Week of 12/11/17: Christmas Challenge-13 days to go, Workouts, Sat HR are on,

Hi Folks,

UPDATED 12/15/17: As the weeks become busier leading up to Christmas getting in the workouts becomes a challenge. The “24 Days to Christmas Challenge” helps you focus on completing a daily, though short workouts. Achieve that through 12/24 and you’ve taking your resolve to a new level.

24 Days to Christmas Challenge : Hang in there and approach each day’s reps and weight a plan. It continues (can review last week’s blog for details on approach, count, tips). For my runners, if the Goblet Squats affect the running too much; use little or no weight, but get it in.

Are you starting and parking your kettlebell properly?

Monday, 12/11:  65 Swings – 11 Push-Ups – 10 Goblet Squats

Tuesday, 12/12:  70 Swings – 12 Push-Ups – 11 Goblet Squats

Wednesday, 12/13:  70 Swings – 13 Push-Ups – 11 Goblet Squats

Thursday, 12/14:  75 Swings – 14 Push-Ups  – 12 Goblet Squats

Friday, 12/15:  75 Swings  –  15 Push-Ups  –  12 Goblet Squats

Saturday, 12/16:  80 Swings – 16 Push-Ups – 13 Goblet Squats ( Can skip the Goblet Squats today if running Christmas Relays! Hope many of you join in on the Relays: teams of 4 are fun and it’s only 4.5 miles)

Sunday, 12/17:  80 Swings – 17 Push -Ups  –  13 Goblet Squats

Are you parking your KB each time you begin and start your set of Swings? Often people let technique slide. Remember to focus on your hip hinge position and hip snap with each rep and to tense buttocks, lats, core at the top of the Swing: come to a “vertical plank” if you will.  Then loose as you bring the weight back down to then “hike” the KB back through so that the forearms touch inner thighs and brace the entire torso with your lats and abs again before snapping the hips forward.

NOT running much, then an all-around aerobic and strength workout ( one of many to be posted): “2000 Meter Challenge Workout”

500 Meter Row, then DB or KB  Farmers Carry for one minute,

500 Meter Row, then “Wipers while holding  80# BB (women)/ 135# men) x 25 or  x 10 Exercise Ball Transfer;

500 Meter Row, then KB or DB Cross Carry for 1′ or more;

500 Meter Row, then Incline or regular Push-Ups x 20.

Note, it’s important to have proper rowing  technique to avoid back issues and place the emphasis on the legs for the first half of the rowing stroke; then finish with the back and arms .  You’ll have to also figure out how to pace each 500 meter distance.


Pam won extra fudge after completing the “Wipers 100 Rep Challenge” with 75# barbell. Kevin paying homage.

12/12/17 TUESDAY.…Get in Tempo run which includes .5M, 1.0M and 1.0M pickups. Do at pace for Sunday’s Christmas Relays. (May have to not use MV bike path if King tides are in!).

12/13/17 WEDNESDAY. 8:15 am MADISON AV GYM WORKOUT with Kees at Warren’s. (Anybody who missed out on fudge should be able to pick it up on Wednesday – after your workout). There is also the ” Wipers Challenge “ for today. See you Wednesday!

12/14/17 THURSDAY 8:30 TRACK for those at Tam HS track. Do warm-up 1.5Mj, Skips, backward 2 x 20 meters, 4 x 20 meter pickups, 2 x 100 (100). Then 2 x 200 (200), 1000 (200), 800 (on 5′ or 5:30),  2 x 600 (200), 2 x 400 (2′); then Mile at a bit slower than how you’d run your first mile at Christmas Relays.

If running the Christmas Relays; a little less volume:

6 x 400 (2’/ 2:30/ or 3′), 2 x 200 (200).

Brad & John: you’ve been receiving my emails regarding Napa Marathon prep?

