Strong Together Fall 2014—Week 6 - MetroFamily Magazine
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Strong Together Fall 2014—Week 6

Reading Time: 6 minutes 

You have conquered five weeks of training! Give yourself a firm pat on the back as you push forward into October and prepare for Strong Together to come to a close in just two short weeks. If you've missed some training along the way, you can always go back and reference week 1week 2, week 3, week 4 and week 5.

This week's message from Coach Sara:

As we all know, some days just don’t go as planned. Things pop up, you get stuck at work late, etc. The unexpected can throw your entire day off and interfere with your training plan. Even though being consistent with your plan is beneficial because it keeps you motivated and on track, your routine is simply a guideline and can be flexible. If you need to switch days around or even skip a mid-week run, don’t let it put a kink in the rest of your week.

When you’re short on time and just can’t fit in a run, try doing a quick 10 minute strength or core workout, because something is better than nothing! Don’t be upset with yourself. Life happens. A day off won’t prevent you from running your race.

Cross training is a valuable component of training. The benefits include improving overall fitness level, increased strength and endurance, reducing burnout and overall reducing your risk of injury. If you are experiencing a high rate of fatigue and soreness from your running, cross training allows you to work towards your goals with less stress and pounding on your legs. So when you need to take an extra day of rest but still want to do something, a core and upper body workout work out would be a great compliment to your weekly training. If you want a quick workout to add to your schedule for cross training or need to supplement a run this week, try one or both of the workouts below to get your body moving and the endorphins flowing. 

Let us know how you're feeling this week and post your questions to Sara on our Facebook page

Coming soon! Check the Strong Together on Facebook for a video demonstration of these exercises. Sara McCauley will show you step-by-step how to do these quick workouts.

Perform 30 seconds of each exercise. Repeat 2-4 sets.

  • High knees
  • Side to side lunges
  • Low plank hold
  • Push ups
  • Squat jumps
  • Alternating back lunge to balance
  • Jump lunges
  • High plank hold
  • Mountain climbers
  • BONUS: 15 burpees  

*Focus on good form. Quality always trumps quantity.

Core/Upper Body Focus

  • Hip Bridge Hold
  • Hip Bridge March
  • Low Plank
  • High Plank with Hip Extension
  • Incline Hip bridge
  • Push ups
  • Donkey Kicks
  • High plank with Shoulder Tap
  • Superman Back Extensions
  • Side to Side High Plank

Best wishes for a great week!


We asked our bloggers this week what's been the biggest surprise on their journey to get healthier. Below are their answers. 

From Georgeanna: I grew up athletic. I was a competitive gymnast, I cheered and tumbled all through high school and always felt strong and fit.  It wasn’t until after I was married and had my two daughters that I began to gain weight. As the pounds really piled on, I began to not even feel like myself. I would look in the mirror and think “who is this person?”

As I started my weight loss journey, I thought about how I just wanted to feel like me. I always felt like deep down inside, there was an athlete just busting to get out. I could envision myself being able to run, do cartwheels and just feel good about my health. I was overweight for 20 years. I had built up getting healthy and losing weight to be this unattainable, impossible feat that surely I could never do. Running and getting fit was going to be too hard for me.  I was sure that I would fail, so I never tried.

The biggest surprise to me was that it really wasn’t that hard. As I began to lose weight, and to move and run, I realized that in my mind I had made it to be too difficult for me when in reality, I thrived on it. I love to work out. I love to work hard. Once I got started, I was all in.

Sure, there were days that it was tough. There were days that I was tired, my body hurt and I wanted a donut. Bu I stuck it out.  And all the sacrifices were worth it. Had I known throughout the 20 years I spent overweight that it wasn’t going to be nearly as difficult as I believed, I would have started a long time ago.  

Not everything was always smooth sailing, but overall, getting healthy and losing weight was a great journey for me. I know every workout was worth it. I know every time I said no to bad food choices was worth it. And as I continued to lose weight, saying no and working out got easier.  It became habit to live a life that was much healthier than the way I had been living before.

