July 2019 Challenge: #StrongerTogether

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Why are we here? Why do we need each other?

It’s simple. We’re here because we do more when we’re not alone. When we have friends to motivate us and keep us accountable we do more than we would flying solo. It helps to have a plan and know what to do, but when we do it together, we do more!

We are more consistent. We go a little harder. We spend a little more time and put in a little more effort. We push each other and ourselves outside of our comfort zone. We get and we give motivation and accountability!

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We are here because we are stronger together!


It’s summertime and we have vacations that keep us busy, the weather doesn’t always cooperate, we have fun things that come up and sideline our attempts to stay on track. But we need to keep moving forward!

How do we stay motivated? We must stay engaged! We use the friendships that we’ve formed to motivate us and keep us accountable! That’s what STTC is all about!

This month I am challenging you to stay engaged. Get your buddy group ready and have a plan to keep each other accountable with your running and your strength training. Keep your buddy group small because when it gets too big, people get lost and slip away. Tag your buddies when you get your workout done, even if it’s just part of the workout, because maybe you will inspire them to get up and get a little bit done too.

You signed up to get stronger and run faster and along the way we’ve become friends through accomplishments, struggles and mutual workout rituals. Many of us will be lifelong friends. Let’s use the power of our friendships to make the first month of the 2nd half of 2019 the best month this year! 😉


July 2019 Challenge: #StrongerTogether

Our July Calendar is simple and straightforward. Everything is included on the calendar except for ITB and Stiletto Routines which I will add links for on those days.

We have a great Monday workout that includes the option to use dumbbells, switch out for heavier weights by using barbells or opt for the Hip Dip Workout which is a perfect workout if you tend to see your hips dropping in running photos! Not sure what I’m referring to? Let’s look at some race or running photos of yours and I’ll tell you!

On Mondays, do what’s right for you, but don’t always choose the easy way out and push yourself to go a little heavier if you can!

You’ll also see I switched up the days a bit so Monday and Thursday are Hips, Glutes and Legs, Tuesdays and Fridays are Core and Arms. We have short quick workouts on the weekend and, of course, we’ve got Self Care/Mental Day on Wednesday to keep that mid-week break. Move that day around as it makes sense for your schedule and use it wisely! 😉

Buddy up Crew. It’s time to get to work!

This month’s theme — #StrongerTogether — is what will get us through the month completing the most days, keep us on track and accountable, so let’s take it seriously and get our buddy team ready for a great month of strength and running!


Ready to jump in for June and get stronger with us? Want to run faster and prevent injuries along the way? Now is a great time to join us and find accountability and motivation along with a full month of workouts designed specifically for runners!

We start on June 1st and our Challenge runs for 30 days. Find out more info here and let’s get stronger together! (Link includes more about me (Coach Amy) plus my contact info and details about Strong to the Core!)

No matter what you do….keep on running #CoreCrewStrong!

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June 2019 Challenge: Ready, Set, MURPH!

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Memorial Day has past and I am STILL feeling that MURPH Challenge workout days later!

I was wondering…what would happen if we tackle this challenge in pieces breaking it up throughout the month and building up to that final workout?

How would our body change? How would our strength change? How would we respond to this build up and how would we feel at the end of the month?

The Murph workout is a challenge that was created in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy, who lost his life in Afghanistan in 2005. The workout was dubbed the HERO WOD (workout of the day) and people all around the country began this annual challenge on Memorial Day in 2006.

Each year, Lt Murphy and so many others who gave their lives for us are remembered and honored. So I thinking…we should keep it going!

Since most of us don’t do this type of intense workout on a regular basis and we want to be able to walk down the stairs and use the bathroom without crying, we’re going to break up the challenge into smaller parts. We  will start slow and build our way up during the month of June so we are able to complete the entire Murph Challenge workout without the intense soreness by the end of the month!

Many of our Crew don’t have access to a pull up bar or are having some shoulder and arm issues lately. If that’s you, you’ll swap out the pull ups or the push ups with sit ups and/or leg raises and get in a great core focused workout this month!

