Day 9: It’s HIP to be STRONG!

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This should really say, “when you 80, or 85, or 90…because we have some STRONG women in their 60s who are no where close to hip replacements! But you get the point. Not only do we want strong hips for the long haul, but strengthening our hips fires up a chain reaction that reverberates all the way down our legs.

Strong hips mean less pain and fewer injuries in our legs. In fact a recent active.com article states,

Since the sport of running has begun to enjoy a second boom in recent years, much attention has been paid to injury prevention. More specifically, the industry has focused largely on both foot strike and footwear as major causes of running ailments. It turns out, however, that there’s another culprit that runners often overlook: hip weakness.

Jason Fitzgerald, a 2:39 marathoner and coach in the Washington D.C. area, says that hip weakness has become more prevalent as a result of the sitting we do in our daily lives. “When you consider how important proper hip strength is for runners and the fact that most runners don’t do the specific strength exercises that bolster the hip muscles, it’s a disaster waiting to happen,” he says.

Since the hips stabilize each leg during the stance phase of the running gait, strength in that area is particularly vital. “Hip weakness throws off all that stability, resulting in excess movement not only at the hip, but also at the knee,” says Fitzgerald. “The two most common injuries that result from weak hips include illiotibial band syndrome or patellofemoral pain syndrome, but in fact, many other injuries could occur from weak hips, including Achilles tendinopathy, shin splints and plantar fasciitis.”

If you read all the way through that, you noticed that hip weakness can cause IT Band syndrome (IT Band pain), patellofemoral pain syndrome (knee pain), Achilles tendinopathy (Achilles problems), shin splints (ouch!), and plantar fasciitis (lots of Core Crew dealing with this one).

So now you know, when I go on and on about hip strength…I am not making this stuff up!

I’m in a lot of running groups, and I know I get a lot of eye rolls when I bring up strength work as a means to elevate leg pain. Everyone wants the quick easy answer to getting back on the road. They want to ice the injury, rest a little, and come back pain free.

Well yes, ice is never a bad idea. Resting when we have pain is always a good thing too… Rolling is also a great way to relax our muscles and relieve some of the pressure…but if that’s all you do, the pain will come back. You’re not getting stronger and finding a way to keep the injury from happening, you’re just masking it for the moment and then wondering why your body hates you.

So I will continue to harp on you about strengthening these areas. And you can keep rolling your eyes at me and keep hurting…or you can get to work on making yourself stronger. The choice is yours Crew!

I hope you’ll choose wisely and….

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Day 9 exercises: 3 sets of 10 (adding another set! 🙂 ) 

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

  • Single Leg Hip Lift
  • Split Squat (weighted)
  • 4-way Band Walk (low squat walk if you don’t have bands)
  • Wall Sit – :60 (post run if you are running today)

Challenges:

  • Ab Challenge – 25 Crunches, 25 Bicycle Crunches, 25 Leg Lifts + :40 Plank
  • 20 Burpees

Bonus: Donkey Kick Workout 

An oldy but a goodie! This one hurts y’all. It isn’t easy but it is only 10 minutes and you will feel the burn. Someone (I forget who this early) asked me to post my video instead of the original so here it is. Follow along with me and let get us some strong and powerful hips!


Speed Work: Today is pretty much the last day you should be doing speed work if you are going long this weekend. If you are racing this weekend….do NOT do speed work today. You will not benefit from pushing yourself this close to a race. Time to take it easy, do some strength work and trust your training.

If you’re not racing, and not going long till Sunday, time to go fast! Here’s this week’s workout:

Workout: 4-8X 800M (1/2 mile repeats 4-8 times) 

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles easy
  2. 1/2 mile repeats with slow jog or stop and stand still and breathe in between sets  (:90-2:00 rest in between sets)
  3. Cool down 1-1.5 miles easy

Wondering how fast or how much effort you should be putting into this workout? Look at the chart below and find a recent 5K time or what you think you would be able to ru for a 5K. The pace next to it is for 1/4 mile repeats (or 400meters) Take that time than double it and add 8-10 seconds. So if you run a 5K in 25 minutes you should run your 400 meter repeats in about one minute 49 seconds. So for 800s you double that to 3 minutes 38 seconds then add 8-10 seconds getting 3:48-3:50 per 800 meters (or every 1/2 mile).

