Thursday, January 31, 2008

nuun Ultrarunners!

i'd like to announce nuun's top tier ultrarunners for 2008!



Lisa Smith-Batchen
Lisa's best running comes in the heat, the hotter the better so nuun has been an amazing product for her to use and to share with her coaching students! This year was to be the year that Lisa ran the Trans Con to go for the women's record. The run has been put on hold but is in the process of being worked out for the future. That being said 2008 Lisa will run her 9th Bad water 135 in July, ( attempting to be the 1st women to run the race 10 times) the Furnace Creek 508 mile bike race in Oct. These 2 races make up what is called the Death Valley Cup and to date only 2 other women have been successful at accomplishing this. She will also do Ironman AZ. in Nov.Having 2 very small children her focus is to be the best parent and the best partner she can be in this life. :) 2008 will bring more training camps, coaching and races. Her best is yet to come. Lisa's favorite nuun flavors are Tri-Berry and Lemon Lime.
Check out Lisa's Dreamchaser Events.


Karl Meltzer

Karl is simply put "one of the best ultrarunners in the world". In 2006 he won six 100 mile ultramarathons (not a typo) and set four course records. For his efforts that year he won Ultrarunner of the Year award from Ultrarunning Mag, USATF, and RRCA, as well as the Everest Award. This year he was 2nd in the ULtrarunnner of the Year voting. In his career Karl has won 47 Ultras in 89 starts,with 22 of those being 100 mile trail races. No one on earth has won more 100 mile trail races than Karl Meltzer. This year he's going to focus on the Western States 100 Miler and breaking the Appalachian Trail Speed Record of 47 days, 13 hrs 31 mins. His Favorite nuun flavor is citrus.
Check out his blog at KarlMeltzer.com.


Brian Morrison (photo credit to Glenn Tachiyama)
Brian began running in 2000 to get in shape to climb Mt. Rainier. Shortly thereafter, Brian discovered trail running and running became more than just a means of cross training for climbing. In 2002, he ran the Chuckanut 50k, and he's been hooked ever since. To date Brian's run 30+ ultras from 50k to 100 miles and has been a consistent top finisher. And yes, he is THAT guy that couldn't muster up just 300 more meters to win Western States. He can laugh about it now, and he's hoping in 2008 that the third time's a charm. Brian's favorite nuun flavor is Kona Cola.


Kendra Borgmann (photo credit to Glenn Tachiyama)
Kendra increased her love-to-run habit to ultra-marathons a few years ago. She has run 18 ultras, winning over half of them. Last year her 50 mile Le Grizz finish of 6:40 was the fastest American women's time at the 50 mile distance in the USA. Her 2008 plans include races at the 50K and 50 mile distances, including the USATF trail championships, as well as to enter her first 100 miler in the later part of the year. Kendra recently quit her job as a private investigator in Seattle to move back to her hometown of Missoula, Montana. Kendra's favorite nuun flavor is Tri Berry.


Bruce Grant
After twelve years of racing Ironman triathlons, Bruce finally came to see the light and the dirt of trailrunning in 1999. Driven by the desire to continually test his limits, he holds the fastest Canadian completion time for the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, has top-10 finishes in several 100-mile runs, and races about 1000 miles every year. He helps promote the sport to others by being the Director of the BC Ultra Trailrunning Series, a series of seven races showcasing the great terrain found throughout the province of British Columbia.Bruce's goals in 2008 include an early-season frolic at Coyote TwoMoons 100 mile, a return to Hardrock to run the clockwise route, the STORMY 100 in Squamish, the San Diego 100, and he is really excited about the prospect of a long, multi-day event in Africa in the fall. In between, Bruce will be taking in local 10k to 50k races in BC and NW Washington in order to get some speed work. Bruce's favourite NUUN flavour is Citrus Fruit - the nice tang is always refreshing and encourages continual hydrating, even when he is over 30 hours into an event. He has also found the addition of a Lemon-Lime NUUN is the only way to make an American light beer drinkable, while also providing the much-needed electrolytes of a proper post-run recovery.