12/16/17: SATURDAY 7:45 am SATURDAY HILL REPEATS/Cross Training. At GG Gate Seminary College of Seminary Drive. Arrive at 7:15, park along Seminary Drive near entry road to College for run warm-up. Then run up entry road to first level where I will have the exercise stations set up.Should be a good turnout; last week was our largest turnout…(Last one for two weeks)

Coming: Michelle, Dominic, Kathy,  Michelle S, Kevin P, .Hans, Miles W, Judi,

Week of 12/4/17: Workouts,” 24 Days to Christmas Workout Challenge,” Sat Workout,

Hi Folks,

updated 12/10/17. Last modification for the Christmas Challenge is the number of Swings progression and total number of reps (see below)

TRAINING TIP: Take advantage of the good weather for getting in very consistent training if you’re gearing up for a runs in February and March, e.g.,  . I did my first 80 and 100 mile weeks during January of 1976. I remember it being almost eerily clear and calm throughout the month which made for perfect training conditions. Get in 2-3 solid months of mileage with hill, tempo, and easy running.

TRAINING TIME IS SURPRISINGLY SHORT FOR A FALL DISTANCE RUN

Some of your goal half and full marathon races seem far off; in terms of training time it’s a surprisingly short time period. For example, Boston Marathon is about 18 weeks out; that’s 18 weekends to build up the long run so you can get in 3 x 18-20 milers  and two taper weeks. I have runners who are on modest mileage build up with the single long run twice per month (every other weekend) alternated with two days of 10 or less on the other weekends.  Then you have to factor in weekends lost due to illness, injury or family obligations. It all means that in terms of training months – it’s a surprisingly short time period and difficult to avoid “cramming”.

..See some of  you at Christmas Relays on 12/17/17 They are fun to participate in with your teammates. Contact your age division captain to be placed on your team of 4 runners.


It’s never too soon to learn Turkish Get Up! Proud father, Warren taking son, Sid through the difficult TGU. 

Updated on 12/10/17: I’m modifying for the last time the Swing reps for our 24 Day’s of Cristmas Challenge a bit starting on Monday. The goal by Pavel (Father of Kettlebell training) is to be able to complete 100 daily reps of Swings for your entire posterior chain (and 5 TGU’s also, but we’ll hold off on that during this challenge), so it’s like brushing your teeth: a daily gig. I’ve modified the remaining days of Swings to conclude with 100  reps. 

Updated on Sunday,  12/10/17 and still on track with 65 reps of Swings – 10 Goblet Squats – 10 Push-ups….Monday 12/11/17: 65 Swings again – 11 Goblets – 11 Push-ups. You’ll stay with two days in a row with the same number of Swings; then go up 5 reps. So, on 12/12 & 12/13 do x 70 Swings; on 12/14 & 12/15  do x 75; on 12/16 & 12/17 do x 80; on 12/18 & 12/19 do x 85; on 12/20 & 12/21 do x 90; on 12/22 & 12/23 do x 95 and finally on 12/24 do x 100.

“24 Days to Christmas Challenge Workout” from Warren and Kees, modified starting from 12/11/17 –  12/24/17:  I’ve modified the reps  from what Warren did for his workout group ( they are not runners but fitness enthusiasts doing mostly gym work).  Our group does far more running, so our leg training volume should  be less with the Goblet Squats.

12/10/17, Sunday:  Only change starting on Monday 12/11 are the number of Swings x 65 reps  again on that day; you’ll add 5  reps every other day.  It is still a workload, but since the group is not used to DAILY reps of Swings , this is less overwhelming yet keeps the challenge of consistency intact. It also ends with our goal of 100 reps for two days.  If it begins to feel a bit too much with the kettlebell weight you are using, do with a lighter kettlebell. Just keep it going.

Goblets x  5; add 1 rep per day. CHANGE; on 12/10 &  12/11 do 10 reps ; on 12/12 & 12/13 do 11 reps; on 12/14 & 12/15 do 12 reps; on 12/16 & 12/17 do 13 reps; on 12/18 & 12/19 do 14 reps; on 12/20 & 12/21 do 15 reps; on 12/22 & 12/3 do 16 reps; on 12/24 do 17 reps.   Note that if you find completing  the reps a problem with the kettlebell or dumbbell;  do them with less or no weight resistance.

Push-Ups x 5;  add 1 rep per day. Always sto during a set if it becomes a strain: break the total reps into manageable sets so you complete the reps with good form and under control.

