Monthly Archives: August 2014

Streak in September Workouts 2014

Here are your 2014 Streak in September Workouts!  A source of ideas for workouts, these aren’t required.  This list is full of suggestions for when you want to try something new.Streak in SeptemberDay 1:  Run 3 miles.  Run fast, run slow, jog, skip, bear crawl or walk.  All you need to do is cover three miles under your own power without any equipment.
Day 2:  Warm up for 10 minutes.  Complete one round for time:  50 x jumping jacks, air squats, push-ups, sit-ups, superman.
Day 3:  Warm up for 10 minutes.  Complete 5 rounds for time:  20 walking lunges, backwards run to starting point, 15 leg lifts, 10 jump squats.
Day 4:  Warm up for 10 minutes. 10, 9, 8…2, 1 of burpees and weighted sit-ups(20/15).
Day 5:  Take a yoga class or do home practice for 45 minutes.
Day 6:  Road, mountain or beach cruiser bike 10 miles with your family and friends.
Day 7:  Recovery!  Do 25 jumping jacks and 25 push-ups then stretch, foam roll and relax!

Day 8:  Warm up for 10 minutes.  Tabata each exercise, no rest between rounds:  squats, burpees, push-ups, sit-ups.  Score is total number of reps.
Day 9:  Run, jog or walk 2 miles.
Day 10:  Take a power yoga or pilates class or practice at home for 45 minutes.
Day 11:  Warm up for 10 minutes then for time:  Complete 75 burpees.  Record time.
Day 12:  Warm up for 10 minutes.  Complete 30 minutes of cycling intervals, 2 minutes on, 1 minute off.
Day 13:  Warm up for 10 minutes.  Challenge your core with one 60 second side plank on each side and finish with one max time front plank hold.
Day 14:  Recovery!  Take a 20 minute walk with your family, friends, dog or just the fresh air.  Stretch when you’re all finished.

Day 15:  Warm up for 10 minutes.  Complete 7 rounds for time:  15 jump squats, 10 diamond push-ups, 10 leg lifts, 5 burpees.
Day 16:  Yoga or pilates.  Take a class or complete 45 minutes of home practice.Day 17:  Run, jog, walk, skip or bear crawl 3 miles.
Day 18:  Warm up for 10 minutes, including hip mobility drills.  Complete for time:  100 walking lunges, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 superman
Day 19:  Recover from yesterday with the week’s second dose of yoga, pilates or serious stretching.
Day 20:  Hills!  Find a hill and make friends with it.  Make sure it is at least 50 meter climb at more than a 15% grade.  Complete 10 hill sprints with 60 seconds rest between.
Day 21:  Recovery.  Take it easy today with a 20 minute bike ride or walk then lots of stretching.

Day 22:  Run, jog or walk 3 miles.
Day 23:  Warm up for 10 minutes.  Complete 4 rounds of 50M sprint, 25 air squats, 20 walking lunges, 15 diamond push-ups, 10 v-ups.  Cool down with 10 minutes of stretching and foam rolling.
Day 24:  Try something new!  Find a fitness class you’d like to try or give working out barefoot a chance.
Day 25:  Warm up for 10 minutes.  Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of 15 jump squats, 10 push-ups, 15 sit-ups.
Day 26:  Head into the weekend with a big stretch.  Practice yoga or pilates for 45 minutes.
Day 27:  Give back.  Spend a few hours on your feet volunteering at a local race.
Day 28:  Recovery!  Grab the family and head out to the trails for changing leaves and a 30 minute walk.

Day 29:  Run, jog or walk 3 miles with 2 x 1 minute intervals each mile.
Day 30:  Celebrate!  Complete one max hold plank for time then relax and enjoy your accomplishment.

Get Out of Your Running Rut

A running rut can happen to anyone.  These easy to avoid pitfalls are common when the dog days of August of arrive.  It can be hard to get out there and hit the trails, pavement or treadmill when it’s hot or humid and you’re thinking more about back to school than exercise.  If you dread lacing up your running shoes or see a run you used to look forward to the schedule but now view with dismay, don’t worry.  You might have fallen into a running rut and you’re not alone!

Everyone from recreational, running because I love it and for my health joggers to marathon winning, record holding professional runners are susceptible to the infamous running rut.  If you find yourself in a mind over matter battle each time you slide on those once loved running shoes, you’re likely in your own running rut.  That’s not a fun place to be.  Here are five tips from Team FitNice to help you dig out of that running rut and stay excited about getting going.running rut

Get off the treadmill.  More affectionately known by many as the dreadmill, treadmill running can be a boring a way to get those miles in. The scenery doesn’t change much, you could be stuck next to that guy who listens to his ‘personal’ music device so loudly you can feel the base and there are only so many TV options. Mixing up your scenery and surface by heading outside can be a great refresher for both your mind and body.

Make a new playlist.  It’s been shown that music can have a big effect on your workout, improving performance by up to 15%.  Find the right stuff and you’re sure to rock it.  End up with something that makes you want to hit the hay and you’ll lack motivation from step one.  Songs with 120 beats per minute (BPM) are great for a jog, those with 150 work for tempo runs and crank it up to 170 BPM for some speed work.

Try another time.  Hitting the pavement at the same time every morning, or evening, means you’ll likely see the same people walking the same dogs while taking the same kids to the bus stop every time you’re out.  Like the dreadmill, this can get boring.  Try mixing it up by running at a different time of day.  Late evenings are great during the summer.  The sun is going down, everything is cooling off and you might get a wiff of what your neighbors are grilling for dinner.

Check out a new route.  Even if you have to run at the same time every week day, you can always go in a different direction.  Running a different course can pick up your spirits while giving your mind something new to focus on. Websites like Map My Run have thousands of routes prepared for you, which is especially great for sightseeing and exploring when you’re traveling to a new spot. Some people have even started to use similar apps to draw pictures, check some out here (warning: not appropriate for all runners), to ward off the threat of a running rut.