I hope you have found the same for yourself. As you continue on your journey to the 5K, I hope that you have realized that you can do it and that maybe it’s not as hard as you thought it would be. I hope that you continue on a lifelong journey of healthy habits.

From Christina: Perhaps what I have been most surprised by in the past five weeks is that I have remained committed to getting fit. I have completed each and every one of the Sofa2Success walk/runs! Sometimes it was a day later than what was written in the schedule, but it always gets done. This is a significant achievement for me because in the past two years I have made several unsuccessful attempts at getting fit. Each of these attempts had a common thread: I was doing it on my own. Even though I had used another 5K training program previously, I didn't have the social support that Strong Together has offered. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I have an independent, introverted personality for the most part. So for me to get excited to meet up with new friends to walk has been a pleasant surprise. I also enjoy checking out the Facebook page to cheer on my fellow trainees and to also get encouragement from them. 

The other aspect of this endeavor that has surprised me is that I have found that I enjoy walking more than I have in the past. I've even gotten over my self-consciousness about my body and started to do a fair amount of jogging, too. And I'm getting faster and gaining greater endurance.  While I will not likely reach my goal of completing the Race for the Cure with a 14-minute mile (wow, was I ambitious or what!?!), I am confident that I can and will complete it.  I am also confident that fitness will remain a part of my ongoing lifestyle.  

From Shannon: Honestly, I would like to give you a story that says if you start exercising, running, working out and getting healthy and strong that this journey gets easier. But, to my surprise, it isn't a fast process. Society, commercials and what you read on the internet all makes us believe that we will get results fast. Then, when we don't see results fast we tend to quit, give up. We must not give up, it is all worth it. We aren't in for a quick fix, we are in this for life. We do this for ourselves, we do this for our family to set a good example to our children! 

A year later, yes I am more fit. I feel great, I am seeing results and my body has changed in ways I couldn't imagine. But I am not finished yet. I'm so glad I have never given up. This is a continuous process, and I have to keep going. I continue to set new personal goals. It is all about a lifestyle, and I must continue to work harder to get results. Running, it would seem, would get easier with practice. But the first mile of my run is still the hardest. I continue to run. I continue to get faster. I improve my personal best. You can, too!

From Piper: I think everyone could attest to the fact that some days are just better than others. Today, for instance, I got up early, was able to take a shower and even dry my hair (which is a huge accomplishment in and of itself). I wasn’t ahead of the game by any means but I had the morning under control, even looked cute in my green dress and new necklace. Then it happened, my sweet husband gave me a breakfast sandwich to go and the yolk from the egg squirted all over my dress! So of course he had to come back out to the car to watch the already buckled in baby while I went to change.  When we got to our sitter’s house, all of a sudden I felt something warm on my shoulder and realized the baby had spit up on dress number two. This is when the self talk began and went something like this, “Just breathe, Piper, it’s not a big deal. Be calm, be patient, be focused, there are so many worse things.” In all honesty the morning sucked! 

I’ve also had great mornings, the kind where everyone gets fed, we all leave on time, and the Crockpot is plugged in and loaded for a delicious dinner. What is it about walking into your house after a long day and smelling the aroma of the already prepared meal in the Crockpot that makes you feel like you completely dominated the day? While I prefer this type of day over the other, I am sure of one thing: there will be both kinds my entire life. 

I find this to be true when getting fit, also. There are days when things seem easy, you feel like you could run forever, you're intensely focused and all your favorite songs come on the iPod. Then there are days you want to quit, when your legs feel like Jell-o and you would give anything to be somewhere else. This week we were challenged to write about what has surprised us most about getting fit and while the good and bad days don’t surprise me, the one thing that does is that more than anything, being active and getting fit continues to be something I long for no matter how hard it is. I’m not going to give up on those hard days and I hope that you aren’t either. Be someone else’s inspiration this week, help them through their hard day because what we are all striving for is progress not perfection. 

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