Notes:  Swings concentrate on your form, tight lats ( your “brace”, hiking the bell and snapping the hips forward and coming to a “vertical plank” tensing up buttocks, “zipping” up the kneecaps, tensing up the abs at the top of the Swing. ” The Swing is not a Squat, and the Squat is not a Swing”

Goblet Squats: Bring yourself down vertically into the deep squat (not pushing butt back to an imaginary bench) to where hamstrings touch calves; elbows not touching legs, while holding the kettlebell  by the horns (or a dumbbell vertically). The core ( especially the entire torso portion comes into play strongly here). Drive up vertically emphasizing glutes and quads, feet flat. Website – Strong First.com has good detail article the Goblet Squat and picture of it.

Push-Ups: Can do on an incline using a bar, or on dumbbells or floor. Put the emphasis on keep straight body, not flaring out elbows, touching chest to the bar (or floor), slight 1000-1 count pause them coming up firmly.

The goal is to provide more of a consistency challenge during the busiest month of the year; not make it a killer and overwhelming challenge. That’s 100 reps. I modified the Goblet Squats volume because you are all running 3-4 days per week too. You can get the Challenge reps in efficiently and make the commitment to get in the daily session. You can break up each session into very doable sets: I want no strain with each day’s routine. Come away with energy left over: there’s always the next day to deal with! You will learn a great deal about how your body responds a good ten days into it. Remember to get in your stretching, mobility and foam rolling work – take care of the equipment. Special focus on hip mobility and foam rolling.


The Tuesday group did their dozen Hill Repeats in The Hill under the GGBridge. The day was spectacular, the view of the Bridge and SF special.


Later the same morning, the “The Three Amigos”, Sandy T, Kathi De, and Janet C, rode from Ranch Nicasio through SPT Park and back. It couldn’t have been a more special day with the two groups.


A solid turnout for Saturday Hill Repeats/Cross Training! We’re on for next Saturday. 

12/5/17 TUESDAY 8:30 am HILL WORK & MILEAGE at GG Bridge site. (Alyce request, and hopefully a bit out of the wind that will be strong on Tuesday). I’ll be there to head up the workout. It’s a bit of an extra drive, but worth the view – and we may get extra shelter from the wind. Meet at Discovery Museum parking lot. We’ll get in a warm-up run and working the longer repeats in preparation for general fitness and The Christmas Relays. If you arrive a bit later we’ll be heading towards Sausalito first, up the grade and back; then around Murray Circle before going to under the Bridge for the hill work.

12/6/17 WEDNESDAY 8:15 am MADISON AV GYM with Kees at Warren’s gym. We will keep with the Christmas Challenge on this day for the minimum part of your workout with Swings x 60, Goblets x 7, Push-UUps x 7.

The CIRCUIT this week.

Kettlebell Deficit Sumo Deadlift (guess how this changes where it hits?), Inverted Row, Ball Transfer, Left ,Hip  Half Hitch with weight, Right, Hip Half Hitch, Left KB Swing Clean & Press, Right, KB Swing Clean & Press, Dual Grip Ball Pullover Sit-Up & Press, KB Farmer Walk 

Finalized with 3 x 3-5 reps of Deadlift.

12/7/17 THURSDAY. 8:30 am TRACK workout for some of the group at Tam HS track. ( I will likely have Sandy, Kathi and Janet with me on a ride).

Do your 1.5M warm-up, Skips, 4 x 20 meters, 4 x 100 (100) stride-outs:

9 x 400 (on 2′, or 2:30, 3′) – depending on your 5K pace) ; then 1200 to acclimate to that push over the last portion of the Lake Merced loop: it finishes with an uphill stretch…

Brad and John, who are preparing for the Napa Marathon to be run at a more pleasant pace: 7:40’s for a 3:21:01 time; 1:55 per 400.   After the main track workout, add a mile at 7:40 pace. See if you can hit the time without looking at the watch after the first lap. We’ll do tempo runs later for 5-12 miles at goal pace so you’re locked into it.

12/9/17 SATURDAY 7:45 am HILL REPEATS/Cross Training session. Held at Seminary College campus off Seminary Drive. Arrive 7:15, park near entrance road for good warm-up run, then come up entry road to where I have the stations set up. (The next weekend we may have Sunday RRGrade run, unless you all want to do a last Saturday workout. We are out of town on 12/19). Let me know if you will be joining us.

Coming: Carrie B, Lee M, Lisa L., Kathi B, Alyce E.,  Gerald A, Gayle S, Michelle W,