One of my co-workers ran the Philadelphia Marathon this past Sunday. As we were walking to lunch she complained of pain throughout her body (rightfully so), especially when going down stairs. She told me, “This is what you have to look forward to.” I’m dreading that pain, to be honest, but I’m hoping the feeling of accomplishment associated with completing my first 26.2 will out-weigh it. She also commented on how she was surprised at how sore her abs were. “I guess I never realize how much [your abs] help you when you run. I mean, my abs didn’t run.” I was shocked when I heard this. I’ve always been told that core strength is really important. Admittedly, I’ve never known how important or why it’s important. I guess I just always took the term “core” to mean “this is a muscle group I should pay a lot of attention to.”
Now, I don’t claim to be more knowledgeable, more experienced, or in any way better than my friend here. I’m still very much a novice in the running scene. I will say that I’ve learned quite a bit about running mechanics, strength training, injury prevention, etc. since subscribing to Runners’ World magazine back in July (yes, that is the main source of my running knowledge). This conversation I had yesterday gained importance for me today when I read an article on runnersworld.com which detailed the various ways a strong core can help a runner perform better. I learned about muscles I didn’t even know existed! Six-pack abs serve a much more important purpose than simple sex appeal, my friends. A strong core can help a runner in several ways from improving speed and stability to reducing fatigue and even knee injuries! Read all about it. You won’t be disappointed.