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Shape Up Summer Challenge: Officially Unofficial Rules

It’s June and you know what that means: The Shape Up Summer Challenge has officially begun!!

Now the point of this little challenge is just to give you (and myself) a little extra motivation to include some strength training into your weekly routine, specifically by trying The Core. Obviously this does not require that you love the workout or want to do it for the rest of your life. Instead, the challenge is meant to be fun and to encourage you to try something new!


Because it’s all for fun, the rules for this thing are going to be simple. Basically, the SUSC will run for 2 months, which will hopefully give you plenty of time to try the workout whenever it fits best into your training schedule. There are two ways to participate:

Basic Challenge

  1. Try the workout 2 times over the course of 1 week.
  2. Let me know you did so by leaving a comment on The Core page. Include any thoughts and feedback you might have. Whether you hated it, loved it, thought it was just okay – I want to know! Also tell me your favorite (or least favorite move).
  3. For an extra point, send me a picture of you doing your favorite move. I can feature the pictures on the new challenge page (soon to be created) of the blog.
  4. Everyone who does so will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift certificate to either Road Runner Sports (my favorite online web store) or your coffee shop of choice: Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks. It’s up to you!

(Yes, I know…it’s not much, but this challenge is being funded by Yours Truly. Plus, you get the added prize of learning a new, amazing workout and getting a super-toned core. Honestly, what more could you want? 😉 )

Bonus Challenge

  • Those of you who do the workout regularly* for at least 1 month will be eligible to win a super special prize (TBD – but it’ll be something great, I promise). Two bonus entries for this if you participate for the entire 2-month challenge.
  • To enter this drawing, email me at Lauren {at] healthontherun [dot] net (or via the Contact Form on this site), letting me know how long you’ve been doing the workout regularly, and of course sharing any feedback you have. I will enter all your names into a spreadsheet and randomly choose a winner.
  • Individuals who choose to participate in this part of the challenge are also eligible for the Basic Prize (just leave a comment after 1 week to be entered).

*Regularly = 2 – 3 times, most weeks for one month (meaning, if you get busy and can only do it once during a certain week, don’t sweat it!)

You have until July 31, 2010 at midnight (EST) to participate. The drawings will be held on August 1st.

Like I said, this is meant to be FUN! Especially since there’s absolutely no way to validate whether or not you did the workout (though I really hope you do give it a shot). So hit the gym (or your basement) and get sweating!

And of course, if you like the workout or are excited about the challenge, I’d love it if you told your friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, etc (and if you hate it….please pass it along to your enemies ;)).

National Running Day

running_day_main_logoIn other news, today is National Running Day! According to the organizers, the aim for this day is to “promote running as a healthy, easy, and accessible form of exercise.”

I believe that [most] anybody can be a runner. Obviously there are certain physical impairments, injuries etc that can make it unsafe or unwise for some individuals to run. But for the rest of you — it really doesn’t take much to get started. All you need is a good pair of shoes and the motivation to put one foot in front of the other. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how far you go. The point is to just get out there and get moving. Enjoy nature, explore your city or, if you’re too nervous to run outside, try the treadmill. Not only is running a great form of exercise, but it can also be a stress reliever – a time to think and an opportunity to really process anything that’s on your mind.

For anyone who is new to running, try not to let it overwhelm you. That first step is the hardest. But start off easy and slow. Aim for a mile, and mix up your running with walking. Don’t worry about your time or whether people are watching you. Just enjoy pushing your body and seeing what you can do!

Here are some great resources to get you started:

And of course, please feel free to ask me any questions you might have. I certainly can’t claim to know all the answers, but I have been running for over a decade now, both as a competitive and as a recreational runner. I’ve also had the wonderful opportunity to work as an Assistant Coach for my college XC team, so I’ve seen running from all sides. Hopefully there might be something in my experience that can help some of you.

Happy Running!

“What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the day gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate.”
~John Bingham, running writer and speaker

Are you planning on running today (or have you already)?

18 Responses to Shape Up Summer Challenge: Officially Unofficial Rules

  1. I love this! After running & recovering for the marathon, I’m in 😀

    and Happy National Running Day! woohooo
    .-= Danielle (Runs on Green)´s last blog ..Let’s talk about protein: Part 3 =-.

