Gabe's Training Tips

Gabe Grunewald, local pro running star, cancer survivor and Brooks Running athlete, shares her training tips.

Core Exercises


Get into a push up position, but put your forearms on the ground to support you making sure your elbows are directly underneath your chest. Keep your back straight (don’t let it dip!) and hold that position while engaging your core to stabilize yourself. Hold for intervals of 30 or 60 seconds, and work your way up to holding it for longer.

Glute bridges

Running taxes the front of your legs quite a bit;back bridges will help strengthen your glutes and stabilizing core muscles to help balance out the running. Start by lying on the ground with your feet flat on the ground. Press up using your glutes and core until your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line. You can either hold the bridge or lower your hips and repeat the motion for 10-12 repetitions. Once you’re comfortable with this, you can progress to doing the bridge on just one leg: keep your right leg planted while extending your left leg into the air out in front of you. Switch legs and repeat.

Bird dog

On all fours, raise your right arm and left leg simultaneously until both are extend in a straight line out from your body. Slowly bring arm and leg back underneath your body and repeat 10-12 times. Then, switch leg and arm to work the other side of your body.

To learn more about Brooks athlete Gabriele Grunewald, visit


Strength Exercises


This basic exercise is a longtime staple for a reason. It engages your glutes, hamstrings, quads and core for an incredibly effective, yet efficient movement. Place your feet shoulder width apart and lower your hips down until your knees are approximately 90º. Do 10 squats.

Walking lunges

Start by standing tall with good posture. Step out with your right leg and dip down deep, but don’t let your left knee touch the ground. You want to be able to see the toes of your right foot; if you can’t, reposition yourself. Step up onto your right leg and then step out with your left, then doing a squat with your left leg forward. Perform 10 times on each leg.

Side lunges

Start by standing tall with good posture. Pick up your right leg and step out and squat down so that most of your weight is on your right leg. Step back up and repeat on the left side. Perform 10 times on each leg.


Get into a push up position; you can put your knees on the ground if needed. Keep your core tight as you bend your elbows and lower your body down. Push yourself back up to starting plank position. Do 10 push-ups.

Lat pull-downs

On a pull-down machine in the gym, sit down and grasp the bar above your body. Lean back slightly and pull the bar to your chest, making sure to keep your back straight. Do 10 repeats.

Some of these are totally fine to do with body weight with progression to added weight.

To learn more about Brooks athlete Gabriele Grunewald, visit




1. Focus on the process!

It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers of splits and mileage, but more important to remember
that no one single metric makes you “ready” to race—it’s all about the whole process! Small
progress is still progress and the weeks of training that build up on one another are when runners
truly start reaching their potential. Don’t be too hard on yourself after a tough day—just keep
putting together consistent training. That, and a positive attitude, is really all you need!

2. Positive self-talk is not just small-talk.

Have a couple workout-ready and race-ready mantras to repeat
to yourself when things get challenging in a workout. “I got this.”
“I am fit, strong, and ready!” Or “I breathe in strength, I breathe
out weakness.” These will help focus your thoughts on powerful,
affirming phrases that help you stay strong in the moment and
believe in yourself.

3. You are stronger than you think you are!

What I’ve learned from running time and time again is that we almost always have
more in the tank than we think we do. Running allows us to uncover strengths that
we didn’t know were there and tap into a side of ourselves that we’ve dreamed of
becoming but weren’t sure we could reach. When training or a race gets tough,
which it will—remind yourself of how far you’ve come since you started and of the
instances which you’ve surprised yourself before. You got this!

To learn more about Brooks athlete Gabriele Grunewald, visit



1. Take small steps toward a healthier diet. Your running will notice!

It’s hard to make a lot of big changes all at once, so start small. Make sure you’re hydrating enough throughout your day and that you are fueling your body as much as you can with real, whole foods. Eating more fruits and veggies is always a great start and can be paired with more specific nutrition goals as you progress!

2. Make healthy habits easier by planning ahead.

Meal prep and grocery-shopping strategies make healthy eating throughout a busy week much easier! Sunday can be a great day to get a jump start on weekday meals that will make grab and go nutritious meals and snacks available to you on demand. Planning ahead really makes a difference!

3. Pre- and post-run fuel are both important!

Figure out your fueling strategy means both pre- and post- workout nutrition. It’s easy to forget to have a replenishing snack on-hand right after your run or workout, but it’s critical to recovery and avoid that “hangry” feeling. Have a box or basket in your kitchen and office stocked with nuts, bars, and healthy snack options.

To learn more about Brooks athlete Gabriele Grunewald, visit


Cross Training

1. If it’s fun, you’re more likely to do it!

Cross training can be a great way to boost your fitness while also resting the important running muscles and bones that need it when starting a new program or trying a new distance. But not everyone has a favorite cross training activity, which makes it tough to adhere to “active recovery.” I recommend trying out a few different options (elliptical machine, swimming, biking, spin class, yoga) and finding out which one works well for you and which one gets you excited. Yoga and pool running are my go-to cross-training activities, but the one that you find “fun” will be the one that keeps you fit!

2. Runners do need rest.

This is just a friendly reminder that rest is a critical part of a training plan! We want to be fit, but not fried from training—mentally or physically. If you find yourself in need of a day of rest, take it! One day completely off from training every once and again can be just the boost we need to feel motivated and rejuvenated to get after our goals.

3. The little things make a big difference!

Nobody likes being sidelined due a running injury—it’s just not fun. Take your time to incorporate a pre-hab routine (rolling out with a foam roller, stretching, icing, etc.) and general strength into your program. A physical therapist can help identify which exercises might work well to use before you run and have tips for increasing mobility and recovery afterwards. Running well and staying healthy require a commitment to these little things that make a big difference!

To learn more about Brooks athlete Gabriele Grunewald, visit



1. Have fun!

This is the No. 1 tip I have for any new training block! Running is a great way for us to stay healthy and pursue our fitness goals, but I always find that keeping it fun and remembering our “why” is always helpful, especially when training gets tough! Add fun to your training by running with friends or incorporating your workouts into weekend races that get you excited. There is no better runner than a happy runner, so keep that in mind as you’re training!

2. Keep your easy days easy and your hard days hard.

This is often easier said than done but it’s so important for gaining fitness and staying healthy throughout a training block. It’s critical to let your body rest on easy days to prepare for the tougher training to come, even when you feel great. If you’re feeling great on a recovery day, take that as a sign of fitness, but not as a sign to ramp up your pace. And on those hard days, consider your workouts a green-light to see what you’ve got. Always start at a pace you know you can do and try to get faster throughout the workout!

3. Be adaptable with training!

This is important for everyone, but especially when jumping into a program a little late (like at week 5 or 6 of training plan). Remember that it’s OK to adjust a workout or move to a walk/run situation if that seems like the smart thing to do. Just be sure to listen to your body and work your way up to race distance with patience and in an incremental way. And with summer running, it’s important to adapt and be aware of the weather! Running in the heat will affect your paces, so adjust accordingly and don’t be too hard on yourself as you acclimate to warmer weather running.

To learn more about Brooks athlete Gabriele Grunewald, visit