STTC February 2019 Challenge: Stay Motivated!

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As we slide quickly from January into February it’s easy to let the goals we set for ourselves just a few shorts weeks ago get pushed to the back of our minds and the bottom of our priority list. We get busy with life and time for ourselves isn’t any easier to come by than it was last year.

Instead of getting complacent and letting our health and fitness goals be a side thought, we will stay motivated each day by making purposeful strides towards time for exercise and self care!

When I am pacing a training run or race, we often do a run/walk. We’ll run for a set amount of time then walk for a set amount of time for the entire workout. This interval is meant to give our heart, lungs and legs a short recovery, then it’s time to get moving again. The result should be a solid run where you feel good at the end.

With a run/walk it’s easy to let your walk portion slow down to a crawl. This is where a lot of people go wrong with this method. In order to be successful, each stride must be purposeful no matter if you are running or walking. Walk too slow and easy and your overall average pace will suffer. Run too slow during the during the run portion and you won’t make up the time, run too fast and you’ll out of gas before the end. Our effort during both the run and walk intervals must be purposeful!

It’s the same with our workouts! If we go hard all the time, we will burn out. But if our effort is too easy, or we slack off when we need to be staying on track, we won’t see the results we want.

For February, we are committing to being purposeful every day and staying motivated to reach our goals! Some days will be purposefully easy and restful. Others will be tough and might push us to our limits. Know in advance what your day will include and tackle the day with purpose!

Our February Strength Calendar is pretty awesome and I can’t wait to get started! Along with the killer workout month, I have also signed up for the Moms on the Run MOTRvate28 Challenge which will give me some accountability with my eating habits. My diet is all over the place so I am excited to put this together with a great month of workouts and get off those lingering holiday pounds! Learn more about the MOTRvate28 Challenge below.

MOTRvate28 Challenge

This 28 day challenge is open to EVERYONE! You do not have to be a member of Moms on the Run or go to MOTR classes to join in the fun and win prizes!

MOTRvate28 is a Moms on the Run 28 day healthy lifestyle challenge for February that includes points for cardio, strength, no sweets, eating our fruits and veggies, self care like rolling and stretching and even points for getting a good night’s sleep! Add up your points and post on the Moms on the Run National Facebook page each week and you will receive a prize pack at the end of the month!

It’s not too late. Sign up for MOTRvate28 today!

February 2019 Challenge: Stay Motivated

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Our challenge this month is to stay motivated and on track with our workouts, our eating habits and our self care. Self care will be a bigger focus this again month! I have slacked off on talking about rolling and stretching lately and that’s about to change! I really want to see y’all spending some quality time with your rollers and yoga mats. Let’s get back to stretching and rolling consistently throughout the week. Each time you post with stretching and/or rolling tag your post with #selfcare. At the end of the month, I will look up how many #selfcare tags we have and maybe even give away a prize. Hmmmm…I know I can come up with something good! 🙂

We are adding a Gym element as a bonus to our February Challenge. This is an add on but a good one! If you have access to a gym or a barbell weight set 2x per week you can add in this short routine and see some even bigger results in your strength. If you don’t have access, please don’t worry or feel like February isn’t going to be awesome because it is! Our workout calendar is very strong on its own and if you stay motivated with me this month we are all going to be feeling really great at the end of February!

Our February 2019 Challenge Calendar with the months schedule of workouts plus all the links you need for the month’s exercises and routines can be found on our Strong to the Core Members Only Page. A link to this page can be found in our “announcements” at the top of our members only Strong to the Core private Facebook page.

Strong to the Core Membership and Guidelines

As we continue to grow and add more amazing people to our #CoreCrew family, it’s important to remember that this is a strength group. Strong to the Core is about motivating each other to get stronger!

Most of us are runners, but strength is the #1 goal of our group and you don’t have to be a runner to benefit from Strong to the Core. You can walk, ride, swim…whatever makes your heart and body happy you belong here…as long as you are also working on your strength! 🙂

To keep our #CoreCrew family focused on strength this year, we are adding a couple simple STTC guidelines. You do not have to post everyday…but when you do post, it MUST include some kind of strength work. If you post, “I went for a run today” or I didn’t do anything today” but include no strength work and I see it, it will be deleted. I am adding this because lately I’ve seen too posts that only include a run or other cardio workout. Going for a run or bike ride is awesome and I love seeing you being active, but there are so many groups where we can post a run and get tons of accolades. That’s not what Strong to the Core is meant for. If you go for a run but don’t do your strength, it doesn’t “count” for STTC so don’t post it. If you go for a run then do your Standard Core workout or get in some great hip and glute work, then post away! If you got in a plank and a wall sit on an off day then post it! If you took time for yourself on an active recovery day and did one of our Yoga for Runners routines or our 7 Key stretches for Runners then post it! If you don’t do anything…don’t post that you did nothing. That is not motivating to anyone! In fact, it gives others a reason to do nothing too!

Our monthly strength calendar, workout guides and videos and self care routines are for Strong to the Core members only. If you’re not a member of Strong to the Core but know you need to add strength to stay healthy, injury free and run longer and stronger click here for info on how to join.

Strong to the Core Guidelines:

  1. Posts on private group must include strength. No Posts with Only Cardio – Post your workout only when you have done your strength work for the day. This doesn’t mean you can’t post inspiring stories or messages, races you want others to know about, or fun memes to give us a laugh. And you may post your running stats once you have completed your strength! If you got in a run but didn’t do any strength work…post it somewhere else. 🙂 If you do post with just a run or “I didn’t do anything today” I will delete it without warning and I won’t feel bad about it. 😉
  2. Always be positive and supportive – Any posts or comments that are negative or demeaning will be deleted (this rarely happens with our #CoreCrew family!)
  3. STTC Monthly Challenge Winner – In order to be considered for the monthly Challenge Winner medal, you must post consistently, be positive and supportive of other members and be making purposeful strides towards your goals. Our monthly winner is always active in our group and motivates others to reach their goals too!