Ready to jump in for June and get stronger with us? Want to run faster and prevent getting hurt along the way? Now is a great time to join us and find accountability, motivation along with a full month of workouts designed specifically for runners!

We start on June 1st and our Challenge runs for 30 days. Find out more info here and let’s get stronger together! (Link includes more about me (Coach Amy) plus my contact info and details about Strong to the Core!)

No matter what you do….keep on running #CoreCrewStrong!

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May 2019 Challenge: #CoreCrewStrong

As I started to work on this month’s challenge, I was thinking about moving Strong to the Core over the new CoreCrewStrong.com URL and wanted to find an image to use as our header that spoke #CoreCrewStrong to me and to you. A quick google search and the image below popped up! Y’all know these strong women right? Some awesome #CoreCrewStrong ladies right there! 🙂 

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I love this photo because it shows strong women building friendships, supporting each other and kicking some major race booty! I’m also pretty excited about meeting all these fabulous women and seeing Brigid again in November when we run Philly!

To get to Philly, or whichever race you have planned, ready to run a strong half or full marathon, we have to put in the work. That means running of course, but it also means continuing to build our strength and athletic abilities. It means working on our flexibility and our ability to move smoothly from stride to stride. We must remember that the routines we do outside of running are part of the plan, not an add on. Strength, strides, stretching, warm ups, cool downs…it’s all part of the program!

Our May Challenge Calendar is similar to April with one strength routine on the calendar each day. But this month we have lots of bonus opportunities. You have daily options to add a routine or two that is right for your body’s current needs. We all have different issues…whether it’s weak hips and glutes, weak upper body, weak core, tight legs and calves, weak ankles, tight tendons, achy back, neck or upper back pain, we have routines to help us strengthen these areas. If you know you have areas that need extra help, that should be your focus this month with our bonus routines!

We’re also moving into the fourth phase of our heavy lifting program and I am excited to see Wendy (the only Crew member who is ready to start phase 4) finish this program and hear how she feels after completing it. I am starting week 11 this week so I’m not far behind! If you are ready to jump in, I think you will benefit from and really enjoy this program too! Remember that on days when you do your heavy lifting you can skip your STTC calendar strength.

Our May 2019 Calendar with the full 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 each day in the announcements at the top of our members only Strong to the Core private Facebook page.

If you are not a member of our Strong to the Core family and you are ready to jump in and run stronger with us click here for more info!

Let’s buddy up and get ready for a strong May!


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 group promotes strength for runners. 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 our routines. You can walk, ride, swim…whatever makes your heart and body happy. You belong here…as long as you are also committed to working on your strength! 🙂

To keep our #CoreCrew family focused on strength, we have 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 was lazy and didn’t do anything today” but include no strength work and I see it, it will be deleted. 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 and we don’t want to load up our feed with non-strength posts. 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 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!
  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 our monthly Challenge Winner medal, you must post consistently, be positive and supportive of other members and be making purposeful strides in your strength 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!

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April 2019 Challenge: Core Crew Strong

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Time to go back to basics with a simple calendar that will give us more time to do what we love most….RUN!

We know that running gets us in shape but how does adding strength to our regular routine help us? A strong core (which includes our back, hips, glutei and even our legs!) helps us run faster and longer, helps us lift heavy stuff, helps our posture when we are running or just hanging around, helps our flexibility and even helps us get rid of back pain. Our strength routines are runner focused but they also help with so many aspects of our life so even if you can’t run…do your strength!

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For April we are keeping in the points tracking system to help us stay motivated. The tracking is not required but if you like having a list, checking things off and getting points for it, you will benefit from keeping track of your points and you might just win a shiny Strong to the Core Challenger medal!

Since we are going back to basics we have one Strength Running routine 4 days each week. These routines take 20 minutes or less and is ALL you need to run stronger!

We do have some additional workouts you can do that fit in very well with our calendar. The heavy lifting Gym Bonus is back with weeks 9-12 AND we have a Blast from the Past Challenge that is also an easy addition and progressively gets harder as the month goes on.

If you are adding the Heavy Lifting portion of the Challenge there is a change – for the days you do your gym strength with heavier weights you can skip the calendar workout for that day if you would like. This will help us save some time and keep us from “over exercising” with too much work in one day.