Olga Varlamova

Olga never ran in high school or in college, and her first ever race was a 5k on mother's day in 2001. 2 years later she ran my first 50k in Central Park, NYC, in 4:47 and came 3rd - she's not sure how my love was born, due to ability to not feel any pain and keep the (slow) pace the whole way equal, or due to placing not far behind Ellen McCurtin. Her debuted 100 was at Umstead 100M a year later and she won in 18:46. As she moved to West Coast in the Fall of 2004.
Shep placed top at WS100 in 2005 and won SD100 (same year, in then course record). In 2007 she won the Cool Night Trail 12 hr run and was 2nd at Bear 100. Basically, she may not be blessed with much speed, but she absolutely loves trail ultrarunning, whether racing, volunteering or crewing/pacing. Olga is also a co-RD for the PCT50 and she is developing an Oregon 100 Miler.


Ashley Nordell (photo credit to Michelle Barton)
Ashley began running ultras at the age of 23, not long after telling her college coach that “3,000 METERS was too long to race.” She placed third woman in her first 50k and after a short thought of “I will NEVER do this again,” quickly forgot her promise and ran her first 100 miler (Western States) a year later. Despite a torturous last 30 miles with bags of ice duct taped to her knees, Ashley managed to finish her first hundred miler and has not quit a race yet. Since then she has finished (and many times won) more than a dozen ultras, including a win at Angeles Crest 100 in 2006 and second place woman (14 minutes off the women’s record) in 2007. This year Ashley has a variety of ultra-marathon races lined up, including a return to Arkansas for Three Days of Syllamo and the Leadville 100. She currently lives in Mount Baldy, California, where she runs at elevation with her husband, the bears, and an occasional mountain lion. Ashley works as a fourth grade teacher down the mountain in Upland, CA. Her favorite flavor of nuun is Tri-Berry.


Devon Crosby-Helms (photo credit to Scott Dunlap)
In her debut season on the ultrarunning scene Devon won the Jed Smith 50k (with the fastest 50k time for an American woman in 10 years), Quicksilver 50k(age group course record), Tahoe Rim Trail 50(course record by 21 minutes), Napa Valley Marathon and Ron Herzog 50k. She placed second in her 100k debut in the National Championships and was a part of Team USA in the Netherlands for the World Cup 100k, placing 15th overall, 2nd in her age group and 2nd on Team USA, helping the women's team to 4th place. This season Devon will focus on her 100 mile debut at Western States and the 100k World Championship in Italy. Devon's favorite nuun flavor is Tri-Berry.


Scott Dunlap

Scott was a short-course trail runner before jumping into ultras (he won the 2004 Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series for Marathon-and-Under, the largest trail running series in the world, clocking 14 top 5 finishes in one year). Since then he has run 10-15 ultras per year, winning a few, finishing all, and capturing everything on his award-winning blog, A Trail Runner’s Blog - voted Best Health and Fitness Blog by Forbes Magazine. This season Scott will focus on his first Western States 100, and competing in the regional USATF Ultra Grand Prix. Scott's Favorite Nuun Flavor is Kona Cola.


Ty Draney
Ty Draney started running in 7th grade, after setting the school record for the mile in his basketball high tops he went on to run in high school and junior college. He started running Ultras while living on the Oregon Coast and has been trying to kick the ultra-endorphin-induced high ever since. He has completed over 30 ultras including the Bighorn, Hardrock, Leadville, and Bear 100’s in one summer in under 100 hours. This year his focus will be on trying out stage racing, getting in some serious wilderness runs around the country and improving on two second place finishes at the Bighorn 100.

i'm looking forward to working with these amazing athletes this season!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cerise Creek Backcountry Ski Tour BC

this was my first real backcountry ski tour in british columbia. and by that i mean it didn't involve lifts at whistler/blackcomb... and i couldn't have asked for better tour guides than my crew of norm hann, adventure guide and college basketball coach and jen segger-gigg, professional adventure racer and endurance bad ass.