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our Strong to the Core family!

Remember that when the going gets tough, the tough get tougher. If something doesn’t go your way…if you don’t hit that goal race time or you pick something up and it’s heavy….it doesn’t mean you can’t run that PR, it doesn’t mean you can’t lift it….

 It just means you need to get stronger.

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November – Week 5: What do you do for fun?

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Last week of November and getting really close to the end of 2018. Where is the year going? Are you using your time wisely or are you wasting it?

Does seeing all the awesome races with tons of #CoreCrew personal records this past weekend get you excited? Does it give you motivation to follow in their footsteps and set some a new PR or finish a race you’ve been wanting to conquer?

The only difference between those who are reaching their goals and those who aren’t…is consistency! You know you’re no different than them right? You have what it takes to reach your goals. To run longer, stronger and faster….to be healthy and feel good, to make strides towards your goals. If you’re not seeing results, you’re not being consistent. There are no excuses or “reasons” other than you’re just not doing the work.

If you’re ready to stop making excuses and start making progress then let’s get to work!

Make your plan and finish November strong!

Think about your week and take a few minutes write down when you will get your workouts done. Plan for enough time to do strength work after your run. 10-15 minutes is a great starting point. Our workouts are below with links to videos to follow along with. You can also find printable copies of each routine in our STTC group files.

Each of the workouts below (or a mix of the workouts for each important area) should be done 2-3 times each week. Make time to love on your legs and hips before you go to bed by spending a little time rolling and stretching. As you make your plan for the week, think about your goals and how these steps will help you reach them.

Bonus: In addition to the workouts above we are going to have fun with Sally this week!

Can you hang with some Sally squats EVERYDAY this week? I can! We get a lot of single leg strength in our runner specific routines but we haven’t given our quads much sole focus lately so this week we are going to give them some love! This workout takes about 3 minutes so even on your days off, pull up Sally and get to squatting! Follow along with me below (video from earlier this year) or just google Sally squats and hit play!

Daily Sally Squats means daily posting so this will be a great way to stay motivated and accountable this week. What an ideal way to end the month so we go into the last month of 2018 on track and ready to end the year strong!


Speed Work: Don’t be like Fran

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You guessed it…we’re doing 800s this week! How many you do depends on your current fitness level and your distance goals. If you are training for a half or full marathon, you’re special…you get to do 1-2 mile repeats in the middle…fun! 😉

Start with a 1-2 mile warm up, take a minute to rest, then do your warm up drills and some strides (:20 – :30 sprints with a 1:30-2:00 rest in between), then go into your 1/2 mile repeats. Interval repeats below based on distance you need.

1/2 mile repeats (800 meters) should be done at around 5K pace. Start at the top end of your 5K pace and bring it down as you go. If you go out too fast…you’ll be like Fran!

Don’t be like Fran. 

If you are training for a:

  • 5K – 4-6x 800 @ 5K pace with :90 rest
  • 10K – 6-8x 800 @ 5K pace with :90 rest
  • 15K – 8-10x 800 @ 5K pace with :90 rest
  • Half Marathon – 4 x 800 @ 5K pace (:90 rest) + 1 mile @ 10K pace (2:00 rest) + 4 x 800 @ 5K pace (:90 rest)
  • Marathon – 4 x 800 @ 5K pace (:90 rest) + Mile x 2 @ 10K pace (2:00 rest) + 4 x 800 @ 5K pace (:90 rest)

Not sure how to do these workouts or still a little nervous about throwing speed into your routine? It’s ok to be nervous but I promise you if you just give it a go you’ll find out that you can do it and you might even feel pretty badass and definitely proud when you’re done!

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November – Week 4: Plan & Commit

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Consistency is the secret sauce to being successful but in order to be consistent we must commit fully to strength as part of our everyday training.

Commit to thinking differently about strength training.

Commit to investing in yourself and your running.

Commit to doing the work.

Commit to a growth mindset.

Are you committed to growing into a healthier and stronger runner? This week we are switching up the routine just a tad. The workouts are the same but in order to complete the challenge…you must plan ahead and commit!

Week 4 Challenge:

I was taught that doing strength after a run could be detrimental because we are tired and depleted from our workout and that attempting strength when we are tired can result in bad from and possible injury. But through continued education and personal experience, I’m leaning the other way. It is always important to have good form but if we add a little strength after our run we will benefit from more calories burned AND strengthening those muscles while we’re tired forces them to work harder! Last week after our speed work, a few of the girls and I completed the Standard Core routine and I could certainly tell a difference. So…this week’s challenge…

3 strength routines AFTER 3 separate runs

These 3 routines can be any of the routines listed below in our week 4 strength outline. You can choose a different routine after each run or you can stick with one that you feel you need the most. Choose from hips/glutes, core and arms. The way to make this happen is to plan in advance. You will need a little time post run to get your strength done so planning and commitment is key this week! Our Strength routines are anywhere from 4 to about 17-20 minutes. You may have to cut your run a little short to get in your strength and that is ok! Let’s commit to consistent in our strength training AFTER our runs this week and see how different we feel!

How to Run Faster Based on Your Runner Archetype

Got an email from Jason Fitzgerald talking about the different types of runners and how our “type” affects how we train and the results we get.

