Day 9: Weekend Is Over?

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 4.49.12 AMThe weekend is over? UGH!!! But what a fantastic weekend! Tons of racing, lots of long runs, and our Core Crew being total badasses! Sad that’s it’s over…but it’s time to start a new week!

Stepping up to 3 rounds of 10 for all our exercises and adding a few more push ups…let’s do this!

Day 9 exercises: How To Videos

  • Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10
  • Renegade Rows – 3 sets of 10
  • Arm Raises – Front and Side – 3 sets of 10
  • 25 Push Ups
  • Planks – 1 minute (2X)
  • Side Planks – :30 each side (2X)
  • Arm Stretches

Bonus: #CoreChallenge Core Challenge

Even though we love our daily planks…we don’t have a day dedicated to core work this month and we know how important a strong core is for running and for our overall health. Take a few extra minutes to focus on getting that core strong and tight!


Running Drill: High Knees

Running drills highlight aspects of good running form and accentuate them through repetitive motion, which trains the body to become comfortable with that movement so it can be inserted into your typical running mechanics. We keep talking about them because they are meant to be done repetitively…3-4 times a week! If you haven’t already, start working them into your routine. Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 6.14.18 AM

These drills can be done before or after a workout but this week we are doing them after…to reinstate the notion of running with good form while fatigued. 2-4 sets of 15 high knees per side. Focus on posture and getting those knees high. Remember to land soft with a flat foot.

Why: The high knees drill accentuates knee lift and glutes and hamstring power, which are keys to running fast and efficiently, as well as powerful and efficient leg drive.

How: Taking short steps with a very quick cadence, alternate thrusting knees upward until your thigh breaks a plane parallel to the ground. Focus on soft, flat footstrikes near the ball of your foot while using your core to lower your leg down slowly instead of letting it crash to the ground. Do two to four reps of 15 lifts on each knee.

Speed Work: Some runners avoid speed work because they don’t really care about getting faster. Maybe you started running to get healthier or lose weight…and running is a great choice for these goals.

But did you know that speed work can enhance your heart health? That speed work will increase your metabolism and keep it going long after your workout so you continue to burn more calories longer and lose weight faster?

The case for speed work:

  1. Build Stronger Muscles – Speed work recruits different muscles than slow runs do and also strengthens the bones, ligaments, and joints, so they can absorb and adapt to higher workloads. This effect is similar to weight training. The heavier the weight you lift, the stronger your muscle will become because the muscle is having to resist more weight. With speed work, the more you push the leg muscles to move faster, the more total muscle fibers you activate and the more explosively you contract them. This results in greater strength and injury resistance.
  2. Boost Heart Health – Speed sessions evoke an increase in the maximal stroke volume of heart. This is a fairly complicated cardiologic discussion but simply stated, stroke volume is the amount of blood that can be pumped from the heart in one stoke. A greater stroke volume decreases the heart rate and, in a sense, makes the heart more efficient.
  3. Lose Weight – At an easy pace, running a mile burns about 100 calories. However, the faster you run, the more calories you’ll burn during that mile. Plus, high-intensity training keeps your metabolism revved even after the workout is over. What’s more, research seems to suggest that the after burn – the number of calories your body burns after your workout, when your metabolism is revved – lasts for longer when you run faster.
  4. Training Between Races – Speed work helps maintain efficiency by stimulating the central nervous system and activating more slow twitch muscle fibers. More importantly, speed work helps reduce injury by gradually introducing speed into a training schedule.
  5. See Progress – One of the biggest challenges of not training for a specific race is staying motivated. Running an easy pace every day is going to get boring and feel like you’re not making any progress. By running speed workouts – and repeating the same type of workout – you’ll find that you’re running faster, or with less effort, and this is going to make you feel like you’re getting fitter. Even if you don’t have a race goal, all that motivation will keep you going when you don’t want to get out the door or the weather gets bad.speed work does a runner good

So if getting faster isn’t really that important to you…that’s cool. Pick another reason why you should give it a try….then go out and surprise yourself because you can do this!

Speed Workout: Sticking with the IIP format (Introduce, Improve, Perfect) we are doing those 200 meter sprints for the third time this week. If you haven’t tried them yet…this is your week!

200 meter sprints (.12 miles or half way around a track). If you can’t get to a track…just use your GPS watch to calculate the .12 mile distance. It doesn’t have to be exact…but keep it close.

  • Start with six to 10 200-meter repeats at a one-mile to 5-K pace (or an 8 or 9 on an exertion scale of 1 to 10), with a 200-meter jog in between.
  • 200-meter intervals should be run at 12% faster than your 5K pace.

To do this workout it would be helpful to know your current 5K time. If you haven’t ran a 5K recently…use the exertion scale…on a scale from 1-10…you should be running at an 8-9. This means you should be giving it almost all you’ve got for about 1 minute (maybe a little more or a little less depending on your speed. I tend to run these in roughly :44 – :47…that’s using just under a 10 minute mile as my base. Use this as a guide to see how fast you should be doing these repeats.

I am here and available to chat if you want some help figuring out how to do these…or how fast you should e doing them. Remember to start out slower with the first couple sets so you can do the full workout. If you can only do 1 or 2….you’re starting out too fast. Slow down a little so you can get the full benefits of this workout.

Important: Speed work should be done by itself. Don’t go run 4 miles then do speed work. Do a warm up (5-10 min), jump into your speed work (a mile or less total) then do a cool down (5-10 min). All in all…you should be running 3 miles or less on this day. If you’re used to running more miles…don’t worry…I promise this workout will leave you exhausted all on it’s own.Eat less sugar


Food Challenge: After a fun filled Mother’s Day weekend..it’s time to recommit to our Food Challenge…no extra sugar! If you faltered….don’t stress…just pick back up today and commit to cutting back on your sugar intake


Racery: We have begun our journey to run The Great Wall! 51 miles total…if you forgot to log your miles over the weekend here is the link. Alicja Grace is in the lead after her Wisconsin Marathon on Saturday (Way to go Alicja!!!) Who’s going to catch her?


Looks like a lot…but remember to space your training throughout the week. Running drills are quick and can be done every workout…speed should be one day that is spaced out from your long run.

When it’s all said and done…take time to stretch. Broken record here I know…but find some down time…post workout, at the end of your day while you’re watching TV, or maybe before bedtime. Stretch it out and let your muscles recover from all your hard work. Both of our stretching routines are great for runners. Pick one and run through all the stretches.

Go get at it Core Crew….and make it a great Monday! 🙂

running is better

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