this ski day started very different than any backcountry ski tour i've ever done. it started as a "coffee shop tour".. or "tour de coffee" as seegs called it. a coffee in seeg's neighborhood of brackendale (this place is awesome) and then we were off to pemberton (north past whistler). not to ski.. well not quite yet. we hit the most amazing "brecky" joint for some pre ski fuel... then our second coffee shop for americanos all around... then we were off to ski! notice i didn't mention the names of said coffee shops. it was either i swear to keep them a secret, or i would have been blind folded the entire morning... hence the intentional non-disclosure.

the ski tour was called cerise creek, and that is where we started. about an hour into the tour the sun came out causing uncontrolable giggles of excitement and instant stripping of clothes down to our base layers. our ultimate goal was a col off vantage peak at the foot of anniversay glacier that norm had on his mind. as we skinned up out of the woods we were greeted with amazing views of mount joffre. we were traveling in the lillooet range, which is a subunit of the coast range. amazing jagged peaks and unlimited backcountry ski touring options. a virtual playground. i made a promise to myself to thoroughly explore these mountains ~ in both seasons.

with norm charging up front at his "easy" pace, jen and i hussled to keep up. jen's a long time snowboarder now converting to the ski touring lifestyle of earning your turns. i was pretty impressed with how quickly she's become a backcountry skier. it doesn't hurt that her husband is an ex professional freeskier and whistler freeskiing coach. speedy, fit and now powered by nuun, norm was on his 21st day in the backcountry on skis. this was just my 2nd this season and it showed.. but of course no one cared ~ we were still faster than anyone else there!



after climbing up near the col we decided for a bit different route and climbed 3/4 of the way up a big, partly wind blown ridge. our first turns were incredible... i mean.. absolutely insane knee deep and light. i thought our late start would have allowed the sun to make the snow heavy like the oh too familiar cascade cement. not the case. it was super light and fluffy. how could this get better? after a short skin back up another little knob the second run was some of my best turns ever... everything was in sync. the snow was buttery, my turns felt effortless and smooth and there was no avy danger on my mind. just me and my endorphins.



wanting more, but not wanting to skin out in the dark we decided it was time to head back through the maze of trees.. trying to keep our speed without killing ourselves.

and finally... all the photos.. phew.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Traveling North

i run into people all the time who live in seattle, or are from seattle and have never even been to whistler. this blows my mind. british columbia is truly a magical place... outdoor athlete or not.

tantalus range

i knew this trip was going to be great when the friend i was going to visit, jen segger-gig (or seegs as i like to call her) sent me a gear list for the weekend. i love adventure racers. they are serious about their play time. jen is an amazing athlete and professional adventure racer. have a look at her resume, for anyone that young it's an astonishing amount of winning at ultra distance. although a full time and busy adventure racer she finds time to run the ocassional ultra as well. after a full season of expedition adv racing she threw it out there at the endurance 50 here in seattle last year... and won. this was to qualify for the san diego 100 were she took second.. this was all to qualify for badwater (135 miles run in death valley) this year. cross your fingers for her getting in.

i left seattle later than planned and suffered the consiquences in traffic, then met jen at quest college in squamish where she works... then the fun began. up early in the morning on saturday jen took me on her "bread and butter" run ~ 13 miles with 3,700 feet of climbing... a great snowshoe run up to elfin lakes in garibaldi provincial park. up past red heather hut and down paul ridge ~ it was awesome and very similar to say running up mt si almost everyone we saw commented in astonishment on how we ran all the way to the hut. i think this description does says it all "The high alpine Elfin lakes trail is one the most stunningly beautiful alpine hikes in Canada .... offering towering craggy snow-capped mountain peaks - lakes - glaciers and serenity."