The training strategy should be different for each type of runner. It makes sense that our needs are different so we should be training. Trying to put ourselves into a specific category, one that is wrong for us and who we are as a runner, could mean we aren’t seeing the results we want. Frustrating because we think we are doing everything right…then BAM injury, setbacks, or a crappy race happens and makes us wonder…what am I doing wrong?

Maybe you’re doing everything right…for someone else…

Let’s talk about these different runner “types” and see if we can find out what is best for us.

Which type of runner are you? 

The Often Injured Runner

Every few days, Jason gets a variation of this question:

“I can get to about 2 miles and then my knee starts to hurt. Should I keep trying to train for the half marathon?”

With any substantial injury, you can’t focus on injury treatment while trying to train for a race. To train well we must be healthy! The goals and approach for a healthy runner and an injured runner are very different so it’s much more effective to focus on one thing at a time.

This is why…

  • Runners focus on weight loss before we focus on training
  • We should always focus on treatment before training

This thought was explained well by performance coach Brad Stulberg:

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If you find yourself chronically injured, injury prevention must be a priority if you hope to get off the never ending injury merry-go-round.

Three of the most effective strategies for staying healthy include:

  • A 10-minute series of dynamic warm up exercises before you start running
  • Slowing down your easy runs (easy should feel easy: controlled, comfortable, and conversational)
  • A 10-20 minute sequence of runner-specific strength exercises after each run

Building athleticism, increasing strength, and reducing some stress before you start a specific training plan for a goal you want to achieve are the most effective ways to stay healthy!

The High-Achieving Runner

This is the runner that we ALL aspire to be. Healthy, running strong with no niggles or pains, and well informed about how to train effectively.

For the high-achieving runner, despite everything going well, are not entirely sure what to do next. How can you keep progressing? What more can this runner do to improve?

If you want your race times to improve, the first step is to improve your training.

You’re probably in this category if you find yourself:

  • Running well but without many Personal Bests
  • Race times have stagnated
  • You think you’re doing everything “right” but your results aren’t budging

These runners need to take the next step. Two of the most effective strategies include running higher mileage and adding some weight to your strength training.

Higher mileage is arguably the best way to improve. The benefits of high mileage are undeniable:

  • Denser mitochondria, the “energy factories” of muscle cells
  • Stronger muscles and more resilience to injuries
  • Higher capacity for work (the ultimate runner’s dream)

When you can run a lot, running faster gets a lot easier. But before you go out and increase your mileage, remember that you MUST increase slowly and safely and you MUST keep your easy runs EASY! If you increase too quickly and run too fast you WILL fall into the injured runner category very quickly. Everything takes time…don’t rush this step!

Adding weight to your strength routine is another great option for high-achieving runners who want to figure out how to run faster. The benefits include:

  • More strength, power, and global athleticism
  • Improved running economy (so you can go faster at the same effort)
  • Better ability to sprint and kick hard at the end of a race
  • Injury prevention

Since most runners don’t lift heavier weights there’s a lot of potential for improvement. If you want to start lifting heavier, start and build slowly. You can start by adding additional weight to the bodyweight exercises you already do. Do not let added weight cause your form to suffer. If you feel like you are sacrificing form, back off the weight or the repetitions and make sure you are doing it right first!

The Lost Runner

No, this doesn’t mean you go out for a run and get lost…the lost runner is the runner that struggles with consistency. They sit down on Sunday night wondering what they’re going to run this upcoming week.

Many runners are in this position. They’re just not sure if they’re doing the right thing. They ask questions like:

  • “I just want to be more consistent. How do I keep improving?”
  • “I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing… I hate wondering what to do!”
  • “I’ve been at 2:10 in the half marathon forever. I don’t think I’ll ever go sub-2:00.”

If you’re finding tons of conflicting information, there is hope! You may need a coach, you may need a plan written down so you know in advance what you are doing each week. You can find a plan online that suits you or you can contact me and let’s talk!

Jason recommend a three-step approach for the “lost runner”:

  1. Read a running book. It doesn’t matter too much which book it is, but choose one that explains the training process.
  2. Be patient! Learning something new and developing competence takes time (often years).
  3. Find support: a coach, running partner, training group, or online community of other runners like you.

Immersing yourself in our sport is one of the most fun ways of learning more about running. You’ll also improve faster!

Strategies to Increase Your Speed 

Just like there is a hierarchy of injury prevention (see our injury prevention and treatment programs page to find out more about the most common running injuries), there’s also a hierarchy of speed development:

  • Develop fitness and strength to run consistently and build your ability to run even more
  • Learn more about running. Knowledge is a competitive advantage!
  • Focus on injury prevention to stay healthy and build momentum
  • Add weight to your strength training to improve strength and resiliency
  • Run higher overall weekly mileage
  • Run longer, faster or more frequent workouts once you have a solid distance base

Depending on where your running is at right now, you have ideas and strategies to keep progressing. Instead of implementing all of these suggestions at once, choose one and get comfortable with it first. After a few weeks, you’ll be ready to start incorporating more of these strategies.

Week 4 Strength

When it comes down to it…CONSISTENCY is still the most important aspect of our training regiment. If you haven’t mastered consistency with your strength training, please don’t try to add more milage or additional weight to your routine. Before you add miles or weight, you have to be consistent with the basics! This week’s basics are below! Have you written down your plan for the week? Do you know when you will get in each of the following workouts? If not, today is the day! Pull out your calendar, write down each of the workouts below and make a plan for when you will get them done!

Don’t forget this weeks challenge – commit to doing 3 strength routines from the list below AFTER 3 separate runs.

COMMIT. Commit to thinking differently about strength training. Commit to investing in yourself and your running. Commit to doing the work. Commit to a growth mindset.

