Day 13: Secret Weapon

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At the end of yesterday’s half marathon, there is a bridge…it doesn’t look that big…but it’s deceiving. You’re tired, downright exhausted…then here comes the hill.

I had my own secret weapon  at the Donna 26.2 to Finish Breast Cancer race. I had Frank Samu, a friend and speedster who was just out having fun, smiling TONS, taking photos, and giving out high fives. Frank caught me around mile 7 and to my surprise, he stuck with me for the rest of the race. It was a godsend, because it was a hard one for me.

I had started our pacing a few friends but the crowd was thick and I lost them around mile 5, so when Frank caught me and said he was just out having fun, I knew it was time for me to go to work.

I usually use a Galloway style running method during races, a method some people call intervals and others know as the run/walk/run method. But with Frank running by my side, I knew there was no more walking in my future.

I cut out the walk breaks and just started running and let me tell you, it was hard! We were keeping  a steady low 9s pace which was doable for me so I just pressed on. 

Then we saw it…the bridge. As we started our incline, Frank knew I was tired. He could hear my labored breathing and of course he could hear me cussing about my quads (which were on fire). But he kept saying, “stay right here on my hip” and we kept moving forward.
Frank told me, “shorten your steps and use your arms.” He was right. I shortened my steps where they were merely a footstep in front of each other and used my arms to power up that bridge. We did it. I did it. I got up that bridge without stopping…and at the top are so many people cheering and screaming with signs and smiles. You run through a wall of people so thick you that you can’t help but feel their energy. The the bridge is conquered and it’s all downhill with less than a mile to the finish line. 

Frank, thank you, thank you, thank you, for hanging with me! Forgive my potty mouth and know that without you by my side, that “oh I can do 2:05 easy” would not have happened.

Short steps and arm swings Crew. DON’T SKIP ARM DAY!

Day 13 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Upright Row + Flies
  • Inchworm Push Ups
  • Squat Thrust + Curl & Press
  • Side Planks – :30 each side
  • Wall Sit – :60

Bonus Challenges:

  • Superman – 1:10 (70 seconds)
  • Push Ups – 40
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – Rest day 🙂

Speed Work: Want to throw down fabulous new Personal Records like Aicja Grace at yesterday’s Mercedes Marathon? Time for speed work!

This week, we are doing a workout I did at track last week. The key here is to keep your times as steady as possible. Don’t go out too fast…and don’t end too fast. Remember…steady steady steady. But don’t hold back on the speed!

Workout: 800M, 400M X 3 or 4

  1. Warm up – 1 – 1.5 miles slow and easy. Get your hear pumping and your breathing going
  2. 800M (1/2 mile) – Remember those times I gave you for 400’s? Double that and slow it down just a tad. (See times below)
  3. Rest 90 seconds – walk, jog, or stand still and breahte
  4. 400M (1/4 mile) – Do not run these too fast. Remember the key is to be steady here. So you shouldn’t be running these at top speed. Take your 800M (1/2 mile) time and cut it in half.
  5. Rest 90 seconds – walk, jog, or stand still and breathe
  6. Do it all again!
  7. Repeat this cycle 3 -4 times. 3 times = 2.25 miles / 4 times = 3 miles
  8. Cool down – 1 – 1.5 miles slowly to bring your heart rate down keep your legs moving

1/4 Mile is equivalent to 400 meters or one lap of a standard-sized track while 800 meters is 1/2 mile or 2 laps around a standard-sized track.  Here’s a few examples of where your interval times would range, depending on your mile time.

For this workout, you should take these times and slow them down just a tad. I run 400M in about 1:45 – 1:50 so for this workout, I run 800M in 4:05-4:08 and the 400M in 1:55 – 2:00. You can do this. Don’t overthink it. Just go out and run fast! 🙂

  • If you run a 14:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 3:00.
  • If you run a 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:45.
  • If you run a 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:30.
  • If you run a 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:15.
  • If you run a 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:00.
  • If you run a 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:45.
  • If you run a 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:30.
  • If you run a 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:15.

I hope you found some motivation from all the awesoneness that you saw this weekend and are ready to kill it! Let’s start the week off right and get to work!

Have a great Monday Crew! 🙂

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Day 8: YAY for YOGA!

