** UPDATED WITH VIRTUAL MEDAL & FINISHERS CERTIFICATE BELOW! **
With summer in full swing and many races returning this fall (hello runDisney!) what better way to ‘seas the day’ than with a magical fitness challenge! I am so excited to team up with the pop culture & color queen herself, Courtney (@ColorMeMagic and @ColorMeCourtney on insta), to host the mermaid-themed “Sick of Swimming, Ready to RUN! Challenge!”
This weeklong fitness challenge begins on Monday, August 9th – 15th 2021 and is open to EVERYONE! So what are you waiting for?! Kick off those fins, dust off your sneakers, and read on for more info!
UP WHERE THEY WALK, UP WHERE THEY RUN!
So when I say ‘run’, I don’t reallyyy mean ‘run’. Walkers are an equal part of this challenge and I wanted to make sure that is clear from the beginning! The ultimate goal of this challenge is to put (or keep) you on a path to a more active lifestyle safely. Listen to your body, stay hydrated, and rest when you need to.
Let's get started! Each active day consists of a 5 minute warm up, 30 minutes of exercise, and a 5 minute cool down. There are two challenge plans both walkers & runners can follow throughout the week. Both plans incorporate run/walking, cross-training, and rest & stretch days. There are NO SPEEDS attached to either program. Listen to your body and go as fast or slow as you can manage.
The Level 1 / Beginner Plan was created for those who are newly active or want to keep things at a lighter pace.
The Level 2 / Intermediate Plan is for mermaids & mermen who have run before or want to increase the intensity.
Everyone should have the goal of finishing each day stronger than you started. This means start slow and slowly increase your pace so that your last ‘interval’ is your fastest.
WHAT DO YOU CALL ‘EM? OH, INTERVALS. – & MORE LINGO
That brings me to some running lingo. This challenge involves running/walking ‘intervals’ – which simply means that you will alternate between higher and lower intensity efforts. For example, on Day 1 of the Beginner challenge plan, after a 5min warm up, you’ll begin by walking for 2 minutes. Once that 2 minutes is up, you’ll switch to a run (at your pace) for 1 minute. After your running minute is up, you’ll switch back to walking for 2 minutes. You’ll continue this run/walk ‘interval’ 10x which will take you 30 minutes. We’ll turn things up a notch later in the week by adjusting the intervals to a 2 minute walk and then switching to a 2 minute run! Don’t forget to adjust your pace (aka slow down) for this longer, 2 minute run. This is meant to challenge you, so don’t worry if you can’t manage to hold the run for the full 2 minutes. Just keep working towards that as your goal! Although, if running for 2 minutes is easy for you – increase your pace and hold on!
And don’t think I forgot about my walkers! Walkers will also complete the same time intervals, except you will pick up the pace/intensity during the ‘run’ portions.
The easiest way to track your intervals is by using a timer. If you have a fitness watch, there is likely a built-in feature where you can input your interval times. No worries if you don’t have one, there are free apps, such as ‘IntervalTimer’ on the Apple App Store you can download and set up for the week! I have included screenshots below of how to set up your intervals using the IntervalTimer app for both levels:
LEVEL 1 BEGINNER - INTERVAL TIMER SETUP
LEVEL 2 INTERMEDIATE - INTERVAL TIMER SETUP
WARMING UP AND COOLING DOWN
One thing you’ll notice before and after each exercise is a 5 minute warm up and cool down. These 5min sessions are simple but effective exercises that are key to your preparation and recovery. Some warm up exercises can include squats and jumping jacks, while most cool down exercises should incorporate stretching. Here are links to YouTube videos I watch/follow for warm up and cool down exercises:
On both challenge plans, you’ll see that there is one day (Tuesday) of cross-training. Cross-training is simply a non-running workout. It will not only make you a better runner, but it can also help prevent injury (read more about cross-training in a previous blog post). What I love about cross-training is that there are so many activities you can do such as: swimming, hiking, strength training, rowing, barre class, yoga, and the list goes on. I am loving my Peloton bike as a way to cross-train! I started a tag on Peloton called #PedalsandTiaras that you are all welcome to join! I host (mostly) group Disney Peloton rides and we use the tag to identify and cheer each other on. On Tuesday, August 10th (aka our cross-training day) I will be hosting a #PedalsandTiaras ride for those on Peloton (more info below & on insta). If you are doing a different cross-training activity, I have included a YouTube video link to one of my favorite LIIT (low-intensity interval training) exercises.
30min Cross-training (LIIT): https://youtu.be/iqViApU5zk8
Group Disney Peloton Cross Training:
5min Warm Up Ride – Robin Arzon – 12/2/20
30 min Hamilton Ride – Robin Arzon – 10/14/20
5min Post Ride Stretch – Leanne Hainsby – 4/12/21
REST & RECOVERY
One common misconception about fitness, in general, is that there are no rest days. Resting and recovery are so incredibly important to every active person’s agenda regardless of what level of fitness you have. There are two ‘rest & stretch’ days included in each challenge plan in hopes that you will use this time to, you know, REST! The ‘stretching’ part of that ‘rest & stretch’ is part of an active recovery. It's so tempting to just binge watch Netflix on the couch on your off days, but hey, even if you choose to do that, take a break for 10mins to stretch out your muscles. Here are some more YouTube videos you can watch/follow in between movie marathons:
10 min Rest Day 1 Stretching: https://youtu.be/4Gf3cqQYDzY
10 min Rest Day 2 Stretching: https://youtu.be/hNCqIgl7Pjc
HOW MANY WONDERS CAN ONE BOUNDER HOLD?
Is it a magical fitness challenge without an (optional) bounding component?? Join me as I complete the #R2RChallenge while bounding as my favorite little mermaid! I love to see your creativity so PLEASE tag me in any photos you choose to post.
You want thingamabobs? Crowned Athletics has plenty! As my favorite fitness small shop, the mermaid gear that will get me through this challenge is from Kirsten’s shop, Crowned Athletics. Even at 8 months pregnant (oh yeah, did I mention that?), the fit, materials, and of course style, are unmatched. As a true supporter & member of the Disney fitness community, Crowned Athletics has specially designed a virtual finisher medal AND finisher certificate for everyone who completes the #R2RChallenge!! You won’t want to miss these virtual goodies! And if you’re in need of some physical goodies, check out her shop (linked) and use code: Tiaras10 for 10% off your purchase!
READY TO RUN!
Shell YES! We are ready to run! I am beyond excited to have each of you join this fun fitness challenge and truly hope it inspires you to go the distance (oops wrong movie). I will be completing the challenge alongside you and am available for any questions you have or any cheerleading you need! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #R2RChallenge so I can cheer you on throughout the week!
Ready to Run Challenge Plan – Beginner: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w9M823cmgC9zjC_3r8Y7g95r02VPRngE/view?usp=sharing
Ready to Run Challenge Plan – Intermediate: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1omj4StQEd_uG_wJSGX8yQxP-hnLpNp1F/view?usp=sharing
IntervalTimer App: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/interval-timer-hiit-workouts/id406473568