Speed Work: Fartleks

Fartleks can be done is many different forms but the basic premise is speed play. Playing with different paces is a great way to ease into going a little faster and enjoying that rush of adrenaline that comes from increasing our heart rate and seeing the pavement fly by under our feet. This week’s workout changes depending on the distance you are training for. It also has different intervals and length depending on your current level of fitness.

If you are a beginner with speed work, training for a 5K and still working on building your mileage you don’t want to jump into an 8 mile run. I also don’t want to scare you away from speed work by giving you a big daunting workout. Instead, start with a mile warm up and go for 8 rounds of 1 minute hard effort and 1 minute easy effort. That’s 16 minutes total of going fast then going easy. Follow up with a mile cool down. This is a simple yet effective and hopefully less scary workout and one every runner can do!

If you are training for a longer distance, you really should be able to do longer speed work. The key is to go into it on the easier side and build up as you get through the workout. Finishing the workout should be the #1 goal. If you go out too fast, you won’t be able to finish…instead ease in with a pace that is a bit more comfortable, get faster as you go and finish the whole workout!

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Plan & Commit


  1. Plan out your week
  2. Commit to your strength routines with 3 immediately after a run
  3. Think about yourself as a runner. Are you the injured runner, the high-achieving yet stuck in one place runner or the lost runner? How you can use your weaknesses to overcome some of your setbacks or current lack of forward progress?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends but don’t let overindulgence steer you off course. Enjoy your big holiday meals keeping your portions in check and plan a workout for Friday to work it all off!

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November – Week 3: The Slow Drip

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Odds are you’re here because you want to excel in your running and overall health and fintess. In today’s world of ‘overnight Instagram transformations’ there’s usually no mention of patience, consistency, hard work, dedication…we see the story of this amazing transformation from heavy to thin, from slow to fast, from doughy to rock solid and while our rational side knows it took time, we tend to forget that these transformations didn’t happen overnight.

These click bait stories cause us to make irrational decisions and marginalize ourselves, maybe even causing us to purchase the latest product or service that will speed things along and get us to our end goal faster. What goes unnoticed in a overnight success story is how hard those individuals had to work for that particular moment of glory.

Far too often, we have a tendency to quit when we don’t start to seethe results we want quickly when deep down we know that the key to our success lies in consistent hard work over a long period of time. It’s not glamorous and life gets hectic so we fall off the wagon then wonder why we are hitting our goal times or fitting into our favorite pair of jeans.

It’s no surprise that this week’s message is the same as last week, the same as the week before last, and again the same as the week before that. Consistency in doing the little things is the key to being successful in reaching our goals. In our case, a slow drip of consistent strength training and mindful eating is the key to getting stronger, running faster, reaching our target weight and smashing personal records on the road.

Consistency is King

This week we are looking at 2 tips from 101 Ways to Be a Better Runner. These tips aren’t new to us but sometimes a reminder can make the difference in making it happen.

Tip #18: Consistency, consistency, consistency!

Running well takes months and years of diligent work. Unfortunately, there’s no short-term fix or“get fast quick” plan out there. Running is a long-term sport and it takes athletes years – sometimes decades – to reach their genetic potential.

What you do today impacts what you’re able to do next week, which impacts what you can do next month, etc. Consistency is king and you’ll often get better results by adding a little bit of running and strength for a few months than trying to jump up your mileage over just a few weeks or shoving all your strength work into a few days. Small changes, made over a long period of time, will ultimately help you be a better runner.

I know it’s difficult to keep going when we don’t see results right away. Don’t give up. It takes months, sometimes even years to see big results. That thought can be daunting…but if you focus on small goals along the way, you will see changes in your body, your strength, your speed and you’re endurance. Be patient.

Tip # 78: Take naps.

I’m not recommending that you get lazy, but naps are a valuable tool in the runner’s recovery toolbox. Pro marathoner Ryan Hall calls them “business meetings” and they help him recover from the hard workouts and mileage that he puts in before his races.

Naps that are ten minutes or longer have been shown to have significant mental benefits like improved alertness, memory, and motor learning. The real napping powers come into play when you nap for 60-90 minutes.

These naps speed recovery and allow your body to rebuild from your workouts. That’s because these longer naps include slow-wave Delta sleep and REM sleep cycles, which is when your body gets flooded with Human Growth Hormone (HGH) – the best recovery aid that you could ever wish for.


You’ll probably guess that this is one of my favorite tips. I love to nap. I go to bed early, get up early and very often take naps mid-day. Most of you don’t have the option to nap as often as I do (sorry not sorry…) but you can plan to nap after really tough workouts or weekend long runs if you PLAN in advance. Make that nap part of the program so you don’t get sidelined as soon as you get home. Go ahead and work it into the schedule so your family knows that it’s an important part of the program.

November Week 3: The Slow Drip

Once again, this week we are sticking with the same workout schedule, feeding that slow drip that builds upon itself each day. I promised you a new strength routine last week, then was sidelined by a piriformis niggle that affected the entire left side of my body starting at my hip and going down my glute and into my hamstring. (It happens…as runners we will never avoid all injuries or all downtimes and in truth this was a good way to get me to take some downtime after a heavy training schedule.) PT instructed me to take a complete week of rest (from running and strength) and I have followed those instructions. I apologize that meant nothing new last week but am hopeful that I will be back to both running and strength work soon and will be working on that new routine for you. I have a follow up PT appointment today, am feeling good and am hopeful that I can return to my routine this week!

In the meantime, you have the plan. You have ways to switch it up and make it less monotonous or you can stick with the routines you know fit best into your schedule and lifestyle.

Below is the week’s outline with links to videos to follow along with. Speed work is also below. It’s Monday, so if you have’t already, it’s time to write down your plan for the week and of course…get in your Monday workout and start the week off right!

