8 awesome strength building moves for runners and orange power.

Josse and I were on the same wavelength this morning.  We both wore orange in hopes that the color would help us to be speeding bullets up the hills.  

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We had 4 hill repeats to get done (each one about .4 miles long) and you can see exactly where they were according to my heart rate.  I stayed under a 6:50 pace for all of the hill repeats and they were tough.  

It was SOOOOO nice to have Josse there with me to talk with during the warm-up, cool-down and recoveries.  There is also just something amazing about having someone right there with you and knowing that they are hurting just as bad as you are and yet they aren’t quitting… it keeps me from quitting.   9 miles total for the day.  

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The big problem with hill sprints—>  they make my feet kind of angry.  My fingers are pointing to the not-so-happy spots… does this happen to anyone else on hills?  I’m icing, rolling them with a golf ball and tomorrow is a rest day so they should be a-okay by Saturday.  

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I don’t make this kind of stuff up—>  I sat down to write some emails and Brooke grabbed her laptop and cash register and got to work next to me.  

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I wanted a Cheesecake Factory sized chicken caesar salad for lunch so that is what I made and then I had 1/2 an avocado after I finished.  PS a friend texted me wondering how to get over the “awful texture of avocado.”  I told her to send them to me because there is not one thing about avocados that I don’t love.   

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Don’t forget it is SHARK WEEK!

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My coach sent over these AWESOME strength moves for runners!  I have to share them with you because I think you should try them out.  I am already sore after doing them this morning!

Brooke always grabs The Stick when I do strength training at home and does her own strength routine.  

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The Runner Touch

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Strike a pose in perfect running position with one leg in high knee position. Balancing on the one leg, bend at the hip and touch the toe that’s on the ground with the opposite hand while the leg in the air rotates under and back. Make sure the standing leg remains stable and as straight as possible while enabling you to touch the ground. Be sure to prevent the moving knee from crossing midline while that leg straightens out behind you. Come back up to running position quickly without losing balance, pause for a second or two, and repeat. Switch legs and repeat.

Perform 1-2 sets of 8-10 repetitions each.


Hot Salsa

Step into a wide lunge and reach a weighted ball as far out in front of you toward the ground as you can. Keep the back as straight as possible. Shift your weight forward on your front foot. While keeping the ball forward, lift your back leg off the ground and rise up to a perfect running position.

Perform 10 total lunges, 5 on each side.



Runner Pulls

Balance on one leg and grab a pulley system or elastic band in front of you with the opposite hand. Raise the free knee up toward your waist while simultaneously pulling the weight down 90-degrees and rotating toward your opposite leg.

15 times on each side.



Side Plank Knee to Chest


Begin in a side plank. Let your shins rest on a BOSU ball and balance on the ground using your lower arm. Keeping your body level to the ground, drive your top knee toward your chest while moving your upper arm back in a running motion. If your left elbow is on the ground, your right knee will move forward in a “high knee” position and the right arm will swing behind parallel to the ground. The motion recruits the core, scapular stabilizers and muscles down the leg. Repeat on the opposite side. If you are doing a static hold, work up to 45 seconds each. If knee drive or hip dip knee drive, work up to 12 on each side.



Reverse Clamshell

These may feel like they’re the same as the clamshell, but they control the hip in a different way. Whereas the clamshell opens on the front side of the body, this exercise opens on the backside. Lie on one side with your knees bent and your lower legs behind you at a 90-degree angle. While keeping your knees together, lift your top foot away from the bottom foot as high as you can, hold it for a two-count and then bring it back down slowly. The target muscle is the deep internal hip rotators.

Perform 1-2 sets of 15-20 repetitions each.



The Clamshell

Lie on your back and bend your knees to 90 degrees, keeping your feet on the ground. Then hold that position and roll onto your side. Keeping your feet together and your femurs slightly in front of the midline of your body, lift the top knee away from the bottom knee using the glutes to drive the action. The upper foot will turn down to “stand” on the other foot and the motion will engage the external hip rotators.

Perform 1-2 sets of 15-20 repetitions each.



Mountain Climbers

Drop to a plank position with your forearms on a medium-sized stability ball. Keeping your core tight, bring a knee to the ball. Try to keep the ball and torso as steady as possible. Alternate knees to the ball throughout the exercise. The movements integrate every muscle used during a stride.

Perform 20-30 total.



The Jane Fonda

Lie on your side and place your bottom hand behind your head. Put your top hand on your upper hip pressing your pelvis forward to make sure it does not rotate back during the exercise. Use your core muscles to stay steady. Keeping the top leg straight, lift it up and then back using your glutes to lift the leg. By keeping the outside of your foot level to the ground, you should feel the fatigue in your gluteus medius.

Perform 1-2 sets of 15-20 repetitions each.



What has been the absolute best part about your Thursday?  Or what is going to be the best part about your Thursday?

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The peacocks in my front yard, they’re so cool!


Best part – 6 miles with friends this morning! Worst part – 4:35 am wake up call!

Shark week is the best!


Thanks for sharing those moves! They seem like they would be really great for us runners, so I’ll have to try them out. My Thursday started great, with a 5AM run, and I’m headed to a sculpt class now. I also met my mom downtown for lunch which was great!


Best part of my Thursday is my foot is finally starting to feel better! Those spots you pointed to are definitely where my pain has been. The doc say plantar fascitics in the arch and the ankle is compensating for the plantar. I get it when I’m on the elliptical inclined too high.


That might be a tendon with your foot that’s becoming inflamed, I had that in a similar place, maybe an inch higher. I think up and down with hills can be stressful on the lower legs and feet when you’re not used to it. Thanks for sharing all those strength moves, I always can use advice :)


Thank you for sharing the strength moves! Trying them asap!
Best part of my day so far- work out done!! Hoping the best part will be a new chicken recipe I’m trying for dinner! Keep your fingers crossed for me!


