Mom’s Functional Moves

You know how fitness websites will give exercise advice for “older folks” and then show videos of 20-something fitness models demonstrating the recommended moves? Yeah, that can be annoying. Check out my mom (who for my whole childhood I believed to be 29) performing the moves from the Silver Sneakers article 7 Functional Movements Every Older Adult Should Be Able to Do. I want to be just like mom when I grow up!

#1 Squats


#2 Lunges


#3 Pushups


#4 Rows


#5 Woodchops


#6 Roll Overs


#7 Hops


1 Mile Speed!

track fast

Hi fitness friends! Join me to get FAST-er:)

The plan:
Our goal is to get fast for a 1 mile race. This is a FREE email based program; 8 weeks from JUNE 4-JULY 30; 3 days running 3 days strength; under 30 mins each day. There is no actual “race” unless we get a quorum of folks interested in showing off at the end of the 8 weeks… it’s really just me vs myself and you vs yourself:)
Step 1:
Email me at with “I’m IN” so I will make sure to include you in subsequent emails.
Step 2:
Time your current fast mile before the JUNE 4 launch. It doesn’t have to be an all-out race at this point, especially if you aren’t used to running. Walk, walk/jog, run, race, it’s all good. Make sure to warm up with a 5-10 min walk/jog and/or a Dynamic Warmup before completing timed 4 laps around the track or one mile on the trail. Email me at with your status as “completed timed 1 mile”. If you send me your time, I will then be able to help you estimate your goal time for the race and the training intervals. If you are not comfortable sending me your time, no worries. Send me any questions too. Let’s get fast together!
So, are you IN?

Cambodia Workouts

I’m on my way to Cambodia for a 15 day cycling adventure! I will miss my clients terribly, but please follow along with these workouts so you don’t have to miss ME at all:)

The name of the game is Cambodia Consistency. The plan is flexible so you can work out in short bursts every day or work out longer a few times per week. A short workout most days beats longer sessions that happen only one or two days. Here’s the play-by-play:


Step 1: Do two rounds of the Dynamic Warmup and/or walk briskly for five to ten minutes. BW means Body Weight only (no dumbbells).

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Continue reading Cambodia Workouts

Workout: Protect your knees and back

How do your knees feel? What about your lower back? Ouchy? You’re not alone. Knees and back are the most common areas for overuse injuries — stemming from both endurance sports training and simply aging. Let’s fix ’em! Try these two eight-minute workouts with me. The first one targets the supporting muscles of the knee and the second targets the supporting muscles of the back. (UPDATE: We just added a video for the knee-protection sequence. Stay tuned for the lower-back!)

Knee protection

Strengthen your hips, glutes, and the muscles you use to balance and support your knees. Do the following sequence twice, performing each move on your right side and then again on your left. For each exercise, do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds, while maintaining form and control.

Videos Showing Proper Form for the Advanced 7-Minute Workout

In May 2013, the Human Performance Institute’s 7-Minute Workout was featured in The New York Times and Lifehacker, who posted a series of videos to show how to do each exercise properly.

The workout was popular. Very popular.So much so, that the New York Times decided to ask Mark Verstegen, the founder and president of EXOS, to create an advanced version. They also commissioned a new app to help you along.

To accompany the instructions and the app, I created a series of videos that outline each exercise, highlighting form and common faults. If you prefer videos to apps, scroll down to the bottom of this page and follow along with Tracy while I train her through the whole workout. She rocked it and so can you!

Continue reading Videos Showing Proper Form for the Advanced 7-Minute Workout

Garmin vs Robin


Garmin vs. Robin

One of my great running buddies is sooooo attached to his Garmin, he is known to all as “Garminowitz” (Hi Rich!).

On July 10, 2011 I bought myself a brand-spankin-new Garmin 310xt GPS watch for running and tri training. I posted a picture on the facebook with the caption “Forget diamonds, Garmins are a girl’s best friend!” I was psyched to track my progress and use the tool to get faster. This thing does everything. It gives real-time min/mile and mile/hr pacing, splits, mileage, calories burned, and workout reports uploaded to the computer to share with (brag to) friends.

I learned quickly that my competitive/ego-driven brain did not get along with this tool. I got angry with the watch. When I raced, I usually averaged around 7:30 miles running depending on distance, and 20 mph biking. Granted, I was well aware that I trained at a considerably lower speed, but I wasn’t prepared for how MUCH slower.

I took the watch out to play for the first time on a 15 mile SLR (Saturday Long Run with the DCRoadRunners) around Battery Kemble Park in DC. At the end of a great run with friends in the awesome July heat/humidity, the watch told me I averaged 10:15 min/miles…… What the heck? My first thought was: “THE WATCH LIES! Or it’s broken. Man that’s sloooooow.” It was a punch in the face. Jeez, what was I doing out there, smelling roses?!? Did that even count as a run? On subsequent runs, I paid close attention to my pacing, checked the watch frequently and sped up when I didn’t like the numbers it was telling me. Basically, any time it registered over a 9:30 mile, I sped up…out of vanity. Haha…but seriously, for real.