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-7-32-48-pmAfter lots of great strength work, tons of mileage with our weekend long runs and races, AND logging miles for our Paris virtual race….I am so thankful for a yoga day!

Heading out for “stupid early” 4am track but will be looking forward to coming home, stretching it all out, and quieting my mind and body before the rest of the day begins!

When you wake up and see yoga do you think…

“Oh yay, yoga day…a little time for me!”

OR

“Oh yay, yoga day…a day I can skip…”

Do you feel like yoga day isn’t important? Is it a day you won’t feel guilty about letting slide by?

We put this “rest” day from strength training in for a reason…because it’s important to make time to relax, to stretch, and to clear your mind of clutter. But there are other reasons to add yoga to your routine. As a runner, I stress the importance of flexibility and strength…but yoga has so many more benefits. Which reason speaks to you?

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We know why we should do it…but we have to make the time.

Will you make a little time for you today?

It’s just as important as every other day. So don’t skip it.

Plan ahead. You’re worth it.

Day 8 exercises:

Challenges:

  • Superman – Rest
  • Push Ups – 30
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – :45 Plank (One more you can do this!)

Speed Work: Who’s doing speed work today? 1/4 mile repeats are on the menu!

Workout – 6X-12X 400M (1/4 mile) – If you are just easing into speed work for the first time. Keep it short and do 1/4 mile repeats 6 times for a total of 1.5 miles. If you’ve been doing this for a while now, and are training for a longer distance race…don’t be lazy…get in those 12 1/4 mile repeats for a total of 3 miles of speed work. Remember to warm up AND cool down. Both are very important parts of this workout. If you have questions, reach out to me. Let’s chat about how to make this work for you.

1/4 mile repeats can be done on the track, treadmill, or on the road with a GPS watch. Do whatever works for you…but don’t skip it. I know it can be daunting…but speed work will not only help you get faster, but it will also help you increase your breathing abilities and make your long runs 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.

*1:00 standing or walking rest in between each set.

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, during a conversation paced run, you average a:

  • 14:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 3:00.
  • 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:45.
  • 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:30.
  • 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:15.
  • 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:00.
  • 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:45.
  • 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:30.
  • 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:15.

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


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This quote spoke to me today and I wanted to share it. We are here to get stronger. To run father and faster. We want to stay on the road doing what we love. But the truth is…it’s so much more important than that. Every day that we do a little more than we would without each other’s support is a day we work towards a longer, healthier, more active life.

All the little movements we make time for help us live longer, healthier lives in the future.

Day 7: Hips and Core – Strength and Balance

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Lots of us have gone to the chiropractor and been told we are unbalanced. We can see this in running pictures too…but there are ways to correct this without expensive, thrice weekly doctor visits.

How? Strengthen our hips and core and work on our balance. By strengthening these areas, we are more likely to stand tall and keep our body in line at the end of a long race or training run.

Keeping our spine and hips in line keeps our oxygen flowing, allows our legs and knees to remain stable, and helps us avoid pain and injuries in our lower extremities.

It happens to all of us. At the end of a long race or training run, we tend to slouch and let our posture fall. We are tired and we just want to finish so our brain forgets and we begin to let things fall apart.

Below are images of me at Rock N Roll Savannah back in November before we started doing a lot of hip strength and balance work wearing my knee brace and consistently suffering from knee pain.

(Excuse the watermarks…I didn’t purchase these photos)

Since then I have dedicated a lot of time to hip strength and it has paid off. My posture has gotten  much better and my knee pain has all but disappeared. Case in point, see the pictures below from this past weekend at Rock N Roll New Orleans. Hips and aligned and knee brace is gone…and so is the pain in my knees.

I’ll never say “don’t see a doctor,” but if you’re having on-giong pain, and can’t figure out how to make it go away, strengthening your hips is a great start. I saw many different doctors, had x-rays and MRI’s and even cortisone shots in both knees…but until I started getting stronger in these area, nothing took the pain away.

It’s important to stretch and roll our legs too…I know I know…so many things to do…but as athletes, we must use every tool in our arsenal to be healthy and strong in order to stay on the road pain free.

Today’s hip strengthening and balance exercises had been key parts of my journey and I hope you embrace these exercises and make them part of your tool kit to success too.

Day 7 exercises: Hips strength video is found below and how to videos for single leg deadlifts and squats are in the link below.

