Today I wanted to take a look at a greatly overlooked part of a runners training programme, but one that will give you not only a competitive edge but make running that little bit easier!
Developing your core strength and endurance is a great way to stablise your body whilst running and maintaing that all important form when you become fatigued in the latter stages of your race or training run. Not only will this prevent injuries but will also improve your efficiency which means you can go faster for longer, without ever really feeling like you're pushing yourself harder.
And who in their right mind doesn't want to go a little bit faster without feeling like you're about ready to keel over?!
But seriously, the most important focus here is the prevention of injuries. If you're constantly stop-starting your training because of little niggles that, rightly, keep you off your feet for a couple of days then how will you make hit your race time targets or build the endurance needed for finishing your half marathon? Consistency is key!
So ultimately what we need to be doing initially is improving your postural muscles - back, stomach, hips, glutes - which will transfer your balance and the stress of your weight evenly across both legs.
A core workout twice a week will be a great place to start and you should start to see some real benefits in your form and efficiency as well as decreasing your risk of injury. Aim to do these workouts after either your long or faster runs, thus keeping your hard days 'hard' and your easy days 'easy'.
Have a go with the following routine and let me know how you get on, and if you have any of your own favourites or comments then be sure to let me know!