Quick Core Ideas for Runners

My goal for April was to integrate more strength and core into my routine.  Like many runners, I’ve said I’m going to “add more core” plenty of times and not followed through. 

Quick Core Ideas for Runners

It’s a lot easier to run mileage but ask me to do extra stuff like stretching and strength? Forget about it; there isn’t enough time in the day. 

We make what we have time for.

I’m not a doctor, coach or expert.  Thinking out loud, I do my own research, but it doesn’t replace the advice of any professional.  However, I was able to integrate more core and strength into my routine.  It has worked for me, and I do feel stronger.

Did I strength daily?  No.

Was I perfect?  No.  

But in the last two months, I did more weight training than I did the last two years.  So it’s some progress.  Personally, I like activities I don’t need weight and extra items.  While I do have a gym membership, I prefer to do planks and activities that I don’t always have to be at the gym.

I try and do strength four times a week.  I spend about 15-20 minutes each session.  It’s one reason I do like the Nike training club app so much because you can find a workout to meet your needs.

*None of these Apps are paying me to promote them.  If they did, I would use them more.  😉

My favorite Running Friendly Apps:

Nike Training Club:

nike traning club app

They have 15-minute focused workouts that target various parts of the body.  It takes the guess work out.  There are different workouts from 5-60 minutes long, and they also include stretching exercises too.  I prefer the 15-minute workouts the most.

I like to use the “Get focused” workouts because they are the 15-minute workouts and focus

Hundred Push Ups:

hundred push ups

Hundred Push-Ups was created by my friend and remarkable runner, Steve. (Steve excels in every distance from running a sub 5 minute mile to 135.5 miles in 24 hours…needless to say, he knows his stuff!

After stopping swimming several years back, I lost all of my upper body strength.  I’ve started back at doing pushups to gain that strength back. Having better posture while running (and in life) can help reduce fatigue.  The Hundred Push Ups is similar to the “couch to 5k program” and takes you several weeks to build.

A Few Core workouts:
13 Essential Core Exercises for Runners
10 Running Specific Strength Exercises 

So what kind of Weekly Routine am I doing?
As I mentioned, I try and do strength and core every other day.  The Push-Ups program uses a calendar, so I follow that.
I try and do core Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

Questions for you:

What kind of Core work do you do?



Changing My Mood

Since the race I haven’t missed running at all.  It’s been over two weeks and I’ve started regularly cross training on the elliptical as well as a bit of strength training.  I have made the executive decision to not do a whole lot until January.  After a year of logging a lot of 70+ miles, I wanted some time to rest my body and relax.  My foot is starting to feel better but I’m mentally not into it right now.  I want to work out but I don’t really want to run.



This is a nice period of rest and off time.  My last period of no running was forced due to my cyst and I’ve never taken time off that hasn’t been for an injury.  Since last time was in the middle of the cross country season, I cross trained almost everyday and simulated running workouts on the elliptical.  Though it ate up a lot of time, it still allowed me to PR at the final race with only 1 week of running on my legs.

Anyways long story short, since I’m not training for anything I don’t really feel pressured to have a set schedule or time dedicated to workout.  For the remainder of the year I actually want to primarily focus on strength work.  I DO want to run a marathon in the Spring and don’t want to burn out.  I think towards the end of training last cycle, I just got very tired of running.  I didn’t realize it but every day seemed like a challenge.

Now that I’ve run a marathon I know I don’t need to train for 6 months.  I know I can do less and different workouts and get more out of it.  Though I’m still going to take another couple weeks off of running until I feel that twitch to run.

I don’t have a perfect strength plan right now but I do want to gain a bit of muscle and be stronger.  Sometimes I feel like an awkward noodle flailing around running so I’ll take this time to explore the gym and see what is working for me.  So my strength plan is to make it to the gym (which is .3 away from my house).

So for a while my training will just be training not to be an awkward noodle.  If you have any suggestions of good strength training workouts please let me know.  I don’t know much except for my internet research…

Questions for you:

Do you strength train?

Do you have any big 2014 goals yet? 

19 Weeks Away

Until the NYC Marathon.

It’s no secret that life and training go hand and hand.  If you have the pleasure of being an elite athlete, you may not have a full time job.  You are coached and your life revolves around your training…after all really being an athlete is a job if you are getting payed.

But alas for me , I’m nor elite nor training is certainly not my job.  Though I wish it was but for me (between 2 jobs) I worked around 70 hours this week.  Needless to say my running has taken a toll and mentally…it has taken a toll on me.  I’m taking care of myself physically and mentally, it’s just frustrating to have little to no free time right now.  (Despite what you may think I’m not a people person 100% of the time).  This post isn’t to complain though because this is how my summer is going to shape up (which is fine, it’s not lifetime).  I’m not trying to stress too much about it.

Monday: AM: 11.3 miles untimed
PM: 55 minutes strength class
Tuesday: 11.3 miles untimed (basically the same run as Monday)
Wednesday: 11.1 miles
Thursday: AM: 12.12 miles tempo 6:59 pace
PM: 5.3 miles treadmill 8:29 pace
Friday OFF
Saturday: 12.25 miles easy
Sunday: 12.2 miles (roughly 8:45 pace).  I actually brought the watch this morning!
Total: 75

This past week in Southern VA it was extremely hot and humid every single day.  Often days the heat index was above 100 degrees.  I knew if I was going to get any speed workouts worthwhile they would have to be in the morning or on the treadmill.  After careful considering (read: what fits into my work schedule) I decided Thursday would be my speed day.  I had contemplated doing 5 easy and then 6 at a tempo pace (I did this a couple of weeks ago) but just decided to go 12 at a tempo pace.  Since I didn’t race this previous week, I would have liked to have two relatively quicker workouts but that didn’t happen.

