05-18-2015

Week 20/52 of Training – 2015

I haven’t done a weekly recap in a while, mainly because my runs had been all over the place and not consistent…and then I got sick before my half marathon (which I didn’t run), and took 2 weeks off. But now it’s time to start building a base before Chicago Marathon training starts. Here’s what my training was like last week:

Monday: 3 miles. Hill intervals. The park by my house has 2 awesome hills for hill intervals. One is really steep and the other is more of a gradual hill. Both last about 1-1:30 minutes. So we did a warm-up, then ran up the steep hill and increased speed as it flattened out, walked/jogged down the other hill, and then ran up it once we got to the bottom. We did that for a total of 6 times then cooled down.

Tuesday: Track workout. This was supposed to be on Wednesday, but Wednesday was my brother’s birthday so I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a run in after work. So my mom and I did 3×400/800 on the track, where we ran 400 meters at a bit faster than 5K pace, then 800 meters at 5K pace with no break. This was killer!! My mom did it no problem but for some reason my legs felt like lead. In between each rep we jogged 400 meters. Total mileage was 4 miles.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: easy 5 miles + abs

Friday: Off

Saturday: 4 treadmill miles + abs

Sunday: Off. Was supposed to run but I was out late Saturday night with friends, so needless to say I did not get off the couch on Sunday ;)

I need to really work more on core strength. We did this Tone It Up video below and couldn’t even finish it. Sad. 

Do you have any favorite abs/core videos you use? Please leave a link so I can add it to my routine!

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12-10-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Holy moly…in exactly 2 weeks it is Christmas Eve! I have done like 1% of my Christmas shopping…anyone done already? If so, way to go…I always end up waiting until the last minute.

Today’s featured link is a really cute/nice video…it’s not health or fitness related but it put a smile on my face! Can I get pulled over today and given a present? :)

Featured: Christmas Surprise Traffic Stop

Isn’t that nice? I’m way jealous of the girl who got the iPad…and the girl who got the New Balance sneakers…because, running. 

Here are more links for you to check out today:

  • Holiday Gift Guide: Under $35 (Nutritious Eats) – For those of you who are still shopping like me…and this reminded me I would like a new pair of fleece PJs!
  • Arms on Fire (Running Escapades) – Looking for an upper body workout? Try this one – all you need are dumbbells.
  • Super Simple DIY Medal & Bib Holder (Erica D. House) – I definitely want to make a medal holder. I love this idea.
  • Become A Morning Workout Person (Lake Shore Runner) – This just won’t happen for me, but if you’re making some resolutions, this may help you!
  • Yoga Core Workout (Apples & Arteries) – Definitely trying this 20 minute video today or tomorrow.

How’s your holiday shopping going? Have you treated yourself to anything? I bought some “fiber” mascara from Sephora yesterday to try out :)

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06-18-2014

HIIT + Abs Workout

Here’s a Wednesday workout challenge for ya…a full body workout that’s a little bit of HIIT, a little bit of strength, a little bit of abs…

I’m all about workouts that are also great to do after runs, since I’m a runner and have to work on strength training. Does anyone else have a tough time balancing both when you’re training for a race?

I was inspired to do a 30-20-10 type workout after seeing a personal trainer and her client working out at the gym yesterday. The trainer had her client do 50-40-30-20-10 burpees, then back up 10-20-30-40-50 burpees. Dayyummmmm!

Here’s the workout:

Full Body Workout

 

DB means dumbbell…figured I’d clarify just in case ;) This whole workout should take about 20 minutes, so it’s great on it’s own, or after/before a cardio workout. 

As always, let me know if you try it out, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What is your favorite core exercise? I need more to add to my repertoire :)

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04-11-2014

3 Minute Ab Workout!

With abs, we tend to focus on reps. We do several reps of an exercise, then move onto another. But when was the last time you did some isometric holds? Trust me, these holds will get your abs burning as well!

Here’s the workout:

Ab WorkoutPhoto Credit: Arya Ziai via Compfight cc

1 set of this is only 3 minutes, but your abs will be shaking. Do it either once, or add on 2-3 extra sets depending on how you feel. For me, reverse planks are the toughest! I need to work more on my core.

What is your most challenging core exercise?

Are you able to do a handstand? I wish!

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03-06-2014

Abs & Arms Workout

Ready to torch those abs and arms? Here’s today’s workout for ya:

abs workout

So for the abs portion, I want you to do 100 reps of those exercises. You can choose where you do 20 of each, or you can do 10 of one exercise, 5 of another, 15 of another, etc.

Here are examples of some of the exercises:

Reverse Crunch

Side Plank W/ A Twist

Opposite Arm/Opposite Leg Crunch

After you’re done with abs, move straight into arms. Do those exercises 2-3 times through depending on how you feel. Let me know if you try it out & what you think of the workout!

Do you like working out arms? I’m not a huge fan because I like working out bigger muscle groups, but do it because I know it will help on the bigger lifts.

What arm exercises do you like?

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03-03-2014

Best Abs Exercises + A Workout

I’m not a huge fan of abs/core work, but I incorporate it into my workouts 2-3 times a week, because it is so important.

As a runner, having core strength helps me to run stronger and maintain good running form. Having a weak core could also lead to injuries, due to muscle imbalances (other muscles working twice as hard to compensate for a weak muscle).