Best part of Thursday was REALIZING IT WAS THURSDAY! I thought it was Wednesday halfway through the day!


I am glad Brooke got the cash register out with the laptop. Probably so she can do some online shopping. Also, just like her mama ;)


Those are some great strength training moves! Best part of my Thursday will be the muffins I’m about to bake and running some hills this morning.


I went to try out a new gym at lunch- but it took too much time to register so instead of working out I went to Subway and got a foot long buffalo chicken with a coupon! Best decision I made all day!

Short 2 mile run with my boyfriend and a dog I’m pet-sitting tonight. It’ll be the 2nd best part of my day!


The best part of my Thursday was completing my first tempo run in four weeks. It wasn’t pretty or perfect, but it was progress. Thank you for the strength moves. Those look great!


I love that the last move is called the Jane Fonda! Makes me want to rock some sweat bands.


Best part of my Thursday: I’m heading out to the trails for a big run/mixer with friends!!!


I’ll be adding those exercises to my work out tonight. (thanks)

It’s Thursday, that means it’s fixer upper night. If you haven’t seen it, its a fun HGTV show. I’ll be doing a treadmill run with that to keep me going.

so far right now has been the best part, quiet time is so…quiet.

My daughter does that too with her toy laptop. And if you ask her what she’s doing she says “just a minute, I’m working.”


Sometimes you just need a giant salad.

Thursdays are my Fridays, so I’m done work for the next few days. That’s definitely the highlight of my day.


The best part of my Thursday is that it’s my Friday this week. Off for 3 days!!! Catch up with you on Monday morning.


I was searching for strength moves this morning. Thank you so much for sharing! Great job on the hill repeats :)


Happy Shark Week!!


That salad looks SO good!! Best part about my Thursday was that I didn’t have school and I got to have lunch with a good friend who I haven’t seen in a couple months! Aha my little sister always get her “laptop” out and sits next to me when I’m on mine, it’s so cute :)


Best thing about my Thursday will be when I finally get to go home. yay.! it’s been a long and busy day.
My daughter has the same cute little laptop. She loves to play with it.

Hill repeats suckkk. but they make you strong


This is perfect! I’ve been looking for a good strength routine that I can do at home. Thanks!

Best part of my Thursday – After living in NJ as a permanent resident for 10 years, I’m finally a US citizen! I had my interview and took the oath this morning. Very exciting!

We went to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch to celebrate. It was delicious but definitely regretted it while I was running tonight….Mac & Cheese burgers are not good running fuel!! Should have had a salad!


Can we talk about how orange is the best color ever? Orange and Kelly Green. The best :)

This is a perfectly timed post! I just got back from my first trip to the PT for knee pain. Pain/no-running aside, it was pretty cool to watch video of myself running. Like most runners I have disproportionately weak hips and glutes. Hopefully strength work like this gets me back to running an racing ASAP!


Best (and worst?) part of Thursday was getting my first grad school payment in!! Also I need a hooded towel in my life like Brooke’s. Too. Cute.


Not having to work is prob the best thing from today. That and the sun finally came out and it stopped raining here in Chicago!


The best part of my Thursday is that I got some mom time in! We went to lunch, did some shopping, and hung some new curtains in my family room. Mom time is the best time!


Best part of my day = afternoon massage!


Be careful with your foot! That’s the posterior tib tendon that runs under your foot and up through your calf. That’s what my injury is from Boston – I’m still not running and it’s been almost 3 months. It’s a pain!!!


Agree. I had a knot in my calf that caused post tib pain for a while. My doc got it out but it acts up every once in a while. I would mention it to your doc when you see him next.


Thanks for sharing these! I’ve been looking for good strength training exercises for runners lately but have came up a little short on my searches!


I love that orange tank top you ran in!

Best thing about my Thursday: I went to an open house with the kids with FREE SUPPER! Free food + I don’t have to cook supper = My favorite :)


Best part of my Thursday is: being done with my work week! and starting to feel better after my head cold and being super jacked about a hard (and much needed) workout Friday morning!! :)
Happy Thursday!


The best part about my Thursday was getting to come straight home after work because I no longer have to work two jobs. I just really love that. :)


The best part of my Thursday was laying down in my bed after a loooooong day. I love that moment when I hit the pillow! And now I’m getting caught up on blogs :)

Brooke is so cute how she copies you… and she is ready for shark week with that outfit!


Brooke = future blogger. I will happily follow that website. also, I FORGOT it was Shark Week! I am DVRing everything now. Thank you for the reminder!


As a reflexologist I would say your mid back is mad…..watch your form up hills to make sure you are not leaning too much making your mid back tighten up!

Come to South Dakota and I will fix you up!


Thank you SOOOO much for the advice. I will definitely focus on my form on the uphills!!!


What is your average mile time for races vs practice at the same distance?


Thanks for sharing those moves!


I need to do some of those exercises. Thanks for the tips!!

Brooke is so stinkin’ cute – she wants to be just like mommy! Maybe she will grow up to be a blogger. She’d probably write about splash pads, baking and her cousins. :)


You mentioned icing. If you’re not doing it this way already, the best way to ice your foot/arch is to fill up an empty plastic diet coke bottle with water and freeze it. Then run your foot along it for 10-15 min or so. Feels great! I’ve had plantar fasciitis pretty badly before and I wear slippers with a ton of arch support at home, which helps since being barefoot isn’t good for my PF at all! I have a few other tricks, but those two things have helped a ton. Good luck!

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