Week 3 Outline:

If you haven’t yet, you can print out pdf copies of each of these workouts to keep handy so you don’t need access to our You Tube videos. Often it is faster to use the printout, but don’t get sloppy and rush through your workout! Copies are in the files section of our Strong to the Core Facebook group.

Speed Work: Speedy Gonzales

Total of 4.75 miles with warm up, cool down and rest intervals. The workout and Garmin set up instructions are below.

This is a fun workout we’ve done before which allows us different speed for each interval. This workout requires you to think a little more about your pace in order to hit your goal times but it is a fun way to switch it up and add speed to your routine. This workout includes 2 miles (1/2 mile intervals with a quarter mile interval rest/jog in between) of speed work with the 1st and 3rd intervals at 5K pace and the 2nd and 4th intervals at 3K pace. If you aren’t sure what your 5K goal pace is, reach out to me and let’s figure it out. 3K pace will be a tad faster than 5K pace. It’s not an exact science but if you know you can run a 10 minute mile for a 5K than your 3K pace will be about :10 – :15 faster. As always, if you are looking for something more specific to your personal goals (maybe a longer distance race or more involved speed work) please check out my coaching page and let’s chat!

How will you incorporate this weeks “tips” into your routine. Consistency is the easy one…just keep doing what you are doing…or START being consistent with your workouts TODAY! Putting a nap into your schedule might be a little harder. But I bet if you plan ahead now to take a nice 30 minute snooze after your long run this weekend, you will make it happen! 🙂

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November 2018 – Week #2: Practicing Consistency in Training

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“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Being willing is not enough. We must do.”

~ Leonardo Da Vinci

We know what we are supposed to do. We have proof that it works if we do it. Be honest with yourself…no need for call outs or shaming…have you been putting in the work? Do you have good intentions but don’t get around to taking action? Maybe you do some of the work now and then but just aren’t consistent? We can have all the knowledge but just don’t get around to the “doing” part of things…

In the words of Da Vinci “we must do” and “we must apply” in order to see results.

Without a doubt consistency in our training is the most important aspect of success and forward progress. Athletes that are still active well into their golden years have one thing in common: they’ve trained consistently.

Schedule time for your workouts as you would any other appointment. Don’t work them in haphazardly; put workouts on your calendar or have a set time each day. Most often athletes who work out in the morning have greater consistency than those who work out later in the day. Things will often occur throughout the day to sidetrack your workouts, and this is less likely to happen in the morning.

Each workout should have a purpose. Train smart and train consistently. This series of small things brought together is what brings the results we crave. Those results can be a successful race, running without pain, hitting a goal weight, lifting a child or doing yard work all day without needing a few days to recover.

Our strength work can impact so many aspects of our lives but in order to see that impact, we must apply the knowledge we have and be consistent in its application.

This week we are sticking with the plan and practicing consistency in our weekly routine. Outline, links, speed work and a simple contest to help us practice our consistency are below!

Contest: This week we have a simple contest to help us practice our consistency . At the end of the week post that you have completed the weekly series with the hashtags #sqoosh and #consistency. By the end of the week our workout clothes should be a pile of sweaty awesomeness! To combat all the sweat, we are giving away 2 Sqooshbands!

Each Crew member who posts that they have completed the week’s series of workouts will be entered into a drawing to win a Sqooshband! You choose the style and colors and it will be delivered from our friends at Sqoosh. Contest runs all week ending on Sunday. The order of your workouts is up to you and you can post throughout the week but only your final post with the completed series will count towards the contest.

This isn’t something that should cause you anxiety or stress. If you do the workouts you are already supposed to be doing then post and let us know you got it done you are in! One post is all is takes!

Happy consistency in training Crew!

Week #2 Outline:

Speed Work: Quarter Mile Repeats (400M)

This weeks workout is simple yet an effective way to put some faster running into your regular workouts. Quarter mile repeats are a great workout for beginners to more advanced runners who are looking to run a faster 5K, are in between training cycles or just looking to keep speed work in their routine. If you are looking for something more advanced or specific to your training, check out my coaching page and let’s chat. 🙂

A warm up and cool down is essential to this workout Crew so don’t skip them! Remember that you want to finish the whole workout so don’t go all out on the first interval and run out of gas early. Train smart and safe!

If 400M (.25 mile) times 8 is a little too scary or beyond your current fitness level, start with 4-6 sets of intervals and work your way up to more. You can take a full 2 minutes rest (stand still or walk around slowly breathing and letting your heart rate return to normal) or bring your pace to a nice easy jog.

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Let’s get settled into our routine this week and practice our consistency by getting it done  when we plan to get it done, avoiding the little excuses that get our schedule out of whack. It’s the little things Crew…don’t skip the little things!

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October – Week #5: The Secret Sauce

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Today we are talking about Fitzgerald calls the “secret sauce” of successful running: consistency.

Consistency is what enables us to continue progressing. It’s what makes this years 5K pace next years half marathon pace, this years 10K pace next years 15K pace, this years 15K pace next years Half Marathon pace next years Marathon pace!

Steady consistency in our strength work + steady consistency in our running and speed work = successfully reaching our goals and improving not only our running but our overall health and fitness!

We’re runners. We want to run! But how do we ensure we are able run more consistently? Consider that the annual injury rate is somewhere around 75% for most runners. This is HIGHER than professional football! With an injury rate so high, how do we stay consistent with our running? Runner specific strength training! These go hand in hand and each should be a part of your regular training routine. Strength is NOT an add on.

By making strength a consistent part of our routine, we are able to prevent more injuries. If we are able to prevent more injuries, we don’t have to start over from scratch after a long layoff. We won’t have to waste time getting into shape because we’ll already be in shape.

