When I say everything, I’m talking about all of the fundamentals…basic strength, stability, running form, finding that core I hear so much about. I wanted to pick up some speed from all of this, so I signed up for a 5K with the hope of a drastic PR (personal record). Having a race to look forward to provides motivation and a method to measure progress. The idea is that with correct form and added strength, my running would be more efficient, therefore, naturally faster. With the guidance of a running coach and personal trainer at my local gym, I had a training plan suited to accomplish my return to basics.
Correcting form involved doing a proper warm-up and stability exercises, which we often neglect when we lace up and head out the door. It's easy to forget about this critical component until injuries start to creep into our lives. The warm up included walking drills, core work, leg swings, etc. If you played sports in school, think back to high school track or cross country (or any other sport) and recall that you never just showed up and started running. There was a preparatory phase prior to the actual running to activate muscles and prepare your body to handle the workload effectively.
Things I learned in this process:
-I have a sleeping glute. Progress is being made to correct this.
-I greatly lack stability in my hips…again, progress being made.
-I’m starting to find my core and learn less boring variations on the famous plank.
-Core means more than just abs. There are a lot of muscles working together in the whole trunk of your body…back, sides, hip flexors, and glutes. Yes, still work the abs, but they need their neighbors to be just as strong.
-Don't race every time you run. Scheduled easy days are equal in importance to all other workouts.
-Increasing overall strength is awesome! It makes everyday tasks so much easier.
-It’s a slow but worthwhile process.
-Overall, I am beginning to feel stronger in my daily routines and in running.
-I actually ended up maintaining moderate mileage training for a 5K, but I felt the miles were better quality, and I stayed injury free.
-I nailed my PR!
-I can’t wait to do it all over again and become even stronger.
-Correcting form will be a continuous process.