Make sure it’s not overtraining or an injury.  If you think it could be either of these, take a break and consider making a doctor’s appointment.  Too much of a good thing can leave you not wanting more. Not only could this be your body’s way of telling you enough is enough, it could signal you need a new race distance or a new challenge. Evaluate both the mental and physical reasons you might be in a running rut, take a deep breath then give your mind and body what they need to get back on track as soon as you can.

Want help preventing falling into or getting out of your running rut?  Ask us!  Email or fill out the form below.

5 Tips for Faster Recovery

Recovery is an important part of working out.  If you aren’t recovering from today’s workout, how are you going to be ready to perform tomorrow?  The right answer is you won’t be.  Your body needs certain things pre-, post and hours after a good sweat session to get back in working order.  Here are five tips from Team FitNice that will help you feel great after today’s workout and fresh for tomorrow’s.

Eat right away.  Workouts burn through energy reserves and if you want your body to build those stores back up, you have to feed it.  Proper refueling will help your tissues recoveryrepair, muscles get stronger and be ready for the next day.  Post workout fueling should include complex carbohydrates and quality protein and occur within 30 minutes of a session.

Drink up.  Drinking fluids is important while you workout, especially for endurance athletes, but it’s likely you’ll need a even more when you’re finished.  Luckily, good old fashioned water is all most people need to help their muscles start the repair process.  Water helps the body get started with recovery by supporting all metabolic functions, most importantly flushing out the things that build up while you exercise and allowing much needed blood and oxygen back into torn up muscles.

Keep moving.  Gentle movement, like walking, stretching or light yoga, is known as active recovery.  Staying in motion promotes circulation, moving nutrients into needy muscles and waste from your workout out.  More nutrients and less waste lead to faster repair, less recoverysoreness and a better next session.

Relax.  Foam roll, stretch, maybe an ice bath if you’re really in need or if you’re lucky, a massage.  Like performing active recovery, massaging muscles promotes circulation and tissue repair.  An additional bonus:  you can do this while you eat that high quality post workout food!

Go to bed.  Sleep is the best time to recover.  When you’re snoozing, the body is producing essential Growth Hormone to repair and build muscles.  Getting plenty of quality sleep can lead to stronger muscles, better performance and more endurance while sleep deprivation has been shown to lead to decreases in performance and increases in recovery times.

Use these tips for faster recovery to feel better after each workout and before your next one!  Have questions?  Email us at or fill out the form below.

Don’t Run from Plyometrics

Plyometrics can sound scary.  Also known as jump training, ‘plyo’ workouts are made up of exercises that encourage muscle to exert maximum force as quickly as possible.  A great addition to any runner’s program, these explosive movements are designed to build both speed and power, helping athletes improve their performance.  Runners can benefit specifically from two elements of plyometric training.  Conditioning the neuromuscular system to work quickly and increasing the elasticity of muscle, both functions of plyoplyometric exercise training, work together to produce more power through a wider range motion.  Put those together and it means increased turnover, more speed and lower finish times.

Plyometric work can benefit anyone, but might be the perfect alternative for runners who don’t like to rack up a ton of miles each week.  A Japanese study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that over eight weeks a group of ‘running only’ runners had comparable improvements in 5K times to those who had run 25% less but included bodyweight plyometric exercises in their programs.  Adding plyometric training was also shown to improve running economy by anywhere from 2.3% (2003 study) to 4% (2006 study).  Increased running economy means less oxygen was used at a given speed after plyometric training than before and increased running efficiency.

There are hundreds of plyometric exercises, but some of the best for runners include jump squats, rocket jumps, box jumps, side to side jumps, jumping lunges, single leg hops, broad jumps and tuck jumps.  While not a comprehensive list, these are a few activities your running might benefit from.  Here’s an example of a plyometric workout you can add to your routine after any run:

15 Jumping Jacks
20 Jumping Lunges
15 Jump Squats
20 Rocket Jumps
15 Tuck Jumps

Want more?  Ask us!  Team FitNice loves adding plyometrics to every workout.  Email or fill out the form below.

Foam Rolling Mistakes to Avoid

Foam rolling is awesome.  There are tons of good reasons to include a foam rolling session in your post workout routine on a daily basis.  In all its glory, foam rolling can relieve pain, relax muscles and be the cheapest massage around but if its done improperly, foam rolling can wreak havoc on your body.

Rolling where it hurts.  Using a foam roller on areas that are already inflamed might increase inflammation and your risk of injury.  One muscle hurts because an imbalance, tension or a knot in another place is pulling it out of position.  Be sure to roll muscles surrounding painful spots with big sweeping motions before going after the knots.foam rolling

Using the roller on your lower back.  Rolling your lower back can cause the muscles around your spine to contract in an effort to protect it.  This has the ability to throw your spine out of alignment and put unnecessary pressure on organs like the kidneys.  Use the foam roller along the length of your rib cage but skip the area between your last rib and your hips.

Putting intensity first.  Much like other fitness, wellness and eating habits, an activity needs to be done regularly to be as effective as possible.  While you might not feel sore on a daily basis, rolling before and after every workout is a surefire way to help keep injuries at bay.  Roll slowly so muscles can respond to the stimulus and after easing over the entire area, concentrate on painful spots.

Holding your breath.  Foam rolling can be painful and one wonderful, natural way to manage pain is to breathe.  Holding your breath prevents much needed oxygen and blood from flowing into muscles that desperately want to recover from a hard workout.  Holding your breath can also lead to poor posture which makes rolling less effective and can do more harm than good.

Want to foam roll properly?  Check out this video, this blog, email us at or fill out the form below.