How Core and Strength Training Helps Me with My Running

When I first joined my first race, I struggled. 

Runway Dash 5K.jpg

My goal when I joined my first 5K/Fun Run was NOT to set a PR(Personal Record). It was a Fun Run in support of Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee and The Kiwanis Club of Irvine and I, together with my husband Barry who is a US Marine Corps Veteran, wanted to support the cause. Since we lived in the community back then and we have been exercising often at the time, we thought we'd give ourselves a try and at the same time, a little donation to this cause would go a long way. 

So, we did our very best but our best was the "first timers' " best. If you know what I mean.

Why am I talking about Core and Strength Training? 

People who want to run don't think much about strength or for that matter, core exercises. It's all about just running.

"Why should do Planks? or Push-ups? ...and what in the world is a Bird Dog?" 

I am probably one of the most uncoordinated people you can meet. Believe me, I hate Bird Dogs but I have to do it. And many other core and strength exercises to help me with my running. I have proven these exercises to have helped me with my balance, running on different types of terrains. I especially love running on dirt so when I run out on dirt trails, I can easily and confidently put my foot on the ground knowing where and how to prevent myself from falling. 

DO NOT mistake your core for your abs. The core includes a whole lot more than just your ab muscles. Core includes the glutes, hamstrings, the back muscles and hips. So, basically.. as a runner, I would have to exercise and train most, if not all my muscles. 

There are a few exercises (like squats, lunges, planks, mountain climbers, etc) that I do at home when I am not running and they are easy to learn. These exercises may also be done regularly with any type of activity that you like to do. These are not just meant for running activity. The more you work on your core muscles the better you are at your daily functions whether you are working at home/from home or in any type of work setting. 

Doing REGULAR activities is very helpful. Anything that makes you move and gets your heart rate go up where it can make your blood circulating is a great thing! Any physical activity that you like to do and you enjoy such as gardening, walking, cleaning the house and that includes putting away some mess(organizing some clutter, etc.) doing laundry, doing dishes, scrubbing the floor, vacuuming tor sweeping the floors, dusting the counters. These all contribute to a whole lot of physical activity that people take for granted and forget.

If an individual does not do this on a regular basis, unwanted fats and calories pile up because the propensity of an individual being a couch potato is so imminent. There is BONE LOSS.  The lack of exercise contributes to many of illnesses that are preventable and fatal. The more we adhere to a healthy lifestyle the better we are at taking good care of ourselves when we get older and we become more independent, active and confident about ourselves. 

In the years that I have been running,  certainly have adopted a more positive outlook in that, I have come to realize that running is not just for people who are masters in the field of running but it is a welcoming sport for any type of running skill level. Although I have ran in races where there have been people who are not as welcoming as the others, those individuals can be easily ignored and that they are not hindrances if you really want to pursue YOUR own healthy active lifestyle

The truth of the matter is, YOU and EVERYONE else started somewhere.