So my training was semi productive and I managed to stay injury free for another week.  I am in need of a deep tissue massage which is something I’ll look into after my mini-vacation this week.

Speaking of this weeks training:

I am doing a local 5k on July 4th.  I’m really excited to actually race a 5k, though it’s going to be hot and humid as that is what the weather is here.  I’ve somewhat let go of being back under 19 in a 5k for a while.  My long term goal is still New York City…would it be nice to PR in the 5k?  Well duh…am I holding my breath?  Well no.  So with that, we will see where time takes me.

I’m also getting to see Tim when he flies over to East Coast for the rest of the week.  While I can pretty much tell you we will be running, past that I don’t know.  So that’s that and as long as I continue to stay injury free I am progressing in the right direction.

Questions for you:

Does your job(s) effect your training?

I didn’t realize how lucky I had it when I lived in Upstate NY.  While 40 hours seemed daunting for training then….now I’d happily take that.

What are you doing for July 4th

Training for Life Part 2

Ah yes, training for life week 2 was about the same as training for life part 1.  You see my friends, my foot is feeling better than it has in the last two months but it is still not 100% perfect and I DO NOT DENY THAT. (Please don’t give me advice to train…my injury was not running relating).  I’m hoping a good portion of the injury is now in my mind, but if I go through the same procedure…run 5 days a week and let the injury build up…that isn’t fun and why bother running at all.

Just saying.

With that, I can’t say this was my most productive workout week because I have been busy with work but life happens.

Run 30 miles:  A bit more then last week.  I’m slowly building up.  I had run a few days on the treadmill and that is very unlike me.  The reasoning?  I had 1 good painless run and I related all running outdoors to pain and for two days I refused to run outside.  (It was also pouring 35 degree rain so who likes to run in that).

Elliptical: I’ve begun cutting that down.  The more I run, the less I elliptical.  I plan to keep at least a few hours of elliptical in weekly for a while (read: early spring).

Strength workouts: I’ve still been doing a lot of strength workouts.  I try and get core 4 times a week for about 15 minutes and I feel awesome doing it.  Then once a week I did my longer core routine.  Even though it’s only 15 minutes the other days, that is all I really need to keep my core muscle engaged.   (Also no need to do core everyday…I let my muscles rebuild!).  Also I did my arms routine once.

How have I been aggressively been treating my cyst you ask?  (Did you even ask…)

Foam rolling everyday.  Stretching everyday.  Rolling my foot over a golf ball.  Chances are if it’s done to treat a tight plantar fascia, I’ve doing it.  My muscle no longer feels “crunchy” when I roll it on a golf ball so I guess that is progress.


My plans next week? 

I’m just going to keep on keeping on.  The problem with my cyst is that I don’t know day to day how it’s going to feel.  Today if felt okay…tomorrow maybe it’s sore.  So I just have to take it one day at a time.  I don’t know my workouts until the day of.  Does that make me nervous?  Sure, but I’ve always been a no plan stan anyways.

Questions for you:

1.       How are your workouts this week?

2.       What are your workout plans next week?

October Strength

So on October 1st, I declared myself some goals.  Since I had basically not been running for an entire month, I needed to mentally wrap my mind around doing something productive.  Really my goal was to ease into running again and strength train.  Since the first probably won’t be happening, I thought I would take a look at the second. 

After all, it’s halfway through the month so I should have made some progress.  I have in the regards to strength training.  I’ve put my running energy into that.  In all honesty, this is probably the first and only month that I will stick to my monthly goals. What else do I have to do?  I can’t run and can’t spend all my time doing cardio.  I enjoy being strong too.  I don’t have a multitude of friends to hang out with at night nor do I have schoolwork…so that leaves me with weight lifting.  I literally don’t have very many excuses not actually achieve my goals…only that I would be too lazy or it’s cold out to get to the gym.  Anyways, I promised I’d start sharing some of my workouts.

I can’t promise that they are exciting, the greatest thing of your life or some new strength training revolution…it’s just what I do and I like it.  I can do the majority of this in my apartment but I choose to go to the gym for a change of scenery.   I do most of it in the aerobics studio room versus the actual dumbbell, powerlifting section of the gym.

This takes me anywhere between 30-45 minutes.  I do my core workout 2-3 times per week and honestly I already feel a lot stronger.  It isn’t really anything I do to get toned, I just wanted to build some strength back in my core.   A lot of it are things that I picked up for p90x or just (creepily) watching others in the gym and thinking…oh neato I want to do that too. 

20 Pushups (I normally do some on my knees too…don’t be a hero here.)
1 minute superman
25 lunges each side
20 wide hand placement pushups
1 minute superman
25 squats
25 lunges each side
20 pushups
2X1 minute plank
1 minute superman
25 lunges each side with bicep curls
50 crunches
20 pushups
50 standing crunches
50 normal crunches
2X1 minute planks
20 pushups

That about sums it up.  I have a small piece of paper I bring to the gym with everything written down because god knows my memory is not that great.  I find pushups to be such a good workout personally.  I’m not saying this great routine and any input is great, but this is just what I do and enjoy doing.  I don’t really enjoy doing any machines in the “cybex” room or whatever.

Questions for you:

What sort of strength do you do? 

Also does anyone have any recommendations for what to refuel with afterwords?  How much protein, ect?  

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