4 running workouts to do every week

4 running workouts to do every week

I get a lot of questions about the types of runs you should include in your training each week. Keep in mind that these 4 runs you need to do every week are only for those experienced runners. If you are a beginner you need to start with a beginners training plan and run your first 5k! Stay tuned for a 5k training plan that I’m working on for beginners! This post though is all about those 4 running workouts to do every week for experienced runners!



These 4 runs are for those that want to get faster and improve their race pace! 


1. Tempo Run

Tempo runs can be defined in different ways but typically you are sustaining a faster than usual pace without sprinting. It is usually around you 10-k pace. If you aren’t sure of your pace for different distances there are several calculators online such as at Women’s Running and Runner’s world!

Tempo runs are used to improve your efficiency during a run so you can run further with less effort. 

To do a tempo run warm up for a mile of walking or easy running and then gradually speed up to your 10-k pace for 1 mile. Recover with3-4 minutes of easy running and repeat this 2 more times. Be sure to cool down after the intervals!



2. Long Run

Each week you need to be working on your endurance. If you continually run 3-4 miles each run you aren’t improving your body’s ability to sustain an aerobic state. These long runs will help train your heart to pump blood more efficiently helping with your shorter runs.

If you are new to long runs, start with a run that is about 1/3 your total weekly mileage. If you typically run 15 miles each week start with a 5 mile long run. Remember these should be comfortable paces. You should be able to chitchat with your running partner without getting out of breath.  Every 3 weeks add a mile or 2 to keep progressing. 


3. Speedwork

Speedwork is alternating between very hard running and recovery. It is at its basic level interval training. It is important to do speedwork to improve the rate at which you turn your legs over during a run. 

Warm up first with 10 minute of walking and easy running. Alternate between you 5-k pace for 400 meters then recovering with 400 meters of easy running. Repeat this 3-4 times as a beginner. The speed intervals at the 5-k pace should have you running close to your max effort.


4. Hill Work

Hills, oh how I love hill work….not at all. I’m from Kansas you guys…we don’t have many hills around here so hill work and I don’t like each other much. BUT it is still extremely important to build your leg and lung strength up to help you get faster. 

The first challenge is finding a hill that takes you 30-60 seconds to climb (while running).  Warm up for 10 minutes with easy running and then run up above mentioned hill 3 times and gradually increase to 6 repeats. Cool down with 10 minutes of easy running and walking. 


4 runs week


Here are a couple of great workouts to add in on your speed days

treadmill hiit

pyramid workout

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Thrive Review

Over the past week I have been doing the Simple Green Smoothies Thrive 7 day Detox and here is my review! 


Overall I think it was a great program. The recipes were good and filling but I do admit that I missed my  meat!!! That’s right this is a meat free program. I can definitely feel a difference though now that it is all said and done. I lost some weight, yes it is just water weight, but my stomach feels better. My cravings are down and I learned to control my cravings more. With this meal plan even though I was craving bread and meat like crazy in the beginning I  learned to deal with them and eat to fuel my body. I’m also off of caffeine now and diet soda. I plan on going back to my coffee because I love it but using decaf instead. It is a very slippery slope for me with my caffeine habits!  

Some Insights over the days… 

The recipes were great on day 1. I really liked the smoothie and the salad for dinner. The salad was different and not something I would normally venture towards but I wasn’t gagging the whole way through and just trying to get through it. I did actually enjoy it. However, it isn’t necessarily something that I would crave or just randomly think “I want that strawberry spinach salad that I had on Thrive”.

The main thing that I’m struggling with are the am and pm tonics. They are just horrible and I’m not having much luck stomaching them. But that is a minor detail!

By the end of the day I didn’t feel hungry at all. The big thing I noticed was that I had a bit of a headache most of the day but this was probably due to no caffeine at all!

The smoothie for breakfast/lunch wasn’t bad on day 2. Not my favorite though. I think if I liked cherry smoothies more I would have loved it but as it is it was just so-so for me. The snacks were filling and so was dinner! I tried something new again tonight for dinner that I didn’t think I would like! Double bonus!