Our April 2019 Calendar with the full 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 each day in the announcements at the top of our members only Strong to the Core private Facebook page.

If you are not part of our Strong to the Core family click here for more info on how to join! 

Let’s buddy up and get ready for a great April as we head into warmer summer months, more long runs and bathing suit weather!


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 group promotes strength for runners. 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 our routines. You can walk, ride, swim…whatever makes your heart and body happy. You belong here…as long as you are also committed to working on your strength! 🙂

To keep our #CoreCrew family focused on strength, we have 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 was lazy and didn’t do anything today” but include no strength work and I see it, it will be deleted. 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 and we don’t want to load up our feed with non-strength posts. 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 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!
  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 our monthly Challenge Winner medal, you must post consistently, be positive and supportive of other members and be making purposeful strides in your strength 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!

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March 2019 Challenge: March Madness!

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Spring is in the air and it’s time to break out the warm weather running gear again. In Florida at least! 🙂 I know some of you will be battling very cold temperatures for a while still but hopefully you’ll feel the warmth through photos of your #CoreCrewfamily running in shorts and tank tops! 😉

Even if it’s not warming up where you are, you’ll still love this month’s March Madness Strength Challenge! There is something for everyone and let me tell you…this is going to be an awesome month! Our March Calendar is challenging Crew! If you commit and stay dedicated this month you WILL BE STRONGER!

This month we are adding a new tracking element to our challenge that is designed to help get us moving and keep us motivated. The tracking is not required but if you like having a list, checking things off and getting points for it, you will love this month’s challenge twist!

Strength wise we have a little bit of everything and most of the exercises and routines will look familiar but with the resounding cry for stronger arms you’ll see more focus there in March. And we’re runners so of course we won’t neglect our hips, glutes and legs. Leg strength is always part of the STTC program because while we love to feel good and look good in our clothes what we really want is to run stronger, longer and faster!

Our March Madness Challenge starts Friday, March 1st! Check out the March Madness Challenge image above for an idea of how our new tracking system will work.

The heavy lifting Gym Bonus is sticking around starting with Week #4 and finishing with Week #8 at the end of March. If you did not start this add on in February or are new to Strong to the Core but are ready to lift heavier, print out the February Challenge Calendar and work through Weeks #1-4 in March. This is a 16 week program that you can jump in and start anytime and just follow the weeks as you go. The Gym Bonus is not included in our March Challenge contest so you will not lose points if you don’t want to add heavier weights or don’t have access to the equipment. Our March workout calendar is very strong on its own so if this Gym Bonus isn’t an option for you that’s ok!

Our March Madness 2019 Calendar with the full 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 each day in the announcements at the top of our members only Strong to the Core private Facebook page.

Let’s buddy up and get ready for a killer strength month!


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 group promotes strength for runners. 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 our routines. You can walk, ride, swim…whatever makes your heart and body happy. You belong here…as long as you are also committed to working on your strength! 🙂

To keep our #CoreCrew family focused on strength, we have 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 was lazy and didn’t do anything today” but include no strength work and I see it, it will be deleted. 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 and we don’t want to load up our feed with non-strength posts. 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 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!
  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 our monthly Challenge Winner medal, you must post consistently, be positive and supportive of other members and be making purposeful strides in your strength 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 if you’re having a bad day and your run is crappy, if you don’t hit that goal race time or you pick something up and it’s just too 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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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 must stay motivated each day by making purposeful strides towards time for exercise!

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 run portion and you won’t make up the pace from walking. Run too fast during the run portion and you’ll be out of gas before the end.

Our effort during both the run and walk intervals must be purposeful.

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 starting each day with purpose. Some days will be purposefully easy and restful. Other days will be tough and will 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 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!

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 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 2018 Challenge: Consistency

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The consistency message from this week’s post resonated with so many of us that I thought what better “mantra”  as we navigate the holiday season and close out the end of 2018 than staying consistent through the holiday seasons?!?

We know that consistency is the secret sauce.

We know that hanging out with consistency is what makes success what to hang out too.