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

  • Modern Moms/Dads Hip Strength -1X all the way through on each side
  • Single Leg Deadlifts – 2 sets of 10 for each leg
  • Squats – 2 sets of 10
  • Plank – :60
  • Wall Sit – :60

Challenges:

  • Superman – :40
  • Push Ups – 30
  • #MadManMartin Plank Challenge – Plank for additional :45

Speed Work: Everyone’s favorite speed work and undoubtedly the least dreaded is 1/4 mile repeats. So this week, it’s time to put some pep in your step and pour on the speed.

Workout – 6X-12X 400M (1/4 mile) – If you are just easing into speed work for the first time. Keep it short and do 1/4 mile repeats 6 times for a total of 1.5 miles. If you’ve been doing this for a while now, and are training for a longer distance race…don’t be lazy…get in those 12 1/4 mile repeats for a total of 3 miles of speed work. Remember to warm up AND cool down. Both are very important parts of this workout. If you have questions, reach out to me. Let’s chat about how to make this work for you.

1/4 mile repeats can be done on the track, treadmill, or on the road with a GPS watch. Do whatever works for you…but don’t skip it. I know it can be daunting…but speed work will not only help you get faster, but it will also help you increase your breathing abilities and make your long runs 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.

*1:00 standing or walking rest in between each set.

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 14:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 3:00.
  • If you run a 13:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:45.
  • If you run a 12:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:30.
  • If you run a 11:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:15.
  • If you run a 10:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 2:00.
  • If you run a 9:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:45.
  • If you run a 8:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:30.
  • If you run a 7:00/mile, you should run the quarter-mile in 1:15.

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


That’s all for today Crew. Let’s keep working on our hip strength and balance so we can stop that annoying lower extremity pain and stay on the road doing what we love…running!

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Day 19: Wall Sit Anytime Anywhere!

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

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

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

Anyone Can Do Wall Sits

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

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

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

Day 19 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

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

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

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

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

Challenges:

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

Speed Work: Climb ladders

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great Thursday Crew! 🙂

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Day 17: Add Life To Your Years

We strength train to get stronger, run faster, avoid injuries….but we also strength train to gain fitness, and fitness is about more than just exercise.

Gaining fitness affects our health, our mood, our self image…fitness adds years to our life…but it also adds life to our years.

If you’ve gotten bored with the benefits of strength training to your running, remember that being active and fit improves your overall quality of life…even when running is on the back burner.

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Leg day again? No, not really…hip and butt day! We’ve taken the focus slightly off our hips this month but we aren’t neglecting them completely. Continuing to strengthen this area is key to a strong base and a healthy body.

I made a comment the other day that this week would separate the committed from the the…well…not so committed, when in fact,  the challenges this week should seem relatively easy to those who are keeping up.

If you fell behind, now is a great time to think about all the benefits being active brings to your life. Add life to your years and jump back in today!

Day 17 exercises: 3 sets of 10 

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

  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant (both sides)
  • Butt Lift Bridge
  • Clams (both sides)
  • Plank – :60 (your choice)

Bonus: Modern Mom’s (or Dad’s) Hip Strength – see video below. You know this routine. It takes about 4 minutes per leg and will fire up those hip flexors!

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 40
  • Push Ups Beginner – 14
  • Push Ups Advanced – 70
  • Squats – 50 (only 50? Easy peasy! 😉 )

Speed Work: Climb ladders

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

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

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

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

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

Today, I want you to get up and exercise for you. Don’t do it to run faster. Don’t do it to avoid injuries. Don’t do it because it’s a challenge and you’re “supposed to.”

Do it because it makes you happy. Do it for a healthy mind, an uplifting attitude, and a fabulous mood. 🙂

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Day 16: Run With Your Arms

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What happens when your legs are tired but your run isn’t over? When you are exhausted, close to the finish line, look up, and see a big hill you have to climb?

According to the Breakingmuscle.com article, “The Ups And Downs Of Running: How To Properly Run Hills And Stairs,” in order to run uphill most efficiently runners must:

Use your arms! Arms are [the] key to running and sprinting, and are especially useful for anything uphill or anything utilizing knee movements. I cannot emphasize the use of the arms enough. The action of the arms essentially move the legs, so remember this anytime you walk, run, sprint, bounce, lunge, jump, or hop. Arms should be kept tight, bent at ninety-degree angles and close to the sides. The arms correspond with the legs – opposite arm matches with opposite leg – so work on matching the timing between both upper and lower body.

