I am writing this in response to a comment I have recently received on my “Three Things”post…
“Building up your core muscles is very important for strength, posture, and overall health. I have back issues and I focus a lot on core exercises to help take care of my back now…and proper stretching of course”
I say this quite a lot, and I am going to say it again. Though running seems simple enough on the surface, there is more to it than just putting one leg in front of the other, only a bit faster.
All of these levers you keep waving about when you are running are attached to your body, so it stands to reason that the rest of your body will get a workout as well.
Strengthening the core muscles in your trunk will provide a stable base for your arms and legs to work from enabling you to keep better control of your movements. This means greater efficiency and faster running for the same amount of effort.
Being a 400m runner in the past, I read, and got a lot of inspiration from, David Hemery’s autobiography. This was many years ago now. My main memory of it was just how much work he did! As he was training in Boston he never went near a track during the winter and only had a few weeks to sharpen up in the spring ready for the first track meetings.
But the biggest one for me was he was told to do a few press-ups to help his general strength and fitness, so he used to do sets of 50 between runs!
I have never managed that many myself.
Because I started as a 400m runner, I have always done other strength exercises as well. Circuit training is quite easy to do if you can not get out for a run, or once you get home again. In “How To Run Faster” I described a short, five exercise routine I do in my kitchen and also after track sessions.
There are plenty of simple exercises you can do when you get home from your run, or when you can not get out for a run, and they are well worth building into your routine to give you extra core body strength. Not only will it improve your running, it makes every day living so much easier as well.