Sunday, October 6, 2013

200/100 Daily Challenge

As runners we often neglect our overall body fitness for a good jog in the park, a scramble up a mountain, or a track workout.  As great as running is, we'd all have better fitness if we added a strength workout.  I'm no expert, but I can claim to inconsistently practicing yoga and various body weight exercises since high school. I even had an off season romance with Crossfit.  Yep, I'm one of those runners.

I own 3 kettle bells, a yoga mat, pull up bar, and a barbell.  My parents had a basement full of hardcore weight lifting equipment when I was a kid.  My siblings and I mostly just used the space for rollerblading and writing the year in the dust on the Fitness Equipment Station (1996) and laughing at posters of thick veined, greasy weightlifters in 80's spandex.  Perhaps it set the stage for my so-far-life-long relationship with guilt and inconsistency in my strength routine.  That is about to change.  The most important thing I learned over the past 15 years of inconsistency is that consistency trumps intensity or duration. Clearly duration and intensity are good, but if you set a goal for yourself that is too hard to attain daily, you won't do it consistently.  So here's my challenge to all the runners out there:

200/100 Daily Challenge

Simple: Every single day you do 200 reps of core/abdominal work and 100 reps of upper body work, in addition to your regular running routine.  You can do reps of anything you like. You can change it up every day or weekly. But you must do 200/100. We're counting on you.  I did the workout the past 2 days when I put in loooong workdays on my feet and just wanted to curl up in bed with a good movie.

For some of you, this is going to be really tough. If that's the case, ease into it with a 100/50 challenge. For those of you that it's really easy, be sure to slow down on each rep and feel free to add more reps, just don't add so much that you don't want to do it consistently. The beauty of it is that on a day when you don't want to do it, it only takes 10-15 minutes. On a day when you're digging it, add some extra.

Here are some ideas for what you can do in each category:

200s: Focus on your core strength
bicycle legs
plank (use 1 sec=1 rep)
kettle bell

100s: Focus on upper body
kettle bell
tricep dip

Also check out this awesome site: 22 Scientific Core Exercises for some new ideas. This website has hundreds of exercises for mountain athletes to build strength with links to videos/descriptions: Mountain Athlete Exercises

Want to add in some extras?  After 2 weeks of doing the 200/100 regularly, you may want to add a few more things. I find these two exercises to be very helpful, as a runner:

2 minutes of plank (continuous). If that's too hard for you, you can give yourself a little break by temporarily going into downward dog. But try to keep doing it for 2 full minutes. 

Credit: 57 Physique

One legged Squats
10 one legged squats (on each side) or 20 reg squats if that's too hard. Tone it down if it hurts your knees. Keep your form!!

Credit: Running with Jack
A note for the ladies out there: there is no need to fear muscles.  You will not look big, you will look healthy.  Muscle burns fat.  And like mentioned above with consistency trumping intensity/duration: muscles trump fat!  

Do you have any exercises you particularly like? Share with us.


  1. Man,I'd be lucky to do 30/30! ;-) Will try though, am planning to do more strength over the winter....

  2. Thanks for the mention Candice, you have a great site and some beautiful images, I'm a mountain man myself :-) Keep up the great blog. Greg

  3. The 200 part is easy, the 100 is killing me. This is great, thanks for inspiration! ;)

  4. It's great. You are a hard worker i think to see it. best yoga mat


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