  2. Good luck with the challene – you sound so sorted! 😀
    I’ve already run today – 5miles alone, 2miles with the dog – it was lovely! :)
    .-= Freya @ Brit Chick Runs´s last blog ..Poppy Power =-.

  3. You know I’m excited about this! I’m happy to say I’ll be taking a run myself today! Woot Woot!
    .-= Lindsay´s last blog ..Giveaway Time! =-.

  4. The Shape-Up sounds great. I do need to include more strength training in my workout. I don’t think I’l do the full challenge but will adapt it for my needs if thats ok.
    I love the fact it’s National Running Day – I ran 1.65 miles this evening. I wanted to do more in honour of today but felt so knackered I had to give up after one loop of my route, rubbish!
    .-= Helen´s last blog ..An Odd sort of Day! =-.

  5. Yes! I am so pumped for this. And will totally master those naaaasty rows before two months is up!
    .-= Alex @ IEatAsphalt´s last blog ..What I’ve Learned (May Ed.) =-.

  6. Thanks for the shout-out! And thank you for all of the running advice you’ve given me through our blogs. I very much look up to you as a runner!

    I’m with you that (almost) anyone can become a runner if they really want to. It intimidates so many people, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
    .-= Katie @ Health for the Whole Self´s last blog ..Five Tips for New Runners =-.

  7. I love that couch to 5K program! Since I am coming off an injury I may use it to get back in decent running shape. Goodness knows I’m not there yet! And I did a couple of your strength moves the other day in lieu of body pump! The 5lb weights worked fine for me :)

    • That’s great! Glad to hear you tried them and that the 5lb weights worked. I definitely think that’s a great starting point.

  8. I haven’t been running as much lately because I’ve been so focused on strength training–this is a great reminder to get back in my cardio groove!

  9. I’m interested in the challenge. I’ll stop back after I read some more about it. I recently ran a 1/2 marathon and feeling a little burned out of running and could use something in addition. Twice a week sounds like something I could do. I haven’t really ever done any kind of weights though. Would my 5 lb weights work to start with?

    I’ll be back . . .

    Judi :)
    .-= Judi´s last blog ..Spice up your kitchen =-.

    • Hi Judi! Glad to know you’re interested. 5lb weights would be a great place to start, especially if you haven’t really done any weights before. Let me know if you have any other questions after reading more. I can point you to some other good resources that might help you get started.

  10. What a great challenge! I always encourage the folks in my classes to try other classes, other instructors, other forms of exercise, etc! I think its good for the mind and body and you could discover you love an activity you may have never tried
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Memorial Day: Spanikopita Burgers & A Winner =-.

  11. Awesome! I’m in. I’m currently recovering from getting my wisdom teeth removed, but I should be okay to start this weekend. Can’t wait!
    .-= Chrissy (The New Me)´s last blog ..DIY placemats for two bucks =-.

  12. EXCITING!! I’m going to have to try to keep up with the workouts and the challenge, even whilst taking my reprieve from the blogosphere (I’ll still be reading other blogs, but just not writing so much.)

    Thanks for launching the initiative, Lauren. It is definitely going to help SO many people see workouts differently, and most importantly, to have fun with them! I know I will!

    :-) xo aletheia
    .-= aletheia´s last blog ..Updates from the Farm + VEGA Giveaway Winners Announced! =-.

  13. hey lady, I am kinda crazy busy this week but will try to fit in one of your challenge workouts this week/end and get involved in the challenge. Can you believe it…I couldn’t even fit in a run on the holiday yesterday, so sad!
    .-= Claire´s last blog ..a hard but proud evening. =-.

  14. I want to try the challenge!

    I haven’t run today or all week :( the weather has been full of storms unfortunately and the humidity has been killing me. I fail…
    .-= Katherine´s last blog ..Joneses =-.

  15. Great challenge, Lauren!! I think the plan sounds doable and fun. I’m inspired to get my bum into action!! Also, I just love that quote at the end of your post. Made me rethink the couch!
    .-= Andrea @ CanYouStayForDinner.com´s last blog ..Gooey, Buttery, Pillowy =-.

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