We also know how busy this time of year is for everyone. Family events, work events, parties, shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, vacations…it all piles up this time of the year and it doesn’t stop till after the New Year. That’s when we see the New Years Resolutions starting up and people trying to get back to where they were a few short months ago.

Instead of waiting till January to “start over” what if we were able to stay consistent through the holidays and go into the new year on track?

It begs the question…how do we stay consistent through the chaos and avoid getting to January 1 with setbacks?

Below are a few tips to help us make good choices and come out of these next couple months with a strong and healthy base…and maybe even ahead of where we are now.

  1. Set process goals – As athletes, it’s natural to set big goals for ourselves (lose weight, run a personal best, qualify for Boston, etc.). The trouble with this is the end result is a ways in the future and largely out of our control. The holiday season is a great time to focus on “process goals” — smaller, actionable goals we can check off our list each day that will help bring us closer to your big goals. Examples: workout for 30 minutes daily, get to bed by 10 every night, strength train three times each week, run three times each week…the list continues. Focus on executing your smaller , more manageable “process goals” during the holiday season, and you’ll be more likely to come out with a lot of check marks of the list instead of groaning about “getting back on track” in January.
  2. Grab a buddy! – The holidays are a great time to catchup with friends or make new STTC friends! Whether it’s someone close by who you can meet up with for a run or strength session, or a new online friend who will call you out when you’re slacking or encourage you when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed can make all the difference.
  3. Plan ahead and establish your routine – Running around to holiday parties, visiting friends and traveling to see family can make it easy to fall out of rhythm, but establishing a consistent weekly routine you follow can help keep you on track amid the chaos. Assign a specific focus to each day of the week—even the rest days—and plan ahead when you will get in  your run and strength sessions. No exceptions, no excuses.
  4. Crank up the intensity once or twice a week – Sticking to a speed work schedule can be tough at the end of the year. Many runners use that as an excuse to log only easy miles until the chaos calms down and they are able to focus on it again. But without our consistent speed work, our pace starts to fall and once again, we’re back to where we started. Instead of putting it off till later, crank up the intensity of one (or two if your average weekly mileage is high enough) of your running workouts with fast interval session on the roads or a progression run on the treadmill. These types of workouts break up the monotony of running easy all the time and they give our fitness level a quick boost and set us up to start the new year off in better shape than ever before!
  5. Plan ahead – Traveling to visit family or friends and not being sure when you’ll be able to run or work out can throw us off track. A missed workout here and there and all of a sudden it’s been a week, two weeks, then three weeks! Planning ahead can stop this spiral. When traveling, do research ahead of time and scope out popular running routes where you’ll be heading, or confirm that your hotel or host family has a treadmill or workout area you can take advantage of . Let those you’re visiting (or that are visiting you) know ahead of time you’re planning to work out. Even encourage them to join you! If you announce your intentions ahead of time, it will create the time and space you need, but it will also create an added level of accountability to actually get off the couch.
  6. Avoid temptation and practice moderation – It’s easy to get carried away at a loaded buffet table, which is why it’s important to know what you’re in for and plan ahead prior to holiday happy hours, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and work parties, etc… Avoid the temptation to overdo it when the options in front of you are plenty. It’s ok to splurge on drinks and dessert every once in a while but don’t let it become a regular habit. Going to two parties on the same night? Eat dinner at the first and save room for dessert at the next. Finding a healthy balance is the easiest way to sidestep the lure of holiday food. There’s no need to completely deny yourself of all your favorite foods. Just don’t go overboard. Being able to practice moderation–small doses of what you love–will let you enjoy the season without feeling guilty.
  7. Adopt at at-home workout plan – This is easy for us because our plan is already laid out right in front of us–no gym needed! You don’t have to think about what to do, when to do it or how often…the entire plan is right in front of us. Regular workouts we can swap out to keep things fresh, exercises that require little to no equipment and videos with your #CoreCrew family to follow along with. Heck, we even have pdfs to print out and take with us when we don’t have internet access or don’t want to spend time trying to find what we need when we’re on the go. Don’t make it harder than it has to be…follow the plan and you can’t go wrong.
  8. Go easy on the alcohol – Catching up with friends over a cold pint or sharing a bottle of wine with family from out of town is a fun way to celebrate the season, but excessively imbibing over a short period of time is one of the main reasons people pack on unwanted pounds. Limit yourself to one drink at holiday gatherings when you have a workout planned for the next day or plan ahead and get your tough workouts done ahead of time.
  9. Create a ritual – One of the best ways to start any kind of habit is to create a ritual around the habit you want to create. Working out is no different. Maybe you want to work out first thing in the morning before you go to work every weekday. You might create a ritual where every morning before work, you get up, eat a small breakfast while listening to the morning radio, go for a short run, then do a strength workout. The idea is to get your mind and body so used to including a workout in your morning routine (or whatever time of day you like to work out) so you no longer have to think about it—it just comes naturally to you.
  10. Put it on your calendar – A great way to make sure your workouts are ingrained in your schedule is to simply put them on the calendar—just as you would any other appointment. For example, if you want to commit to working out three days a week, choose the days—let’s say Monday, Wednesday and Friday—and put them in your calendar or phone for a scheduled time with a reminder. Treat them just as you would any other appointment. If something comes up, you can reschedule your workout but you don’t want to let this be a common occurrence. Just as you’d never just skip or forget an important meeting or your kid’s soccer game, this keeps you from skipping your workout or forgetting to work out altogether. You know those nights when you sit down and then it pops in your head, “dang I never got my workout in” and it’s too late and you have no energy and POOF the day is gone.
  11. STOP MAKING EXCUSES – People make all kinds of excuses for not working out—they’re on vacation, they’re sick, too sore, too busy, they’re too tired. Traveling? You can still work out, even if all you have is a hotel room. Tired? Exercise will boost your energy, so get up and get it done anyway. Busy? No doubt you’ve got an extra 10-15 minutes—and you could probably use a break from your hectic schedule to exercise and take some time to yourself anyway. The solution is simple: stop making excuses.  
  12. Don’t quit. Never quit.

