Day 16: Super Happy Fun Time!

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-8-36-54-pmShort and sweet today y’all.

Heading to track while the moon is high then a field trip with Silas’ class to Sweet Pete’s Candy Shop! Busy busy day ahead but no excuses…I will get in my Super Happy Fun Time!

Hips, Jennifer’s Bonus “Super Happy Fun Time” and SPEED WORK!!!

Watch the 2nd video for today’s bonus and our October 30 Day Challenge Winner!

GETT ITT Crew!

Day 16 exercises: Hips – Follow video below

  • Side Leg Pulse
  • Side Bicycle
  • Leg Stir
  • Big Circle
  • Hot Potato
  • Back Butt Press
  • Forearm Plank – :60
  • Pigeon Pose – :30 each side

Bonus: Jennifer’s Super Happy Fun Time and Squat Walk 🙂

  • 2 sets of 10 on each leg for both exercises

Check out the video below for the exercise Jennifer Stoner showed us last week and which happened to be the exercises my PT had me do on Monday. Good stuff y’all. If you don’t have a resistance band just do the exercises without it. You’ll still get a good burn!


Speed Work: 3-4 x mile repeats

Click here and scroll down for this week’s speed work. I haven’t seen any mile repeats yet…did I miss them? Get that speed work done Crew!


Please congratulate last month’s challenge winner! She works hard every day and this medal is well deserved! Who will it be for November? We have a lot of people stepping up so it’ll be a tight race. Keep up the hard work.

Rise and Run Crew…then get you some Super Happy Fun Time! 🙂

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Day 14: Power From the Hips

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As we continue to chat about hip stability and strength, we have to take a minute to reflect on how much we reply on our hips for speed and power.

One very common misconception is about exactly where the “power” in your stride comes from. Most people picture power being generated in the running stride when the foot pushes off the ground. It’s true that we get power from our legs, but in the mental image that most people carry with them, that major “push” comes from the quads, much like a leg press.

we can’t deny that we need strong legs but this this mental image of running power leaves out a major contributor: the hips. If you looked at your watch and saw 3:51:40 with one mile to go in a marathon, you’d start driving your legs and pushing off harder each stride to try to make sure you finish under the four-hour mark.

Generating power at the quads is fine, but focusing on that to the exclusion of hip power proves to be a big problem.

When you drive hard with your quads on the leg that is pushing off, you’re inevitably going to be “reaching” forward with your other leg, which is still swinging through the air. When that leg hits the ground, your knee will be excessively extended and your foot will be landing further in front of your body. This is over-striding, and you can’t start pushing off again until that foot is behind your center of gravity (around your belly button), so that time spent waiting is essentially wasted.

If you try to shorten your stride, you won’t be generating as much power! Fortunately, there is a way to generate long, powerful strides without reaching forward with your lower leg and overstriding, and that is by focusing on hip drive.

A strong drive backwards using the hip muscles to extend the leg and “drive” into the ground will provide a good increase in stride length without it turning into over-striding. Take a look at the glute muscles in a sprinter, they have some serious muscles in their rear for propelling them forward at ten meters per second or faster.

Your ability to move fast hinges upon your capacity to direct force into the ground, and neglecting the component of that force that comes from the hip extensor muscles is short-changing your stride.

Improving your hip strength and drive should give you noticeably more “pop” in your stride when you are running fast. In addition to our hip strength exercises, incorporating some bounding and skipping a few times a week will go a long ways towards improving your ability to generate power from the hips!

Day 14 exercises: Hips – Modern Mom video – watch video below

  • Side Leg Pulse
  • Side Bicycle
  • Leg Stir
  • Big Circle
  • Hot Potato
  • Back Butt Press
  • Forearm Plank – :60
  • Pigeon Pose

Bonus: Drills and Strides– After your hip strength work and before you set off for you run, start with bounding and lateral skipping drills then do 6 x 100M strides. Then set off for your run.

Bounding screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-5-44-40-am

Why: 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.

Lateral Bounding screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-5-47-08-am

Why: This drill develops lateral strength and agility necessary to stabilize the body and maintain single-leg balance during forward running motion. Specifically, this drill works the glutes, hip flexors, tensors, abductors and psoas muscles in ways that are otherwise neglected in forward running.

How: With an upright torso and level head, move laterally in one direction by alternately bounding with your legs spread and your legs together. You’ll probably need to swing your arms overhead in an opposite pattern to maintain balance. Do two to four 50-meter reps to the left and right, facing the same direction for each lateral movement.