Just like a car, we need to shorten our stride and use our arms to power us up hills. With our arms being so important in these situations, we must spend some time making them stronger!

Day 16 exercises: 3 sets of 10

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

  • Bicep Curls
  • Shoulder Press
  • Tricep Overhead Extension
  • Plank – :60 (plank of your choice)

Bonus: Do the Challenge exercises! Even if you haven’t jumped on the “extra challenge” band wagon, today is the day to do a little more and work those arms! Push ups and burpees are great ways to build strength in our arms which will help us power up those hills and stairs when we’re tired. Beginner push ups are fine…and skip the push ups when you do the burpees. I know burpees are hard and scary, but you can do them and you will burn TONS of calories in the process!

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 40
  • Push Ups Beginner – 12
  • Push Ups Advanced – 60
  • Squats – 80

Speed Work:  Climb ladders

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

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

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

No matter what choices you made over the weekend…it’s time to shake it off and get back to work. Set the tone for the week and make good choices today!

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Day 11: Let’s Plank!

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We know that we can’t run our best without a strong core, the muscles in our abdominals, lower back, and glutes. They provide the stability, power, and endurance that runners need for powering up hills, sprinting to the finish, and maintaining efficient form mile after mile.

Today’s workout is devised to strengthen the specific core muscles we need for bounding up hills, sprinting to the finish, enduring long distances, and preventing common running injuries!  You got it…time to plank! 🙂

Day 11 exercises: 3 sets of 10 

****Click here for how to videos**** 

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Standing Oblique Crunch
  • Russian Twists
  • Plank – :60 (Your choice)

Bonus: Planks for Runners – 2X

planks-for-runners

Challenges: 

  • Burpees – 30
  • Push Ups Beginner – 9
  • Push Ups Advanced – 40
  • Squats – 120 (going up! 😉 )

Speed WorkPick up on pickups – “Speed Play” 

Speed play is the simplest form of speed work. “We simply introduce pickups during a run,” says Bob Glover, who supervises training programs for the New York Road Runners Club.

Pickups are segments of faster-paced running injected into an existing run.

In this first step, runners on a favorite 3-mile course begin choosing landmarks and running to them at a quicker-than-normal pace.

“It might be the next street light, it might be the top of a hill,” says Glover. “We tell them to do six or eight of these during the run.”

Same loop, same scenery, just the occasional decision to run slightly faster for a while.

“This takes away the stress of going to a track,” says Glover, “because in the minds of many of these people, you don’t go to the track unless you’re good.”

FARTLEKS!!! Go out and choose small portions of your run to pick up speed. Have fun with it!


We know we need strength work for our upper and lower body, but our core is so important. It’s the premise of our little family and these workouts WILL help you reduce back pain, run stronger, run longer, and run faster.

Get moving Crew! Let’s plank and get…

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Day 3: Booty Blast

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It’s for the booty….but runners know it’s also for the hips!

An article in RunnersConnect.com called “How and Why You Should Strengthen Your Hip Abductors” says,

We often hear about how running is “all about the hips”, and how the source of all your running injuries is weakness in the muscles around your hips, but what does that mean?

Which hip muscles are so critical to success as a runner?

Turns out your hip adductor and abductor muscles are a huge part of you being able to stay healthy as a runner, and if they are neglected, you are putting yourself at serious risk of an injury.

In the article Proper Running Form: Does Gravity Help You Run Faster?, we considered the importance of hip extension in running, and noted that in cases of runners with restricted mobility in the front of the hips, we often see a forward drop of the pelvis, highlighted by an increase in the curve of the lower back.

What does that mean? The body succeeds in traveling over the supporting leg, but without making optimum use of the powerful Gluteus maximus(the main muscle of the buttock).

As a result, stride length becomes compromised, propulsion is reduced, overall effectiveness of the running gait cycle is inhibited and risk of injury potentially raised.

The Gluteus Medium, a smaller but equally important member of the glute family – contributes to what is commonly known as the “hip drop”.

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An excerpt from RunnersConnect.com

The Trendelenburg gait is exhibited by a person who through weakness in the abductor muscles, cannot maintain sufficient height of the opposite side of the pelvis to raise the foot and transfer weight to the other leg.

