I've run (or I should say raced) many marathons. At least 10 I think. People have asked me later about some fact or other about the course or the scenery,...
My poor neglected core!
I know I’m supposed to do core work in order to prevent injury, maintain good running form and to help me to run longer and faster. Sometimes more importantly to me (especially in the summer) I know I need to do it to look good. A little can go a long way when it comes to ab strength and definition. As my friends Andrea and Kate demonstrate in the video below, core work can be a very simple, yet powerful addition to a training program.
So why oh why can I not seem to consistently get it done?? I am so well disciplined in so many other areas (ok, maybe just one area – getting my runs in, but I’m REALLY disciplined about that). It should be so simple to add 5 minutes at the end of at least two or three runs a week to help out my poor core. That’s two or three out of six runs I can choose from! But somehow even though I completely buy into the concept and ease of doing it, core work remains to me like flossing – (another big confession) – I’ll do it when the mood strikes, and enough to kind of get by, but not nearly to the extent that I could or should.
Since I can offer no explanation as to why I don’t consistently do my core exercises, I will break-down my potential barriers and come up with solutions to overcome them.
Barrier: Not enough time planned in after runs. I run within very specific windows and tend to use the entire window to run and only run.
Solution: Fight the urge to think that 5 extra minutes will kill me – or take it from somewhere else like blow-drying my hair.
Barrier: Not invested enough in the outcome. I believe in the benefits of core work, but it doesn’t seem to bring me any visibly closer to my goals.
Solution: Convince myself that all my niggly injuries will disappear and that I have a big looming injury which I can prevent if I’m consistent with my exercises.
Barrier: I have to think about doing it and make a conscious decision to do it every time.
Solution: Create a pattern which will become as natural and automatic as running itself. For example, 5 minutes at the end of Tuesday and Thursday easy runs. No question.
Barrier: Sheer laziness.
Solution: Make rules for myself, such as I’m not allowed an evening beer unless I’ve done core work that day.
Okay, this is good! I think I can do this. Abs of steel, here I come …