I know this sounds a little confusing so if you aren’t sure please reach out to me and ask. I will help you figure out where you should be.

If you are new to speed work. Start small and don’t overthink it. Start with 4x 1/2 mile repeats (total of 2 miles) and just practice getting close to your time goal each for each 1/2 mile. If you have been doing speed work for a while or are used to go longer distances, suck it up and go for 8x and watch your pace on the first few sets. Don’t try to go all out and beat that pace time. The goal here is stay right on target and hit that time, not to go faster in the beginning and burn out so you can’t finish the workout.

Need help? PLEASE PM me here and let’s chat!

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Another thought…back pain can also result from weak hips…so it’s not just our legs that suffer. EVERYONE can benefit from these strength exercises. Ignore the underlying problem and you will continue to suffer.

Stop masking the problem. Fix it by getting stronger!

Let’s get to work and have a great day Crew! 🙂

Day 25: Reality Check

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-5-29-37-amWe talk a lot about getting stronger and running faster…and focus little on how strength training will help us burn more calories.

Reality check! If you want to lose weight, lose inches, fit into your clothes better, or just slim down a bit… throwing strength training into the mix will give you that extra calorie burn long after your workout is done!

We’ll never stop running, but throwing some iron in the mix will help you reach those side goals Crew!

Day 25 exercises: Legs / Stability – 4 sets of 15

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

  • Lunge Squats
  • Plank Donkey Kicks
  • Booty Boxes
  • Split Squats
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: #Hip Strength – 2-3 sets of 10

You’re going to see these exercises and more hip strength in next months challenge so learn to love them!

  • Clams knees together
  • Clams feet together
  • Side lying leg raises

Speed Work: Mile Repeats – ****Repeated from Monday’s Post****

Last week we did a “mile test run” to see where we were at. The workout was intended to be one fast mile after warm up and cool down. This week we are doing 2-3 of those miles, but not at your fastest speed. You want to be at about 85%-90% of your 5K race pace. Think of it as a “tempo pace”. Your tempo pace should be a little faster then the time you would be able to hold during a half marathon. For example, my fastest half marathon is just under 2 hours (average 9:10/mile), so my tempo pace for these mile repeats would be around an 8:55. Never ran a half? That’s ok! I know the numbers are a little daunting to some, but don’t stress. Reach out to me by PM here and let’s chat. I will help you figure out where you should be.

  • Warm Up – 1 mile (or more)
  • Mile Repeats – 2-3 miles – No walking during your mile repeat. Run 1 mile then rest for 2 minutes. Stand there. Breathe. Do not walk. Start your watch over or hit that “lap” button before each mile. After you get your breathe back (don’t wait too long, 2 minutes is enough recovery time) then do another mile. Repeat 2-3 times.
  • Cool down – 1 mile (or more)
  • Total of 5-6 miles
  • Stretch! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Lots of exercises today…I know it will take a little bit to get through them. But hey, if you want something bad enough, you make the time!

Excuses are easy…will you take the easy way out today? Or will you make time to do the work?

Make it a great Tuesday Crew! 🙂

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Day 18: Out of My Way…It’s Leg Day!!

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-5-23-12-amEvery runner should be as excited as Richard Simmons for leg day!

Strong legs carry us farther, keep us on the road longer, and let’s face it…strong runner legs just look good. 🙂

Get excited, get out of your OWN way, and get to working those legs Crew!

Day 18 exercises: Legs / Stability – 3 sets of 15

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

Bonus: #PlanksForRunners planks-for-runners

Since we aren’t doing tons of planks this month, today we are throwing in this round of planks for runners. 2 sets of this plank circuit Crew! Work it out!