I loved the smoothie for day 3. It had ginger in it and I have always been a little hesitant to add stuff like this into my drinks but I’m hooked on this one! I think the ginger really brought out the flavors of the fruit!

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Benefits of Resistance Bands

I get a lot of questions from people on what the difference between using resistance band and free weights are and what are the benefits of resistance bands. Each of these pieces of equipment will help you build your home gym. I am a huge fan of working out at home due to decreased distractions (for some) and I can make up less excuses due to not having to physically go somewhere to get my workout in. That’s why I loved my bands so much when I first got them!

Similarities with free weights

  1. provide some form of resistance
  2. allow a free range of motion
  3. allow variable speed of movement
  4. allow progressive resistance.

benefits of resistance bands

Benefits of Resistance Bands

  1. train at home
  2. easy to travel with
  3. multi-joint movements with a single band
  4. easy on the joints
  5. standing up instead of sitting down for exercise to improve stabilization
  6. inexpensive
  7. little space required for storage


I will be starting to post more and more workouts with the use of resistance bands!! They are so versatile and one of my favorites! 


I have heard a lot of people that say resistance bands aren’t able to give you the same strength benefits as using weights….wait what? Seriously? These people have obviously never used resistance bands!!! Numerous studies out there have shown that the muscle activity during resistance band use is similar to free weights. Nice try!!


Resistance bands were one of my first purchases when I was building my home gym. I take them on trips with me when I know there isn’t going to be a gym where we are staying. They give you no excuse not to do your strength training now!! 

Find your own on amazon, at target, or other stores. You can find a good set most places!




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Day 1 Thrive 7 day detox

Today is day 1 of the Simple Green Smoothies Thrive 7 day detox. I decided to the detox to help get out of my bad habits and cravings that have been ruling me lately. I figured 7 days was doable and would help kick-start my weight loss that I’ve been working on!


Therefore, this morning I took my starting weight and kicked off with the program. I did my starting weight to just see what happens over the 7 days. I am not expecting dramatic weight loss or anything because that is not what this is about or an appropriate expectation.

This morning’s smoothie was super tasty and I won’t mind having it again for lunch at all! It does have quite a bit of kale taste to it but I don’t mind that. I find it pretty refreshing!



Keep following for an update throughout the 7 days and my final thoughts next week!! I can’t wait to share them with you!

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Quick Lower Body Strength

Holy Moly can you believe that it is already September and after Labor day!? I hope everyone had a great labor day weekend without too much overindulgence!! We had a pretty laid back weekend in my house and got some much needed rest time and housework done! 


Since it is a short week at work for me due to the holiday weekend on Monday and I’m going to be out on Friday for a huge certification course this weekend on manual therapy my week has been super busy so far. Therefore, I needed some super quick workouts this week (quicker than normal). I haven’t been cutting time off of my runs because I’m really working on getting a good base started to carry me through the winter to get ready for spring races. Since I wasn’t willing to cut my runs short to save time I decided to do some quick strength workouts that were timed instead of reps that way I knew exactly how much time they would take to complete!



Here is the quick lower body strength workout that I did this morning after my run! 


For this workout I like to use either my dumbbells or my T-grip barbell which you can get here. I absolutely love this for my home gym it is a multi-use bar. This is probably the once piece of equipment that I can’t live without! I plan on doing a review and more pictures of workouts with this baby in the future!


Some great workouts to round out your week:

Upper Body Blast Workout

No equipment HIIT Cardio

Full Body Workout


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Tips to Stay on Track Over the Weekend

healthy weekend

I don’t know about you all but the weekends are always the hardest for me. I do great during the week and then weekends come around and unexpected plans happen, multiple get-togethers, and all other sorts of being busy happen. There are tons of tips to stay on track over the weekend out there and I have compiled my favorite tips that I live by (or try to, we are all human). 

1. Stick to your workouts

The first thing that I do is I get my workouts in. That usually consists of a long run on Saturday and Yoga on Sunday with some walking. Keeping up with my workouts helps keep me moving and burning calories while also reminding me about my health and fitness goals.

2. Catch up on Sleep

The work week can get hectic and with busy schedules comes decreasing amount of sleep we get each night. While you can’t truly “catch up” on sleep you can get a couple of good restful nights in to help you recharge!