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November 2018 Challenge: Consistency

Consistency is key so Strong to the Core is sticking with the Strength Running Injury Prevention Program. Below are the routines we are already familiar with along with the number of times they should be done each week. Links to videos and pdf copies of each of the workouts can be found in our STTC private group files.

We have more strength routines to add into the rotation over the next few weeks. The weekly schedule is yours to make. Plan ahead for your week. Schedule your workout time in advance. Plan for enough time after a run to get in some strength work before showering and getting ready for your day. Write your plan into your calendar so it is scheduled just like any other important appointment.

Consistency = Success

The more active and accountable you are in our Strong to the Core group, the more likely you are to stay consistent with your workouts. You may not have much time to be online in STTC with so much else going and sometimes feeling the need to post and comment can be overwhelming. Instead of backing away altogether and losing your support system, grab a buddy and make a commitment of consistency to each other. Check in with each other and post when you can but don’t worry about being as active in the group. Find what works for you, your schedule and your upcoming plans. If you are traveling, print out the pdfs and take them with you. Most of our workouts do not require any equipment and can be done anywhere!

  • IT Band Routine OR Stiletto Routine – 3X per week
  • Tomahawk Routine OR Standard Core Routine – 3X per week
  • Nike/Runners World Arm Strength – 3X per week
  • Chakram Routine AND/OR Sand Routine – 2x-3x per week (these are very quick workouts that you can add in as much as you want!)
**Links to all our workouts are available to members of Strong to the Core. If you are not a member, check out how to join us here. If you have questions and want to chat with me (Coach Amy) send me a private message here. I am available to chat and answer any questions you have about #CoreCrew and our workouts. 

Y’all will hear me talk about consistency a lot this month. I can already see some eye rolls and sighs…that’s ok I know you’ll still love me when it’s over and it’s going to be worth it!

Let’s start by grabbing our November buddy and coming up with 2-3 process (small and manageable) goals that we can set for this month. It can be anything fitness, workout, meal planning, sleeping, etc… Post in Strong to the Core or share with your buddy and let’s help each other stay consistent through the holidays and come out on target and feeling great!

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