Speed Work: 3-4 x mile

Speed Work is essential to getting faster, but it also helps us improve our breathing and our ability to run longer distances. This weeks speed work is all about mile repeats. Don’t try to run your fastest during the first mile. Choose a pace and stick with it, then try to increase your speed just a tad as you move through your repeats. Done correctly, your last mile should be your fastest.

For our longer distance runners, don’t skimp on mile 4. You know who you are…and so do I! 😉

Workout: 

  1. 1 Mile warm up
  2. 3 – 4 x Mile – increasing or maintaining speed throughout each repeat
  3. 1 Mile cool down
  4. Total of 5-6 miles with warm up and cool down being slowest!

When you’re done for the day and before you move on to other things, take time to stretch! Run through our 7 Key Stretches for Runners then throw in the hip specific stretches below to ease and pain and open up your hip flexors.

Happy running Crew! 🙂

Day 9: Drop It Low…Let Me See Yo Hip SWING!

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Working out doesn’t have to be a drag…

Let’s have some fun…turn up the music and rock it out Crew!

Drop it low and let me see yo hips SWING!

Day 9 exercises: Hips – 1 round per leg – Follow video below

  • Side Leg Pulse
  • Side Bicycle
  • Leg Stir
  • Big Circle
  • Hot Potato
  • Back Butt Press
  • Forearm Plank – :60
  • Pigeon Pose – :30 each leg

Bonus: Yesterday was a doozie so we’re taking it a little easier today. What’s your favorite hip or glute strength exercise? TONS of options…take a short video of your favorite and share it with the Crew!


Sarah’s Calorie Burn: Easy extra to throw in

  • 25 Squats
  • 60 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Push Ups
  • 50 Crunches

Speed Work: Who’s doing speed work this week? I’m hitting the track this morning and Catherine is joining me YAY!! Early morning for us but we’ll share how it goes when we get done. What’s your plan to get it in? Click on the “short ladder” link and scroll down for this weeks workout.

The “Short” Ladder


Racery: The race is ON with 17 out of 30 runners on the board! 24 miles through Paris in 7 days. Remember, it doesn’t matter who crosses first….it’s all about getting those miles in.

24 a little over your weekly average? Add a mile to your daily run and get a long run in this weekend and you’ll get it done! Click here to log your miles and see the scenery along the way.

10 spots still left in the race and plenty of time to jump in. Click here to join now and start logging your miles!

Life is too short for boring workouts. Make it fun and let me see those hips SWING!

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Day 7: How Does Your Hip Drop?

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-5-35-12-amGood morning and happy Monday Crew!

Continuing this month’s focus on “All In the Hips” we must talk about side to side stabilization and hip drop. No we’re not talking about the heel drop in your shoes, we’re talking about the way your hips line up when you’re running.

Do you stand tall when you’re running, or does your body involuntarily lean to on side causing your hip to drop to an unnatural level?

I found a really good article on hip stabilization on RunnersConnect.com called, Hip strength and running form: The role of hip drop in running injuries. I won’t recap the entire article for you as the link is above, but it is important to know that many runners who suffer injuries have weak hip stabilizing muscles. Among these muscles, the ones which are most often weakened in injured runners are the abductors and external rotators.

research by Irene Davis at the University of Delaware has shown that one good predictor of future injuries in healthy runners is a mechanical evaluation of hip mechanics: runners who have excessive hip adduction (opposite of abduction) and internal rotation are at an increased risk of developing injuries in the knee and IT band.

The logic is pretty simple, then: weak abductor and external rotator muscles cause excessive adduction and internal rotation during running, since the hip muscles aren’t strong enough to resist the forces from ground impact.

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Here’s a few pictures of me at RNR Savannah this weekend. I look happy and of course I’m smiling as always, but the knee pain was real and it kept me from taking that left turn onto the highway to complete the full marathon as I had signed up for. I was happy with my half marathon finish….but I am guilty of weak hips and here is the proof.

Totally guilty of hip drop. Especially later on in the race when I get more tired and lazy about my form.

Want to find out if you need to work on stabilization and getting those hips in line too? Find a race photo, or use a mirror, camera, or a friend to evaluate yourself to see if your hips tilt when you’re in the stance phase of your stride, particularly if you have had knee or IT band issues in the past…or feel a little niggling in your lower extremities now.

If you do find that your hips are dropping, we can fix it either by overriding your “natural” gait habits and practicing “standing taller” when we run and by doing strength exercises to shore up our weaknesses.  Fortunately, after adding hip strengthening exercises and practicing standing tall and keeping your pelvis level for a while, it will become automatic, overriding the old stride pattern in your brain. YAY…there is hope! 🙂

These exercises are for everyone so even if you don’t suffer from poor running form, eventually your hips will grow weaker and you may find this becoming a reality too. Work on hip strength now to avoid pain and injuries in the future.