jen pointing over to the chief which is just out of site

after the run and a shower i suited up to play my first organized basketball game in over 5 years! it was an exhibition against the quest college boys team. young fast doods... with basketball scholarships. it was fun, but not pretty. we managed to give them a run and only lost by one point having played the enitre last quarter with 4 players after our best shooter, norm, had fouled out. where oh where did my speed and quickness go?!

tomorrow... we ski the backcountry!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Capitol Forest Mega Fat Ass 35 Miler

the early part of the week i had a lot of trouble getting my quality sessions done. i was tired. so i didn't press it and just did what i could. i knew i'd have to recover to tackle the capitol forest mega fat ass ultra.

so today justin angle, bill huggins and i headed down to olympia for this "fat ass run". a "fat ass" run is best described as a "less serious" race. the crazy ultrarunners use them through the winter to stay fit and not feel like we have to be "on". i've seen them described as "no fees, no awards, no aid, no wimps". however this fat ass is dangerously close to becoming a real race. there was aid (although i never stopped to use it) and there was a $3 fee (a donation to the friends of capitol forest who maintain the area) and there were wimps! out of 130 runners, just 15 of us finished the whole course! with all that this certainly felt like a real race!

although rainy and muddy and a bit cold (it was haling at times) the run was awesome. there were two options, you could run one figure 8 for 17.7 miles or two of them for the full monty of 34.4 miles. this of course meant there was a group of runners charging off the start. i hung with justin for a bit behind the lead group. then he decided to bridge the gap and i said "goodbye" in my mind. i finished the first figure 8 with bill in 2:35 and only lost my shoe twice in the mud. i was in third place for 34 milers at that point and just 5 min behind justin in 1st. i was feeling pretty good, better and stronger than i thought i would.

as i started out on the second figure 8 i saw 2nd place quickly, but he blasted off like a scared deer after laying eyes on me. i stayed with my game plan of above 150bpm and below my anaerobic threshold (AeT) of 155. this ended up working pretty well as i caught and passed him about 30 min later. he was suffering pretty bad. i offered some gel then realized i didn't have any left. but we were close to the aid station at that point so he was fine. i was now just 2 min behind justin in 1st, although i had no idea at the time. the second half of the figure 8 was snowy, which made it tough and slow going. but really fun to run a bit harder than normal for a bit longer than normal and see what happens.

i had some pretty bad hip and groin pain on my right side. of course "you blew the mesh!" thoughts were going through my head. i'm going to make an appointment with the dr this week.

justin won in 5:17, i took 2nd at 5:23... results here.

my gear:
shoes: montrail odyssey
socks: teko ecopoly
pants: mountain hardware transition tights (awesome bomber winter running tights.. and sexy too)
jacket: my pick for ultrarunners gear of the year - patagonia 9 trails jacket

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Last 7 Days

"you have two choices in life. be a lamb, or be a lion." - quote from steep, which i saw last night... great flick.



first off i'm having a blast watching rod bien close the gap in the hurt 100 miler right now. check out the live updates - go rod!

**** update ****
rod won the hurt 100km. congrats dood! here are the rest...
100 Mile race winners:
Paul Hopwood 27:17
Suzanna Bon 31:56

100 Km winners:
Rod Bien 17:02 100Km
Jamie Donaldson 20:30



training has been good lately. i got 30hrs in this week which is my longest in a long long time. i'm starting to feel like an athlete again. the highlights of the week were sunday's long day and today's 55km fat ass race (see next post on cap forest 55km). sunday i took my coaching client cheryl out for a great 11hr+ long session. perfect overdistance winter training for an athlete who is preparing for the 400+ mile primal quest in july. i don't like cars. i'd rather use human power to get around. and i've always though it would be cool to ride a bike to mount si for a hike/run. so after a 2hr kayak on lake union and lake washington cheryl and i mounted our road bikes (with 25lb backpacks!) and rode the 100 miles (round trip) from seattle to mount si. we tackled the 3,400ft hike in the dark then returned home. it's been a long time since i've ridden a hunge. great day out and cheryl did awesome.