Imagine what it would feel like to have this kind of control of your running? To not be sidelined each time you have a goal race coming up? To run a strong training cycle and be able to accomplish your goals?!

The consistency that comes from healthy, injury-free running can help you reach your goals and keep you on the road doing what you love the most…running.

If you’ve been slacking on consistency, there is no better time to get back to it than today. Our monthly challenge doesn’t start on a Monday or on the first day of the month. There’s no reason to wait till tomorrow, or November 1st, or next week…start today.

The Strength Running Injury Prevention for Runners program requires consistency with an arsenal of workouts designed specifically for runners. These workouts are ALL you need to do. You don’t need to go to body pump or boot camp, you don’t need to spin or swim, you don’t need to do 100 crunches everyday. Yes, there are lots of good exercises and classes out there, yes spinning and swimming are good cross training tools…but if you are mixing in other workouts you might not be strengthening the areas that are most important for runners. If you are doing intense cardio other than running, you may be doing too much. As runners, we get LOTS of cardio…why do more?

Instead you can use the simple and effective strength workouts from Strength Running consistently each week to get stronger, fitter, healthier AND faster. Just think…by being consistent, you could be able to run the exact same route in a few months FASTER than you do it today AND feel better when you are done. All with the same level of effort.

There’s no reason to make it more complicated.

You have all the tools you need to run strong. It’s up to you to do them consistently.

If you’re not convinced that these workouts are all you need check out some of the Strength Running testimonials below…

“I am a 67 year old male who started running 2 years ago. After using the Injury Prevention for Runners programI ran my third half marathon in mid-November and I remained injury free up to and during the run. I completed the race at 2:32:23 which is 6:13 faster than my previous best time and I did it with a significant negative split. Injury Prevention for Runners has made the difference and allowed me to train injury free. I continue to follow your program and look forward to my next half marathon in mid-January and hopefully another PR.” – Bruce

“Quick testimonial. I’m a 52 year old male. Developed calf strains in my 30’s which limited my running and eventually ended my ability to run at all. Quit trying to run at age 40, tired and defeated from not finding an answer to my calf issues. I have been searching for answers all this time, because I never got over my love for running.

Decided to try the program but honestly was very skeptical because everything I tried over the years didn’t help.  After just three weeks, I’m amazed and very happy with the results. The tension on my calves is not there any more.  I am taking it easy, but I have already run farther and faster than I ever thought I would.” – Dave

“Only 2 months ago I could not run 2k.  Bad episode of acute ITBS that has been with me for as long as I can remember. This weekend I ran 18k in a balmy 0 degrees without any issues. Injury Prevention for Runners made it possible. Thanks to Injury Prevention for Runners I’m back on track for my Boston Marathon 2018!” – Remko

“I was at the end of my rope after suffering from ongoing ITBS, runner’s knee, hip pain, ankle pain… I love running but I couldn’t do more with risking more injury.

Then I started this program and OMG – the injuries have stopped. Even though it’s been almost 4 months now, I’m almost afraid to say it out loud. I simply expect to have knee pain all of time. But I don’t.

Get this! I’m am now running 30-35 miles per week and training for a marathon. And I’m not only running more miles and longer distances, I’m actually running faster. I ran 16 miles on Sunday in 2:16:21 – or 8:31/mi pace. Just five months ago I was running 5 miles at a 9:30/mi pace. Unbelievable. Thanks so much. I look forward to doing more with you in the coming year.” – Tim


All of these runners paid around $200 for this program. I paid $200 for this program. I purchased it for myself because I am sold on the Strength Running program and Jason Fitzgerald. You are getting all the info PLUS weekly speed work, accountability, friendship, ongoing advice and motivation for your STTC monthly dues. Here’s the thing Crew…if you’re not taking advantage of the info, if you are not being consistent with your workouts…why do you pay to be here? I’m not telling you to leave…but I do want you to get the most out of what we are doing and that takes consistency! 🙂

October – Week #5: Consistency

It’s time to put that consistency to work and get our schedule set up for the week. If you weren’t able to jump in this morning during our FB live 6am workout, you can still find it in our “announcements” in Strong to the Core. The Standard Core Routine is this weeks new core routine! We are adding this into the rotation with the Tomahawk Routine (these two can be swapped out) and this combo should be done at least 3 times each week. Amiee and I also did the workout last week at the park and that video is below. We have another great workout to add soon but in the meantime, below is an outline of what our week will look like.

*The chart only goes to a 30 minute 5K so I went ahead and worked out up to 40 minutes for the 5K.
  • 31:00 = 10:45 – 11:45
  • 32:00 = 11:00 – 12:00
  • 33:00 = 11:15 – 12:15
  • 34:00 = 11:30 – 12:30
  • 35:00 = 11:45 – 12:45
  • 36:00 = 12:00 – 13:00
  • 37:00 = 12:15 – 13:15
  • 38:00 =  12:30 – 13:30
  • 39:00 = 12:45 – 13:45
  • 40:00 = 13:00-14:00

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November Challenge

We are at the end of October…only a few days left until the first of November and it’s time to get those dues in. We are sticking with this program for November! There is more info and more workouts to come. I hope you are taking advantage of a great program for runners, the Injury Treatment programs when needed, and planning each week so that you are able to get the most out of your training. I will put up a post today tagging those due for November. If you know you are due and want to get caught up or if you see these posts and want to join our #CoreCrew here is the link for more info on Strong to the Core and payment links! 🙂

Speed Work

This weeks speed work is for those who are NOT racing over the weekend. Remember you can always do strides at the end of any easy run. Strides at the end of an easy run can be pick ups or fartleks OR you can stop and do full strides with breaks in between. This is great way to get those legs turning over and still keep most of your run “easy”. Just make sure you are keeping the strides short and not overdoing it.