3. Cheat meal not cheat days

This one is definitely a challenge for me. As I said before our weekends fill up with obligations and social events and eating out which means that single planned Saturday evening dinner out cheat meal becomes lunch with the girls on Saturday too and then family meal on Sunday. The list just keeps piling on! Decide which event you want to be your cheat meal and stick to that. Then the other ones make it a point to make your healthy choices even if it isn’t your favorite item etc to get at that one place. Moderation is key!!

4. Eat before

This is one of those party and holiday tips you see everywhere. When going out or going to a party with lots of snacks eat a healthy meal prior to the event so you aren’t starving when you get there.

5. Water

Get your water intake in. During the week at work I’m really good about getting my water intake in because I carry my bottle around with me. During the weekend I tend to let this slide because I am out of my routine of work and don’t keep my water bottle with me like I should. This keeps you hydrated and prevents the mindless snacking and munching!

Tips to a Healthy Weekend

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4 Exercises for Injury Prevention In Runners

As a physical therapist who is also a runner I tend to see a lot of runners in my clinic. I love treating runners actually because running is something that I am passionate about. One of my patients asked me once what 4 exercises for injury prevention in runners I would recommend. Basically he wanted to know if there were only 4 exercises I could pick to keep runners safe and injury free what would they be. 

4 exercises for runners (1)

Injury Causes in Runners

Now I want to touch on the ways that runners get injured and why. Not all things can be solved by these 4 exercises. 

  1. Progressing too quickly
  2. Overtraining
  3. Not allowing for proper recovery
  4. Not listening to your body
  5. Strength and flexibility imbalances
  6. Weakness
  7. Inflexibility
  8. Improper or over worn shoes
  9. Poor running surface.

Now reasons 5 and 6 are the “causes” of injury that we are focusing on in this post. I definitely plan on touching base on the other points in coming posts!


4 exercises

Keep in mind that this is not an all inclusive list. This is just a list of 4 exercises that I would strongly recommend if you didn’t have time to do anything else in your training each week. 

single leg glute bridge

When we run our hips and glutes stabilize us. The are the building blocks for the rest of the lower body. If the hips/glutes are weak then strengthening the rest of the leg will have little effect because your base of support isn’t there. Studies link glute weakness to Achilles tendinitis, shinsplints, runner’s knee, and iliotibial-band syndrome.

10 repetitions, 3 sets, 3 times per week

single leg bridge

With one leg bent and one leg out straight. Keep your core tight and lift you hips off the ground.


Similar to the glutes, the core helps stabilize everything on down. 

hold 20 seconds, repeat 3 times, 3 times per week




Squats are an all encompassing lower body strength exercise. They help strengthen the quads, hamstrings and glutes. 

10 repetitions, 3 sets, 3 times per week


lateral lunge

As runners we are a forward moving object and athlete. Lateral movements just don’t happen in running. The lateral lunge is here to offset the fact that everything that happens in a run is moving forward. Adding in some lateral strength with help stabilize for uneven surfaces as well as prevent injury by balancing out the forward moving muscles.

10 repetitions, 3 sets, 3 times per week

lateral lunge

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31 day Push Up Challenge

I can’t believe that it is already August! This year seems to be flying by! I thought with a new month why not start a 31 day push up challenge. I always like setting a goal to accomplish something new and challenging for me at the beginning of the month. This month I decided I wanted to improve my push up game!

Why Push Ups?

Push-ups are one of those exercises that everyone seems to struggle with but are the holy grail of exercises. The reason most people struggle so much with push ups are because they are a full body exercise. Sure the focus is on the chest and upper body or at least that’s how most view them. Honestly though they activate nearly every muscle in your body. You strengthen your core, your butt and legs to help stabilize you during the push up. Then the most obvious as I said before is the chest and arms. 


As a physical therapist one of the most common injuries and post-surgical patient I see is a rotator cuff tear and repair. Did you know that push ups have been shown to be one of the most effective exercises to safeguard your shoulder. This is due to the fact that push ups require your stabilizing muscles in your shoulder joint to activate and strengthen as well. 


The last benefit of a push up. No equipment to add to your arsenal of equipment free exercises. 


