Engaging abs with Planksgiving


Who’s got a hunger for stronger abs? The holiday season is racing towards us, bringing belly-busting bounty of favorite feasts. Most of us are already craving our favorite seasonal indulgences.

 Just the thought of it all makes my belt feel snugger.

 I guess it’s time to firm up my fitness goals, putting my midsection to work before Turkey Day arrives, followed soon by a whirlwind of holiday festivities.



 Enter Planksgiving.

 The premise is pretty simple. It’s simply a series of plankings, with the time goal increasing slightly each day. The grand finale is a three-minute plank on Thanksgiving. (I strongly recommend doing this BEFORE the feast.)

 My Planksgiving check-in chart is in the sidebar here. Feel free to adapt it for your own use, or create your own (You can also find plenty of similar calendar charts online, although the daily time goals vary somewhat.)


Who’s with me?

 Pick your plank. Plank from your toes to your hands. Plank from your knees to your elbows. Do side planks, if you prefer. The most important thing is to get on the floor and get it done.

 This way, when we belly up to the Thanksgiving table, we won’t jiggle like the Jello mold or the cranberry sauce. We’ll strengthen our stuffing.

 Anything after that is just gravy.


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Image/s: public domain image


Feel free to follow Runderdog on Twitter, as well as Run Run Run in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois (Runderdog Runs the Midwest) on Facebook. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.


Digging the Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System


This week, I dropped about $70 on the Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System. This handy pair of snow cleats (for lack of a better term) slips over running shoes or (many kinds of) hiking boots, employing a heavy duty rubber (think: bungee strap-like) elastomer band. Underneath is a rugged pattern of stainless steel chains and spikes.

I’d expected the set to cost half that (or less). But I suppose the purchase will more than pay for itself, if my new Kahtoola MICROspikes prevent me from falling and fracturing any part of my body. (Full disclosure: I had an REI gift card. So that was nice.)


I’m all for breaking the ice, when it comes to social interactions. But breaking it with my own body parts on the road, path, or trail is another thing altogether.

Midwinter running is tough, but the scenery is worth it.

Initially, I wasn’t convinced of the need for a winter traction system. But after tromping through the deeper, crunchier snow on the edges of several trails (then heading home with soaked socks and freezing feet), I decided to explore the idea more thoroughly.

This pursuit was also prodded somewhat by a running partner who was purchasing the same product to wear over her On-Running CloudVenture trail sneakers.

So glad. Hey, Hans Brinker I’m not! I’m more interested in trail running than speed skating – especially on the trails.

So I strapped my Kahtoola MICROspikes on over my Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes (Yes, I’m a fan of those, having had multiple pairs.).

First time out, I was amazed at the difference in traction and time. Instead of trudging along slippery spots, we were able to maintain a more consistent pace with steady footing, even in the shiniest, iciest stretches of the trail. Even on steep hills, both up and down.


Yes, cheaper winter traction systems exist.

For example, you can pick up a pair of the popular Yaktrax for about half the price, but we’ve heard mixed reviews on those. Yaktrax weigh about 4.4 ounces, compared to Kahtoola MICROspikes’ 11 ounces. Underneath, Yaktrax have stretchy rubber and little steel coils that tend to clog with snow. That can actually make them slippery, which really isn’t the purpose of wearing a traction system at all. 

 We’ve also heard countless stories of Yaktrax breaking after several wearings.

The Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System is available in a full range of sizes, from small to extra large, accommodating everything from a women’s 6 (or a kids’ 4) to a men’s 14. And they come in black or red.

Plus, Kahtoola MICROspikes come with a handy little tote sack, so it’s easy to keep track of them in my running pack (or in the car). That means I have them ready to go when I head for a winter run on any local trail system.


Word of warning: It’s always prudent to remove any type of snow traction system from your footwear before walking on concrete, wood planks, bricks, or other non-wintry surfaces that are too firm to allow gripping. That can damage the spikes and may make footing unsure. (And, of course, don't try driving or biking with them on. Who would, right? You'd be surprised, maybe.)

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Image/s: Product promo photo – fair use / Personal photos – all rights reserved


Feel free to follow Runderdog on Twitter, as well as Run Run Run in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois (Runderdog Runs the Midwest) on Facebook. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.

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