If you've signed up for a big race this spring or summer you're probably jumping into training. Luckily the weather is warming up and you're chomping at the bit for an excuse to get outside and soak up some sunshine. This is great for your training. But...don't forget a strong, successful [and injury-free!] runner does more than just run! Running will build up your big muscles, but what about all those core muscles and smaller stabilizer muscles? They need attention too!
It's not always easy to fit in an extra strength workout but it is so important! You'll notice a change in your running strength in the first week or two [right after the DOMS wears off in muscles you forgot you even had!] and if you stick with the strength training you'll only grow as a runner. Here are a few simple core workouts you can do while you're waiting for your coffee to brew in the morning...
Being excited about your new exercise routine is a great feeling, but don't go out too hard or start with moves that are beyond your current ability. Work your way up to stronger muscles and, in turn, more complex strength training moves. This quick, 5-minute ab workout will help you build your core if you're newer to ab exercises.
Regardless of what pace you're running, what terrain you're running on or what your race day goals are, a strong core is important. Your core holds you upright, helps your balance and powers the rest of you body. These five simple core exercises will help you become stronger.
Of course, your core isn't the only thing that is powering you up hills or pushing you through hard speed workouts! You need strong legs too! Yes, running will build up the strength in your legs but your running will improve more quickly and steadily if you supplement your running with some lower body strength training, such as this 30 minute workout created by Your Trainer Paige.
And when you're all done running and strength training give yourself a little time to stretch everything out. Muscles that have been worked hard will tighten up and just ignoring this tightness can lead to all sorts of problems — bad posture, longer recovery times and injuries that may sideline your training. This is why you should take the time to do a little stretching. Whether it's easy reach for your toes stretching or more complex yoga positions it will do your body good.
Better yet — save a little time [because no one ever has enough time!] and use yoga poses as your stretches! These basic stretchy yoga poses will help you stretch out the muscles you use while running as you build your balancing skills.
If you're not sure where to start with yoga, check out this post on the three building block of yoga.
At the end of the day, running is simple...until you make it more complicated with strength training and stretching! And don't forget about gear and nutrition and gadgets and...and...and...all of the things! Luckily you get to choose how complicated you want to make your running. At the end of the day do what you need to do to keep things fun!
Become a Stronger Runner
By Heidi Kumm
April 08, 2015
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