Day 8: Core of the Matter

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A strong core compliments everything we do. It improves our technique, give us added strength and stamina…pushes us over those hills and carries us across the finish line.

Bottom line…runners need a strong core!

The Runner’s World’ article“The Core of the Matter: Strengthen your core muscles, and you’ll run smoother and faster, with fewer injuries. Bonus: A set of seriously taut abs” stresses the importance of core work for runners.

Exercise Physiologist for the Nike Farm Team, Jack Daniels, Ph.D. explains,

“The stronger your core, the more solid you are as you hit the ground. That reduces your need for unnecessary stabilization, and allows you to be a more economical runner.”

Today’s ab exercises require you to hold your core tight for each move. Think about clenching or “bracing” your ab muscles while you perform each exercise. Pretend someone is about to punch you in the stomach and you need to be ready for it. These are all standing exercises, so no floor work and no excuses. Great exercises for anyone with back pain or weaknesses. These core exercises will give you more stability and help you maintain proper running form during challenges such as hills, sprints or the final leg of long distance runs, supporting tired muscles even when you are fatigued.

And like the article above reminds us, they also help us work towards “a set of seriously taut abs.”

The Core of the Matter? Don’t skip your ab work!

Day 8 exercises: Standing Abs Routine – 3 rounds with 2 minute rest between rounds

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Bonus: Stability Ball V-Pass – I realize I just said no floor exercises…but this is a bonus, and one of my favorites. It’s tough, but a a great exercise for core strength and stability! Keep it slow and controlled. If you don’t have a stability ball, grab a pillow, light weight medicine ball, soccer ball, or something you can you to pass back and forth between your arms and legs. Here’s a how to video to remind us how to do it.

Preparing for Success: The weekend is almost here so it’s time to think ahead so we get in our long runs, and so we can be proactive about making them good runs! Rolling, stretching and hydrating. Planning our pre-run meal, and our post run recovery. It’s all part of having a successful workout!

Stretching and Rolling Links:

We talk a good bit about what to do before our long runs, but we haven’t talked about what we do after lately. Do you come home from your run, take a quick shower, then jet out the door to take care of family or work obligations? Did you know that having a solid post run routine can make a huge difference in how you feel the day after, and two days after a long run? Below is a great post long run checklist that will help us recover quickly and feel ready to go again sooner!

Which ones of these are already a staple in your routine? Which ones can you add to make your post long run days more enjoyable? Have other ideas you can share with the Crew?

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Get sweaty, pamper yourself and share! You never know who you might inspire!

Happy Friday Crew!

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