Join the February Strength Challenge
Core strength is something everyone should care about. Whether you’re running a 5k, Marathon, or something in between, you will benefit from having a stronger core.
When you hear the term “core,” most of us probably think about that “sexy six pack.” While that is part of it, there’s a whole lot more to it. You should really think of your core as everything…
According to our friends at Runners Connect, the “core” for runners is about,
…your abdominals, glutes (butt), hips, hamstrings, hip flexors, and lower back. These muscles are what keep your form strong at the end of a race, prevent injuries from over compensation or bad mechanics, and allow you to run in an upright and fluid position.
Strength & Accountability
I recently attended a [solidcore] class in St. Louis Park. It was awesome! One thing I mentioned to the owner was that, in some ways, the biggest benefit to me was the accountability. When you signup to take a class with others, and an instructor giving commands, it’s difficult to slack off.
Too often when I get done with a run, I want to quickly move on with my day. I neglect taking extra time to focus on strengthening those muscles that will help me feel strong at the end of a race, and prevent injuries.
The February Strength Challenge will hopefully give you some level of accountability to spend time each day (or at least every other day) becoming a stronger runner by doing those “extra things” to take it to another level.
How to Get Started
Last year during the core challenge, I realized what would help me get into a regular strength/core routine was structure. I purchased the Strength Training Plan for Runners, and implemented that most days (I emphasize most because if you can be doing something four days a week, that’s a great start).
Here are several options to help get you started on the journey to become an even stronger runner (and probably get a sexy six pack along the way).
Free, at Home Options
Core H from Coach Jay Johnson is another great routine you can tack on to the end of your run. This one is about 10 minutes, and consists of 10 moves to help strengthen key running muscles.
Strength Training for Runners
The Strength Training for Runners program from Runners Connect is what I have been using for close to a year. The price has now gone up to $79, but it is a very complete package. Psychologically, since I paid for this, I’ve been more likely to actually do it.
For that price you get 14 different strength routines. Each one contains a PDF for quick reference and includes information on the main muscles targeted as well as the specific benefit they have for runners. It also comes with videos on each routine, so you know how to do it. They have specific routines for every distance. You can get it here.
This is a sample of the “Atlas” core routine. It won’t win any Oscars, but can be used to strengthen your core, glutes, hips and lower back. If nothing else, do this!
The Next Level…
If you’re ready to really jump into making this your best year ever, perhaps you want a strength training class. Here are two, very solid options.
As mentioned above, I recently attend a [solidcore] class in St. Louis Park (review here). Wow! This amazing option isn’t cheap, and you’ll need more than a few minutes after your run. For those looking for very specific, guided direction, this is a fantastic option.
This is unlike any workout I’ve done. In short…
[solidcore] is a 50-minute, intense total-body workout done on the patented MegaFormer that uses slow and controlled movements with constant tension to work your slow-twitch muscle fibers to failure.
I’ve written about them before. Discover Strength uses machines to help slowly work your muscles to fatigue. The workouts are only 30 minutes, and done 1 – 2 times per week. They focus on improving running economy through strengthening the muscles you need most often.
You can signup for a free intro experience here.
February Strength Challenge Rules
The February Strength Challenge is simple. Complete some form of core strengthening daily (in addition to your regular running) and record it here and enjoy seeing your progress along with others. The accountability to record something daily (either yes or no) will hopefully give you that added motivation you need to make it a habit.
Your Strong Core
What is your go to core strengthening workout? Share it in the comments below.