make it a fantastic Monday Core Crew! 🙂

Arm Stretches: Your arms should be sore and a little shaky…stretch them out while your muscles are soft and pliable.