Instead, the pelvis drops downwards, meaning the affected person has to bend their leg more than usual at the knee in order to make up for the lack of lift.

To compensate, the stride on the unaffected side typically becomes shorter, along with a tendency for the person to lurch towards the weakened side in an attempt to maintain a level pelvis.

We’ve talked about this “hip drop” before, noting that almost every runner has some form of weakness in their glutes contributing to this issues. Check out the image below…

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What does this “hip drop” lead to?

Various studies have shown a link between Gluteus medius weakness and athletic injury:

  • In a study by Fredericson et al (2000), 24 distance runners with Iliotibial Band Syndrome had the hip abductor strength of their injured limb compared to that of the non injured limb (and to that of a control group). It was found that on average Gluteus medius strength was 2% less on the injured side.
  • After a six-week rehabilitation period with particular focus on strengthening the Gluteus medius (side-lying hip abduction and pelvic drops), 22 of the 24 injured athletes were pain-free and able to return to running. Furthermore, a six-month follow-up showed no reports of recurrence.
  • Other studies have also linked weaker hip abductors and external rotators to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Ireland et al.,2003; Robinson et al.,2007; Cichanowski et al.,2007).

Yep you got it…tight hips, IT Band pain, knee pain, and so on right down the legs. It’s all connected!

So what do we of about it? Blast that booty and build stronger butt muscles! Let’s do this!

Day 3 exercises: 2 sets of 10

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

  • Donkey Kick + Fire Hydrant
  • Butt Lift Bridge
  • Clams
  • Plank – :60 (Your choice of plank)

Bonus: Side-lying hip abduction – 2 sets of 10 

side-abduction

To work the right hip abductor muscles (as in the photo):

  • Lie down in a left side-lying position. Make sure your hips are “stacked” (right hip directly over the left hip) and that your body is in a straight line.
  • Placing your top hand on the floor in front of you can help ensure that you are not leaning forwards.
  • Your pelvis should be in a neutral position (not hitched or tilted forwards/backwards).

January Challenges:

  1. Burpees – 15
  2. Push Ups Beginner – 4
  3. Push Ups Advanced – 15
  4. Squats – 75

Speed Work Options: “If you want to run faster, you have to run fast!”

Do you have a plan to get your speed work in? You’ve got options so decide when it will happen and go get you some speed!

  1. On the Track: “High-intensity track sessions move the muscles through the full range of motion, improving elasticity and enhancing coordination between your nervous system and muscles. With time, you’ll develop a more efficient stride at all your paces.”

    HIIT It: Begin with two 100-meter accelerations that include 40 meters at top speed, with 2 to 3 minutes of walking or jogging between.

    Build to 6 x 150 meters hard, including 80 meters at top speed, with 3 to 4 minutes jogging or walking rest.

    Over time, increase the number of repeats to 10, lengthen reps to 300 meters (running nearly the entire distance at top speed), or reduce the rest interval to one minute.

  2. On the Hills: Inclines are a great venue for superfast speedwork. Compared with a flat surface, hills reduce the impact on your legs and limit your range of motion, thereby lowering the risk of strains and pulls. Plus, hill repeats build muscle power, which helps you run more efficiently on level ground, says McConkey.

    HIIT It: On an incline, start with three 30-second moderate repeats and walk down the hill for recovery.

    When this becomes comfortable, progress to 4 x 1 minute near all-out efforts with a downhill jog and an additional 30 to 60 seconds jogging or walking rest.

    Over time, add additional reps, extend effort length up to two minutes, and aim for steeper hills.

Speed Workouts for Beginners: When you’re just starting out, any type of interval—even alternating walking with jogging—will challenge your body in new ways.

Incorporate one of the following workouts each week to introduce intensity and boost your speed.

  1. Track: Run two laps. On the straights, accelerate and hold top speed for 20 meters. Walk the curves.
  2. Trail: Intersperse an easy run with 3 to 4 20-second, moderate-intensity surges.
  3. Hills: Do an easy run that incorporates three 20-second climbs, each one at a moderate effort.

What else should we be doing today? Well…Tuesday is always a great day for a No Junk Food Challenge! And I need it…yes I do need to be reminded to eat well. So here’s to a fabulous day of sweating, eating right, and of course….