another highlight for me was signing my 2008 contract with the montrail ultrarunning team. this ad on the right is from this months ultrarunner magazine, it announces this years team ~ of course meissner is in it.. but i'm not sure who the woman is (lots of new teammates to meet!). as you can imagine this was a tough decision with other interesting offers and options. after talking to paul and getting some good advice from sean meissner i'm super excited about this year. it sucks that we have a smaller team as they had to let a lot of great runners and people go, including my adventure racing team DART-nuun (where i got my start). but the smaller team will undoubtedly be more manageable. montrail sounds dedicated to the core user and making the best trail shoes on the planet. they want the ultrarunning team to be a part of that process - this is important to me. companies that don't employ athletes to test outdoor products.. well they simply aren't making very good products.

Friday, January 18, 2008

2007 Ultrarunners of the Year!

news from the ultrarunning world... scott jurek and nikki kimball win ultrarunners of the year! krissy and scott also won for performance of the year for thier record breaking runs at the hardrock 100 miler. well deserved i say.

nuun ultrarunners in the mix.. karl meltzer coming in 2nd this year, and devon crosby-helms taking 8th place in the voting! great 2007 seasons guys, congrats!.. see the press release here.



this interview with floyd during last years tour de france is a good one.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Steep

i love the quote - "i tried to become a normal person and have a normal job, but that didn't work." ... tell me about it.





Monday, January 14, 2008

Hot and Excited

this is why i'm excited ~ because 2008 is going to be HUGE (and i rarely bother with capitol letters)
  • 3 Days of Syllamo - my first race of the season march 14, 15, 16. it's a 3 day staged ultra in the ozark mountains.
    day 1 - 50 km
    day 2 - 50 miles
    day 3 - 25 km

    this one seemed like a dream a few months ago when ultrarunner and bad ass ty draney asked me to race with him. ty paced me at my first 100 miler, the grand teton 100 in september. we became fast friends on the trail. some things worked out and i just booked my flight march 13 to rock little rock! ty and i will run each day together as a team, no further than 100 feet apart. i wonder if we can use tow ropes adventure racing style?

  • hardrock 100 entry is in the mail. enough said on that one.

  • appalachian trail record - fellow new hampshire native karl meltzer is going to try and break the 47 days, 13 hours, 31 minute record from maine to georgia (2175 miles). i will be running the 281 miles of rough appalachian trail that runs through maine with karl starting around august 5th. that means 47 miles a day for 6 days. karl said "you'll get to run home to new hampshire with me!". sweet... this will be an unreal experience.


this is why, this is why, this is why i'm hot ~ quite possibly the worst rap lyrics ever written

because of my new montrail highlanders - tell me these aren't hot?! this is my '08 race shoe.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run Entry


my entry into the hardest 100 miler on the planet is now in the mail - 33,000ft of climbing over 100 miles with an average elevation of 11,000ft.. as my buddy colin likes to say - "bring it".

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Congrats Jordan Romero!

congratulations to jordan romero! he just became the youngest person to summit aconcagua, a 22,841-foot peak in argentina... he's 11. his father paul romero and step mother karen lundgren are friends of mine and make up the professional adventure racing team sole. they are amazing athletes and the lil guy hasn't fallen far from the tree. they have been guiding jordan on his quest to become the youngest to summit the 8 tallest peaks in the world. 4 down, 4 to go before he's 16 years old...

a couple years ago, while this whole thing was still in the planning stages i stayed with them in big bear, california. i was there to be a coach at their adventure racing camps. jordan was a fact machine, rattling off the stats of the tallest peaks, obviously enamored with the prospect of climbing them all. good luck jordan!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bad Ass 50km 2008

50k Fat Ass Fun Run in the Bend Badlands Oregon
January 5, 2008

our mini winter running camp continued on saturday. justin, piper and i headed to the bad ass 50km just outside of bend in the badlands. this "fat ass" winter race is put on our friends sean meissner and jeff browning.