Speed Work: Mile “bench mark” run. We want to see how fast you can run 1 mile, and I also want to show you how going faster is possible for you!. Make sure you are well rested and have fresh legs then go out and do a 1-2 mile warm up, rest for a few minutes, then run with your heart and do a mile as fast as you can. Cool down with 1 more mile then call it a day. 3-4 miles total. I want to see some super fast for you miles Crew! Do your warm up and cool down miles as slow as you want. All I want to see if that 1 mile time. Have fun with it and surprise yourself with how fast you can go!


November Challenge: Can you believe it’s already the 18th of the month? Our months always go so fast! Time to start thinking about November and new exercises! Jan and Sharon shared their favorites with me last month and they have gone over really well with our Crew! Maybe you take a class and have a favorite move, maybe you saw it on a video somewhere, maybe it’s just a go to move you love! Video yourself doing your favorite exercise or if you’re shy find a video or good explantation of how to do it then send it to me. Being a part of the month’s exercise line up makes you feel even more part of our Crew and gives you an extra reason to push harder! Show me what you’ve got!


Final Thoughts: Richard Simmons is known for his positivity and non competitive nature, and that’s what we strive for in our Core Crew too. We want this group to be supportive of everyone, no matter what your current physical level is. It’s not about being stronger or faster than the person posting before or after you, it’s not about being perfect or doing every single exercise every day.

It’s about getting stronger, faster, and healthier than you are today. It’s about constant movement, activity, and a healthy lifestyle. Simmons may give us a good laugh, but he also shares messages of positivity and hope.

Which Simmons quote is your favorite? Which one will you apply to your life today to give you that boost of energy and confidence you need to go the extra mile and do a little more than you normally would? Share with us which quote spoke to you when you tell your Crew you got it done today!

Make it a terrific Tuesday Crew! 🙂

 

Day 4: Don’t Stop Till You’re Done!

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-5-08-03-amNo joking around…today is a doozie and our legs are gonna feel it!

It will probably hurt and you might hate it…but what doesn’t kill us WILL make us stronger and that’s the whole point right?

Push through today…it’s only 2 sets of 10. Don’t you dare give up on yourself!

Day 4: Legs – 2 sets of 10

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

  • Lunge Squats – Blame Jan 😉
  • Plank Donkey Kicks – (similar to regular donkey kicks but bottom leg is extended)
  • Booty Boxes – fire up those glutes!
  • Split Squat – in between a squat and a lunge, emphasis goes on front leg
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: Pigeon Pose and Quad Stretch – We don’t have tons of exercises to do today but these are not easy so instead of doing more…make sure you’re form is on point and take a few minutes to stretch out those quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Tomorrow is speed day for lots of you, so don’t overdo it…but don’t stop when it hurts….stop when you’re done!


Speed Work: This week’s speed work is 6 rounds of half mile sprints with a :90 rest in between. This should be easier to do without adjusting your watch. Before I started going to track I liked to do speed work in my neighborhood because I knew where the mile marks were and this one should be an easy workout to do that way. Go out for an easy half mile warm up then turn around and go back home. Then set out for a faster quarter mile and go back home again, making a half mile. Do this 6 times taking a break in between each set and writing down your times. When you’re done go out for another slow and easy cool down mile. 5 miles in total. You can do this Crew!

When I say “sprints” know that pace is relative to what you can do. Your sprint is different than the next person. Don’t let this scare you or keep you from trying.  Each time you run a little bit faster than you’re used too…magical things happen inside your body! It’s so cool to see how that last cool down mile is a faster than your warm up…while still feeling like you’re going your normal pace. The point…your normal pace gets faster! 🙂

Click here for the workout and pace chart to find out how fast you should be running.

Watch your form today Crew. Do these moves in front of a mirror to make sure you’re doing them correctly. Today, it’s all about getting to know the exercise and building confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Building strong legs is a process…but when you get those people asking how you got those strong, sexy legs…you tell them, “Whatever it takes!” 🙂

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