The challenge

31 days for 30 push ups. Sounds simple enough. If you are a beginner do this challenge to the best of your ability and modify the push ups as needed. 

  1. on your knees
  2. one knee down one leg straight
  3. standard push ups

If this challenge is too easy and you are a master at push ups….double the amount that you do each day. so 60 push ups in 30 days. 

30 day push up challenge

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread Protein Bars

A few of my favorite things….

Peanut butter ✔
Bananas ✔
Peanut butter and bananas ✔
banana bread ✔

When I stumbled upon this recipe for peanut butter banana bread protein bars from He and She Eat Clean I knew I had to try it out. It basically combines a bunch of my favorite things into one nice clean healthy protein bar.

Getting enough protein

With following the if it fits your macros and the carb cycling lifestyle I tend to struggle to get in enough protein throughout the day. Therefore, I’m always looking for healthy clean recipes that will help me up my protein intake for the day that isn’t a shake. These bars my friends, fit the bill in that department.


The recipe ingredients

At first glance it looks like this recipe is complicated and has a bunch of ingredients. Don’t run away yet!

It looks like there are a bunch of ingredients but since this is basically a baked good there really aren’t that many crazy ingredients and most of them you should already have in your pantry so stop making excuses for not making these right now!

peanut butter banana bread protein bars

The Recipe

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Protein Bars
Yields 16
Write a review
73 calories
11 g
0 g
2 g
3 g
0 g
51 g
92 g
5 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 73
Calories from Fat 16
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 92mg
Total Carbohydrates 11g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 5g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 cup gluten free oat flour (grind your own by putting oats in a food processor or blender)
  2. 2 scoops vanilla or unflavored whey protein powder (I use Isopure)
  3. 2 Tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
  4. 1 banana, mashed
  5. 1/4 cup Stevia in the Raw
  6. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  7. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/4 tsp salt
  9. 4 egg whites (or 3/4 cup liquid egg whites)
  10. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  11. 8 oz unsweetened applesauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mash banana and set aside. Melt peanut butter, if needed, and set aside.
  3. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl
  4. Mix wet ingredients together in a medium size bowl (including banana and peanut butter)
  5. Add the ingredients from the small bowl into the large bowl and mix together
  6. Spray 8X8 dish with non-stick spray and add batter to the dish
  7. Bake for 25-28 minutes
  1. You must refrigerate these after baking!!
Adapted from He and She Eat Clean
Abby Siler Fitness http://abbysilerfitness.com/

Here is the Protein powder that I love and use in everything!
Nature's Best Natural Isopure - 3lbs Natural Vanilla

Nature’s Best Natural Isopure – 3lbs Natural Vanilla

peanut butter banana bread proteinbars

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No equipment HIIT Cardio

no equipment cardio blast thumb


Here we go home workout party people!!! I’m a dork and I am well aware of this so just go with it. Today I have an awesome no equipment hiit cardio workout for you to get your cardio burn on! I did this one this morning and holy moly did it kick me in the rear!


Tricks up your sleeve

A few weeks ago we had a water flooding issue in our master bath from an improperly installed toilet from when we built our house 2 years… yeah not a huge fan of our builder however not the point. We finally are starting on the repair process and the sheetrock guy started yesterday. All of my workout equipment is currently covered in plastic draping for him to work on our basement ceiling to get it back together and good as new again. Therefore, I needed a good equipment free workout today since today isn’t a running day!


I think it is super important to have several equipment free workouts in your pocket for times like this or when you are traveling or just don’t want to mess with equipment. It is easy to get motivated when you know that all you need is your body to get in an effective workout!


HIIT it…

This cardio workout is based on HIIT or high intensity interval training. This means that during the 45 seconds of work you push as hard as you can and then in the 15 seconds of rest you get your breathing and heart rate back down. Keep moving during the rest but just pace or march in place etc.


The fast squats in this workout is for cardio and a little bit of a recovery exercise. You don’t have to go super deep in these squats but we want quick with good form to keep the hear rate up.


No Equpiment

I have another great equipment free workout here that you can try out too if you are looking for something different! It is more focused on strength vs the cardio. Put them together to get a great cardio and strength workout!

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