So round 1 in the “Garmin vs Robin” event goes to the Garmin. I think that new obsession with pacing contributed to the injury I suffered a few months later. There was no such thing as “slow jog days”. I upped my tempo runs and speed work and tried to maintain a “decent pace” (whatever that means) on long runs. Instead of listening to the body for feedback, I let the Garmin dictate my pace…let it drive me into the ground and into an injury.

Since I’ve been healthy again, I have chilled out on using the Garmin. I’m almost ready to try it again. This time I will have a different mindset and game plan. The “decent pace” on long runs is one that feels good to my body – not LOOKS good on the report. I now know myself. If I feel good, I will push, regardless of what a watch says. If I feel crappy, I know I need to chill the heck out and relax. I will try using the Garmin as a “restrictor plate” on long runs or easy runs. Instead of speeding up when it tells me I’m going slow, I will use it to slow down on days I’m supposed to be taking it easy. I’ll try taking it to the track for short bursts of speed. If I don’t like the “results” the watch tells me, it’s getting turned off. There’s a balance out there somewhere that will allow me to take advantage of the spiffy shiny GPS toy… I know it, just gotta find it. Mark my words: Round 2 is going to Robin!

OBX Rainy Workout

Whaaaa? Woke up to thunder and rain at the beach. Boo. While rain does not automatically mean a “no-go” for me… today, instead of hitting the road for day 4-in-a-row of running (not a smart idea for me anyway!), I took my workout to the front stoop undercover. Rain might be a blessing in disguise – I had a great workout! Time for the sun to come out NOW!

UPDATE!! Caroline saw how awesome I felt this morning and asked me to train her thru the same routine. Videos of the moves at (I’m working on rotating some videos but the internet at the beach is not so hot…)

Here’s what I did:


OBX rainy total body workout:

4 Rounds MRT (metabolic resistance training 15-20 sec rest in between each exercise – about one minute rest in between rounds, we did a similar circuit at the Radiance Retreat)

I used 15lb dumbbells:

Deadrows 15

Lunges 15 each leg (I did backward-stepping holding weights at the sides)

Pushups 15

Squat-press 15

3 rounds RBT (rest based training – rest only when you need until you can go again)

10 squat jumps

10 burpees

60 sec hover plus toe taps

60 sec bicycle crunches (30 sec slow 30 sec fast)

2 rounds RBT

Tube woodchops – 10 each side

Tube squat with alternating leg lift  (45 degrees back) 10 each side

Tube leg lift one side – 20 each side

Side plank hip lifts – 30 sec each side

Weighted bridges (dumbbell on “lap”) 20

Stretch and lacrosse ball rolling


Extended Warmup

How I discovered the Extended Warmup at the beach by accident:

It’s here! The most relaxing week of the year – Beach Week! I’m chillin’ in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with extended family – there are 18 of us in a gi-normous house. Sun, surf, food, family, and (of course) running! We are a family of runners.

I started tagging along on morning OBX runs with my marathon-runner-Dad when I was in high school.  I was not a “runner” yet. I played softball and basketball and would run by myself occasionally to “keep in shape”. Dad, on the other hand, is a former college cross-country/track star and had double-digit marathons under his belt, including the Boston Marathon. Needless to say, he took it easy on me. Which is why, years later, I took it easy on HIM.

In 2008 Dad was recovering from knee surgery and just starting to get back to “yogging” (Anchorman, anyone?). I, on the other hand, had recently found my stride with triathlon training. I had incorporated track workouts into my routine and increased my weekly mileage big time. The tables had turned! We started out each morning together. I no longer struggled to keep pace. Dad was up to about 30-40 minutes of running at a time, and the first day we ran those 30 minutes together. Slooooowly. The heat was oppressive and the air was thick with humidity, but I felt awesome. The next day, Dad and I started out together at the same easy pace as the day before. Dad turned around after his scheduled 20 minutes out, but I kept going. Then something happened. Something miraculous. It was like I was underwater in the deep ocean, expecting to drown, but then suddenly sprouted gills and fins (a la Harry Potter’s gillyweed) and could breathe and swim like a fish. My lungs felt twice as big and my legs felt light and strong. I ran forever and never tired. Ok, not really forever… but I went for a solid 2 hours with no fatigue. This was unheard of. By going at a super-easy pace for 20 minutes, I was able to go 100 MORE minutes faster and easier than I thought possible. I found my Extended Warmup.

This still works for me on long runs. If I start the first 15-20 minutes about 2 minutes per mile slower than my normal pace, I’m able to go for longer miles and feel better. Now, when I run 5ks, my sister (Hi Caroline!) will make fun of me for “warming up” for longer than it takes me to race! There’s something about getting the lungs and heart to catch up to the legs that really works for me – and it can take different amounts of time on different days. There are days when I will not do a long warmup and feel “fine” but other days I’d be screwed without warming up slowly and long. Thanks to Dad’s bum knee I was able to discover this trick. I would not have had the patience to try it out on my own…. I’m telling you – TRY IT and your long run will ROCK.