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Day 2: Set It Off!

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The holidays are over, the sweets and yummy food are all gone…

No more excuses, no more putting it off for tomorrow…

Time to wake up, set your intentions for the week ahead and go for it! Set it off right Crew!

The year ahead is anything you want it to be!

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You didn’t wake up to be mediocre…Let’s GETTTT ITTT!!!

Day 2 exercises: Arms – 2 sets of 10 

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

There’s an extra “challenge” for everyone. Choose Burpees or Push ups…beginner or advanced…make a commitment and just DO IT! No…it won’t be easy…it won’t be all that much fun. But it is worth it and you didn’t wake up today to be mediocre did you?!? NO!

Bonus: One more round!! Have one more round of arms in you? Do it again and feel the burn!

Let’s start this party and SET IT OFF Crew!!


2017 Goals: Still waiting on goals from lots of people…don’t make me call you out. Set a goal, set a deadline, write it down and let’s CRUSH IT!!


Speed Work: You don’t have to run fast in training—unless you want to run faster in races….

Is one of your goals to get faster? Maybe you want to finish a 5K in record time? Or set a new Half Marathon PR? Well….the only way to get faster…is to run faster!

You don’t always have to run faster…in fact 80% of your training runs should be at a slower controlled pace…but if you’re serious about reaching those time goals, you MUST put in some speed! It’s a little scary…even longtime runners get anxious about track day. But once it’s over you will feel amazing!

This week we have options for speed! Read through them and see what fits you and your area best. If it’s difficult to get to a track…or your track is covered in snow…choose an option that you CAN do. See…no excuses! 😉

On the Track: “High-intensity track sessions move the muscles through the full range of motion, improving elasticity and enhancing coordination between your nervous system and muscles. With time, you’ll develop a more efficient stride at all your paces.”

HIIT It: Begin with two 100-meter accelerations that include 40 meters at top speed, with 2 to 3 minutes of walking or jogging between.

Build to 6 x 150 meters hard, including 80 meters at top speed, with 3 to 4 minutes jogging or walking rest.

Over time, increase the number of repeats to 10, lengthen reps to 300 meters (running nearly the entire distance at top speed), or reduce the rest interval to one minute.

On the Hills: Inclines are a great venue for superfast speedwork. Compared with a flat surface, hills reduce the impact on your legs and limit your range of motion, thereby lowering the risk of strains and pulls. Plus, hill repeats build muscle power, which helps you run more efficiently on level ground, says McConkey.

HIIT It: On an incline, start with three 30-second moderate repeats and walk down the hill for recovery.

When this becomes comfortable, progress to 4 x 1 minute near all-out efforts with a downhill jog and an additional 30 to 60 seconds jogging or walking rest.

Over time, add additional reps, extend effort length up to two minutes, and aim for steeper hills.

Speed Workouts for Beginners: When you’re just starting out, any type of interval—even alternating walking with jogging—will challenge your body in new ways.

Incorporate one of the following workouts each week to introduce intensity and boost your speed.

Track: Run two laps. On the straights, accelerate and hold top speed for 20 meters. Walk the curves.

Trail: Intersperse an easy run with 3 to 4 20-second, moderate-intensity surges.

Hills: Do an easy run that incorporates three 20-second climbs, each one at a moderate effort.

As the saying goes, “If you want to run faster, you’ve got to run fast! Go get you some speed Crew! Speed work should be shorter mileage so don’t try to throw it in on your medium or long runs. Nice and short…with some speed is all you need!


I know you’re all super excited….

Hooray Hooray…today is the day! It’s time to get to work Crew!

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Day 28: Log Off, Shut Down, Go Run!

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Last day of Donkey Kicks!! Who’s ready to knock these kicks out and move on to some thing new next week? I don’t know…I kinda like it!

Love it or hate it…let’s do it one more time!

Day 28 exercises: 

  • Donkey Kick Workout
  • One :60 Plank of your choice
  • Bonus: GO RUN! – At least 1 mile today Crew. Indoors or out…running or a purposeful walk…I wanna see everyone logging something today!

Speed Work: 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!)


Keep those 2017 goals coming in. Remember to send me your address so I can put in on file and send you a little note later in the year reminding you about your goal!

That’s it for me Crew…logging off, shutting down…and going for a run. 🙂

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