there was 8" of fresh on the ground when justin and i were packing the car in sisters, oregon and it was super cold. sean had already left to mark the course and i envisioned him running in the darkness with the peaceful layer of new snow. however as we drove out to the badlands it was apparent that the weather conditions were much different. from browning's race recap "We were blessed with nice weather again this year. A snow storm blew through Friday night and dumped 8 inches of new snow in Bend. However, on the drive out, Bend's east side of town only had about 2 inches of snow and by 3 miles east of town...dry as a bone. Typical Central Oregon storm...everything east of the Deschutes River almost always gets far less snow." this was great. cold but manageable.

as advertised by meissner, browning was at the start with a drill. ready to "screw shoe" anyone who wanted a little extra traction on the course. i got my contis screwed.. thanks browning! my buddy rod bien is running the hurt 100 miler in two weeks (he's my pick for the win!). so we had talked about "taking it easy". this was my intention, as my only real option with my current fitness level anyway. although rod is rumored to not know exactly how to run "easy".

justin and i started out at a good clip, not what i would call "easy". then rod caught up, i think he was still getting dressed when the gun went off. the course has a one time 4 mile out and back on the dirt road, then we started the fun 9.4 mile loop course that we would do 3 times. the first loop was great fun, just three doods running and chatting. as we started the 2nd loop in the clockwise direction it became apparent that i wasn't going to keep up with justin and rod. their pace started to feel like a lot of work.. like "race pace"... so i eased off and they slowly dissapeared. i came into the one aid station after loop two and caught up to them again.

we started on loop three, i had hot chocolate i was not going to just waste so i walked and let them go. i knew i wouldn't be keeping their pace anyway for this last 9.4 miles. at that point i think the cold and maybe lack of calories had caught up to me a bit. i turned around and ran the mile back to the aid station. put my warmer montrail running jacket on and reassessed. i decided i wanted to get the coldest part over with first. so i headed back out in the counter clockwise direction, running the course high point and through the wind first. then just cruised it in from there.

turns out piper angle, justin's dog won the fat ass race in course record time of 4:36:40. she beat justin and rod who ran 4:36:50. i train with piper a lot, she's talented.. and hairy. i ran a 5:01 and ended up feeling really good after. hips hurt a bit during, but growing (stronger) pains, not injury pains. results here.



the bend area ultra scene is awesome! they are lucky to have guys like sean meissner, rod bien and jeff browning who are so passionate about their sport. top notch athletes and people. from there we had some bar food at the summit house (where meissner put on a french frie eating display never before seen), a house warming party at krissy's and, well.. more food!
rod bien

both justin and krissy blogged a bit about this weekend too.

sunday, the day after the fat ass, justin, sean, krissy and i ran a 12 miler out at smith rock and around monkey butt (it's actually called monkey face, although i hate getting monkey butt i like the way it sounds better). my camera didn't make the trip but it was unbelievably cool terrain... and a great run on tired legs, to finish off a great running weekend.. we got 60 miles in 3 days - sahweet!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Winter Rumble Run

friday 4:30 am: patagonia's green ultrarunner justin angle, his dog piper angle and i left seattle, washington for sisters, oregon. the plan = run a lot with great friends.

justin and piper


we stayed with the most famous of montrail ultrarunners sean meissner (i say that because every time i open a running magazine sean's smiling mug is in there somewhere. seriously.. check out this months ultrarunner magazine - he's in there a lot!). anyway we ran a hair over 15 miles on the rumble course. great way to get the weekend started... next up we run the bad ass 50km in the bend badlands.


meissner took a fall on the road and i had the camera ready, at least he didn't puke (although he almost did later on in the run)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Around the World Core Workout

Hard Core - Exercises to Strengthen Your Abs For Better Performance
A strong core will allow you to keep optimal body alignment for whatever you’re doing (swim, bike or run), and this in turn will reduce your fatigue in the long run.

