August 2017: Awesome Abs August!

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We all know a strong core can improve your running posture & speed. Since our arms and legs all stem from our core, the strength in our limbs is intimately tied to the strength in our torso.

Having a strong core sets a solid foundation for strength in the rest of the body.

For runners, the main benefit of core strength is increased stabilization in the torso. Our core muscles, the chest, back, abs, and obliques, are what keep your torso upright when you run, and reduce “wobbling” when moving your arms & legs. When running, our core strength allows the pelvis, hips, and lower back to work together more smoothly, with less rocking & less excess energy expended. Core strength also significantly improves balance, meaning that you recover quickly from missteps.

For long distance runners, core strength is even more important. Towards the end of our long runs or races, when we are extremely fatigued, our form starts to suffer. Poor form slows us down, and opens us up to potential injuries. If you are familiar with that lower back ache, building up core strength will help to maintain good posture, and reduce the pains that result from poor posture.

While we will continue to build strength in our legs and arms, August is all about our Core!

Introducing…

Awesome Abs August!

Before we get to our August calendar, let’s talk about a few other things we are throwing in this month.

Morning Workout Routine (#MWR): Since the Quick Morning Workout was such a big success in July, we are doing a similar workout in August. Meet your new Morning Workout Routine! (#MWR for posting 🙂 )

This is another quick workout we can do first thing in the morning to get our juices flowing and ready for the day. If you do your workout of the day in the morning, throw in this quick routine first to warm up, then get to work on the rest of your strength routine. If you workout in the evening, make sure you get this done first thing in the morning…it’s a great way to wake up and get your body ready for the day ahead!

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Coffee Break Workout: Another fun little challenge I wanted to bring back in August is our Coffee Break Workout. Too often we sit all day, only moving when it’s time to run or do our daily workout. When you have a break during your day, get up and move! 1 round, 2 rounds, 3 rounds…you don’t have to do it all at once. Get in a round whenever you can fit in.

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August Food Challenge: Thank you to Meghan for reminding me about our May “Weekly Food Challenge” – because we can’t have an AWESOME ABS AUGUST without watching what we eat! Our No Junk Food Challenges are doable for a couple days, but if we are honest, it’s usually too difficult to keep going all month. The “Weekly Food Challenge” was more successful, with a different challenge each day of the week. Make a small commitment each day and watch that tummy flatten out and those abs pop!

This “weekly” challenge will help you make better choices, cut back on portion sizes, and drink more water. Rules are below. 🙂

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That’s enough “extras” right? 😉 On to the “meat” of our month!

We have a fun new calendar for August and if you guessed that we’ll be doing a lot of core work, you were right! A lot of these exercises will be new and will require you to watch “how to” videos and get some detailed explanations on the “why”. Don’t worry, I will explain everything as we go. You’ll see that I have broken up our planks and wall sits into shorter durations but added repetitions. There is a reason for this and I will explain it later. 🙂 Having said that, if you can hold your plank or wall sit for longer than :30 at a time AND keep the proper form while doing it, then go a little longer, but I still want us doing more planks and wall sits each day so don’t try to throw them in one shot and be done with it. I want you to engage the intended muscles then rest and engage them again. You’ll see…and as always, I am here to answer any questions you have as we go.

Here is how the month is set up.

  • Monday: Core
  • Tuesday: Legs
  • Wednesday: Core
  • Thursday: Legs
  • Friday: Core
  • Saturday: Long Runs
  • Sunday: Active Recovery & Yoga

As previously mentioned, the calendar needs some explaining, but instead of doing that now, I will break it down each day as we go. We have lots of great bonus stuff in store too! If you don’t have a stability ball, you might want to invest in one as we have some great bonus leg and core work coming using the stability ball!

Last, but SO important….buddies! The buddy system has been working extremely well for you and for me. It helps me make sure everyone is taken care of AND it helps keep you even more accountable. I would love to see you picking new buddies so you are getting to know a new Crew member and getting some new motivation in August, but if you must…you can keep your current buddy. Just don’t let it get old and cause you to fall off together.

August Calendar is below. I will put a PDF copy of this in our Strong to the Core files so you can print it out and put it somewhere you can see it each day. Remember to check our daily “pinned post” for bonus exercises and weekly speed work!

August 2017 Challenge - Final