Day 7 exercises: Hips/Glutes – Follow video below

  • Side Leg Pulse
  • Side Bicycle
  • Leg Stir
  • Big Circle
  • Hot Potato
  • Back Butt Press
  • Forearm Plank – :60
  • Pigeon Pose – :30 each leg

Seems like a lot…but in reality this workout takes about 5 minutes total for both legs. Don’t forget to start the video over with the opposite leg!


Bonus: Clamshell – 3 sets of 10 (each side) – Perfect addition to today’s hip/glute workout and an exercise we can do daily without any worry of “overdoing” it. Add some difficulty by using a resistance band around your knees.


Sarah’s Calorie Burn: Want to burn some extra calories today? Sarah has extended a little side challenge to us for this month that I am going to include each day. It’s a quick way to burn some extra calories so if this is an off day from running and you want to get your heart rate up a bit more, throw it in!

  • 25 Squats
  • 60 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Push Ups
  • 50 Crunches

Lots of fun stuff to do on a Monday….but what else are Monday’s for other than a little hard work? 😉


Speed Work: Speed work can be done any day of the week but should be a few days in advance of your long run to give your legs a chance to recover fully before another “effort session”. If you go long on Saturday, get your speed work done by Wednesday. If you wait till Sunday to get those extra weekly miles in, you can safely wait till Thursday for speed work. But don’t put it off. Get it done because we know that speed work has MANY positive effects on on our running. Better breathing and lung capacity during our workouts being a huge motivating factor!

Workout: The Short Ladder 

This is a tough workout but once it’s done…man on man do you feel like a total badass! here’s how to set it up. I’m calling it the “short ladder” because I’m leaving out the 1200m this week. Baby steps…

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles slow and easy – Rest 2 min
  2. 1600 – 1 mile – Don’t go all out…yet – Rest 2 min
  3. 800M – 1/2 mile – Speed up a little from your mile – Rest 2 min
  4. 2 x 400M – 1/4 mile – These should be your faster intervals – Rest 2 min between and after
  5. 800M – 1/2 mile – Back off the 400m speed but still give it some power! – Rest 2 min
  6. 1600m – 1 mile – This will be hard…but you can do it! Don’t give up!
  7. Cool down – 1 mile – This mile will feel easy and should be at your long run pace. Take time to breathe and just bring your heart rate down.
  8. STRETCH!! This is just as important as the rest of your workout. Don’t skip it. Your back, hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves will thank you! Here’s our 7 Key Stretches for Runners. Throw in a final pigeon pose just because it feels so good!

Don’t have time? Make time! This is for YOU! You need it. You deserve it! You will love yourself when it’s over! Get to work Crew and make it a fabulous Monday! 🙂

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Day 2: The Good Stuff

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Ready to get to this month’s good stuff? Here we go!

It’s all in the hips!

Ladies and gentlemen…hip strength is for everyone! I know the video is from “Modern Mom.” Yes it’s a couple of women doing the exercises talking about slimming their hips… but this is good stuff y’all!

Don’t skip it. If you’re doing it right, those hips and glutes will be burning…and getting stronger!

Day 2 exercises: Hips / Stability – 1 set each side

****Watch and follow along with the how to video below****

  • Side Leg Pulse
  • Side Bicycle
  • Leg Stir
  • Big Circle
  • Hot Potato
  • Back Butt Press
  • Forearm Plank (:60)
  • Pigeon Pose (:30 each side)

Bonus: Burpees! YAY!! – 2 sets of 10

Blame Sharon…. 😉


Speed Work: Saw some good speed work yesterday. Who’s got speed on the brain today? Wednesday is a great day to run fast! Plenty of time to recover before our long runs this weekend. Here’s this week’s workout.

Remember that mile we did a few weeks ago? Time to break it in half and dial up the speed. This week’s workout = 800s. Take that mile time that you wrote down, break that time it in half (1/2 mile) then run 800s (1/2 mile) just a tad faster. Then take a 1-2 minute rest. Stand still, breathe deeply, drink some water, then go at it again!

Workout: 6x 800M

  1. Warm up (1-1.5 miles)
  2. 800M 6X (3 miles)
  3. Cool down (1-1.5 miles)
  4. Total of 5-6 miles

Ready for the good stuff? Repeat after me…”I Can Do This!” Get to work Crew!

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