Logan Circle's running club works their core after a long run.
There is more to improving your run performance than simply running. Strength training, rest, nutrition, and injury prevention also play a major role.
At the lululemon Logan Circle run club, we focus on core strength to improve our running. After every Monday night run club, we grab yoga mats, place them outside of the store on the sidewalk, and I guide our runners through a 15 minute intense core workout.
While the core include the abs, back, hips, and glutes, we focus on ab and back strength. When people ask about our group, I like to say that the 15 minute core workout is the part of run club that our runners love to hate! I secretly know when they complain about it, they are really telling me how much they love it, as we have quite the large group stay to complete it, and even some who come just for the ab workout. It is quite the scene on our busy street during people’s commutes home to see a group of sweaty runners holding on for an intense 15 minutes as I remind them to “embrace it” (the intensity of the workout) and remind them that they can “rest at home.”
Core work is an integral part of a runner’s routine. A regular core routine will not only help you improve your running times, but will also help you prevent injuries, as well as help you keep your form in the late miles of a race. My favourite core exercises are a series of planks, which help you improve both strength and stability. As a run coach, I recommend that my athletes incorporate some type of core routine two to three times a week into their training schedules. The athletes that do this find it easier to keep their form and quickly learn that it isn’t just about great abs, but about improving performance and giving themselves that extra edge. Need help finding a core routine that works for you? See if your local lululemon has a running club or there are many resources online, such as runnersworld.com, which has video links to various options for core training.