"If your core is weak, nothing else can be strong"


Sit-ups suck!
Yes... most core work sucks when your core is out of shape. I too used to hate doing this, but it's helped my swimming, biking and running immeasurably. So suck it up and make this a part of your routine (I'd recommend twice a week). Welcome to the world of a strong core and ripped abs.


Why is core work important?
Strengthening your core will allow your body to efficiently transfer force from the lower to the upper body and back again, thus ensuring that any force you exert to move your body forward isn't wasted in moving your body sideways, etc. A strong core will allow you to keep optimal body alignment for whatever you’re doing (swim, bike or run), and this in turn will reduce your fatigue in the long run (good form usually takes less energy than bad form).


"Around the world"
This set should be considered reasonably advanced. If you have not done core work before, then you may consider doing some basic crunches before stepping up to this workout. Before I describe each exercise it's important to remember the following 5 things:

  1. As with anything new, introduce your body to these gradually. These will work your body in a very different way than you are used to, so take it easy!

  2. If you aren't breathing while doing these, then you're doing them wrong.

  3. Go slow. Speed is not important, and will usually lead to using momentum to cheat your way through the exercise.

  4. Quality over quantity.

  5. Do these with other people. It's great fun, and will keep you motivated.

I call this "Around the world" because it works all of your core muscle groups. There are 15 different core techniques to this routine - 3 for each side (the front goes twice). You'll start by selecting your interval. The total number of reps you will do in this routine is based upon the number you choose here x 15. So, if you select 25 then you will be doing 15 X 25 = 375 reps. For beginners I'd choose 10, intermediate 15, advanced 20-25, Elite 25-35. At the end, lay on your stomach for 2-3 minutes and gently come up into a cobra position to stretch your stomach muscles. Make this a part of your workout routine twice a week, and you'll be amazed at how much stronger you will feel come race day.


Core Set


1. Standard Crunch - Think about a string attached to your belly button & running through your body pulling your stomach towards the floor.


2. Knee-up crunches - Focus on keeping the small of your back against the floor even throughout the range of motion. SLOOOW. :)


3. Hip lifts - Keep your legs straight and don't let them rock back as your lift your hips. YES - I'm pushing down w/ my hands so I could hold this forever for the camera, but you should put your palms facing up! :) These are tough... don't speed through them.


4. Oblique crunches - You should feel your ribs pressing pinching into your side. Try not to fold forward, but rather bend up trying to get your elbow to touch your feet.


5. Side Plank Dips - Keep your body in a straight line (one plane) and keep the movement smooth and slow. Your hips should just touch (but not rest on!) the ground.


6. Oblique Leg Extensions - This not only works your obliques, but should also engage your piriformis & hip flexor as well. Don't let your leg touch the ground, and when the leg is fully extended your butt should be tightly squeezed rotating your leg out ever so slightly (this is the piriformis part).


7. Supermans - Each side counts as 1/2 of a rep. Your stomach muscles should be engaged when you lift up. Think about your arm and leg not only being pulled up, but also out. Hold it at the top for 2 seconds.


8. Bridged Leg Lifts - Each leg counts as 1/2 of a rep. Keep your butt down. You don't need to lift your legs super high.


9. Pushups - Keep your head raised and looking forward, and your body in a perfect horizontal plane. Your elbows should bend back, not out to the side.


10, 11, 12. Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6, but do the other side.


13. Heel Touches - Each heel touch counts as 1/2 of a rep. Keep your shoulder blades off the ground, remember to breathe, and make sure your feet are far enough away from you that you have to really reach to touch the heel.


14. Bicycle Crunches - Each leg counts as 1/2 of a rep. Each twist w/ leg extension should take you long enough to say "one one thousand" to yourself, no faster. Try to keep your shoulder blades off the ground.


15. Half Up Twists - Sit up, put your hands on top of your knees and then lean back until your arms are straight. Cross your arms in front of you (each hand holding an elbow) and start twisting! Each side counts as 1/2 of a rep.