For everyone else, weekly speed work is another KEY part of your training. Speed work not only helps us get faster, it also promotes quick leg turnover and proper running form, increased aerobic and anaerobic capabilities, increased VO2 Max and it’s fun! Well…it’s fun once you get over the anxiety of doing it. But I promise that if you give it a go, you will feel less anxious next time and you will feel pretty badass when you’re done!

If you don’t have a specific race coming up and you’re just in a “getting stronger and building mileage” you should still do speed work! Throwing a little (20% of your average weekly miles) speed work into your routine you WILL see improvements. Key factor is keeping the mileage to 20% of your total miles for the week.

Example: If you are running an average of…

  • 10 miles/week = 2 miles of speed work
  • 20 miles/week = 4 miles of speed work
  • 30 miles/week = 6 miles of speed work
  • 40 miles/week = 8 miles of speed work
  • 50 miles/week = 10 miles of speed work

This weeks workout: Fartleks for Everyone!

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This week we are doing a basic fartlek workout. This workout is good for every runner! It promotes fast running with easy running mixed in and can be done anywhere. No track needed. If you are training for a longer distance race, you can add more sets of fartleks to your workout OR you can contact me about more individualized coaching. Check out the STTC Running Coach page for more info. 🙂

The Workout: Sabre Routine + 4-5 miles with 6-8 x 1:00 @ 10K pace / 2:00 easy recovery (walk, walk then go into easy run or easy run) + Standard Core Routine

Let me know if you have questions. Sample Garmin set up is below.

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What part of your training are you slacking on? Are you lacking in consistency in your running? Strength? Warm up? Post run strength like planks and wall sits? How will you practice consistency in your week areas this week? Be honest with yourself. You don’t have to tell me or anyone else….you know what you’re not doing…

You can change this habit right now. Start practicing consistency today by adding in that workout you’ve been putting off. Start following along with the plan — the whole plan — and you will start seeing results. You’ll feel less pain and you will run stronger.

Key word this week = Consistency

Consistency is related to success. Hang out with consistency more than once in a while to see those results you are craving!

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October – Week #3: Which Comes First Cardio or Weights?

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The Strength Running program with Jason Fitzgerald includes some expert interviews that dial into a lot more about strength training and how to use the principals we are learning and put them all together into a well rounded plan. This week, we are listening to one of the expert interviews and starting a discussion about it.

First up…which comes first, cardio or weights?

This is an audio file. You can download it to your computer or save the link on your phone and listen in the car or on a run!

Cardio or Weights? 

Conversation Starter: After listening, which do you think come first? Cardio or weights?

Week #3 Outline:

We are not adding any new strength workouts this week. Last week we added the workouts below so let’s keep working on these (in rotation) so we continue to get more familiar with them. Here’s how your week should look. Plan ahead to make sure you don’t get behind!

In addition to everything we are learning, the Strength Running program comes with access to a book called 101 Ways to Become a Better Runner: A Short Guide to Running Faster, Preventing Injuries and Feeling Great. Each week we will look at a couple tips that we can incorporate into our training arsenal. Some of it you will already be familiar with and some will be new, be open to learning new things and you might find something useful!

*Tips courtesy of Jason Fitzgerald with Strength Running

Tip 1: Hill workouts don’t always have to be repetitions

Every coach I know encourages a good hill workout. And for good reason – they build leg strength, help prevent injuries when done correctly, and give you a great aerobic stimulus (i.e., help you develop endurance). But they shouldn’t be the only hills you’re running.

In addition to a hill repetition workout, you can also run “rollercoaster runs” throughout the week. These are simply easy or moderate paced distance runs that are run on hilly terrain. Don’t run fast on the uphills and downhills; just keep your effort constant for the entire run. Including 2-8 (or more!) hills of different lengths and grades during a typical run will help you build resilience and improve your running economy. Just limit your hilly days to 2-3 per week to ensure you’re recovering properly.

Tip 5: Be a “core whore”

My wife jokes that I’m a core whore because I make a 15-20 minute core session an almost daily part of my post-run routine. You don’t necessarily need to do a core workout every day, butstart doing one about 3 times per week and you’ll start seeing real results.

Focus on whole body exercises that you can do anywhere, like pushups, planks, bridges, and lunges. An effective general strength routine that I used frequently is the Standard Core Routine. (This routine is coming!) Another great core routine is the Tomahawk Core Routine which you can find here.

A more strength oriented workout is the ITB Rehab/Strength Routine which is focused on glute and hip strength (yes these are part of our core). Glutes and Hips and two areas that are particularly weak among most distance runners. This routine is great for overall injury prevention and strength, and is not just for those who suffer from Illiotibial Band Syndrome.

Tip 6: Core is about more than your abs

Keep in mind that your core is about much more than just your ab muscles. Include exercises that engage your lower back, hips, and glutes – all of these muscles are important to stabilizing your body when you’re running.

Even if you’re in the gym lifting weights, you’re using your core muscles. Exercises like the squat, dead lift, and weighted lunge all work your core muscles and help stabilize your upper body. Don’t limit yourself to sit-ups every day!

Tip 15: Don’t over-stride when you run

Over-striding means landing with your foot significantly in front of your body. Over-striders are usually aggressive heel strikers and put more stress on their legs than those who don’t over- stride. This extra stress on our legs can lead to injuries.

Instead, make sure your feet are landing underneath your center of mass. Try to envision just“putting your foot down” underneath your body rather than reaching out with your foot. This simple cue will help you run more efficiently with a more compact stride.

