While this site is dedicated to running, it’s also about staying healthy enough to run. Running is a full-body workout. It requires both your muscles and tendons to work hard. And, you also need healthy organs like your heart and lungs.
It’s not just about having strong legs.
That means that on those days you don’t want to put in the road work, and that okay because some days your joints need rest, but on those days you can still put in some time to improve your running.
I don’t like to do anything that would make me bulky. I’m not trying to get big like a body builder. But I do want to strengthening my core and all the soft tissue around my joints.
To do this, I focus on body weight exercises. I don’t really mess with weights as I don’t feel they will help me achieve my goals.
Some of the best exercises I use to keep my core strong are:
- pull ups
Pushups are about as simple as old school as you can get. I think it was the first type of exercise I ever did back at my time in primary school.
In P.E. our gym teacher would make us jog in place, do jumping jacks, and then do push ups as a warm up each and every class.
I didn’t do a lot, but at least I learned the form. Now, I do them all the time.
Pull ups are also a great body weight workout. They really make you work hard. If you haven’t done a pull up in long time, try. You’ll see just how much of your core they work. And forget about sit ups for getting a six pack. Pull ups will absolute destroy your abs.
The great thing about the, is there are so many variations.
One negative is you cannot do them everywhere like you can with push ups. I had to go out a buy a free standing pull up bar stand so I could do them whenever I want. Or if you belong to a gym, they should have somewhere for you to do them as well.
Planks might look like the easiest of the three, but again, if you haven’t done them, try. They will have you shaking like a scared baby.
They are another great way to work on that six pack as they also beat up your abs. The crazy thing is you don’t even really have to move. The whole point is to not move. It almost sounds counterproductive!
I still make sure to put in time running though. And like these body weight exercises, I mix up my running. Even though I think of myself as a long distance runner, I still mix in sprints to help with hills and I change the distance of my runs and the pace to keep my body guessing.
I don’t want to get too comfortable and plateau.
Always push yourself, work hard, and try new ways to improve.