Find Your Core Strength to Run
It used to be that I would run 35-40 miles a week. Outside of the occasional pushups and crunches I’d do after my run, running was the only exercise I would do. After years of this regiment, my body started talking back. First, it was the low back spasms that would keep me off the road. Then, my hip flexors decided to rebel and I could barely run 3 miles without pain. I often wore a brace to support my Achilles Tendon which acted up on occasion.
About a year ago, just before celebrating my 52nd birthday and completing a half marathon, I met with a kineseologist who taught me about the value of movement. Our first session was one of the most humbling I’ve ever experienced. I failed to perform very simple movements that exposed why I had sustained these haunting injuries. One simple movement that I could not perform involved me laying flat on my back with my arms extended straight above my head. I was told to roll over onto my stomach without using any body part besides my abdominals. When I realized that a baby could do this movement that I struggled to do, I knew it was time to get serious. My abs were on a sabbatical and my poor hips were doing their work for them. It was an “Aha” moment that I decided I had to embrace.
I faithfully practiced my rollovers and did exercises to wake up my weak core. I began doing exercises at home and even joined a specialized studio that I go to twice a week that focuses on strengthening the core muscles. It is now easy to roll over like a baby without using anything other than my abdominals.
My brain has engaged the right muscles to do their specialized work and the aches and pains have drastically diminished. Getting serious about strengthening my weak core has taught me how to run longer and stronger.