Conversation Starter: Do any of this weeks tips resonate with you? Would love to hear your thoughts. Let’s start a conversation about how we can turn these tips into easy ways to become a better runner!!

Speed Work: Long Interval Repeats 

There are two kinds of runners: those who don’t do high-intensity intervals and those who do them wrong.

Ok…that’s a generalization, but there is some truth to the statement. Many non-competitive runners do all of their runs at more or less the same, moderate intensity. They build fitness for long distance races by adding distance to their workouts, not intensity.

Runners who are interested in getting faster typically do high-intensity intervals. This is a good start, but there’s usually not a lot of variation in their interval workouts. Typically runners lean heavily on what they know they can run fast, short intervals like 400 meters performed at very high speeds on a track.

There’s nothing wrong with these workouts and they do have their merits, but it’s also important to do longer interval workouts at a slightly lower (but still high) intensity. In fact, you will get more benefit from intervals lasting longer than 5 minutes each than you would get from shorter intervals.

To understand why, you first need to understand that the purpose of high-intensity interval training is not to make you faster. It’s to make you less fatigued when going fast! You may already be able to run short distances pretty fast but most likely what you lack is the ability to sustain high speeds over long distances. Long intervals do a better job than short intervals of increasing this crucial ability, which is sometimes called “intensive endurance.”

What matters most in high-intensity interval training for distance runners is not how fast you go but how much time you spend going fast. The faster you go in your intervals, the less time you’ll be able to spend going fast before you become fatigued. By keeping your pace in check in longer interval, high-intensity interval workouts, you can complete the entire workout and get a bigger boost in intensive endurance.

How Hard Is Hard Enough? This is especially problematic for runners. By the time you realize you’ve gone out too fast in a race, it’s already too late. When the alarm bells starts to ring, you’re already about to blow up! You can dial the pace back and recover to finish, but you’re already burned out, and your hopes of a PR might have gone up in smoke.

Long Interval repeats  can be the secret weapon you can incorporate in your training. Interval training has been a part of all solid training plans for decades. Moderately long efforts at high intensity are a great way to explore your faster pace abilities without risking the wear and tear of giving 100% in training.

These benefits alone are enough to make middle distance repeats a must in any running program, but there’s an important side benefit for newer runners and racers. 

The reason so many new runners (and experienced ones too) going out too hard and blowing up early has to do with the gap between their expectations and their physical ability. Maybe they’ve been running by feel all through training, so when race morning comes, the adrenaline makes a fast first mile feel great…for the first mile.

Middle distance repeats bring a heavy dose of reality to our training. Paired with a stopwatch or GPS running watch, you find out what pace you are actually capable of, without the risks and expense of going all-out. You’ll run that first mile repeat fast and feel great, but halfway through the third, your body’s going to give you a big old spoonful of truth serum. By the fourth repeat interval, you’ll have settled down into something much closer to your race-day pace. Once you’ve found that pace, it’s much easier to plan a strategy that will get you the fastest possible time at your next big event.

“Repeats” means just that. You ideally want to run each middle distance interval at the same pace. None of these intervals are meant to be run all out. This is self-correcting to a certain point, but you’ll want to run your first one at a level of effort you think you can maintain for your last one. Try to keep your speed even throughout all of your laps/repeats, rather than surging and sagging. You’re looking for a cruise control setting, not a top speed.

Between workout sets, take enough time for your heart rate and respiration to settle down close to normal. Depending on the length of your repeats this can be anywhere from :90 – 3-4 minutes. Stay moving enough to not get cold. Move around, do some easy leg swings or other drills but don’t do anything strenuous that would keep your heart rate from coming down.

At the end of your last repeat, you should be just about cooked. You should feel like you could keep running, but there’s almost no way you could repeat the interval again at the same pace.

The Workout: Long Intervals

Long Interval repeat workout for a 5k: 

  • Warm up – Easy 800m – 1 mile jog
  • Dynamic stretching (Sabre Routine)
  • Strides – 2 – 4x
  • 6 x 800m repeats with :90 rest
  • Cool down – Easy 400m – 800m jog

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Long Interval Workout for a 10k:

  • Warm up – Easy 1 mile jog
  • Dynamic Stretching (Sabre Routine)
  • Strides – 3 – 5x
  • 3 x 1600m (1 mile) repeats with :90 rest
  • Cool down – Easy 400m – 800m jog

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Long Interval Workout for a Half Marathon:

  • Warm up: 1-2 miles easy
  • Dynamic Stretching (Sabre Routine)
  • Strides 4 – 6x
  • 2 x 2 mile repeats with 2:00 rest
  • Cool down – Easy 1 mile jog

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Long Interval Workout for a Marathon:

  • Warm up: 2 miles easy
  • Dynamic Stretching (Sabre Routine)
  • Strides 4 – 6x
  • 3 x 2 mile repeats with 2:00 rest
  • Cool down – Easy 1-2 mile jog

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Practice Patience and Run Smart – It may take one or two tries to get into a groove on your half-mile or mile repeats. The biggest thing to remember is to not get too aggressive. Once you know you can crank out all of the repeats at close to the same pace, you can try bringing the pace down a bit next time or using that pace at your next race. It should get you in the ballpark of your best effort, and it may even set you up for a great kick to the finish.

Save the racing for race day. Reckless sprints are for kids and adults who don’t mind getting injured. Incorporating long interval repeats into your regular running program will pay big dividends in increased aerobic performance, experience working at faster paces, and setting a realistic expectation of what you can accomplish on race day.

Have a great week Crew! Remember to plan ahead for your strength and your speed work! Links are all over this page. Use them and save them for later! xoxoxo

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