With less than a week away from the Turkey Trot, I’ve been hard at work training to make the 30 minute goal set for me by my friends from home. Running on its own has been great. I feel better about myself and I also feel like I can go longer without getting tired which will help me out during the race. As a complement to my running, I’ve been working on some strength training as well, working on my lower body.

This past week, I took a workshop, Fast Abs for Runners, to work on another important area for runners and cyclers: the core. In every Healthworks class I have taken, each instructor has constantly reminded members of how important it is to build a strong core. In Natalie D.’s workshop, this was no different. She explained that for runners, it is extra important to work on your core. It’s where you get help building speed at the end of a long race, and it helps stabilize you as you turn corners and run up and down hills.

During the first part of the workshop, we talked as a group about some tips for runners and cyclers that stem from the core. To alleviate pain from a side stitch, we learned to raise your opposite arm while continuing to run (this has already helped me out!) We also learned that the lower abdomen is a source for power that will help you build or maintain speed at the end of the race. In general, strengthening the core will ultimately take pressure off of your legs, too, which will help you stay active for a longer period of time.

Here is a look at our workout with some notes about how strengthening each area can help you run/cycle longer and better:

  • Lower Abs: Build/maintain speed
    • Flutter kicks – 30 seconds
    • Scissor kicks – 30 seconds
    • Up and Outs – 15 reps
  • Obliques: Prepare for turns, Prevent side stiches
    • Oblique Crunches – 15 reps
    • Oblique Crunches w/ Leg Lifts – 15 reps
    • Bicycle Crunches – 20 reps
    • Penguin Heel Taps – 20 reps
    • Metronome – 10 reps
  • Glutes: Stabilization while running
    • Glute Bridge – 10 reps
    • Glute Bridge – Leg crossed – 10 reps
    • Glute Bridge – Leg Straight – 10 reps
    • Swiss Ball Hip Extension (the crazy one on the stability ball!) -10 knee ups (see Picture)
  • Low Back: Reduce impact on knees
    • Swimming – for a count of 20
    • Super Man – 10 reps
  • Upper Abs / Full Core:
    • Plank – 30 s
    • Plank with Leg Lift – Hold 10 seconds, then 10 sec each leg


What do you do for core strength?