Even if you’re not a runner, having a strong core gives you more power, and helps you have proper form in lifts such as squats, deadlifts, pull-ups etc. If you’re core is weak, you will definitely feel that when you are trying to do pull-ups!

And I’m not talking about core as in just your abs – working your lower back is part of that equation too.

Here are some “real-world benefits of strengthening your core” according to Harvard Medical School:

  • Everyday acts. Bending to put on shoes or scoop up a package, turning to look behind you, sitting in a chair, or simply standing still — these are just a few of the many mundane actions that rely on your core and that you might not notice until they become difficult or painful. Even basic activities of daily living — bathing or dressing, for example — call on your core.
  • On-the-job tasks. Jobs that involve lifting, twisting, and standing all rely on core muscles. But less obvious tasks — like sitting at your desk for hours — engage your core as well. Phone calls, typing, computer use, and similar work can make back muscles surprisingly stiff and sore, particularly if you’re not strong enough to practice good posture and aren’t taking sufficient breaks.
  • A healthy back. Low back pain — a debilitating, sometimes excruciating problem affecting four out of five Americans at some point in their lives — may be prevented by exercises that promote well-balanced, resilient core muscles. When back pain strikes, a regimen of core exercises is often prescribed to relieve it, coupled with medications, physical therapy, or other treatments if necessary.
  • Balance and stability. Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction, even on the bumpiest terrain, or stand in one spot without losing your balance. Viewed this way, core exercises can lessen your risk of falling.
  • Good posture. Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply. Good posture helps you gain full benefits from the effort you put into exercising, too.

Now we know core strength is important…

My Top Abs/Core Exercises

1. Bird-Dog

Okay first I want to say, I typed bird-dog into Google to get an image, and this came up…

Very interesting lol…

Okay here’s the actual bird-dog:

 

Start on all fours, then extend your opposite arm and opposite leg, but make sure to keep your back straight. Tighten your abs in order to do this. Don’t let your back sag in the middle!

2. Plank

You knew this would be included on the list. Plank is an awesome core exercises. Works your abs, as well as your hip flexors and lower back. Make sure you have a neutral spine and neck, and brace your abs. Don’t let your back sag! Start with holding it for 20-30 seconds, and work your way up to a  minute. Once you can do a minute, you can try different plank variations (I’ll write up ideas in another post), or you can have someone add a plate to your back for an added challenge.

3. Hip Raises

Here, I show you weight hip raises, but doing body weight hip raises uses the same premise. This move will be working more of your hips and glutes, which are still part of your core. You can add a weight, like I did in the video, in order to make it more challenging.

4. Reverse Crunch

This will work more of your lower abs. Grab a sturdy object, or use a heavy weight, and crunch up and in. Your goal should be to work up to not needed a heavy object behind your head.

5. Side Plank With a Twist

This is a bit more challenging than just holding a side plank, but you will really feel it in your obliques. If this is too hard, start with holding a side plank for 30 seconds on each side. Incorporate this once that gets easy. Or you can also use both in your abs rotation: do static side plank one day, and do this one on another day.

Put It All Together

Do this workout 2-3x a week and you will notice your core getting stronger.

best abs exercisesLet me know if you try it!

Which of these abs exercises do you already do?

Do you like doing abs/core workouts? What is your favorite exercises?

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11-27-2013

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

It’s almost Thanksgiving! Who has off today? I don’t, but it’s ok because I will be going out with friends later for “Thanksgiving Eve” and am so excited!

I found a lot of great links to share with you, so you have stuff to read tomorrow while you wait for that turkey to be done ;)

Here are your health links:

Where will you be spending Thanksgiving?

Do you go Black Friday shopping? Where?

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10-15-2013

Quick Abs Workout

After a long run or workout, if you’re like me the last thing you want to do is a core workout. I just want to foam roll, stretch and shower. Which is why I made this quick and easy abs workout for you!

Instructions: Do 2-3 sets with 12-15 reps of each exercise. I usually do 2-3 sets depending on how I feel/how hungry I am ;)

abs

Here are some YouTube links for each exercise, in case you’re not familiar with some of these:

Reverse Crunch

Scissors

Bird-dogs

Bicycle Crunches

What are your go-to core exercises?

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08-21-2013

Wednesday Workout Challenge

Looking for an at-home workout to do? Here’s one I created that is heavy on the cardio but still includes some strength moves. Below the image I will try to write descriptions of certain moves.

cradiocrusher

Lunge/Split Jumps: Step back as if going into a reverse lunge, go as low as you can, then jump up and switch legs (opposite leg now lunges back).

Skaters: Hop to the side and cross one leg behind you, then hop to the other side and cross your opposite leg behind you.

Plank Jacks: Get into plank position, and start hopping legs in and out like jumping jacks.

180 Degree Jumps: Squat, then jump and turn around simultaneously so when you land you are facing the opposite direction.

Switch kicks: I always feel like a karate master doing these. Kick one foot up as high as you can, then as you lower, jump and kick the other foot up. Do it as fast as you can.

Toe Touches: Lie on your back, legs as straight as you can, crunch up and try to touch your toes.

If my explanations aren’t good enough (I’d be a horrible teacher), just YouTube it for a visual!

Let me know if you decide to try this workout :)

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08-15-2013

Total Body Burn!

Here’s a new workout for you…you can do it at home, or you can add weight if you want to make it tougher. Strength and cardio combined, with some abs as a finisher. Remember to always do a warm-up before starting a workout.

Let me know if you try it out!

totalbodyWK

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