Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Working the Core Muscles

Thanks to my Runner's World magazine, I found a few core exercises to use after my runs. The issue that has the core workouts has Lolo Jones on the cover and she is featured in the article about how important it is to strengthen your core muscles.

If the term "your core" or "core muscles" is foreign to you, it refers your stomach, lower back, and butt muscles. For the scientific names and pictures, you'll have to get the mag. I'm not typing that much. These are the muscles that keep your pelvis level while running, walking, etc.

As explained in the article, one of the benefits for runners is more endurance. For some, it could be as simple as less back pain.

I have been incorporating some core work the past few days during a couple walks and again today after my morning run.

I started the running workout with a mile warmup on the treadmill. In a ten minute time span, I started at 20 minute pace walking and ended up running pretty hard at 6 minute pace. All in all, I covered 1 mile and had enough time to do a couple quick stretches before the group run.

We did 3 miles as our normal routine and after 3, our group leader wanted to know if anyone wanted to do another lap. We covered another 1.4 miles at a slightly faster pace than the first 3 miles.

The first 3 miles, I felt congestion in my lungs. It was the kind of congestion related to the passageways feeling swollen rather than a mucus type. After the initial portion, though, the congestion went away.

So all told, just a hair shy of 5.5 miles.

I went into the gym, rehydrated with some water, and then hit the exercise mats to work on my core muscles. I did alternating Superman lifts, planks, and side planks.

This was all started at 6AM and finished by 7. Only one thing on my mind all day after that workout... beer. I had to wait out 11 hours till I could get a beer.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!

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